A Cost-effective Solution for Playing Music at Your Wedding
If you’re planning to go all out for your wedding and do dinner, drinks and dancing, it’s going to be expensive. There’s no way around that. At some point, a decision has to be made about how you’re going to handle the music. This typically comes down to either a band or a DJ. But there’s also a third option that’s more cost effective: Spotify.
Building a large and diverse music library used to take a lot of time, effort and money, and it was more beneficial to professional DJs than anyone else. But with music streaming services, it’s easier than ever to access every genre, artist, album and song imaginable. Spotify gives you access to more than 30 million songs from which you can build your wedding playlist.
If you decide to use Spotify as your wedding DJ, there’s some equipment you’ll need to ensure your guests have just as much fun listening to your own hand-picked tunes as they would listening to a professional’s playlist.
You’ll need a few pieces of equipment:
Playing music for large crowds is not as simple as playing music in your home or car; it requires more power and controls, which requires more equipment. But it’s not as complicated as you might think. Below are the essential pieces of equipment you’ll need to operate your own sound system at your wedding.
A desktop computer is bulky and has too many parts to use at an event. But a laptop is small and easy to move. You don’t need the most expensive laptop on the market to play music at your wedding, but something durable with good battery life wouldn’t hurt.
Your best bet is to rent speakers. One option is a PA system; you’ve likely seen these at other weddings or events. PA systems are reliable, loud and have good sound quality. That’s really all you need.
This will come in handy for speeches, toasts and special announcements. One option is the Shure PG48; it’s a standard vocal microphone with an on/off switch, which will help prevent issues with feedback and keep you from having to use the volume knob to cut off the microphone’s sound.
Although some PA systems have built-in mixers, you also can get one separately. The most important thing is that it has the correct ports for your setup, including inputs and outputs for connecting the laptop, speakers and the microphone. If you decide to purchase the mixer separately, one option is the Behringer Xenyx 502, but if you need to hook up multiple microphones – or an instrument and a microphone – you’ll need to get a mixer with more ports.
Whether you use a PA system with a built-in mixer, or you purchase a separate mixer, you’re going to connect the laptop to the mixer, and the mixer to the speakers. You can use a a 3.5mm headphone jack to dual 1/4-inch breakout cable to connect the laptop to the mixer, and a couple of TRS balanced cables to connect the mixer to the speakers.
Hooking Up the Speakers to Your Laptop
As far as the connections go, the end of the cable running from the laptop with the dual 1/4-inch jacks will plug into the input ports on the mixer and the two TRS cables will run from the output ports on the mixer to each of the input ports on the speakers. For the dual 1/4-inch jacks, the red goes in the right, or “R,” input port and the black goes in the left, or “L,” input port. The speaker on the left should be connected to the “L” output port on the mixer and the speaker on the right should be connected to the “R” output port on the mixer.
How to Utilize the Additional Features of Spotify Premium
If you’re going to use Spotify as your wedding DJ, you have to purchase Spotify Premium. It includes essential features that you can’t do without. But before diving into the details, note that you’ll need to download the Spotify application onto your computer in order to use some of the premium features.
Possibly the most important thing is that Spotify Premium is ad-free, unlike the free version of Spotify. You also can download and save songs on your computer with Spotify Premium, another must-have feature. The last thing you want to deal with is a problem with the Internet that disrupts streaming audio. Spotify premium also grants you access to some new music, and you’ll definitely want the most up-to-date tunes available for you wedding playlist.
Make sure your tunes keep playing.
You really don’t want your computer to fall asleep in the middle of everyone’s favorite song. Make sure you turn off sleep mode on your laptop, and go ahead and plug it into the charger to make sure it stays up and running all night long. It also doesn’t hurt to have a backup laptop with you, just in case. But make sure you download the wedding playlist from Spotify on the backup device so you can quickly get the music back up and running.
You’re sure to create the wedding playlist well before of the big day, which means the playlist should be set in stone by the time you walk down the aisle. The only exception is if you decide to take song requests, in which case you should easily be able to jump right back to your playlist once you stop taking requests.
Not only should you know how to control Spotify and all the equipment, but you should also teach at least one other person, such as a member of the wedding party, how to use everything in case something goes wrong and you’re not around to fix it.
Be prepared to deal with a some minor issues.
If you choose to go the Spotify route, be prepared to deal with a couple potential problems. The most troublesome is guests wanting to play songs. Don’t let them. It will send the message that you’re open to letting others take control of the music. Next thing you know, you’ll have a long line of guests waiting to play their “jam.”
Also be prepared to hear complaints from guests about the song selection. But don’t take it personally; not everyone can like every song. In that case, your best bet is to build out a playlist that’s made for a much longer time span than what you actually require. That way, you can skip any songs that guests dislike without worrying about reaching the end of the playlist. And keep in mind there may be kids at the wedding, so it may be best to play clean versions of all songs.