You will remember your wedding day for the rest of your life, and the music that accompanies it plays a huge role. You have got to make sure you do it right, and there are a lot of decisions to make.
By Noah Gittell
You will remember your wedding day for the rest of your life, and the music that accompanies it plays a huge role. You have got to make sure you do it right, and there are a lot of decisions to make. Sure, there is the first dance, but you also need to choose music for your entrance, your last song, and a steady roster of hits for people to dance to. When it comes to creating unforgettable moments, consider the enchanting touch of live wedding music Toronto. This used to be an easy decision. You hired a band, they played some Sinatra and Etta James, and you lived happily ever after.
Today, it’s not so easy. Technological advances have given you a choice: band or DJ? And what about the song list? What becomes popular music is no longer determined by a few record label executives and a handful of powerful DJs. People have expanded their musical palette, and a couple’s first dance is as likely to be to Jesus and Mary Chain as it is to The Carpenters.
How do you make these decisions? Here’s how my wife and I, who were married in June of 2010, survived and thrived in the world of wedding music.
The first and most important decision to make is whether to hire a band or a DJ. A band is classy, extravagant, and memorable. Those are the upsides. The downsides are that bands are expensive, and it’s much harder to request obscure songs. You can be sure that a band will churn out a night full of Top 40 love songs that will keep your guests entertained, but none of them will be specific to you.
For my bride and me, it was an easy choice. We had kind of a tight budget, and both had fairly obscure musical tastes. Our wedding planner recommended a DJ, and after a quick phone call, we confidently signed the contract. We created a playlist of nearly 200 songs, and the DJ promised to play each and every one.
The next decision we had to make was what our first dance should be. Luckily, this was an easy one. One of our first dates was a trip to the movies to see “Once”, an independent film about two street musicians who meet and never quite fall in love but still make beautiful music together. The song they play together in a music shop, “Falling Slowly”, was always one of our favorites, and we both look back at our mutual love of the movie as the moment we knew that we were serious about each other.
So we chose “Falling Slowly”, and I began suffering through the humiliating rite of passage known as dance lessons. Meanwhile, we addressed other questions. What other songs did we love and want to incorporate into ceremony?
We thought it would be unique to have a pop song accompany us as we walked back down the aisle after sharing our first kiss. We went with The Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year”. (I told you we had obscure tastes.) For those of you who don’t know it, the first verse will tell you why we chose it: “The warmth of your smile’s/ like the warmth of the sun/and this will be our year/took a long time to come.” On a sunny Connecticut afternoon, it was just about perfect.
Marriage is full of compromises, and my new wife made a big one when she indulged a secret musical fantasy of mine. After the ceremony, we exited for some pictures but were subsequently introduced to the guests at the reception for the first time as husband and wife. For this moment, I wanted music that was more than memorable. I wanted something triumphant, and there was only one piece of music that signaled triumph to me: John Williams’s memorable and uplifting score to the “Indiana Jones” movies. It was a moment and a song that our guests still remember.
The rest of the night went swimmingly – and fast. We didn’t get to hear — or dance to — every song because we were busy making the rounds and posing for pictures. But we got to experience a few of them together. One of my uncles, under the influence of our marital bliss, brazenly requested a few songs of his own, and the DJ acquiesced. We forgave both of them eventually.
Our last dance was to Ben Folds’ “The Luckiest”, which I kind of ruined and kind of improved by improvising my own words to, while gazing lovingly into my wife’s eyes. Not all of those words made sense, but the sentiment rang true.
Planning a wedding is always going to be stressful, but picking the music should be fun. The lesson I learned is that it’s important to pick music you love, not just what you think others will like. The songs you pick will be with you for the rest of your life.