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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wedding Music

I got married on October 3rd and to celebrate I've devoted this week on my blog to sharing all the details! (You can read about the ceremony and the theme of the wedding here and drool over our wedding food here.) However, today I decided to bring the celebration over here for three reasons.

1. Um, it's my day to post and I wasn't sure what else to post about.
2. I planned to post about music today and music and MTV used to be synonymous. There is still a lot of music in MTV Books at least!
3. Today over at my blog is Women Who Rock Wednesday and I'm featuring a newly signed MTV author, Kathy Charles! Her book Hollywood Ending came out in Australia last month, but MTV Books will publish it in the US next summer! So check out my interview with Kathy and welcome her to the MTV Books family.

Anyway, now on to the wedding topic of the day: MUSIC!

You probably know by now that I live and breathe music. I love it as much as a I love books and possibly more than I love food. My husband Scott and I were all about focusing on our shared loves during our wedding. Our invitations and a lot of other things were tattoo-themed. And when it came to wedding favors, Scott immediately had an idea: a wedding mix CD. It was perfect. I adore mix CDs. I make them for every book I write and I made one for Scott when we started dating (It was a two-discer. And it included the song I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone before I'd even decided to name the book after the song.) We just had to find a way to make the packaging special.

Enter Leslie Hamer, genius designer. She did our wedding invites (and I recommend her to anyone who needs a design for a special occasion. You can find her work at http://www.unlesssomeonelikeyou.com/) and when we mentioned the CD favor and asked for her advice, she broke out some cool cardboard packaging and said she could design a sticker that matched our wedding invite to go on it. Ta da! (Click to see bigger)

But what about the CD itself. We couldn't just scrawl Wedding Mix on it with a sharpie like I'd usually do. Leslie offered to burn an image into the CD for us, but she'd already been so generous with her time and resources that Scott decided to take the task on himself. His burner had just died so he bought a lightscribe burner to replace it and put together an image that included three photos of us and a tattoo-style design that matched our theme to burn onto the CDs:

Of course you are probably most interested in the actual playlist. We chose thirteen songs. (13 is my lucky number since I was born on Friday the the 13th. You'll notice that our wedding date 10/3 adds up to 13. Yeah, I'm weird when it comes to numbers.) Here there are with explanations:

1. Who Would've Thought- Rancid (This is our song. We listened to this Rancid album on our way to dinner on our first date. "Who would've thought that the dreams come true? And who would've thought I ended up with you? And who would've thought what they said was true? But it was and you are, light in darkness come through." That pretty much sums up how I feel about Scott. Rest of the lyrics are here. Woulda been the first dance, but kind of hard to do anything but mosh to. I did drag Scott out onto the floor for it though to try.

2. Talk Dirty To Me- Poison (This is my ring tone for Scott. He brought back my love for cheesy 80s hair rock that I'd disavowed because I was too punk and so much of it is sexist. He loves Poison, GNR, etc without shame.)

3. Brown-Eyed Girl- Everclear (A sweet song, but Scott also jokingly calls me his brown-eyed girl because he knows it drives me crazy because my eyes are hazel, dammit!)

4. Clavicle- Alkaline Trio (Scott introduced me to Alkaline Trio. I knew the band they came out of, Slapstick, but had honestly stopped paying as much attention to Chicago punk after 1996. Scott educated me. This song is just another perfect punk love song.)

5. First Time Ever I Saw Your Face- Johnny Cash (I once noted that I wanted to dance at my wedding to this song. The Man In Black does love songs so well.)

6. Just Like Heaven- Dinosaur Jr (On the original mix I made for Scott. I usually hate cover songs, especially Cure covers, but this is genuis.)

7. Little Rude Girl- Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards (I guess this song reminds Scott of me in some way, he picked it. Our cat is named for Lars Frederiksen too.)

8. I Will Follow You Into The Dark- Death Cab For Cutie (Yeah, I know it's depressing, but it's about eternal love, so I like it. A lot.)

9. Drain You- Nirvana (Nirvana reminds Scott of me. I think Nirvana reminds a lot of people of me since they are most beloved band. I think this is a great twisted love song. Love and bodily fluids, only Kurt Cobain would write this kind of song.)

10. Love Song- The Cure (Pretty self explanatory.)

11. Highway 101- Social Distortion (Scott and I drove up Highway 101 last summer on my IWBYJR book tour. It just captures that moment for me and sums up more feelings for Scott: "I believe in love now, with all of its joys and pains, Follow the palm trees under the California sun, I believe in love now, I believe in love again." More lyrics here.)

12. Swing Life Away- Rise Against (Another Chicago punk band that Scott turned me on to. And this song is all about building a life together despite your scars. It's also seems to be about getting the hell out of Chicago, which I hope someday we will do together.)

13. T.S.R.- Against Me! (Scott and I started dating because of Against Me!. His myspace screen name was an Against Me! reference. My friend Amber had just really gotten me into Against Me! That's what got us started talking. And we listened to AM! a lot. Scott had their CD "As The Eternal Cowboy" in his alarm clock CD player for months when we first got together. This is the first song on that album and we would wake up to it every day. The lyrics start, "The party's over..." and it was so fitting because it meant we had to get up, go to work and be apart. That sucked. The party was over. For the moment.)

So that's the CD favor, but of course there was also the actual music we played at the wedding. We decided pretty much immediately that we wouldn't be having a band (unless we could get someone like Rancid or Against Me! or Social Distortion, and that was out of our reach) and I didn't really want a DJ either. My best friend had one and she pointed out that her "DO NOT Play" list was longer than her list of requested songs. This was pre-iPod. Now that places were offering iPod hook-ups why not just create a wedding playlist and go. It's free and you have control over the songs that play all night long. I like control. One of the only things I hate about working in a bar (besides the unreliable pay situation) is having to listen to other people's crappy jukebox selections. I'm one of those people who puts a ton of money in the jukebox to totally dominate it when I go out. This way we got to come up with 3 whole hours of music we liked and wanted to dance to.

It was a long playlist, one that took us a couple nights to build. My friend (and music expert) Tai contributed some CDs she made for a wedding she'd DJed so we'd have some songs that were outside our usual choices to play, but for the most part we stuck with what we loved, a lot of punk and fun, danceable 80s music.

I won't go through all the selections as that would take forever, but I'll share a few highlights.

The music started with the recessional, the song that would take us back up the aisle, ready to greet our guests after the end of the ceremony. I tried to convince Scott that this song should be "Get This Party Started" by Pink. He staunchly objected. He doesn't appreciate Pink. I'm not sure why because she's awesome. The compromise was "Heaven Tonight" by Hole. Hole is my second favorite band (after Nirvana) and it's a very pretty song. Here's a YouTube video of it playing with the lyrics if you aren't familiar with it.

For awhile we were convinced we wouldn't do a first dance. We weren't into all that traditional stuff and neither of us can dance so we didn't want to embarrass ourselves in front of everyone. But then as we planned out the evening, we realized that after we did the toasts and ate our cupcakes, it would work out really well to do some sort of first dance. Initially I wanted my Johnny Cash song, but that seemed so serious and slow and we really wouldn't want all that focus on us for so long. In the middle of making our wedding playlist we came up with the perfect song. One of the first things we bonded over was silly comedies. Our sense of humor really ties the two of us together. So obviously "I Wanna Grow Old With You" the song Adam Sandler sings to Drew Barrymore on the plane at the end of the Wedding Singer would be perfect. But neither of us had it! Thank goodness for Facebook and Twitter! I put out a call and had it within 15 minutes! Here we are dancing to it:

The other big highlight of the wedding playlist was an arrangement we were particularly proud of. I pride myself on perfect flow of songs when making a mix or playlist. There has to balance, but also contrast. Statements should be made. Or you should tease people. We put "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie on there knowing that people would think the opening was the opening to "Ice, Ice Baby." Those people would slink off the dance floor in defeat..... until the next song, which actually was "Ice, Ice Baby!" Yeah, Scott came up with that. What can I say, I married a brilliant man.

Ultimately the result of our music was a lot of crazy dancing at times. For example, toward the very end my dad asked if he could dance with me. "Um, Nirvana's on," I pointed out. "We can't really dance to that. We're going to have to mosh." So that's what we did. I dragged my brother along too and then got my friend Eryn to help me show them how it was really done. Hopefully the professional photographer caught us actually slamming, but this is all I have for now:

Ultimately there were good times had by all out on the dance floor at my wedding:

One of my favorite Columbia College professors Randy and his girlfriend, my cousin (2nd, 3rd, 4th, a billion times removed or whatever) Annie:

My dear friend Anna and her boyfriend Adam:
Kathy and Joe and Amber and Ryan:
Katie, Amber and Anna crash one of me and Scott's dances:
Amber and Anna doing some kind of dance while my cousins Jeff and Natalie laugh:

What about you? What are some of your favorite love songs or what would you choose to dance to at your wedding?


Leslie said...

hmm i would have to say... probably be something from boys like girls, franco de vita, or death cab for cutie lol

Kathy Charles said...

Great post, and you look so beautiful Steph!

I walked down the aisle to "Mysteries of Love" by Julee Cruise, from the movie Blue Velvet. We didn't have a dance but as we signed the certificates we played "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds.

BrittLit said...

Those songs are amazing. You rock... yes.

Edward said...

TO Kathy: I'll tell Julee you used the song, she'll think it's very cool. She got her original record deal with Warner Bros. when a WB exec attended a wedding where the song was used the same way. "I have to sign that singer," he said. When I first met my wife-to-be walking her dog on W 72nd St. she said, "I did this song for this weird movie by David Lynch. Wanna go see it with me?" I didn't know what saying yes would lead to.

Little Willow said...