I love explaining to people that mine and Nick’s wedding song is not a love song, but rather just about living life. We know it’s not romantic, but it’s our song. When I make him a mix, it’s always in there and it’s always his favorite moment in the mix. When I hear it come on my shuffled playlist, I turn it up. It gives us warm and fuzzies, and we can’t imagine having our first dance to anything else.
But there are other songs that are important to us! And not just between us, but important to us personally in our own lives. The wonderful thing about planning a wedding is that you get to define so many moments with a carefully planned song – such as your grand entrance, mother/son, and even your wedding video. I wanted to take this space to explain why we’re choosing certain songs for the important moments on our special day, especially since some are super lame or obscure.
Our First Dance – Rooftops, by LostProphets
Nick and I had our first moment of real bonding one day when I was driving him to his car after a pool party at my house. We were 16 and 17 at the time, and my car only had a tape deck (yes I did make a slew of mix tapes). The point of clarifying this is to demonstrate that it wasn’t a planned moment, it happened because the tape serendipitously was on that side at that point at this moment.
Once the song came on, Nick was excited because not many people really knew of the band and this song was really awesome. When we got to his car, he didn’t get out of mine until the song finished. It was this moment we both knew we liked each other, yet never said anything until… 4-5 years later? Geez Nick, way to drag your feet (ok, that’s on me too).
For our first dance, the song will be played acoustically.
Mother/Daughter Dance – Butterfly Fly Away, by Miley Cyrus & Billy Ray Cyrus
Remember how I mentioned that some of these songs are like super lame? This is what I had in mind.
I think I should start with the detail that this is a mother/daughter dance and not a father/daughter dance. My parents are divorced, and my mom remarried, so I have two “dads.” While yes I have a biological dad, my step dad was more of a father figure to me – which is crazy to think back on, because I didn’t really like him until senior year of high school. But a switch flipped and now we’re quite close; I finally get him.
Anyway, so yes there are indeed two father roles in every wedding; walking me down the aisle, and sharing a dance with me. But I couldn’t decide which task to delegate to which dad, and thought that even if I did, the other would feel cheated.
Enter my mom. She is the best. Like, imagine Lorelai from Gilmore Girls only minus the pregnant-at-16 part. I am sooooo lucky to have her, and I couldn’t be happier to have her give me away (along with both dads) and share a dance with me.
This song really focuses on being a single parent and putting your kids needs before your own. Even better, I like that it’s sang from the daughter’s point of view rather than the parent’s (such as Butterfly Kisses or In My Daughter’s Eyes), because it becomes much more of a thank-you-for-everything-you’ve-ever-done moment.
And I’m not going to lie – this song hits home real hard. I cry every time I hear it.
Bridal Party (undecided if it will be the entrance or the dance) – Here (In Your Arms), by HelloGoodbye
Not only is this a super fun and cute song, it’s also an important song between my girlfriends and I. It started in the Target parking lot. The song came on as we arrived, and for some reason the chorus inspired us to throw our arms in the air and wave them around like noodles.
Skip forward a few months – we were all taking a group trip to the uber-ginormous mall 45 minutes away (Great Lakes Crossing) and making a day out of it. On the way home, the song played and instant noodle arms! Poor Marlisa was driving and couldn’t see out of her rearview mirror for 3 minutes.
Noodle arms now translate to many other songs =)
Random Line Dance – My Sharona, The Knack
Besides this, I think the only line dance we’ll be having at our wedding will be The Hustle. When you’ve got a live band (which we will), it’s so much easier to keep people dancing without a line dance. At this point, I’m growing very sick of The Wobble.
All of my girlfriends learned this dance one year at a Winter Guard competition and we have ended up dancing along at every event since. It’s elaborate, and very difficult for others to pick up and join, but it’s totally our thing and makes for a great video. Unfortunately, I don’t have a video of it because we’re always too busy dancing to it! I’ll do some digging and see if I can find one from someone else.
Must Play Song – Shake That Ass (For Me), by Eminem
This song will not be given any special place or meaning because, well, it’s pretty awful. Like offensive awful. But oh man is it one of “our songs.” You know how Jenna Marbles has that White Girls At The Club video (I’ll post it under the song video)? That’s us when this song comes on. It’s disturbing that we know all of the words, but we’re not ashamed.
It started when Marlisa and I went to a Tiger’s baseball game and were seated behind third base. That day we had the pleasure of staring at Anderson’s rear for a few hours, and we kinda just started singing this every time he leaned over to get ready for the batter. It slowly spread, especially as one of the lyrics became true for one of our friends. Yes, one of my girls once got lucky in a Hummer. And yes, we will stare her down every time that lyric comes around.
Jenna Marbles – White Girls at the Club
Must Play Slow Song – Saltwater Room, by Owl City
On one of mine and Nick’s first nights out on the town together, this song came on as I was dropping him off back at his house. Part of the song lyrics are,
“So tell me darling do you wish we’d fall in love?”
“Yeah all the time.”
We just kinda looked at each other and smiled. We hadn’t said it yet, and still didn’t, but it made for a great moment that lead to a few minutes of a really great make-out sesh =) It was the moment we wanted to say it and didn’t, but knew it.
Side note, of all the Owl City songs, Vanilla Twilight is actually more of “our song,” but it probably won’t play at our wedding since it’s about long distance and won’t really apply so much anymore. But it needed to be here in this post because it’s a really beautiful song for anyone in a long distance relationship.
“The silence isn’t so bad
Till I look at my hands and feel sad
‘Cause the spaces between my fingers
Are right where yours fit perfectly”
(Possible) Processional – The Atlas March (from Cloud Atlas)
I don’t think I could describe the awe which Nick and I felt after we saw the movie Cloud Atlas together. The message was so big, the feeling of both importance and insignificance equal, and the scene transitions poetic. We’ve never felt that way over a movie, and it might be a long while until another one like it comes around.
For anyone who has seen it, you’ll know the importance of Robert Frobisher’s Cloud Atlas Sextet to the movie. It embodies past, present, and future in a piece of music, reoccurring throughout the movie. The sextet itself has a subtle sad tone to it, so we would probably not use that for our wedding, but The Atlas March has more of a “hope” feel and would be lovely. The long version which plays during the end credits is perfect because with each minute it grows progressively more intense – so by the time it’s my turn to walk down the aisle it should feel like everything has built up to that moment without having to change over to a different song. And the song is 8 minutes long, so gives us plenty of time.
(Possible) Recessional – This Will Be (An Everlasting Love), by Natalie Cole
I just really like this song, and think it fits the happiness of the moment when husband and wife walk back down the aisle all smiles. I actually always wanted it to be my first dance, but then I met Nick and we totally have a song with real meaning to us. So I want to try and incorporate this, at the least as a must-play song on our band’s list.
So we have a few songs left still to decide, such as the mother/son dance, bouquet and garter tosses, and which song we’ll use in our video. But for now I think we’ve narrowed down the truly impactful music that will paint memories and moments we’ll carry with us forever.