Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 19--Music

Ever since we were little, we played dress-up, had pretend weddings, and hummed the wedding march song. We knew from such a young age that music was a part of and important at a wedding. More and more over the years, I have been to weddings or seen videos online where people incorporate all different kinds of music into their ceremonies and receptions. Music that is special to them, music that is their own, music to have a good time, and music to get the party started. Artists write songs about weddings, for weddings, for first dances, and for father-daughter dances. There is no doubt that music is an important part of weddings.

So how do you pick songs? How do you know how many songs?

Here are some thoughts:
  • It is typical to have a song for walking in and walking out of the ceremony. It is up to you what you want to play. You can do instrumental or a song with lyrics. I personally, am a big fan of music lyrics. Yes, I love the music too but I really pay attention to words and when I like a song, it is because of the clever, inspirational, or beautiful words. Therefore, I chose to have all my songs for the ceremony include the lyrics rather than an instrumental version. We actually had two songs for walking in--one for the bridesmaids and one for me. Both songs did not play the entire way through. We practiced the timing of walking to make sure at least the first verse and chorus were played before fading out. The song my bridesmaids walked into was Waiting All My Life by Rascal Flatts. We picked this songs because it has a good beat for walking, not too fast and not too slow. We also liked the lyrics because my fiance and I both felt the words were true about us so it was a song to each other. After the sign-bearer and flower girl made it to the front, the music changed to a song for me to walk in to. For a long time, I had wanted American Honey by Lady Antebellum to play because I felt this song described me so well. But then as the wedding got closer, I got thinking that the song was about me but that was it. I wanted the song to be about me plus the man I was about to marry. So I changed it last minute (no one knew except my mom until the rehearsal). The new song was All Your Life by the Band Perry. I am so glad I chose this song instead because to me it felt like this song was speaking my heart while I walked down the aisle towards the love of my life.
  • It is becoming more popular include songs during the ceremony. Some people do a sand or candle ceremony, or communion and often have music play during that time since there is no talking. Some people even choose to play their own song, from one to another, or both playing together. We chose to have a song play during communion that had been really special to us throughout our whole relationship. The song was God Gave Me You by Blake Shelton. I like this pick because it had a spiritual aspect to it and was very fitting for while we were doing communion. We also included another song during the ceremony for a more fun thing. This was going to be our first kiss and so we wanted to add a little something extra. We had a short clip from Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not by Thompson Square play after the Pastor said "You may kiss the bride" and before we actually kissed. It was really fun and I'm glad we did it.
  • A song for exiting the ceremony is nice to have as well. We picked an up-beat song that would be fun for everyone to walk out to and celebrate. Our song was Don't That Make You Wanna Fall in Love by Kenny Chesney.
  • The First Dance was really hard for us to pick. We listened to dozens of songs. We knew it would be a country song since we both love country music. We ended up choosing a Lady Antebellum song where both male and female sing, which I loved because then it was from both sides of our relationship. There are so many great love songs but I said no to them because I personally didn't want it to just be from the perspective of the man or the woman. Our song was "When You Got a Good Thing". We aren't good dancers and didn't want to be out on the floor by ourselves for over 4 minutes. After the first verse and chorus, we had our DJ invite other couples out onto the dance floor. He invited them a little bit at a time based on how many years they have been married. By the end of the song almost all the married couples had come out to dance with us.
  • Father-Daughter Dance and Mother-Son Dance--Choose a song that has special meaning to you and your parent. Maybe it's a song you played or sang together growing up. I actually let my dad pick and it was a surprise for me until we danced to it. He picked My Wish by Rascal Flatts. About halfway through the song, our DJ invited all other fathers to bring their daughters out and dance. Nate picked Have I Told You Lately by Rod Stewart and they also invited other mothers and sons to come dance halfway through.
  • For dancing music during the reception, it is up to you what songs you like and what kind of party you want to have.We invited my brother's college roommate to come and teach our guests how to swing dance while we were taking pictures after the ceremony. We chose lots of country swing music for the lessons and dancing during the reception. We also chose several good dance/party songs some that are classic oldies and some that are more recent.
Music, along with the decor, setting, and style, can set the mood for a wedding. I would encourage you to sit down and hand-pick songs for your ceremony and special dances. Think about songs that have special meaning for you. As for the reception, pick songs that will create the kind of dancing and party atmosphere you want. I would recommend mixing up fast and slow songs for different generations of guests. If you are interested in country swing songs, leave a comment and I can email you the list we used. I loved how our reception and the dancing went. It was such a fun time. So many people were out on the dance floor smiling, singing, and dancing. I had a blast, and I hope my guests did as well.

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