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Why Do I Need A Sound System for My Outdoor Ceremony?

No matter how perfect the setting, your wedding ceremony won't be much fun for your family and friends if they can't hear what is going on. If you are planning a very small ceremony--under 50 people or so--a sound system may not be necessary. In the vast majority of cases, however, the benefits provided by a dedicated ceremony sound system and a qualified operator far outweigh the costs. A PA system is especially important if you are having an outdoor ceremony.

Outdoor Ceremony Sound Reason #1 : Ambient Noise & Wind
Even for someone whose voice carries well in an indoor setting like a church or courtroom, moving outdoors is a completely different ballgame:
  • Is your ceremony setting near a roadway? You now have traffic noise to compete with.
  • Are there any trees or shrubs? If there is any wind whatsoever, rustling leaves can be quite loud.
  • There are no walls to contain the sound and reflect it back inward. Even if your wedding is in the middle of the desert and there is zero wind, voices won't carry as well as they do indoors.

Outdoor Ceremony Sound Reason #2: Volume Consistency
Ok, let's say your wedding is going to be in the middle of the desert, you are 100% positive there will be no wind AND your officiant has a great voice. You're set, right? Not exactly.

The officiant won't be the only person talking at your reception. You're going to repeat your vows, you might have a scripture or poetry reading, there may be a vocalist, etc. In the case of your vows, you're most likely going to be facing each other--so your voice isn't pointed toward the crowd--and you probably don't exactly want to scream into your partner's face anyway.

Ideally, you want your guests to be able to hear and enjoy everything in its entirety--including your vows. This is much easier to accomplish when microphones are used, as the operator can adjust the volume to ensure each person is heard appropriately.

Outdoor Ceremony Sound Reason #3: Musical Flexibility
Are you planning to have live musicians provide the music for your wedding ceremony prelude, processional, and recessional? If so, you may think that reduces the need for a PA system. However most instruments suffer the same effects of wind and ambient noise as speech--and while you can ask them to play louder there is generally a limitation on how loud is possible (or it will come at the expense of volume dynamics and expression).

Or perhaps you have musicians to play the processional and recessional--but not the prelude as guests are arriving. Then what?

Having an appropriate ceremony sound system helps overcome these issues. In the cases of electronic instruments like a keyboard, the musician can feed their signal directly into our speakers--which are positioned for optimum coverage of your entire audience. For string and wind instruments, microphones are positioned appropriately to amplify the sound--which allows for greater total volume, far better control over volume, and more even coverage of your guests.

If you aren't having live musicians--or only have live music planned for certain components of your ceremony--we can play recorded music through our system with no hassle whatsoever.

Outdoor Ceremony Sound Reason #4: Skilled & Experienced Operator
Perhaps you could rent or borrow or equipment at a lower cost than using our full-service wedding ceremony PA coverage. You may even know someone with a little bit of experience doing live sound for their band or church to run it for you. But there are significant disadvantages.

Our personnel are specifically trained in doing sound for wedding ceremonies--and experienced with this specific situation and the potential problems that may develop.

They know who to watch for coming down the aisle, and can fade out a song early if you and your wedding party walk down the aisle quickly--or make adjustments to seamlessly repeat the last verse so the music doesn't run out when you're still 10 rows away from your groom.

Microphones are only live when they're in use. The microphone sitting on a stand off to the side for the poetry reading won't be picking up wind noise or snickers from the groomsmen. Your officiant can help direct the flower girl and ring bearer where to go as they come to the front without your guests hearing him. Your musicians can switch their sheet music without everyone hearing the pages rustle through the speakers. Don't risk a careless comment being heard by every one of your guests--get a full service package with an operator specifically experienced with providing wedding ceremony sound.
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Top 10 Dance Songs of 2012

Continuing the tradition we started last year, here are 10 of our favorite dance songs from 2012. Not intended to be a qualitative musical assessment, this list is strictly based on danceability, crowd response, and likelihood that we are singing along and tapping our toes in the DJ booth!

New this year are YouTube links to all songs to make it easier for you to check out the ones you don't know. However, please note that while everything in our music library is radio-edited (and we further screen for content when necessary), some of these links are not.

10. Levels- Avicii The purest dance song on this list, this is most famous for being sampled extensively in "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida. I'm partial to the original--hearing it makes me want to crack open a tube of glow sticks. Watch video on YouTube

9. Young, Wild, and Free - Wiz Khalifa feat. Snoop Dogg & Bruno Mars My vote for "Killer Groove" of the year. This would be a lot higher if not for blatant drug references that prevent us from playing it at school events. Watch video on YouTube

8. Good Girl - Carrie Underwood There was quite a bit of good country that came out this year, but as far as fast "party" country, this was the standout. Watch video on YouTube

7. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) - Pink Nothing like a little bit of failed romance angst to get the party hopping! :) Watch video on YouTube

6. Let's Go - Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo Not much specifically remarkable about this one--just a good dance party song. Watch video on YouTube

5. Die Young - Ke$ha Super catchy and easy to sing along to: "Let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young" Watch video on YouTube

4. What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction Catchy, positive lyrics, high likelihood to make females scream and sing along. The Dave Aude remix is also pretty good in terms of spicing up the intro and other mellow parts without ruining the feel of the song. Watch video on YouTube

3. Starships - Nicki Minaj I have not traditionally been a huge Nicki Minaj fan, but this one really grew on me. Watch video on YouTube

2. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen Need a song to make every female from age 6 to 56 scream and run to the dance floor? This is probably your ticket. This garnered extra staying power thanks to the Harvard baseball team's famous video. Watch music video on YouTube

1. Gangnam Style - Psy This seriously has all the makings of a great dance song rolled all into one: Fast tempo. Catchy. HILARIOUS video. No offensive lyrics (at least in English). And line dance moves. It will be interesting to see how it performs over the long term, but playing this song at both weddings and school dances this fall has gotten the most enthusiastic response of ANY song I can remember. Watch video on YouTube

Did we miss your favorite song of 2012? Leave a comment on our facebook page and let us know!

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Homecoming Playlist - 9-22-12

We got a request to post the playlist from the homecoming dance we did Saturday at Southeast Polk High school--here it is! Thanks to everyone who attended, and especially all the student council members who helped inflate balloons for the 50' balloon drop. We had a great time and hope you did, as well!
-------------------- PRE-DANCE --------------------
La Roux - Bulletproof (Dave Aude Club Remix) (John Cha Video Edit)
Rapper's Delight - Sugar Hill Gang
Electric Avenue - Eddy Grant
Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor
Grenade - Bruno Mars
Roll Up - Wiz Khalifa
Neon Trees - Everybody Talks
-------------------- OFFICIAL DANCE START --------------------
Good Feeling - Flo Rida
Shake It - Metro Station
Karmin - Brokenhearted (Clean) Marc Eazy Video Edit (Jyvhouse Extended Bass Remix)
Dynamite - Taio Cruz
Black & Yellow - Wiz Khalifa
Super Bass - Nicki Minaj f Ester Dean
We Found Love - Rihanna f Calvin Harris
Gangnam and I Know It [Chris James Remix]
V.I.C. - Wobble Baby
Moving Like Berney - ISA
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Blow - Ke$ha
Titanium - David Guetta f Sia
Fun - Some Nights (Clean) Marc Eazy Video Edit (Jyvhouse Extended Bass Remix)
Ellie Goulding - Lights (DJ AtWill Club Remix) Johnny Rockit
Last Friday Night (T G I F ) - Katy Perry
Cher Lloyd - Want U Back ft. Astro
Jason Mraz - I Won't Give Up
Justin Bieber - Boyfriend
Nicki Minaj vs. NBA Allstar Game 2012 - Starships (Clean) (Extended) (Armed With Harmony)
Call Me Maybe (Clean) (Hook First) (Extended) (Armed With Harmony)
Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo - Let's Go
Mr. C The Slide Man - Cha-Cha Slide
Psy - Gangnam Style (Clean) Marc Eazy Video Edit (Jyvhouse Extended Mix)
LMFAO vs Cupid - Cupid Shuffle (Clean) (John Cha Transition 130 to 144 BPM) (John Cha Video Edit)
Yeah! - Usher f Lil' Jon & Ludacris
Country Girl (Shake It For Me) - Luke Bryan
Pink - Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
Pitbull ft Chris Brown - International Love (Clean) (John Cha Hype Intro) (John Cha Video Edit)
Sexyback - Justin Timberlake
Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolf f Lil Wayne
Luke Bryan - Drunk On You (Dj Cutt Edit) (Dj Cutt Redrum) Clean
Taylor Swift - Never Getting Back Together (Clean) Marc Eazy Video Edit (Skillz ReDrum)
Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen - Good Time
One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful [Original]
Poker Face - Lady GaGa
Nicki Minaj - Pound The Alarm (Clean) Marc Eazy AV Edit (Liam Keegan Remix)
Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
Wop - J Dash
Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) - Beyonce
Calvin Harris - Feel So Close
Karmin - Hello (Clean) (Extended) (Armed With Harmony)
LMFAO vs Keenan vs Kia Soul Hamsters - Party Rock Anthem (Clean) (John Cha Video Edit)
The Time (Dirty Bit) - The Black Eyed Peas
Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
Interlude - Attack Attack
The Wanted - Chasing The Sun (Tantrum Desire Hard Mix) (DJ 818 Video Edit) Clean
Teach Me How To Dougie - Cali Swag District
Whip My Hair - Willow Smith
Mickey - Toni Basil
Give Me Everything - Pitbull f Ne-Yo Afrojack and Nayer
All I Do Is Win - DJ Khaled f T-Pain Ludacris Rick Ross Snoop Dogg
-------------------- END OF DANCE --------------------
Tonight Is The Night - Outasight
Sam & The Whomp - Bom Bom (Clean) (M Class Extend)
I Love Rock And Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
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Toasting Tips

Generally, the best man and maid of honor are each expected to propose a toast to the bride and groom during the reception. We will communicate with you at the reception to determine exactly when and how the toasts will occur. Having seen our fair share of poorly executed toasts, here are some suggestions to help make you look like a rock star.

Plan - Take time at least a few days before the wedding to think about what you are going to say. You may find it helpful to write your speech out in its entirety, but when you deliver it at the reception try not to read it word-for-word. Instead of a complete script, we recommend making a few notes (an outline or key words) on an index card. You can lay the note card on the table and glance at it as needed to make sure you’re on the right track, and it will sound much more natural. This method allows you to make eye contact with the bride and/or groom, as well as the audience, instead of just looking at a piece of paper for the entire speech.

Content - What you choose to say is up to you, but here are some things that may help get you started:
  • Start with a brief introduction, making sure to identify your relationship with the bride and groom.
  • Determine whether you are going to give a more touching speech or a more humorous one. Keep this tone in mind as you write your speech.
  • Describe the bride or groom before they met their new spouse, and then how you’ve seen that person change after they met.
  • A quote, story of how the bride and groom first met, or a fond memory of you with one or both of them may also be nice to include.
  • Keep your content PG-rated—there may be children or elderly guests present.
  • Avoid making the bride or groom look bad or mentioning anything that might be embarrassing.
  • Keep your speech light-hearted. Guests want to be entertained—not taught a life lesson.
  • Don’t forget to raise your glass! Often, less experienced toasters get so caught up in the story aspect they trail off and pass the microphone without ever raising their glasses to salute the bride and groom. Decide how you’re going to finish your toast ahead of time—a special wish, recited traditional toast, or blessing of the bride and groom all work well. Raise your glass with a resounding congratulations or cheers, and don't forget to clink glasses and drink to your own toast!

Delivery - Make sure that everyone can see and hear you as you make your awesome speech.
  • Stand with good posture and hold the microphone at your chin to make sure it picks up your voice so all guests can hear you.
  • Your speech does not have to be long—no longer than three to five minutes or people start to get antsy.
  • Engage your audience by looking out across the room and also at the bride and groom—glance down at your notes only when you need to.
  • If you know you are likely to get emotional during your speech, be prepared with kleenex or a hankerchief.
  • Remember to enjoy the moment and have fun!
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P.O. Box 1544
Ames, IA 50014
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