Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Music

Today I'd planned on posting our engagement pictures along with commentary about what to do vs. what not to do during an engagement photo shoot session, but we haven't gotten them back yet so that post will have to wait 'til next week. I'm SO excited to see the pictures! I've known the photographer who took them for about 6 years and I always pictured her taking some pictures for my eventual engagement/wedding, and I'm so thrilled it all worked out! What's that? You want a sneak peak? You guys, I don't really think I should OH OKAY FINE HERE YOU GO. 

So, since I couldn't post what I originally wanted to I had to rack my brain deciding what wedding related thing I should blog about today. Alison gave me suggestions via Twitter which I really and truly appreciated and I seriously considered them but then I realized I've been wanting to write about wedding music for a while so I'm going that route instead. Sorry Alison. PLEASE STILL BE MY FRIEND.

Before we really get started I just wanted to let you all know that we'll be doing the ceremony outside of the gazebo. Thanks for weighing in on that in this post. My dad was really wanting us to be in the gazebo but I was pretty firm that we wouldn't be doing that. So my most sincere thanks to all of you.

Ok, wedding music. Why is this so hard?? I've been thinking about wedding songs for years and years and years, and now I'm so scared of choosing the wrong song! So, I'd like your help. All of you have had really awesome suggestions, advice, and encouragement, and I appreciate it so much. I can't even tell you. Last night I was thinking maybe I should print it all out and scrapbook it, but then I realized that a blog is like a virtual scrapbook so maybe I don't need to do the scrapbook. Also I'm really lazy and making a scrapbook seems like a lot of work. I'm already planning a wedding and I don't think I need to try any harder to be artsy fartsy (haha fart).

For the past like 10 years I've wanted to walk down the aisle to Pachelbel's Canon in D, but now I'm questioning that choice. For one thing, it's a really long song and I haven't looked at the internet to see if there's a shorter processional version of it. I also don't know if I want the piano version or the string quartet/quintet/symphony/whatever version. I JUST DON'T KNOW. I DO know that I want the music for when the bridesmaids walk down to be different than the music when I walk down, but I have no idea what I want that music to be. There are so many pretty songs! HELP.

For the recessional I know we're going to do something fun, like the Imperial March or the Indiana Jones theme song, but is the Imperial March too overdone? I feel like everybody does it. But we like Star Wars, dammit!

And the first dance... where do I even start with that?? The last time we dated I really wanted to do "Then" by Brad Paisley, but then my brother and his wife made that their first dance so like, obviously I can't do that song. Plus, Keith and I have pretty opposite tastes in music. He likes Billy Joel and I like Lady Antebellum. He likes Tom Petty and I like Ed Sheeran. He likes Boston and I like Adele. DIFFERENT.

About 9 months ago I found what I thought would be the perfect song. I was watching my favorite movie (About Time, if you haven't seen it you're really missing out) and at the end a Ben Folds song played. I started crying thinking THIS IS TOTALLY IT! Here it is. 

Keith and I were still dating long distance at this point, so I texted him and asked him to listen to it. I had all these visions of him thinking it would be perfect and us riding off into the sunset on horses while this song played in the background (don't judge my fantasies), and then I got his reply:

Keith: Okay... how do you want me to handle this?
Keith: I hate that song more than I've hated any other song I've ever heard.

Then I called him and asked him why he was trying to ruin my life. And now whenever we hear the song he likes to skip it or cover his ears and yell, "LALALALALALALALA!!!!!" It's super adorable and mature. You can probably imagine how he feels about John Legend's "All of Me," right? I don't need to tell you.

So, if you could suggest songs that are a mix of what I just told you, that would be great. Whoever suggests the song that we dance to WINS. What do you win? I'll mail you a $5 Starbucks gift card and I'll write a paragraph about you in a blog post. And I'll love you forever. I know the last one is what really matters.

What's next... oh, the father/daughter dance. I remember many years ago when my sisters and I were in the car with my parents driving home from my grandma's house. Bob Carlisle's "Butterfly Kisses" came on the radio and after about 8 seconds my dad shut if off and told us that if we wanted him to remain composed at our weddings, we wouldn't play that song. I can't even mention that song without him getting choked up. It's actually pretty adorable. I'm considering Tim McGraw's "My Little Girl" because there's a line in there that goes, "Daddy, love you more!" and my dad and I used to say "I love you more" ALL THE TIME. But that seems overdone also. Can you tell I'm insecure about this? The other one I like is Heartland's "I Loved Her First." I NEED SUGGESTIONS, PEOPLE. The winner of this song will also get a $5 Starbucks gift card.

The last song I need help with is the song for the bouquet toss. I refuse to do "Single Ladies" so I need other suggestions. The only other one I'm considering is "Bang Bang" by Jessie J., Nicki Minaj, and Ariana Grande. Guys, I'm like obsessed with that song. The winner of this song does not win a $5 Starbucks gift card. What, do you guys think I'm made of money?? I'm not. Speaking of money, click this.

So basically, I need help. First of all, please click this. Second, I need music help. Please feel free to give me your suggestions for what I asked about as well as anything else you think is important. I feel like I only have one chance to get this right and I feel like I'm totally going to screw it up. 

Oh also if you're lucky Keith is going to guest post tomorrow.


  1. What about Giving It All To You by Haley&Michaels? They wrote the song for their wedding and the lyrics are amazing! Also, they're country but not too country so Keith might (hopefully!) like it!


    Also, I've read your blog for over a year and this is the first time I've commented...sooo, if you hate the song selection just pretend this never happened....

  2. I love that Ben Folds! So many random suggestions for you guys to dance to. If I got a wedding again it would either be Frampton 'Baby I love your way' (classic, he might not hate that), WSP 'Vacation' (love and has so many happy memories for us, personally, i realize it's a totes weird suggestion, Jimmy Buffett 'Coast of Carolina' (i'm guessing this doesn't apply to you as much as me?) or maybe something Sinatra ... Dance with your dad, what about 'My Girl' ?

  3. I've always wanted to walk down the aisle to Canon in D, too! But I've really been second guessing myself lately and I'm pretty sure I'm going to scrap it.

    Get on gchat and I'll tell you mine and justin's first dance song, and the songs I'm thinking about about using for my dance with Peter (but I don't know if any of them are sappy enough because I really just want to make him cry).

    1. I'm kinda sad I don't know the names of these songs though....

  4. This is so hard....such pressure!! I feel for you. What about When the Stars Go Blue for daddy/daughter dance?! There's a few different versions but I like Tim McGraw version....

  5. We went the non-traditional approach to all songs we used at our wedding. The mom's and grandma's walked down to the Vitamin String Quartet version of "The Luckiest". No words. People probably didn't even know what song it was. The ladies walked down to the Piano Guys version of "Home" from Philip Phillips. We loved that song when he sang it on Idol. And I walked down to the Piano Guys version of "A Thousand Years". I's so cheesy, but I love Christina Perri and it worked perfect for my long walk down the aisle. I think any song you choose will work. Have you thought about Vitamin String Quartet? They have SO many contemporary songs that they play and you can use. They were great!

  6. A my friend's wedding she walked down the aisle to this song and I loved it so much and I cried lots of tears.. The rest of the people walked down the aisle to "Marry You" by Bruno Mars and at the time (2011) it was cute but now that song is really overdone.

    My other friend is doing Glamorous by Fergie as her bouquet toss song and I love that because Fergie is awesome.

    I've always thought I would use John Mayer "Daughters" as my song for my Dad because I love it and I don't care that it's been used by 1000's of people.

    Oh, and I Brian and I have totally different music tastes also and one time I heard this song in his car and I think it would be a really cute first dance song and he loves Queen BUT THEN.. We will totally be doing a slow dance to Ed Sheeran, le duh. THE END BYE.

  7. Our song was Come to Me by The Goo Goo Dolls. Watching the music video gave me chills! It's a bit more upbeat than most, so maybe Keith wouldn't mind it too much. I danced with my dad to the typical, My Wish by Rascal Flatts, his favorite band. And for my bouquet toss, Love on Top by Beyonce since it's so upbeat and girly! Hope these help!

  8. 1] Canon in D is a gorgeous song and totally a great wedding song to walk down. I know you said you wanted a different song for your both, have you thought about the bridal march? I know it's traditional but it can be fun [i loved the pomp and circumstance haha]. Or you could have them walk down to a Vivaldi song [Spring is pretty my favorite is the third song 6:25 mark], he's one of my favorite composers. If you like Star Wars, do Star Wars. Who cares who else has done it!

    2] What about jack johnson Banana Pancakes or Better Together? I love the simplicity of the Wedding Song too. It's alil old school though.[]

    3] We actually put together a compilation of songs for my father daughter dance and it was sweet with a surprise at the end []. I really liked Iz's 'Somewhere over the Rainbow'.

    4] I think BANG BANG for the bouquet toss sounds great, especially since you like it. Or maybe Pink's 'Get this Party started'.

  9. I saw another commenter mention it and I'm giving another vote to Vitamin String Quartet for your processional. They have tons of absolutely beautiful instrumental versions of songs that might be perfect to walk down the aisle to. My friend did that but I'm blanking on what song they chose by VSQ. Some good songs for just general wedding usage:
    Adele - To Make You Feel My Love
    Stevie Wonder - Isn't She Lovely (my cousin's wife danced with her father to this, it was great!)
    Bruno Mars - Marry You (Bouquet toss?)
    Extreme - More Than Words
    Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat - Lucky
    Ben Harper - Forever

    None of these would make me nauseous to hear at a wedding, so that would be a selling point. Hope it helps some!

    1. Oh oh also:
      Michael Buble - Close Your Eyes
      Journey - Faithfully

    2. Make You Feel My Love is a BEAUTIFUL song but I much prefer the original (Bob Dylan) version.

  10. "Never Stop" by Safetysuit is a great upbeat first dance song. Ive also heard it done accoustically and its equally as awesome

  11. 1 - I walked down to Can't Help Falling in Love on the piano
    2 - The First, The Last, My Everything - Joshua Radin was our first dance song (a super pretty cover of a Barry White song I LOVE and it totally fit our relationship - together since 15!)
    3 - Father/Daughter dance was No Longer Mine by Neil Emberg - my dad found it! I had such a hard time finding one that wasn't over done and I loved loved loved this one.
    4 - I didn't do a bouquet toss so I'm no help with this but love your idea of Bang Bang!

    (Also this is the second time I wrote this - don't know what happened to the first so sorry if this shows up twice!)

  12. You crack me up. Our first dance song was Can't Take My Eyes Off of You by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. It's the song Jarrod played when he proposed and we had just seen the Jersey Boys musical in Chicago. I don't remember what our recessional song is, but my mom and stepdad's was Get the Party Started by P!nk, which made me giggle. I also don't remember what the father/daughter or mother/son songs were, but from reading this post I'm pretty sure you have a better relationship with your dad than I do, so I'm probably not much help there.
    I think you should stick with the Imperial March and Bang Bang, both great choices. Besides, some things are popular BECAUSE they're awesome, like the Imperial March.

  13. My father daughter dance was "Stealing Cinderella" by Chuck Wicks.

  14. The Way You Look Tonight, I Do (cherish you), I Turn to You, Crazy Love, Everything, or Sway could all be good first dance songs.
    Run the World (Girls), Pretty Girl Rock, Diva, or You Can't Hurry Love would all be good for the bouquet toss!

  15. I'm bouncing back and forth between Giving It All To You by Haley & Michaels, Angel by Casting Crowns, and Hold Us Together by Matt Maher for our wedding song. Maybe one of those would work?

  16. I love the piano guys - you should check them out! I walked down to their cover of "A Thousand Years" but they do a ton of different songs too! I also had playing before the ceremony "Marry Me" by Train. I love Canon in D as well and there are so many different versions of it!

  17. I'm not planning on getting married for like a million years because it'll take me that long to trick someone into wanting to be with me forever, but I know my father daughter dance song will be Unforgettable by Nat King Cole. It's the song my parents danced to at their wedding which I think is a really special touch. For a first dance song I've always liked something a little more fun like Fleetwood Mac's You Make Loving Fun or I've had the Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing. Also I'd say if you've wanted something for 10 years, stick with it and don't let the wedding planning jitters talk you out of something you obviously love.

  18. Hmm, trying this again - not sure if the first comment went through. For you first dance, I have the following suggestions: Wild Horse by The Rolling Stones, To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra, The Wedding Song by Angus & Julia Stone, First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes, Only Love by Ben Howard (my personal favorite) and Bend Down Low by Paddy Casey. Hope some of this helps! :)

    1. Oh oh! I second "Only Love"! It's one of my favorites.

  19. My dad cried EVERY SINGLE TIME my sister played part of a song she liked for the father/daughter dance. They settled on "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You", but the Alabama version not N*Sync. There was also "What A Wonderful World" but I don't remember why...

  20. You should tell Keith that you're dancing to "The Luckiest" because it's the best. "About Time" wins, hands down.

    In other suggestions news:
    1. "Love on Top" by Beyonce for the bouquet toss. Other suggestions: "I Really Like You" by Carly Rae Jepson (I know, but it's CATCHY), "Damn Girl" by Justin Timberlake (because you can't say no to JT), and "Keep Your Head Up" by Andy Grammar. (because it would be kind of funny..mean, but funny. Like "Single Ladies" is.) But I also fully support "Bang Bang".

    2. Father Daughter Dance has to be "Simple Love" by Allison Krauss or "Smiling Face" by James Taylor.

    3. Your First Dance has to be "All I've Ever Needed" by Paul McDonald and Nikki Reed (from the Twilight soundtrack..but trust me, it's GOOD.), "As Long As Our Hearts Are Beating" by Jenny and Tyler, or "Changed by You" by Between the Trees.

    4. Walking Down the Aisle could be "For You I Will" by Teddy Geiger (a little old school, but good) or "A Drop in the Ocean" by Ron Pope.

    Hope these help!

  21. Music for the wedding really is SO hard. One of my favorite classic romantic songs is 'Til There Was You by the beatles. The lyrics are the sweetest. My dad and I danced to You Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker and I cried a lot. DID I WIN $5?!?!?!?!?!

  22. I walked down the aisle to a piano only version of The Luckiest.

  23. This was probably the thing I had the hardest time with! My husband & I had the same issue with the first dance song. I was dead set on the Garth Brooks version of "Make You Feel My Love", but he wasn't loving it. There are a ton of different versions of this song and it's SO pretty. So maybe you could find a version you both agree on? Another good one - I don't dance by Lee Brice (that's what we ended up choosing).

    One of my friends had us walk down the aisle to Christina Perri "Thousand Years". LOVED! Also, any version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". I personally had my girls walk down the aisle to the instrumental version of "What a Wonderful World".

    Recessional song ideas: Everything or Crazy Love by Michael Buble, Lucky by Jason Mraz

    Your DJ will be super helpful with this too!

    Good luck!

    1. Also, a long version of "Canon in D" wouldn't be a big deal - the DJ will be able to lower the volume slowly at the right time to ensure it doesn't sound like it just cut off! It's just the most perfect song ever, so you kind of HAVE to use it. Jk.

  24. My wedding song was "You and Me" by Dave Matthews Band which I love but we spent so long practicing our dance that I hated for about a year after I got married. Keep that in mind if you're choreographing something. I love "I Got You" by Jack Johnson, too. I like Angel Dream (No. 2) by Tom Petty if you want to make your fiance happy. I think we played it at our cocktail hour. Oh, and for father/daughter, consider The Beatles "In My Life." Also works for mother/son and you can do both at the same time if you want. Count me in as a vote for anything by Fergie for the bouquet.

  25. Did you mention family processionals, cake cutting, garter toss, and MORE?!? It gets weird. I was like, I don't give a shit what plays during my cake cutting, I really don't.


    Shameless plug of an old blog post :) But really, I love all of those songs so much and they would make amazing first dance songs! GOOD LUCK!!!

  26. Processional song: River Flows in You - Yiruma. It was my second choice in song!
    First Dance: You Are The Best Thing - Ray Lamontagne, Hold You In My Arms - Ray Lamontagne, You Got What I Need - Joshua Radin
    Father/Daughter Dance: mine (well what was going to be mine before we decided to change venues and not have a reception) was Fire and Rain by James Taylor. Super unconventional but he's mine and my dad's favorite and growing up it's what we always listened to in the car.

    I'm all out of ideas but I can totally handle rejection. Really...I can handle it. *nervous laugh* good luck!!

    1. oops...I forgot Can't Help Falling in Love With You but the Ingrid Michaelson version!

    2. Ugh all these songs keep popping into my head now... One and Only - Teitur

  27. I love the song "I Choose You" by Sara Bareilles.

    And what about instead of the Imperial March for the recessional, you do the one that they play at the end of A New Hope when they walk into the awards ceremony.

  28. How about "Marry Me" by Train to walk down the aisle to? It's a really pretty song. For the bouquet toss, what about "Pretty Girls" by Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea? I mean, it's been stuck in my head all day so at least it's catchy. Also, I LOVE "I Loved Her First" for a father/daughter dance. It makes me cry every. single. time.

  29. See. I wanna comment and help, but all the songs you listed are like the songs I wanna dance to and walk down the aisle to at my wedding, so just go with the suggestions from everyone else. YOU'RE SO WELCOME FOR THE HELP!

  30. I love The Luckiest but my husband was the same!! Our wedding song was Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes...might be a little bit up both of your alleys, not sure! And we did our dances a bit different than many and my husband danced with his mom while I dance with my dad to the same song...which was Sunshine on my Shoulders by John Denver, but the Lee Ann Womack version. I vote for Canon in D, I absolutely love for the Vitamin String Quartet for a lot more awesome ceremony music selections :) Beautiful engagement pic!

  31. Further suggestions :) Not sure how you could incorporate this one but Come to Me by The Goo Goo Dolls is amazing! I also love Get On The Road by Tired Pony. A great first dance song could also be Breathing In by Lee DeWyze. Oooh and what about "Let Her Go" by Passenger for the father/daughter dance? A fun bouquet toss song could by Booty Swing by Parov Stelar. I think that's all I've got, haha. Also, I realize I've never commented before this post but I've been reading for a while ;) Great blog!

  32. If I ever get married, music is going to be so super important. A friend of mine is a musician and I've thought for the past few years that I want him to play my wedding reception. I envision myself having a first dance to his cover of "The Way You Make Me Feel." (Hear it here -- Since I like you, I'm sharing and if you steal it, I won't even be a little mad.

  33. Once in a Lifetime by Landon Austin for first dance with Keith
    Daddy Dance with me for father/daughter dance!

  34. I've been reading your blog for a long time, but this is the first time I've commented. (I'm pretty bad about that, but I'm trying to get better!)

    Anyway, I knew I had to comment on this post (even if I'm a little late!) since choosing music for my wedding was my favorite part of the entire planning process. It was definitely challenging, though, especially since most of the music I love is really depressing and/or angry ... That doesn't exactly scream "wedding," you know?

    We actually used "The Luckiest" for our first dance (I even wrote an entire blog post about it a few months ago). It sucks that Keith hates it ... It's probably one of the sweetest love songs I've ever heard.

    Based on everything you said in this post, my suggestion for your first dance song is "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton. It's easy to dance to, sweet (but not sickeningly so), and classic. We played it during our reception and I think it got the most couples out on the dance floor.

    I also agree with previous commenters who mentioned checking out Vitamin String Quartet. We used VSQ songs for our ceremony (and also played them in the background as people arrived), and we got a lot of compliments. It's great because you can pick pretty much any song you love without worrying that it's not right for a wedding. If you're curious, we used the following:

    - Grandparents/parents seating: "Pretty Good Year" (originally by Tori Amos)
    - Bridal party: "Hoppipolla" (originally by Sigur Ros)
    - Bride: "Say Yes" (originally by Elliott Smith)
    - Recessional: "Today" (originally by The Smashing Pumpkins)

    Sorry for the extremely long comment ... Once I start talking about music, it's hard to stop!

  35. My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more! mother son wedding dances

  36. I don't think I've ever commented on your blog before but I just read this post and I just have to chime in. If I got married again Forever Like That by Ben Rector would definitely be part of it!! Hope planning is going well!