General wedding musings · Wedding music · Wedding stress

Band or DJ? – 17 weeks to go

Image from Kings Place Weddings

How I Met Your Mother did an episode on the concept, Adam Sandler starred in a film, and I imagine that ever since weddings were invented, brides and grooms to-be have been asked, shortly after announcing their wedding date, “So, what are you doing about music?”.

It’s a pretty big deal.

Of course, the ceremony music plays a big part (yes, ours is Doctor Who themed. No, it’s not the Doctor Who theme), and of course, a bit in the background over dinner is nice (because it’s where I get to put the music that The Boy won’t let me put anywhere else…I hope our guests like musicals. I say musicals, I mean My Fair Lady and Cats), but I’m thinking about reception music.

Dancing is such a big part of wedding receptions, you want to get the tone right. If you have a huge mix of age groups, an evening of nu-metal and pop-punk probably isn’t appropriate (I just don’t think Great Auntie Mabel is going to like Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory. Even if we play the set they did at Reading). My eclectic musical taste will not be to everyone’s liking (The Sound of Music, mixed with Ray Charles, with sprinkling of 90s pop on top). Mum loves Motown, The Boy’s dad loves Meatloaf and his mum’s a fan of The Who.

So what to do, what to do?

In our case, we were very lucky. My Dad knows a band called Daughters of Davis, who are absolutely brilliant and have agreed to play our reception. (I knew we’d get on when we met and one of them was wearing a Lindy Bop dress that I also own, and the other was wearing bright red lipstick and hair flowers). They do a great selection of covers (including a cracking Michael Jackson medley), and we love a lot of their original stuff too – British Soul is one of my favourites.

The girls are kindly letting us borrow their sound system, and the boyfriend of a bridesmaid is a DJ (he’s a good’un, we just didn’t want him to work our wedding when we’d invited him as a guest), and is offering his lighting rig. So, we’re going to put together our very own set list for during the band’s breaks – I’m sure Motown and Meatloaf will blend seamlessly…

All this talk of music brings me onto another thorny issue – the First Dance. The Boy really, really doesn’t want one (the words “ritual humiliation” and “really not looking forward to” have been bandied around liberally, along with the question “Are you sure it’s not just an extension of the stag do with people making the groom look like an idiot?”), and I’m not sure we’re going to find a compromise. A lot of my lovely chums on Facebook helped us out, recommending as short a song as possible, perhaps something we could foxtrot to (an idea I loved, The Boy not so much – see previous post for his thoughts on what would happen if we choreographed a routine).

As I try to bring him around to the idea, I’ve been researching the history (by which, I of course mean “putting it into Google”), and it turns out the term comes from when a couple of high standing would historically open the dancing at big social occasions (I even used the Yule Ball from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire as a point of reference in my argument, as I was sure it would convince him – heck, it would have worked on me – but nothing).

Here’s the argument I keep having in my head:

We don’t have “our” song…there are many that we sing (off-key) to each other, but none are really First Dance material.

We’re under a certain amount of pressure because it’s “tradition”, which is driving The Boy mad and has put him off the idea even more, so it wouldn’t be fair to insist on it.

I discovered yesterday that my dress is much bigger than I remember – with that, and our combined clumsiness, there’s a very real chance we’ll end up in a heap of lace, humiliation and regret on the dancefloor (I’m not sure, but I don’t think that would be the best start to married life).

We’re under a certain amount of pressure because it’s “tradition”, but I think it’s a nice one (particularly as we’re not doing much other traditional stuff, short of the ceremony and cake cutting).

There are a lot of songs that we like, or that mean a lot to us, so it doesn’t necessarily matter that we don’t have “our” song yet (hey, we’ve got our whole lives to find one).

I quite like the idea of dancing for a bit (say, 10 seconds?), then grabbing other members of the wedding party and getting them to join in. A First Dance Flash Mob, if you will. (Oh God, please not literally.)

Welcome to my head guys – at this stage of wedding planning, it’s a treat (and on that note, if you’re ever talking to me and I suddenly drift off, just assume this is what I’m doing – having furious internal debates with myself.)

But, and this is the important thing – it’s not my wedding, it’s our wedding. And, as he’s compromised on so much already (he didn’t even make that much of a fuss when I said getting married on the TARDIS wasn’t happening unless we went on Don’t Tell the Bride), I think it’s only fair I let The Boy decide this one.

Now, that decision made (on my part at least), I’m off to find some make up that covers tattoos – I’ve recently discovered that my shoulder tattoo – a Japanese symbol that I got when I was 17 and regretted almost instantly – is visible in my wedding dress. If anyone has any recommendations, I would LOVE to hear them please (no, lasering is not an option at this late stage).

Some miscellaneous items to end with:

Lindy Bop has a 30% off sale going on, some gorgeous dresses are included!

Our wedding venue, Heatherden Hall, is hosting The Vintage Wedding Festival on 22 November, I hope to see some of you there!

VWS Facebook Festival Header

PS. No, I’m not getting paid to plug these things – they’re just things I like.


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