Music for the Not-So-Royal Wedding

One of the tasks I most looked forward to when planning the wedding was choosing the music selections for the big day. I’ve been a little tight-lipped about the process, mostly because I’ve been notoriously fickle with my selections and wasn’t going to post about it until I’d settled on the definites. We just had our final meeting with the DJ this week, and the choices are set in stone. Now I feel like I’m able to breathe a sigh of relief and be pretty confident in the fact that I’m going to like what we went with.

I started narrowing down the possibilities all the way back in APRIL, thinking that I was going to have an easier time figuring out what I wanted the musical style of our day to be. I looked at the music suggestions in a few magazines and in the wedding books that I’d purchased, and promptly vetoed most of them. Having been a music major, people were certainly going to expect more creativity from me than the standard processional and recessional tunes.

Initially, I’d thought that not getting married in a church was a positive in terms of the musical catalog I’d have to choose from. I wouldn’t be limited to religious music or selections that the church musician pre-approved. I quickly realized that having some limitations was a good thing- in our case, rules were out the door! It was simply up to me to find exactly what I was looking for. Practically impossible, in other words.

My first leads came from my dear friend Princess Kate, who’d made some very saavy music selections for the royal wedding. She chose pieces primarily by British composers, along with some works commissioned just for the royal couple. While her overall style was far too grand for a ballroom wedding in October (March from “The Birds,” anyone?), I could start narrowing down my field in the same way. Her choices of John Rutter, Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams, in particular, got me started thinking along a particular musical style that I wanted.

We’d performed pieces by all three of those composers in college, and I knew that they each had a lush sound that I really enjoyed. I was looking for pieces both for the processional and for my walk down the aisle, and thought that these composers were a very good place to start.

Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” were the first place I started, choosing to listen to the variation “Nimrod.” Though I loved the lushness of the strings, it was a little too soft and slow for either of my purposes.

I then went to a Rutter cd called “Distant Land,” which contains orchestral versions of some of his best-known choral works, as well as the amazing Beatles Concerto for two pianos. I was sold for quite a long time on “What Sweeter Music,” but a listening session with my parents and Army Boy helped lead me in another direction. This track will definitely be making an appearance in our pre-ceremony music, however.

So, after my foray into British composers, I had one definite possibility, but nothing definite for my wedding party OR myself… It was time to call in the big guns.

To Be Continued…






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