Friday, September 16, 2011

Our Ceremony Soundtrack

Now that I've confessed to my one and only princessy bridal moment, it's time to put that into some context for you.  My musical ear is pretty finely tuned, so I was super picky when it came to ceremony music - not just what songs we chose but how those songs would fit together to set the stage for our celebration.  I wanted them to create a mood, to flow from one to the other in a sensible and meaningful way.  I guess you could say that I wanted to create something of a soundtrack for our ceremony that was reflective of both our personalities as well as the significance of the occasion.

This was another one of those times where not being tied down to any traditional or venue-imposed ceremony music "rules" was both a blessing and a curse.  We had to figure out our own preferences (lyrics vs. instrumental, contemporary vs. classic, edit songs ourselves or play from the beginning) in order to narrow down an incredibly vast world of music.  Mr. FW and I pretty quickly agreed on a few songs we liked, but finding the perfect arrangements took me for-freakin'-ever. In fact I almost abandoned the project on several occasions because I couldn't find a useable copy of something, or the arrangements of two songs were each beautiful but didn't work well together, etc.

But I'm happy to report that after many days spent scouring YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, and our personal music collections we finally agreed on sixty minutes worth of music.  Sheesh!  :-)  Well worth it, though, if you ask me.  So if you were a guest at the Ferris Wheel wedding (wouldn't that be awesome?!), this is what you would hear.

For the thirty minutes of music prior to the ceremony, we wanted to accompany the amazing city lights view of our venue with some classic and not-so-classic songs about San Francisco.  For all you Bay Area bees, I'm including links here for all the songs in the order they'll be played.  (If you just want to know the music for the actual ceremony, feel free to skip ahead a bit.)

{Flower Pot Men - Let's Go to San Francisco}

{Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay}
I especially like the line, "Left my home in Georgia headed for the Frisco Bay."  Like me!

{Scott McKenzie - San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)}

{Judy Garland - San Francisco}

{Tony Bennett - I Left My Heart in San Francisco}

Train - Save Me San Francisco

{Journey - When the Lights Go Down in the City}

{Vanessa Carlton - San Francisco}

Seating of the Parents
Our ceremony space is small, so it's not going to take that much time for three parents (or anyone, for that matter) to make their way down the aisle and take their places.  We considered grouping parents in with the wedding party, but ultimately we decided it made more sense for there to be some separation between them.  So we will use the first 90ish seconds of this gorgeous instrumental version of Michael Buble's "Everything" to set the stage for the rest of our ceremony.  

{piano cover of Michael Buble's "Everything" by YouTube user cdnchuchu}

Processional Part One
For the processional we looked for a song that was fun and contemporary but not so upbeat that our wedding party would feel like skipping down the aisle.  Striking the perfect balance between joy and solemnity isn't always easy, especially in under two minutes, but I think this instrumental version of Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" does just that.

{piano cover of Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" by the incredible Sunny Choi}

Processional Part Two
Because of the kinda awkward placement of the *moment* in this song, we decided to have the younger members of our wedding party enter at the beginning, then Mr. FW will enter around the one minute mark, followed lastly by me.  And just because you're dying to hear it again, here it is.

{Theme from Practical Magic}

Okay, I just love the song we chose for this.  It's one that Mr. FW would come home singing, saying that it always made him think of me, but I'd never heard it before.  Once I listened to it, I just knew we should use it on our way back up the aisle.  The lyrics of Colbie Caillat's "I Do" are adorable, and it totally reminds me of how much Mr. FW loves me!  We plan to edit/cue it so that it begins 28 seconds into the song.  Just take a listen to how utterly perfect that will be.

{Colbia Caillat - I Do}

(Which I think is the strangest word ever.)  We'll let the Colbie song play out while our wedding party makes their way back down the aisle.  Then we'll launch into another song picked by Mr. FW that I'd never heard before.  (As the person in our relationship who doesn't think the radio is just for listening to NPR, I guess it makes sense that he was so influential in choosing the music for our ceremony.) 

There are a few other songs we'll have lined up in case we still need more time at the end (including The Beatles' "All You Need is Love" and Billy Currington's "I Got a Feeling," among others).  And that's the whole shebang - the Ferris Wheel Wedding Soundtrack.

How much latitude did you have in choosing your ceremony music, and were you picky about it like I was?

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