Our musical preferences greatly define our identity, both in our self-perception and that of the stereotypes it evokes for others as they perceive our preferences. We cling to certain songs, or sounds and eras because of what we associate them to, both personally and from our social perceptions of how others interpret it. It’s simultaneously greatly personal and an outward presentation of who we want others to believe we are.
We use music to fill the void of silence, as a comfort when we’re sad, as a backdrop to the mundane and to celebrate when we’re happy. It’s a sonic security blanket, it’s our aural teddy bear and one of our most basic comforts. The background we create from it is affectionately referred to ad the soundtrack to our lives.
Music is used to set the mood for our everyday experiences and our most intimate interactions and the right songs can be more powerful as any visual or scent or taste in evoking a response. Music has the ability to provoke deep, emotional, passionate internal experiences. This is exactly why music plays the role it does in a transcendent experience in our lives simultaneously bridging the past memory with the present experience and the hopeful future desire.
This is why music at weddings is such a huge deal to those who identify with the true power of music and why a great music programmer can make, or break, the experience of the evening. Every party needs sound to drive it and with the stakes being so much higher during such an event as a wedding it can be imperative to produce something that provokes all of the memories, speaks to all of the present celebration and allows for positive thoughts as foundation for future fulfillment.
We’ve been working on our list since probably the weekend after the engagement and I immediately joked with two passionate music fans I felt sorry for the MC of the evening considering taking us on. After all I have a degree in music with almost two decades in the industry and three as a performer and a collection of artifacts and a library that would make most people jealous even if they had no interest in the genres I collect. That’s what makes this endevour so enjoyable though, we can create something unique to us, to our families and our future.
That being said we’re doing something very unique in our reception in that we’re asking our families and bridal party to include their songs in the list. We have our grandparents and our parents and my siblings first dance songs, songs that we hold dear as “family heirlooms” and songs that hold special family meaning. Yeah, we’re those kind of music dorks … after all among my first “gifts” to my finacee when we first started dating was a the Doors 45RPM of Touch Me / Wild Child.
So, here’s what we have thus far of some of the more impressionable songs in some kind of order you might expect to find them in for the evening:
“Something” the Beatles
“I Gotta Feelin'” the Black Eyed Peas
“Wrapped in Your Arms” Fireflight from Unbreakable
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” Diana Ross & the Supremes
“Annie’s Song” John Denver
“From this Moment” Shania Twain
“Ain’t that a Kick in the Head” Dean Martin
“Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” Thompson Square
“Wonderful Tonight” Eric Clapton
“Your Love is My Drug” Ke$ha
“I Want You to Want Me” Letters to Cleo (yes, the Cheep Trick cover)
“You Shook Me All Night Long” AC/DC
“I Wanna Go?” Britney Spears
“Twist & Shout” the Beatles
“Empire State of Mind” Jay-Z feat. Alisha Keys
“At Last” Etta James
“I Don’t Wanna Go Home” Jimmy Roselli