Music · Writing

Wedding Music: Good, Bad, Ugly

There is bad wedding music out there. “Celebration.” “We Are Family.” Anything by Nickelback. I could go on, but I won’t. Because we’ve all been there. We all recognize bad wedding music, and yet, it happens again and again. So the question remains: how do you avoid bad wedding music at your reception?

There is only one Freddie.
This is a question I’ve mulled over a lot lately as Jake and I build our music list. You heard right: Jake and I are building our own list. We’re not having a DJ. I can’t stand them. They’re too exuberant—yes, even for a wedding. We’re not having a band, because let’s face it: no matter how good you are, you can’t cover “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Jake and I opted for an iPod and a best pal to run the show. It remains to be seen if this is a good idea or not, but I feel good knowing a stranger in a cheap suit with a microphone will not be announcing our first dance as man and wife.

Music is important to me. I’m not a music snob (eh hem … Matt Dobie), but hey, I like what I like. I’m wildly eclectic in my taste. Favorite bands range from the alternative-bluegrass Punch Brothers to now defunct heavy bass masterminds Audioslave. I adore Fiona Apple, Cuban and French music, as well as jazz (Billie Holiday), funk (Matt’s band Gangrene Machine), and timeless classics (Tom Petty, James Taylor, and Sinatra). There are the weirdoes like Bjork, Tom Waits, and Ryan Adams; there are classical artists like Puccini, Debussy, and Chopin. So what the hell kind of music are we going to play at our wedding?!  

It remains to be seen.
What, you didn’t think we already had the list together, did you?

Christina. Gettin' dirrrrrrty.
I’m heading back home tomorrow morning for my bachelorette party. My Maid of Honor (Aunt Susie) wanted to know what kind of music to play. This list is easier. For instance, “Dirty” by Christina Aguilera is an obvious first choice. “Your Love” by The Outfield, because we used to scream every word at The Junction in Athens. “Honky Tonk Woman,” because Janine and I used to play it on the jukebox at Fat Jack’s and dance when no one else was dancing.

The songs that really matter, that mean something to me now and will mean something to me on the day of my wedding, are songs that carry a memory.

I already told Jake we will be playing “Sweet Transvestite” from Rocky Horror Picture Show at the reception. No, not because I think Tim Curry looks good in tights (he does), but because I’ve been singing this song with different groups of friends since eighth grade. “In Tha Club” by 50 Cent will probably show up because 50 Cent sang it at the MTV Movie Awards on my twenty-first birthday, and at the beginning when he says, “Go shorty, it’s your birthday,” everyone at my house started singing along.

Dr. Frank-N-Furter. RHPS forever.
This is what music is about. It’s about making memories and sharing new ones. This weekend will be epic. Friends from elementary school, high school, college, and beyond will meet for the first time. We will sing songs together and make new memories. Then, on November 12th, songs will play, and for the rest of our lives, Jake and I will attach new meaning to old tunes, because those old tunes were the songs we heard on the night we became man and wife.

Go listen to your favorite song and sing as loud as you can. Unless you’re my neighbor. Then, sing quietly. And have a nice two weeks. I’m on vacation.

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