Alexa Goes to a Rehearsal

Our team recently stumbled upon a little tool to make life easier for all of us. It’s so much fun we want to share it with you. From time to time, we mention tips or tricks that make life easier on the business side as well as the event side, so this is not exclusively for weddings. An aside, we talk about this  simply because we’re excited about how easy this tool makes our job and thought it was too fun not to share, not for any other promotional reason.

For all of you needing a little DIY ambience for an event, here’s a little trick: Alexa makes a fantastic on-the-go-speaker. For those of you that haven’t met Alexa yet, that’s the Amazon Echo. It gives a clear, full sound and the best part is you can adjust volume and song selection from your phone!

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Alexa made her first debut as our new techno side-kick at a wedding rehearsal Kate did a couple of weeks ago. For most rehearsals, we have the ceremony songs available to play so the bridal party can practice and perfect the timing since the DJ is often not there. In the past, we had experienced speaker fails and even resorted to playing YouTube on phones in a pinch when things went south. (Not ideal, but it’s something in a pinch.) For this one, we put the playlist on an iTunes account connected to a mobile device, not just an iPod. Kate spent the evening before scrambling for a speaker that would give ample volume and a good surround sound. Nothing suited. Our family had recently been given an Amazon Echo so she decided to connect it to her phone via Bluetooth and try the playlist. The sound was fantastic and voice commands changed volume and song selections. The one drawback was that the Echo needs wifi in order to fulfill voice commands and it doesn’t run off a peer-to-peer network.

Kate found a backup speaker and took a chance on Alexa. Even though the venue did not have wifi, it did have a convenient power plug and the Amazon Echo responded to commands on the phone since it was still connected via Bluetooth. The manual volume control allowed for a greater range of sound, but sound and songs could be controlled from a fairly wide distance. It was ideal to be able to adjust volume and songs from near the arbour on the lawn since the Echo was close to the building. Access to wifi would give even greater versatility.

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So if you have the Echo already and have an upcoming event that needs DIY ambience, give it a trial run and let us know what you think!

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