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  • Creating the Perfect Song List for Your Wedding

  • Wedding music is the soundtrack behind one of life's most significant days, leaving the songs to play forever in the memories and hearts of guests.
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    • Wedding music guidelines
      It may seem like "wedding music" is as simple as a great songlist. However, there are many details to consider, such as length of music needed for different aspects of the events, and if special so...
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      Wedding music guidelines
      It may seem like "wedding music" is as simple as a great songlist. However, there are many details to consider, such as length of music needed for different aspects of the events, and if special songs are needed for special moments. Also, the PA/sound system may have to multi-task and be used for toasts and other announcements, which could interrupt a carefully-constructed CD or Mp3.

      Before building a wedding songlist, it's helpful to have some guidelines.

      "Sit down with each other and maybe even a professional who knows music and can give suggestions on how to customize the sound," says Hope "DJ Hope" Caster, owner of Pure Sound Entertainment in Medford.

      Caster offers the following questions to all prospective wedding clients:

      Wedding Ceremony

      Would you like background music before the ceremony?

      Do you want music for the seating of mothers and/or grandmothers?

      Will there be any other special songs during the ceremony?

      Reception

      Will there be a receiving line?

      Would you like background music?

      When would you like to start the dances?

      Will you be having a first dance?

      Will you be having a father/daughter dance?

      Dancing

      What song would you like for a first fun/upbeat dance?

      How long do you intend the music to play?
  • Wedding music is the soundtrack behind one of life's most significant days, leaving the songs to play forever in the memories and hearts of guests.
    Building a blend of traditional, personal and celebratory wedding music has long been the purview of professional deejays, who work with the bride and groom to make sure any specific choices are included. These days, more couples are taking over this task, relying on simple-to-use technology to add a personal, DIY touch to their wedding.
    Once created, the song list can then be used as a guide for the deejay or band; it can also be burned onto a CD or Mp3 player and used as the main source of music through the ceremony and reception.
    To find potential wedding songs, mine your own CD collection first. Then fill out your list with songs purchased from an Internet site such as Apple's iTunes — they cost 99 cents each.
    "There are collections of hundreds of wedding songs at the iTunes store," says Dr. Arnie Abrams, director of the Applied Multimedia Unit at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. "You can also use the iTunes program to transfer music from your CDs onto your computer."
    Abrams offers these easy directions for downloading songs from iTunes and burning them onto a CD; a single audio CD holds 80 minutes of music, or 12 to 20 songs:
    1. Launch iTunes on your computer. If you don't have iTunes, download it for free from Apple's Web site. It works on both Windows and Mac computers.
    2. Go to the iTunes Store and type in "Wedding" in the search box.
    3. Click on Wedding Essentials to find nine play lists, each with around 72 songs. "Collections include Wedding Reception, R&B Wedding (think 'On Bended Knee' by Boyz II Men) and Indie Wedding (includes I Will Follow You into the Dark' by Death Cab for Cutie)," says Abrams.
    4. Purchase and download individual songs.
    5. Create a play list in iTunes (File>New Play list) on your computer to compile and order your song collection.
    6. Put a blank CD-R into your disk drive.
    7. Click the Burn Disc button to make a CD.
    Reminder: If you're inclined to give away copies of your CD as wedding favors, keep in mind that it is illegal to duplicate and distribute copywrite music.
    On all wedding CDs, be sure to include a variety of songs, including sentimental favorites and great dance tunes. Consider your guest list at each turn, including something for all age groups and attitudes. You may even solicit guests' suggestions over your wedding Web site, blog, e-mail or other interactive media.
    With custom CD in hand, you'll be ready on your wedding day to press "Play" and dance the night away — creating your very own song list of memories.
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