Pop Punk Bride's iPod reception tips + playlist

July 14 | Guest post by Pop Punk Bride

purple dj

We have decided to have an iPod Playlist reception and I've searched all over the internet for the best ways to do it. First, here's what I've learned:

  1. Use cross-fade (I'm using seven seconds).
  2. Use the volume matching tool in iTunes (called "sound check") so no song is louder than all the others.
  3. Having sections is very good. You can read some great ideas in this article. I currently have every section (even the one song section) set up as separate playlists. This means that if we want to pause it and have someone announce each event, the song won't begin to fade into another at the end.
  4. To start with, we had a song for first dance, father-daughter dance, bouquet toss, and cake cutting. I've split these up with 15-20 min sections of music. Five songs each (three upbeat, one slow, one upbeat). The important thing for the main event is having five to six upbeat songs then one to two slow. People need a rest from dancing!

We are '90s kids so ignore anything cheesy! It's like bred into us or something. It's not all our taste, but we've tried to create a mix so everyone can enjoy the music.

First Dance

  • Wakey!Wakey!'s "Light Outside" (hear it)

Dancey Bit 1

  • Glen Millers's "In the Mood" (hear it)
  • Mark Ronson's (feat. Amy Winehouse) "Valerie" (hear it)
  • The Jam's "A Town Called Malice" (hear it)
  • UB40's "Can't Help Falling in Love" (hear it)
  • Paolo Nutini's "Pencil Full of Lead" (hear it)

Father-Daughter Dance

  • Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell" (hear it) And yes, we will be recreating the Jack Rabbit Slims twist contest, Pulp Fiction-styley.

Dancey Bit 2

  • Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" (hear it)
  • Alphabeat's "The Spell" (hear it)
  • The Beatles' "Help!" (hear it)
  • Take That's "Patience" (hear it)
  • B*Witched's "C'est la Vie" (hear it)

Bouquet Throw

  • Beyonce's "Single Ladies" (hear it)

Dancey Bit 3

  • Girls Aloud's "Love Machine" (hear it)
  • Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" (hear it)
  • Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Come on Eileen" (hear it)
  • Fyfe Dangerfield's "She's Always a Woman" (hear it)
  • The Temper Trap's "Sweet Disposition" (hear it)

Cake Cutting

  • The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" (hear it)

Now we'd like to see what kind of play lists YOU'VE come up with! '80s flashback reception? Die hard metal fans? Or do love to swing dance? Send us YOUR offbeat playlist!

  1. I would just like to say that crossfade should be set to 1 second.

    Most songs fade out and then there's a few seconds of silence in the track. At my wedding, I did the iPod DJ, and almost all of my songs had a delay between the next song because of the whole fade-out/silence at the end of songs. So there was always about a 5-15 second gap between songs. Which was fine (everyone would stop dancing and anticipate the next song), but an extra 5-10 seconds on top of that is quite the delay.

    Also, TURN OFF the clicky noise on your iPod. If you leave it on, it'll click when it changes songs or when someone changes the volume/playlist/scrolls. I read a story about someone who did an iPod wedding and accidentally left the clicky noise on, which REALLY startled everyone.

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      • It will depend on what kind of iPod you have. Assuming you have a nano (being the current iPod):

        Go to Main Menu
        Choose Settings > General
        Then scroll to the Clicker, and press until the option OFF is set.

        Done!

        (Also, crossfading can ONLY be done in iTunes, not on your iPod directly).

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    • Cross-fade means the next song will be fading in while the previous song fades out, so they cross over. That means there shouldn't be any silence, and the longer the cross-fade is, the less chance of any awkward silence happening to break up the dancing :-)

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    • Crossfading to 7 seconds means more crossover than 1 second. That means that rather than adding 5-10 seconds, you're removing 7 seconds of that gap at the end because the next song starts 7 seconds before the first one even ends. It's bloody obnoxious when you have songs that actually end rather than fade out, but you used to be able to mark those as "ignore crossfading."

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  2. Oh my gosh! My dad and I are planning to dance to the exact same song!

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    • Excellent :) We're going to go stand on the floor as if ready to do a slow dance and then this will kick off! Fab!

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      • My favorite movie, so I am having a few of the songs, including this one, at the reception. Im gonna try to convince hubby-to-be to learn the dance. Ive got most of Mia's part down, since i was her for halloween twice :D

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  3. I'm still debating (but am pretty sure) what my ceremony music will be. I don't have all the songs down but I do know that we're being introduced to a part in Bohemian Rhapsody. The part where they were headbanging in Wayne's World where it starts really rocking. The DJ is going to put that on loop for us. It's one of our favorite movies after all! And then we're going to dance to Metallica-Nothing Else Matters. And we're going to wrap up the evening with Drop Kick Murphy's- Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced. The rest of the music is going to be a mix of all types of music. Rock, pop, country, some oldies but goodies from our parent's hey days.

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  4. Perfect timing as I am working on my playlist right now! Thanks for the tips.

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  5. I used Audacity to trim every single track on our iTunes reception playlist so that our 5 second crossfade worked perfectly one to the next. It took a while but it sounded great on the night! Not an awkward silence in sight (or should I say hearing?)
    Px

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  6. Just another tip: Make sure, if you're not hiring a DJ, that there is someone in charge of keeping an eye on the iPod / switching playlists as necessary throughout the reception. I tried to do that for my wedding, but there were still some awkward moments where I was poking my new husband to tell him to get one of the groomsmen to get the cupcake "playlist" (actually just one song, like PopPunkBride did) ready.

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  7. SUCH a timely post. We're pulling together our playlist just now, after our DJ let us down. I've been feeling almost a little bummed that so many wedding blog posts are no longer relevant to me (no idea why because I'm psyched to get married in three weeks) so this one made me smile.

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  8. Hey! I just wanted to say thanks so much for posting this, I've been scouring, SCOURING I say, the internet for ipod recoption advice. Because really I want the music to kick serious ass! So thank you thank you thank you!

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  9. Here's my tentative list for my ceremony and reception: Ceremony songs: processional–Mairi’s Wedding (change it to MY NAME), Bride’s processional– Ashitaka and San from Princess Mononoke recessional–Vivaldi Concerto in G Major for 2 Mandolines and Strings RV532:I.Allegro, Reception songs: announcement song–South Rampart Street Parade (instrumental), dinner music–Oscar Peterson (It's soft jazz and all sounds like dinner music), first dance song–Just the Two of Us by Grover Washington and Bill Withers, cake cutting song–Eat It by Weird Al Yankovic, bouquet song–Girls Night Out by Wynonna Judd, taking off garter song–Gimme Dat Ding, garter song–Theme from Two and a Half Men (Manly Men), circle–My Wild Irish Rose and Let Me Call You Sweetheart, bride & groom & families–We Are Family

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  10. Just a word of warning with the iTunes "sound check". It will work for most songs, but there will still be songs that are quieter or louder than others, it's just the difference will be less than without the "sound check" on. So my advice would be to have a quick flick through all your songs after you've got your list together and check there aren't any glaringly obvious volume changes!

    2 agree
    • I would agree with this. I've been listening to the end of each song and how well it blends in to the next one (especially with such a long crossfade) and have found some which I couldn't use. It's essential to try out the playlist! :)

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  11. These tips are seriously great. I was wondering if anyone could tell me how to shorten songs for dancing that drag on just a little too long? Thank you!

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    • If you go to the playlist that you want, and then right click on the song go to "get info". Then go into the "options" tab. There's a start time and a stop time and you can edit those to be whatever you want!

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    • Thanks :) guess your questions been covered kindly though

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    • You can also use Audacity to trim your songs to the length you want. It is a free program and it is really easy to use.

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  12. What is the name of the device you used that enabled you to use a remote control with the iPod? I tried to research it online but couldn't find it.

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    • I didn't pick that photo but I believe it's the type of docking station…My stereo at home is ipod compatible and has a remote. It's sony, but thats all I know. I'll probably use itunes on a laptop rather than my iphone/ipad as it's a much better interface if you need to make changes on the actual night.

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  13. Can anyone recommend playlist software that has fade function that isn't itunes for the apple haters amongst us? :D

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    • I thought winamp had a crossfade setting. Not sure if that's popular anymore, though.

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  14. We're walking in (processional) to ABBA's "I Do I Do I Do," blatantly ripping off one of my favorite movies, "Muriel's Wedding."

    Once we're being announced and right before the kiss, we'll start "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Lick the Tins, which we both remember loving from the credits of the movie, "Some Kind of Wonderful."

    After that, during eating and before our live band starts up, we've got this lineup, not necessarily in this order:

    "Kiss Me," Sixpence None the Richer
    "And Darling," Tegan & Sara
    "I Love You," Barenaked Ladies
    "If I Had $1,000,000," Barenaked Ladies
    "Whistle for the Choir," The Fratellis
    "Pony," Erin McCarley
    "A King and a Queen," Okkervil River
    "The Littlest Birds," The Be Good Tanyas

    THEN, after the band plays and we go to the dance party section of the evening:

    "Someone You Need," Howard Jones (our first dance)
    "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," Michael Jackson
    "Karma Chameleon," Culture Club
    "We Are Family," Sister Sledge
    "Time After Time," Cyndi Lauper
    "Twist and Shout," The Beatles
    "Blister in the Sun," Violent Femmes
    "Prove My Love," Violent Femmes
    "Love Cats," The Cure
    "Dancing Queen," ABBA
    "July, July!" The Decemberists
    "Last Dance," Donna Summer
    "I Believe (When I Fall in Love it Will Be Forever)," Stevie Wonder
    "Groove is in the Heart," Deee-Lite
    "Blame it on the Boogie," The Jacksons
    "We Got the Beat," The Go-Go's
    "Happy Feet," Kermit the Frog
    "The Girl is Mine," Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney
    "Let's Go Crazy," Prince & The Revolution
    "I Would Die 4 U," Prince & The Revolution
    "I00 Days, 100 Nights," Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
    "YMCA," Village People

    NOT in that order! And I'll probably have to cut the list. But there you go!

    2 agree
  15. We are self-DJing our wedding with an iPod Touch and we are actually curious, not really on how to plan out the songs, but the equipment needed. What kind of speakers are out there that are good for small wedding parties? We have an outdoor patio reception with 50 people and are needing some speakers to use. Anyone got some great info on the technical side of iPod-DJ?

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    • I have an Ion Block Rocker that I use for BBQ's at the park. It sounds great and can be used cordless for up to 12 hours. It is iPod compatible too.

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  16. I didn't even realise this was here :) Awesome!

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  17. I /love/ this playlist. You've made me listen to B*Witched again! It's been 10 years… I'd add some Spice Girls just for fun, like "Wannabe"!

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  18. Has any one had any luck including a microphone with their MP3 set up?

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  19. Thank you for this! I'm planning on having an iPod playlist at my wedding next year and was worried about the gaps in the music between songs. I guess I need to use "cross fade" will scope it out and see if I, even with my technological ignorance, can sort it out!

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  20. I would agree with the other commenters that crossfade is definitely a must. Silences between songs leave people standing awkwardly on the dance floor while they wait for the next song and kill the mood of the party.

    My husband and I used an iPad and a great app called LimitList: http://tenkettles.com/limitlist/ for our wedding cocktail hour and reception. It has a crossfade feature built right in. Plus it lets people vote on the next song they want to hear and takes their picture like a photobooth. It worked perfectly for us!

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