Our Wedding: The Music

Remember that time back in September when I somehow managed to drag out the process of selecting the music for our big day into THREE separate posts? And then still didn’t tell you what we picked?!?!

Wasn’t that AWESOME?!

I think that enough time has gone by that I can probably reveal what our choices actually were without anyone wanting to stab me through the Internet.

Processional: Theme from “The Thorn Birds”, performed by James Galway.

This was the piece that I honestly feel was suggested by my Pop, who passed when I was four. We were in the midst of the music selection process, and I randomly woke up one day with this gorgeous melody in my head. As I mentioned in my previous post, Pop was working on a series of home videos that he entitled “Roots,” chronicling the growth of his family. He’d occasionally insert a medley of video footage, scored by some of his favorite pieces. This song featured prominently in one installment.

I started searching, and found the arrangement done by James Galway and Phil Coulter, which builds in intensity as the piece goes on. It was just long enough for all of our family to process, and then was faded out after the arrival of the Maid of Honor. My family all told me after the ceremony that they recognized the nod to Pop, and loved this choice.

Bridal Entrance: “The Ludlows,” from “Legends of the Fall,” composed by James Horner

I didn’t even realize that James Horner was the composer for both “Legends” and “Braveheart” when I initially sought out the soundtrack. This track had everything I wanted, with warm strings, shimmering harmonies and a pace perfect for “The Walk.”

My first spark of inspiration was to look for the piano song that Susannah and Samuel play together in the movie, a little tune called “Twilight and Mist.” It doesn’t appear separately on the soundtrack recording, but as part of the larger track “The Ludlows.” I quickly realized that “Twilight and Mist” wasn’t long enough for a walk down the aisle, but “The Ludlows” had plenty of beautiful themes, including the main theme of the movie. With some creative fade-ins, the dj helped us achieve the perfect excerpt.

(The doors opened at around 1min, 10 secs into the excerpt below)

Handfasting: “A Gift of a Thistle,” from “Braveheart,” composed by James Horner

I knew that I wanted to play this at some point during the ceremony, and it seemed most appropriate during our Handfasting. The soft pipes playing in the background definitely added to the atmosphere of the moment.

Recessional: “Lancaster Gate”~ Enter the Haggis

Please keep this one in mind when you read what we chose for our First Dance. For some reason, I am convinced that you will think less of me.

As I’ve effing beaten you over the head with I might have mentioned, Army Boy and I were engaged at an Enter the Haggis concert. Their celtic rock style was perfect for celebrating our happiness, and we knew we wanted to recess to one of their songs.  We thought that this one would be upbeat with the “slightest hint of badass.”

PS- I have NO idea what the picture is supposed to be about? But this was better quality than a live recording. Bear with me and Mr Pimp Shirt Guy.

First Dance: “Marry Me”~ Train

I know! I know! “That song?! Why did you pick that song?! It’s so overplayed! We expected more from you!!”

But you GUYS. It’s so romantic! And so Army Boy.

In my defense, it took a LOT to unseat the song that I always pictured dancing to at my wedding. But the very fact that I’d always pictured dancing to it was enough to make me reconsider. We wanted a song that spoke to us specifically. Remember how I mentioned that sometimes wedding elements that could be considered “cliche” are as such because they touch people? This was the one exception I was willing to make to my “ban on potentially boring wedding choices.”

The strings, the heartfelt lyrics and the subtle beat of the drum giving the song movement… It just came together beautifully.

Father-Daughter Dance: “The Way You Look Tonight”~ Harry Connick Jr/ “Tom Sawyer”~Rush / “Mercy”~ Duffy / “Summer of ‘69”~ Brian Adams

When we sat down with my parents for our “listening party,” I threw out the idea of having a mash-up for the Father-Daughter dance. It seems to be becoming more common that the bride and groom are choreographing their first dance, whether to have some fun or just to not look like middle-schoolers during their debut as husband and wife. I thought that people would be expecting that from me, given the background in music and theater.

We decided to lull our guests into a false sense of security with Brian and I having a romantic first dance, and then pull the rug out from under them when it was time to get the party started.

I knew that I wanted “The Way You Look Tonight” for our “serious” dance, and opened up the table to possible ideas for how to shake up the evening. Initially, we had chosen to just add ONE surprise song, “Summer of ’69.” My Dad had the album in his old truck when he and my mom got together, and I have great memories of the two of us driving off to a day of miniature golfing with the music down and the stereo blasting. There would be air guitar and sunglasses. It would be US.

Somehow, as we were talking the idea started getting bigger, as ideas have a habit of doing. Why not throw in a “mistake” song, so that we could act like it was a genuine surprise? Dad has eclectic taste in music, and has albums by Rush and Asia hidden in his collection. My parents got to see a Rush concert earlier this year, and we thought that a track by them would be sufficiently “mortifying” to allow us some comedy.

But if we were going to have a song for Dad, we needed one for me as well. My first choice was “Rehab,” as a bit of a tribute to Amy Winehouse, but we started to rethink that knowing that Army Boy’s conservative family would be in attendance. We decided on “Mercy,” by Duffy, and thought that it would be a great chance to start getting the women of the crowd onto the dance floor.

We talked to our DJ, and he agreed to create a mashup using the songs that we’d chosen, and adding some effects of “malfunctioning equipment.” We also all agreed that “Summer of ‘69” would be the jumping-off point for the dancing for the evening, and the DJ got in on the action, inviting everyone to join the crowd of people already shaking what their mommas gave them.

Closing Song: “The Luckiest”~ Ben Folds

I’d had this song picked out as my “First Dance” since I first heard it years and years ago. It’s  fitting for our relationship, with the themes of fate and missed connections… but I also feel it’s a little melancholy for the first dance. Also- if I tried to make my and Army Boy’s first dance the one that Younger, Sillier Brooke had imagined in the past with God Knows Who… it wasn’t truly us.

I knew that we wanted to keep it part of our playlist, and it was perfect for winding down at the end of the evening.


3 thoughts on “Our Wedding: The Music

    • WHY WEREN’T YOU!!??
      Aside from the whole… West Coast to East Coast killer airfare thing. 😉
      I’m glad you approve. 🙂 And you were right the whole time, of COURSE we used “A Gift of A Thistle.”

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