Wedding Slideshow Ideas & Tips

Slideshows can add a nice touch to your wedding, and there are several unique ways to present your photos. Keep reading for ideas, tips, and advice to get you started.

Where should I show my slideshow?

On your wedding weekend, there will probably be a few different opportunities to share your favorite photos, such as:
- at the rehearsal dinner
- during the reception cocktail hour (looped)
- during dinner (played once)
- during your special dances

A few side notes: Showing it at the rehearsal dinner is nice; however, keep in mind that many restaurants may not have a screen and projector available (or sound equipment). Also, if you have a lot of pictures to show (more than 25-50), you will probably want to consider letting the slideshow play in the background while people are mingling and having cocktails. I’ll talk about this more later.

What about a slideshow to go with my first dance?

This is a great idea, and it also works for other special dances, too, like a father/daughter dance. What’s nice about these is that you only need 2-3 dozen pictures to accompany your song, and you don’t need to include the music with the slideshow. Your DJ can play the song from his sound system while the slideshow plays, which is much easier than trying to connect the video player to the sound system.

How long should my slideshow be?

Keep it short! If you’ve ever had to sit through a very long slideshow, I’m sure you found yourself getting bored after the first few minutes. As a guideline, try to go no longer than 3-5 minutes to keep people’s attention. If the slideshow will be playing in the background during cocktails or dinner, the length isn’t as important, since you aren’t trying to get everyone to watch it from start to finish.

How many pictures will I need?

On average, you’ll probably want to keep each picture on the screen for about five seconds, which means you can show 12 pictures each minute. Windows Movie Maker, for example, by default will display a photo for five seconds after dragging it onto your video timeline.

How do I create a slideshow?

If you don’t have someone creating it for you, I have posted links to some simple tutorials for both Windows and Mac users on this page.

Get started on yours today!

Slideshows can really add a lot to the enjoyment of your rehearsal dinner or reception, yet often times they are the last thing on the “to do” list. If you keep it simple and short (as you should), creating one shouldn’t be too difficult or time consuming. But don’t leave it until the very end, because I’ve often times seen them get “scrapped.”

Get started by making a folder on your computer labeled “Wedding Slideshow,” and start copying your special pictures into the folder today. In fact, you probably already have a bunch on your hard drive right now. Then when you are ready to put it together, your photos will all be in one place, making it easy and fast to create the perfect slideshow.

Jose & Cassie - October 1, 2011

I really enjoy backyard weddings, so I was excited when I got the call from Cassie’s mom about her daughter’s wedding. I met with them about a month prior to look at the layout. The backyard was beautifully landscaped with a big yard, large stone patio, and a gorgeous in-ground swimming pool.

For the ceremony, there was an area of the yard separated by an iron fence. I set up a smaller sound system (separate from the main system) with a wireless mic for the officiant. The bride’s uncle also hooked up to the system to play the “Bridal Chorus” on his acoustic guitar.

For the reception, they decided to clear out the family room to use as a dance floor, which opened up to the patio via a set of double doors. I had speakers in the family room and on the patio outside, and I sent a wireless signal to the smaller sound system to cover the back of the yard. This allowed the music to be spread out but at a comfortable volume.

The Music

The playlist below is what was actually played with an asterisk* indicating a request. They also had some talented musicians and singers in the family who played a few songs throughout the night.

* from Jose & Cassie’s suggested playlist
** requested by one of their guests

Ceremony Recessional
Michael Franti & Spearhead - Say Hey (I Love You) (ceremony edit) [2009]*

Feist - 1234 (Radio Version) [2007]
Jack Johnson - Flake [2002]
John Mayer - Neon [2002]
Train - Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me) [2001]

Bridesmaids Entrance

Beyonce - Single Ladies [2008]*

Groomsmen Entrance
Johnny Pearson - Heavy Action (Theme from Monday Night Football) [1978]*

Bride & Groom Entrance
Natalie Cole - This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) [1975]

Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat - Lucky [2009]
George Strait - River Of Love [2009]*
Jason Mraz - I'm Yours [2008]
Michael Buble - Haven't Met You Yet [2010]
Garth Brooks - The River [1992]
Colbie Caillat - Bubbly (promo single version) [2007]
Sam Cooke - You Send Me (mono) [1957]**
John Mayer - Say [2008]*
James Taylor - How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [1975]
Jack Johnson - Better Together [2005]*
Randy Travis - Forever And Ever, Amen [1987]
Frankie Valli - Can't Take My Eyes Off You (stereo) [1967]
Ray LaMontagne - You Are The Best Thing [2008]
Stevie Nicks & Don Henley - Leather And Lace (single version) [1981]
David Gray - This Years Love (Strings Remix) [2001]
Adele - To Make You Feel My Love [2008]
Frank Sinatra - Summer Wind [1966]
Van Morrison - Moondance [1970]
Dave Matthews Band - You And Me (Radio Edit) [2009]
Ingrid Michaelson - The Way I Am [2007]
Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself (mono) [1965]
Stevie Wonder - You Are The Sunshine Of My Life (single version) [1973]
Blake Shelton - Honey Bee [2011]
Roy Orbision - You Got It [1989]
Michael Jackson Rock With You (single version) [1980]
Train - Marry Me (first dance edit) [2011]*
Tim McGraw with Faith Hill - It's Your Love [1997]

First Dance
Loving You Tonight (live performance by cousin of the bride)

Father/Daughter Dances
Rod Stewart - Have I Told You Lately (custom edit) [1993]*
Mariah Carey - Hero (custom edit) [1993]*

Mother/Son Dance
Richard Clayderman - I Just Called To Say I Love You (custom edit) [2007]*

Open Dancing
George Strait - I Cross My Heart [1992]*
Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music (single version) [1976]*
Michael Jackson - PYT (Pretty Young Thing) [1983]*
Pink - Raise Your Glass [2011]*
George Strait - Amarillo By Morning [1983]*
Ritchie Valens - La Bamba (mono) [1959]*
Gipsy Kings - Bamboleo [1988]*
Africando - Son Fo [2000]*
Benny Goodman - Sing Sing Sing (re-recording)
Cupid - Cupid Shuffle (extended) [2007]**
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem (Updated Radio Edit) [2011]**
Enur f/Natasja - Calabria 2007 (Radio Edit) [2008]
Black Eyed Peas The Time (Dirty Bit) (Radio) [2011]**
Maroon 5 Feat. Christina Aguilera - Moves Like Jagger [2011]**
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Is This Love [1978]*
Michael Jackson - Thriller (promo single version) [1984]*
Live performance by bridesmaid: "At Last"
Randy Rogers Band - Steal You Away [2010]**
Gipsy Kings - Moorea [1988]*

Bouquet Toss

Rihanna - Only Girl (In The World) (bouquet version) [2010]*

Garter Removal
Henry Mancini - The Pink Panther Theme [1964]*

Garter Toss
Nelly - Hot In Herre (garter version) [2002]*

Lil' Wayne - Fireman (Radio Edit) [2006]*
Lenny Kravitz - American Woman (Single Version - No Distortion) [1999]*
Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away (Pop Single Edit) [1999]*
Usher f/Lil Jon & Ludacris - Yeah (Radio Mix) [2004]*
Queen - Another One Bites The Dust [1980]
Bee Gees - Night Fever [1978]
Flo Rida - Low (New Radio Mix) [2008]*
Sir Mix-A-Lot - Baby Got Back (extended intro) [1992]**
Los Roland's - La Yuca [1991]*
Kazzabe - Mi Tradicion [1998]*
Pitbull Feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer - Give Me Everything [2011]
LMFAO - Sexy And I Know It [2011]**
Enrique Iglesias Feat. Pitbull - I Like It (With Rap) [2010]*
B-52's - Love Shack (single version) [1989]**
Isley Brothers - Shout (Parts 1 & 2) (stereo LP version) [1959]**

After Party
Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (promo single version) [1979]
KC & The Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes [1978]
Prince - Kiss (single version) [1986]
Banda Blanca - Sopa de Caracol [1991]**
Journey - Don't Stop Believin' [1981]*
Usher Feat. Pitbull - DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love [2010]*
Britney Spears - I Wanna Go [2011]**
Jimmy Buffett - Margaritaville (single version) [1977]
California Swag District - Teach Me How To Dougie [2010]**
ISA - Moving Like Berney [2011]**
Rej3ctz - Cat Daddy (Clean) [2011]**
New Boyz - You're A Jerk [2009]**
Unk - 2 Step [2007]**
V.I.C. - Wobble (Clean Version) [2008]**

Scott & Amber - September 10, 2011

Since I just started this blog at the beginning of November, I’m still catching up on some prior weddings. Scott & Amber were married on 9/10/11, and they had a beautiful backyard wedding at the groom’s parents’ house. The weather turned out to be perfect for an outdoor reception.

To add some color to the yard, they had me shine some red uplighting in the trees and behind the bartender. If I can get my hands on some pictures, I’ll be sure to post them. It looked really great! I also included a wireless speaker on the other side of the yard, since the area was quite large, and some of the tables were a long distance from the dance floor.

The Music

The following is a list of songs that were actually played at the wedding with a * or ** indicating a request.

* from Scott & Amber’s request list
** requested by one of their guests

Alan Jackson - Gone Country [1994]
Van Morrison - Moondance [1970]
Conway Twitty - I'd Just Love to Lay You Down [1980]
Drifters - Under The Boardwalk (mono single version) [1964]
Elton John - Your Song [1971]
Hootie & The Blowfish - Hold My Hand [1995]
Garth Brooks - To Make You Feel My Love [1998]

Grand Entrance
Scott & Amber have a great sense of humor, and they had some fun with their grand entrance. They surprised everyone by dressing up with oversized sunglasses, a large clown tie, and a big red nose. I think they got the idea after deciding on their entrance music.
Boots Randolph - Yakety Sax (stereo) [1963]

First Dance
George Strait - I Cross My Heart (first dance edit) [1992]*

Father Daughter Dance
Brad Paisley - He Didn't Have To Be (father daughter edit) [1999]*

Stevie Nicks & Don Henley - Leather And Lace (single version) [1981]
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble - Cold Shot [1984]
Kenny Chesney - Somewhere With You (Single Edit) [2011]
Ray LaMontagne - You Are The Best Thing [2008]
Steely Dan - Hey Nineteen (single version) [1981]
Conway Twitty - Tight Fittin' Jeans [1981]
Eagles - Peaceful Easy Feeling [1973]
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Little Wing [1991]

George Strait - Here For A Good Time [2011]*
George Strait - Amarillo By Morning [1983]*
Etta James - At Last [1961]
Cupid - Cupid Shuffle (extended) [2007]**
Michael Jackson - Beat It (extended) [1983]
Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline (stereo) [1969]**
Kenny Loggins - Footloose (single version) [1984]*
Brian Setzer Orchestra - Jump Jive An' Wail [1998]*
Michael Jackson - Thriller (promo single version) [1984]**
Marcia Griffiths - Electric Boogie [1990]**
Usher f/Lil Jon & Ludacris - Yeah (Radio Mix) [2004]*
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem (Updated Radio Edit) [2011]
Maroon 5 Feat. Christina Aguilera - Moves Like Jagger [2011]**
69 Boyz - Tootsee Roll (Rap Version) [1994]**
Billy Currington - Good Directions [2007]**
David Allan Coe - You Never Even Called Me By My Name [1975]**
Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody (mono) [1965]
Michael Jackson - The Way You Make Me Feel (7'' Re-Mix) [1988]*
Sir Mix-A-Lot - Jump On It (Clean Radio Edit) [1996]**
Foster The People - Pumped Up KIcks (Radio Edit) [2011]**
V.I.C. - Wobble (Clean Version) [2008]**
Nelly - Ride Wit Me (Clean Edit with FX Short) [2001]*
Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World (stereo) [1968]
Frank Sinatra - Summer Wind [1966]**
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble - Pride And Joy [1983]*
Mr C The Slide Man - Cha Cha Slide (Radio Edit) [2000]**

Bouquet Toss

Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) (bouquet version) [2008]*

Garter Removal/Toss
Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen - Theme From Mission Impossible [1996]*
Stray Cats - Stray Cat Strut [1983]*

Juvenile - Back That Thang Up (Clean Radio Edit) [1999]**
Big Tymers - Still Fly (Radio Edit Clean) [2002]**
Bobby Goldsboro - Watching Scotty Grow [1971]**
Lou Bega - Mambo No 5 (Radio Edit) [1999]**
Cherry Poppin' Daddies - Zoot Suit Riot [1998]*
Snoop Doggy Dogg - Gin And Juice (Radio Version) [1994]**

Last Dance (before sendoff)
Brad Paisley - Then (Single Edit) [2009]*

After Party
Some of the guests wanted to come back and dance some more, and I was happy to continue the music.
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl [1967]
Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There (mono) [1964]
ACDC - You Shook Me All Night Long [1980]
Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Women [1969]
Bob Seger - Old Time Rock & Roll [1978]
Earth Wind & Fire - September [1979]
KC & The Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes [1978]
Robert Palmer - Addicted To Love (single version) [1986]
Herbie Hancock - Chameleon [1973]**
John Mellencamp - Jack & Diane (promo single version) [1982]
Queen - Another One Bites The Dust [1980]
INXS - Need You Tonight [1988]
Bell Biv Devoe - Poison (7" Version) [1990]
Aretha Franklin - Respect (mono) [1967]
Sister Sledge - We Are Family (single version) [1979]
Bee Gees - You Should Be Dancing (promo single version) [1976]
Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (promo single version) [1979]
UB40 - Red Red Wine (LP version) [1988]
Brooks & Dunn - Boot Scootin' Boogie [1992]
Garth Brooks - Friends In Low Places [1990]

Family Photos

Here’s just a short post to share the fantastic photos from our family session with Stacie Tatum Photography. We couldn’t be more pleased with how our pictures turned out, and I would recommend working with Stacie for any event that needs a great photographer!

Kannowski family

Great customer service saves the day

I looked at the clock as I finished setting up the sound equipment and taping down the last cables for the lights. It was ten minutes before 6:00, so I had a little time to spare. The wedding guests would be arriving soon, but the bride and groom would still be at least another hour. It was time for me to change into my suit.

Suddenly, I realized one of my backpacks was missing. I thought to myself, “Did I leave it in my truck?”

I ran across the parking lot as the rain poured down. My tennis shoes and the bottom of my jeans sopped up the water as I splashed through puddle after puddle. After arriving at the truck, I was disappointed to find no backpack.

It finally dawned on me that I had left it, along with my dress shoes, at home in McKinney, and I was all the way in Dallas at the Filter Building on White Rock Lake. There was certainly not enough time to go home. Should I put on my suit with my soaking wet tennis shoes and cold, damp socks? Would I have time to go shoe shopping? I decided to give Google Places a try and typed a quick search for “shoes.”

First result, no answer. Probably after hours. Second result, disconnected telephone number. Third result, athletic shoes only.

Time was ticking.

I decided to try one more store, result number four: Famous Footwear. A female clerk answered the phone in a friendly tone, and I quickly told her about my shoe emergency.

“Can you please find me a pair of black dress shoes and socks? I’m at a wedding and left mine at home,” I said.

The lady said to come to the front register when I got there. It was a few minutes after 6:00 by this point, but none of the guests had arrived yet. Would I be able to make it? I thought it was worth a try.

I told the head of catering, Megan with Celebrations, that I was going to run out for some shoes and that I would be back by 6:30 if anyone asked. I made sure the dinner music playlist was loaded up and hit the “auto pilot” button. Still soaking wet from the first trip outside, I ran back through the puddles in the parking lot, hopped in my truck, and drove as quickly as I could to the store.

Fifteen minutes later, I found the store. The clock said 6:20. There was no time to shop around; I needed to get in and get out in a hurry.

The clerk knew right away from my hurried look that I was the guy who needed the dress shoes.

“I grabbed two different pair for you,” she said as she was helping another customer check out. She handed me the two boxes, and I tried on the first pair. They looked good, and they fit!

“Do you happen to have some black dress socks?” I asked.

“Yes, I have those ready for you, too,” the lady kindly said as she smiled and handed me the socks.

“Perfect! Thank you so much! I really appreciate it,” I said while another cashier was ringing up my order and charging my credit card.

She called out good luck as I ran out of the store. Obeying as many traffic laws and speed limit signs as possible, I rushed back to the Filter Building. It was 6:40, and I hurried back inside for a quick change. There was no sign of the bride and groom yet, but about half of the guests were there mingling. I had made it in time, but just barely, and only because I had found a helpful clerk who was willing to help me out in a pinch.

Don’t we wish we could always get this kind of helpful customer service? I’m sure the shoe store clerk wasn’t getting paid a huge hourly wage, and she probably wouldn’t even get a commission from the shoe sale. But she still took the time to help me out, knowing that I had little time to spare upon arriving to the store. That’s what I call a great experience!

One of the things I always strive for is to provide an exceptional customer service experience for my clients. For me, that goes way beyond playing music and setting up lights. It means being quick to respond to voicemails and emails. It means going the extra mile to make the planning process easier for the bride and groom. And in this particular case, it meant buying a new pair of shoes, so that my clients and their guests would have no idea that I had forgotten mine at home.