Monday, November 19, 2012

What I'm Thankful For

Everyone has been posting what they're thankful for on Facebook these past few weeks. Instead, I have decided to post about the things I'm thankful for on our blog. Here goes:

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband, who loves me despite for the weirdo I am.

I'm thankful for my kitty cats, because they're soft and love-y and pretty much the sweetest animals on the planet.

I'm thankful for our cute little house - it might be small and crowded at times, but it's home and we love it.

I'm thankful for my job. Not only do I get to do something I love, in a place that I love, but my boss is pretty much the coolest, my coworkers are great friends and my office mate and I have fun and laugh every day - does it really get better than that?

I'm thankful that it's cool to be a dork these days, because otherwise, I'd be screwed.

I'm thankful that #Supernatural did NOT end after Season 5. I probably would have died without my weekly Sam and Dean (and Cas) fix.

I'm thankful for my health and the fact that I can run now! TAKE THAT, high school self who couldn't finish the mile.

Most of all, I'm thankful for my wonderful family, which recently has gotten bigger. In addition to my mother, father, brother and kitty cats, I have added a husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law and two brothers-in-law, along with their larger family, and all within the past month. :)

I know that's not it, but that's all for now!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ceremony Music by Spotify

We love music, so I wanted it to be a big part of our wedding ceremony.

We decided to use a Spotify offline playlist, played from an iPod, hooked up to some decent computer speakers. I wasn't sure how that was going to go over, so I spent many days beforehand Googling suggestions, many of which were that it would be much easier just to pay a DJ to come do the music. I disagreed. Not everyone has money to do that - we certainly didn't.

Bottom line, I'm writing this post about our very positive experience in case anyone is thinking of doing the same thing. I wish I could have found something to this effect - it would have eased my nerves a bit.

You'll Need 

  • A Spotify premium subscription. It costs $9.99 per month and you can use the same account on multiple mobile devices.
  • An iPod Touch. You could probably use a phone, but if someone calls you during the ceremony, even a telemarketer, it could ruin everything.
  • Speakers or access to a sound system. We used a small sub with two peripheral computer speakers - a setup easily connected to an iPod via auxiliary cord 
  • A playlist. We'll get to that. 
  • A responsible person to control the tunes. Someone you trust, who understands how to use an iPod.


  • If you're creating your own ceremony, figure out where you'll need music and have fun with it! If you're more restricted, ask your officiant where music might be appropriate. 
  • Download the Spotify app (for an iPod, from the iTunes Store).
  • At a computer, make a playlist using your Spotify premium account OR make one from any account and subscribe to it later using a mobile device that's logged into the premium account.
  • Set the playlist so that it's available offline on the mobile device of your choosing. If you're using a iPod Touch, you need Wi-Fi long enough to "download" the playlist. Spotify lets you download temporary files to your iPod which last 30 days, at which point you'll lose access and have to log back in and re-download.
  • Test your setup wherever you plan to have the ceremony, preferably with some of the same songs you'll be using to see how they sound and how loud they should be.
  • Designate a responsible person to control the music. Give them a script for the ceremony with cues for where they should play each song. 


  • Don't make people sit there and listen to entire five-minute-long songs. Choose music that can be faded in and out as the ceremony moves along. I stressed about this, worrying about cutting off lyrics, but the transitions will sound better than you might think.
  • Keep the playlist in order for easy use.
  • Give your person a script and a copy of the playlist in advance so they have time to study their cues and familiarize themselves with the music. I had my brother (who was also an usher) do it, and he and his girlfriend knocked it out of the park - but by giving him his cues the night of the rehearsal rather than earlier, we inadvertently caused him more stress than was necessary. If I could do it all over again, I would have been more prepared for his sake and mine. 
  • Practice with the music the night of the rehearsal.
  • Use the music to cue actions in the ceremony (look at my list to see what I mean).
  • Use an iPod rather than a phone to avoid interruptions. 
  • Download and check your playlist a few days before so you know it's good to go.
  • Make sure your device is charged before the ceremony. (In this case it doesn't hurt to have a second mobile device, even if it is a phone, as a backup.)
  • Make sure the music is not too loud, but that it can be heard from any seat.  
  • Relax. You'll have so much to pay attention to during the ceremony, you won't be as worried about the music as you might think.

Now for the fun part - Our Playlist!

These songs played on a loop starting half an hour before the ceremony start: 
Ingrid Michaelson – The Way I Am 
The Flamingos – I Only Have Eyes For You
Sufjan Stevens – To Be Alone With You
Dave Matthews Band – Where Are You Going
The Avett Brothers – Living Of Love
When this song began, it was a cue for the ushers to seat the parents of the bride and groom, and when they were seated, the officiant and the men took the stage (only the girls walked down the aisle).
Band of Horses – No One's Gonna Love You
From there it went straight into the processional song -
Bon Iver – Towers
And then into an instrumental for the bride and her father, just to help it stand out. NOTE: If you use something other than the bridal march like we did, it may not be obvious right away that the congregation should stand ;)
Vitamin String Quartet – Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) (String Quartet Tribute to Arcade Fire)
We used the first verse of a song - a clip, not a reading - as our "reading." It required some set up by the officiant to not be awkward, but it turned out nice. ;)
The Decemberists – Red Right Ankle
We did a Unity Ceremony with sand to this song:
Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
And last, but not least, after our first introduction as Mr. & Mrs. - we walked out to this:
The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

I don't want to brag, but we got a lot of compliments about the music ;) We enjoyed it anyway, and that's all that really matters. Brides, it can be done!

Friday, November 2, 2012