Its June, the beginning of wedding season. I celebrated my second wedding anniversary this Tuesday and we’re in the States for another friend’s wedding this weekend. We’re running out of unmarried friends, so this is the only wedding we have this year, but we’ll still be wishing many others a happy anniversary in the next few months.
This is a season of memories. Bridal traditions often involve honoring a past family member’s marriage. Some of my friends had the bridal photographs of their parents and grandparents set up at the card table for their wedding. Jewish friends of mine carried heirlooms that their grandparents had fled Europe with. My mother offered to give me her wedding dress, but my parents divorced after I graduated college and my memories of their marriage are bad ones so I did everything I could to erase them from my own wedding. I wore my great-grandmother’s cameo as a necklace, given to me by my beloved grandmother whose marriage I idolized.
During the ceremony itself, you’re also conscious of making memories for your family. We want to remember the little details so that we can pass them on to our children on the day of their marriage. We also want to remember sharing the happy day with people we know might not be here for much longer. A number of our friends lost parents and grandparents not long after our weddings. Some friends lost a parents a few years before their wedding, and those memories play a precious role throughout the day.
With that in mind, let me share with you a few musical memories from our O Brother Where Art Thou inspired wedding. We had limited funds for a DJ, so we chose all the music ourselves and hooked up the playlist to some speakers while our theater director friend played emcee. Anything that could be done DIY, was.
My uncle is an Episcopalian minister and we asked him to perform the marriage ceremony. He heard us playing Johnny Cash while people were arriving and decided that since we had neglected to put any music into the ceremony he was just going to add some. Everyone stood up and we all sang “Ring of Fire” together.
Entrance of the Bridal Party
The song played when the bridal party enters the reception site is a fairly new tradition. Our whole wedding involved homages to our favorite movies. I had to fit The Good The Bad And The Ugly in there somewhere for my husband. This seemed like the best spot.
The First Dance
The song didn’t mean so much to “us” as it did to me. I love romantic songs, but I didn’t want something overly sentimental. Watching my parent’s marriage disintegrate over a 25 year period did that. “Mine Is Yours” is all about the pitfalls of life and staying together through the bad times. And also an announcement of how much student debt I had and hahahaha its yours now. Sucker.
Father Daughter Dance
I chose this one for my dad. He of course broke down in tears for the third or fourth time that day.
The Surprise Serenade
Our friends are so wonderful they surprised us with an acapella version of this old Irish tune. Matt and I would be moving to the UK two and a half months after the wedding, so the whole event also functioned as a goodbye party. We were absolutely touched.
The Party Song
We really don’t need to get into what this movie meant to me as a kid, or what David Bowie means to me. I had very few childhood fantasies about what my wedding would be like. Playing this song felt like I was connecting to that kid I used to be.
In the comments, feel free to share music that you remember from precious moments at your wedding or weddings you’ve been a part of!