More Music! (Wedding Edition!)
When we first met as teenagers, one of the first things Josh and I bonded over was our mutual love for music. We would spend hours driving around in his old, white Mercury Sable playing different songs for each other and singing along to our old favorites. We would email each other lists of songs and artists that we loved and wanted to share. Sometimes Josh would come visit me at the old diner where I worked. He would order waffles and milkshakes and write me songs on little white napkins. He would pass them to me as I walked by. The night that Josh officially asked me to be his girlfriend, he did so by singing me a song that he had written just for me. He pulled his car off to the side of the road, took out his guitar, and sang his heart out. As we grew older and started traveling together, music festivals and concerts became our “thing”.
Music has been a huge part of our relationship ever since the beginning. That’s why we were uncomfortable with the idea of putting someone else in charge of the music for our wedding. We didn’t want some DJ we didn’t know playing songs we didn’t love. Instead, we opted to sign up for Spotify Premium, and go from there. This way, we would have total control over all of the music for our big day.
Once we decided we were going to do without the traditional DJ, we asked our friend/future brother-in-law, Dylan, if he would be willing to act as an informal DJ for us. He agreed, and he and Amanda (Josh’s sister/Dylan’s fiancé/our officiant) did an excellent job of making sure the right songs/playlists were playing at the right times. Amanda also announced all of our special dances, the cake cutting, the bouquet toss, etc. We couldn't have done it without these two.
As for the sound equipment, we ended up renting this Liberty Platinum 8000 sound system. The whole "system" was simply two large speakers on tall stands. This included a CD player and USB slots, as well as a hookup for an MP3 player, so we had a lot of input options. Everything was on the back of one of the speakers, so it was incredibly simplistic. It even came with two wireless microphones for announcements and speeches. We connected a laptop with Spotify installed, and bam! We were ready to dance all night. It was super easy to set up, and the sound was absolutely perfect. I would highly recommend this system for any DIY events.
Throughout the months leading up to the wedding, we created and downloaded several playlists. We ended up with the following categories:
- Cocktail Hour
- First Dance
- Parent Dances
- Dancing (After Dinner)
- Garter/Bouquet Toss
Once we had figured out our categories, we chose our songs. Many of them were already saved on my Spotify “Favorites” list, so I just copied them over to the new playlists where I wanted them. Others, we discovered and added later. (It was especially fun for us to hear a song on the radio and say. “Hey! That would be a perfect song for the wedding! Add it to the list!”)
Most of the songs we chose had sentimental value to us, especially those in our processional playlist.
The first Valentine’s day that we were together, Josh and I were snowed in at our respective homes and couldn’t see each other. I spent that whole day hand-painting three large poster boards. One of the poster boards was covered with all of the lyrics from one of our favorite songs: Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. We were always singing this song to each other and I couldn’t listen to it without hearing his voice singing along. I painted a background of cars, flowers, and clouds, and then painted the lyrics on top. I gave this to Josh as a belated Valentine’s Day gift. This painting has been with us ever since, and every time we hear this song, we smile at each other and sing along.
A little less than 10 years after I gave Josh that painting, he and his parents walked down the aisle to this version of "Chasing Cars":
After that, our bridal party walked down the aisle to this version of Paramore’s “Still Into You”:
(This is a peppy, string rendition of another song that Josh and I are constantly singing to each other.)
And finally, instead of the traditional bridal march, I walked down the aisle to this song; “Bloom” by The Paper Kites:
I chose this song because I could not listen to it without picturing myself dancing under twinkling white lights with Josh. Every time I was stressed out over silly wedding things, I turned this song on and was reminded what all of my hard work was for.
Once our ceremony was over, we began our recessional!
Our guests threw biodegradable confetti as Josh and I walked hand in hand back up the aisle. Our wedding party followed suit, and
Coldplay's "Adventure of a Lifetime" played in the background.
So there you have it! A little bit about the music situation at our wedding. If you are getting married and you love music as much as we do, you might want to consider asking a friend to DJ for you. Between Spotify Premium ($10/month or $5/month with student discount) and the sound system we rented ($200), it ended up being the perfect, affordable setup for us.
Looking for more wedding music inspiration? I will post a few updates listing all of the songs we had in each playlist soon!