We now continue the ongoing saga of planning the October wedding of my daughter Casey and her fiancé Alex and, if there’s one thing I’ve learned during this process, it’s that there are a lot of tough choices involved.
You have to choose a place, a gown, a photographer, a band, invitations, people to send invitations to, a florist, a selection of hors d’oeurve, a selection of groomsmen and bridesmaids, and, let’s see…what else? Oh, yeah, someone to spend the rest of your life with if they don’t get too annoying.
But there may be one decision that’s more important than all of that. Yes, even more crucial than deciding what person to get married to is deciding what songs to get married to.
We’ve just received a list of suggestions from the band–or, rather, the band’s management company–and the only thing that’s more daunting than the extensive list of songs in their repertoire is the extensive list of occasions for which music must be selected.
You thought a wedding was just one big event, right? Jeez, you’re such an idiot! A wedding is actually a collection of mini-events that take place one after the other with some food in between.
There’s the “Introduction,” when the newlyweds first enter the reception to the applause of their guests and, possibly, the theme song from Rocky, to name one of the band’s recommendations. I’m trying to imagine that, and it doesn’t work for me, unless the couple is going to come jogging in and run up some steps. Frankly, Casey and Alex really haven’t been in training long enough for that music.
Then there’s the “First Dance,” for which the band has also provided a list. It includes stand-bys like Elvis Presley’s “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You,” Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are,” and James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” There’s also a more modern selection, “Take Me the Way I Am,” which is by one of my favorite artists, Ingrid Michaelson, but I’m not sure a couple would want “our song” to be one that was featured in a commercial for Old Navy.
The band also listed something called “Chasing Cars,” by Snow Patrol. I’m not familiar with the song, and I’m sure it’s very romantic, but it just sounds inappropriate unless you’re marrying a hyperactive dog.
Anyway, I personally think it’s weak for a couple to choose their wedding song from a band’s list. You should sit together with a bottle of wine, each plugged into the other’s iPhone, and go through every single song that either of you has ever downloaded (even the illegal ones) until you find the perfect combination of heartfelt lyrics and dance-ability.
Speaking of which, Casey and Alex will also have to select songs for the Mother/Son dance and the Father/Daughter dance. Of course, I’ll want to provide some input for the latter since I need to make sure the song is danceable for me, which is really saying something, since Stephen Hawking is probably a better dancer than I am.
Music must also be chosen, evidently, for the cake cutting and the bouquet tossing. The band’s list for the cake cutting includes The Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar” and The Beatles “When I’m 64.” I honestly don’t see how those two songs can be together on any list. And why “When I’m 64?” Is that when the bride and groom plan to eat the slice of cake they’re going to stash in their freezer?
All of that is just for the reception. There’s also the ceremony, without which the reception is just a very elaborate prom. You have to choose music for the processional, when everyone walks down the aisle. The selections here lean toward the classical, with Bach, in my opinion, overly represented. Most of the stuff would probably sound familiar if I knew it by name rather than the theme song from some movie, but I’ll leave it to Casey to find all this stuff on the Internet and listen to it (“‘Romanza’ from ‘Eine Klein Night’–yeah, that’s the one!”)
Here’s something shocking: even if you want to go with the “Wedding March” you have to make a choice, because there are two of them! Bach wrote one and Wagner wrote one. I have no idea which one is the Wedding March (“Here comes the bride…”), but I do know that somebody ought to be suing somebody.
I said above that I’d leave it to Casey to do the listening. I say that because it doesn’t seem like Alex cares to be very involved, judging from this exchange:
Casey: What song should we have as the bridal party processional?
Alex: Benny Hill theme song?
Wait! We’re still not done! There also needs to be music for the recessional which, I’m assuming, is when everyone leaves the altar and not some economic situation slightly less serious than a depressional. Here, Handel seems to beat Bach, which is just as well, because if you pick Bach for the processional, you don’t want back-to-back Bachs.
Casey wonders if they can just play the same thing they played during the processional for the recessional.
I said they can…only they have to play it backwards.
See you soon.