Thursday, June 9, 2016

Our Wedding: The Soundtrack

first dance, and my most treasured wedding photo

In the year before our wedding, I spent hours doing research and listening to songs I'd previously never heard, re-listening to songs I'd always adored, enlisted the help of my music-loving friends, and then vetted my choices endlessly for months and months on end.

Jonathan was ready to pull his hair out and I didn't blame him.

Truthfully, looking back, I have no earthly idea why I gave it so much thought, especially as I listen back on it all now. But I remember thinking it was super important to get the music—and timing—of the event totally right. And even if I would make different choices in hindsight, listening to it even two years later takes me right back to that year I spent planning our wedding.

Don't worry; I won't go through the annoying Type A breakdown of every thought that went into every song and their lyrical significance or atmospheric purpose, etc. But I will provide you with the playlists (key songs noted), with links to the individual songs on YouTube, if you are so inclined to take a listen.


1. If It Kills Me (Casa Nova Sessions) — Jason Mraz
2. I've Got This Friend — The Civil Wars
3. I'd Rather Be With You — Joshua Radin
4. Speak Easy — Maria Taylor
5. Simple Life — The Weepies
6. Tatooine — Jeremy Messersmith
7. Holocene — Bon Iver
8. Bloom — The Paper Kites (seating of parents & groom's processional)
9. We Bought a Zoo — Jónsi (bridal processional)
10. How the Day Sounds — Greg Laswell (recessional)


1. King and Lionheart — Of Monsters and Men
2. Peculiar People — Mutemath
3. I Choose You — Sara Bareilles
4. Lego House — Ed Sheeran
5. Shot Me in the Heart — Christina Perri
6. Movie Loves a Screen — April Smith and the Great Picture Show
7. Do You Love Me? — Guster
8. Uncharted — Sara Bareilles
9. Come Back Down — Greg Laswell feat. Sara Bareilles
10. Mountain Sound — Of Monsters and Men
11. Go Do — Jónsi
12. Drove Me Wild — Tegan and Sara
13. Colors — April Smith and the Great Picture Show
14. Armistice — Mutemath
15. Be My Forever — Christina Perri feat. Ed Sheeran
16. Dragging You Around — Greg Laswell feat. Sia
17. Lost! — Coldplay
18. Dirty Paws — Of Monsters and Men
19. Can't Find the Time to Tell You — Hootie and the Blowfish


1. Go — Plumb (father/daughter dance)
2. Heavenly Day — Patti Griffin (mother/son dance)
3. The Winemaker's Love Song — Tyler Lyle (our first dance)
4. Safe and Sound — Capital Cities (dance party begins)
Happy — Pharrell
Land of 1000 Dances — William Pickett
#Selfie — The Chainsmokers
SexyBack — Justin Timberlake
Still Into You — Paramore

The dance songs that aren't numbered didn't play in any order; they were just a few random songs we knew we wanted to dance to, so we sent them to the DJ to be sure he had them available. Other than those, everything else played in order. The DJ did interject some classic jazz, per our request, played quietly over dinner (between the Cocktail Hour and Dance Party), and he filled the evening with loads of dance favorites. (Shout out to my best friend Ken, who spent a solid portion of his twenties as a wedding DJ and was instrumental in getting people on the dance floor at our wedding, and requesting songs that he knew were crowd pleasers.)

grainy, blurry selfie of the bridal party dancing to #Selfie, as you do

It all worked out really well and, yeah, even though all that hard work most certainly went completely unnoticed by our guests, it was worth it to know that we had hand-picked nearly every song to be a reflection of the year we got married.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think music can make or break the vibe of a wedding, or do you find you hardly ever notice it? What were some of the songs that were really important for you to play at your wedding? Any regrets? I distinctly remember it being really difficult to find an appropriate, not-wildly-out-of-place Mother/Son Dance song... did you find that to be true for your wedding, too? I'd love to know!

Psst... in case you missed it: my bridal look and our wedding venue.

** Top photo by Joe Gunn Photography, courtesy of The Sleep Peach

1 comment:

  1. Music makes such a difference, and your music was spectacular! Not only was it completely reflective of you and Jonathan, but it was perfectly paired with the venue and the smokey forest location surrounding us.

    I was so impressed with your vision for how the music would compliment every action -- particularly the Bridal Processional with Jónsi and the fact that you knew the *exact* note where each member of the bridal party walked out into that center aisle.

    None of this went unnoticed, it was so wonderful. I can only hope I have even half the vision you had for my own wedding some day! :)