Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Sound of Music

So, yesterday the wedding countdown of 40 days threw me for a loop (clearly, based on the fact that I legitimately considered weapons as appropriate accessories for the big day). Today however, is a new day, and a day in which I no longer have time to freak out.

So, as many of you have suggested, I will breathe and blow, "calm the hell down," and make progress on the to-do list (rather than using valuable time to find more pictures of scary brides).

Last night NavyGuy and I tried to firm up our ceremony music. We're having a string quartet perform for the ceremony, so we needed to choose a few processional songs and a recessional. Since choosing just those four songs took TWO hours (and required various West Wing breaks and a pizza snack to keep our sanity and relationship in tact), we are opting to let the quartet choose appropriate prelude music to entertain guests while they wait for the ceremony to start. Why was this process so hard? A wee bit o' background...

NavyGuy - pre-Navy-issued-haircut - in our college orchestra.

NavyGuy is a well-trained bassist. He played in our college orchestra, which was a pretty fancy-pants group. As a good friend/eventual girlfriend, I attended my fair share of orchestra concerts over the years. While NavyGuy loves classical music and would happily sit through a Wagner opera (with a dose of Mahler thrown in just for good measure), I can take about five minutes of instrumental music before I need something else to occupy my time (little known fact - I often tried to sneak a crossword puzzle book into the orchestra hall during college concerts). So, I was less than thrilled with the prospect of trying to decide on instrumental, primarily standard classical fare, for our ceremony.

But, alas - it is not MY day, it's OUR day, and it's important to NavyGuy... so classical instrumental music it is.

We spent the evening going through songs the quartet suggested, and have come up with the following for the processional, which includes the parents' entrances, bridal party, flower girl and ring bearers, and oh, of course, moi.

Panis Angelicus - Franck

Air from "Suite No. 3 in D" - Bach

Appalachian Spring - Copland (primarily the "Simple Gifts" section)

I'm actually sort of looking forward to the music now - I love Copland, and I like the light, airy, sort of "awakening" tone that Simple Gifts has (hokey, but I couldn't think of a better word). I think it suits the moment - I'll be striding elegantly (God, please don't let me trip) down the aisle to meet NavyGuy and start the next stage of our lives, and I think the music should be uplifting and happy :)

The recessional is a whole other ball of wax. I'm not jazzed about any of the suggested songs - every one of them makes me think of a stereotypical wedding scene in a movie, because the songs are all very standard and expected. Luckily, the quartet has some more modern options on the list, and seems fairly willing to work with us on finding arrangements for other songs. We're going to give them a list of songs that we really like and think are upbeat and fitting for the recessional and see if they have access to an arrangement. Our list is an odd mix of oldies, classics, and some new stuff:

- Here Comes the Sun (the Beatles)
- How Sweet it is to be Loved By You (James Taylor)
- The Longest Time (Billy Joel)
- I'm a Believer (The Monkees)
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow (some upbeat version - I'm pretty sure the string quartet won't be able to pull off the Hawaiian sounding version with the ukelele)
- I Wanna Hold Your Hand (the Beatles)

We'll see what happens. If none of those work, we'll go with one of their suggested ones and just make do. Whew! We can almost check this one off the to-do list. Anyone have a favorite choice? Or a suggestion for a good recessional song that we haven't thought of?


Anonymous,  April 14, 2009 at 10:25 AM  

Sorry NavyGuy, but I'm with the bride on this one. I made it about 7 seconds into the first video before nodding off and deciding to wait and here the tunes at the wedding.

I like the idea of a less traditional recessional though. Good song choices. Fun, upbeat, but not too out there.


historygirlie April 14, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

I LOVE Simple Gifts. Actually...(cue oh my god...we are so alike music...maybe played by NavyGuyBass?) our Recessional song was Simple Gifts!!!! woooo-OOOOO-ooooo.

I had a little giggle when I read your recessional song choices...I like all of them, but I"m wondering how they'll be played by string quartet??? I'm a Believer on Strings....hmmm.....I may get a bit giggly when I hear that...I apologize in advance...do you have a recording of that I can hear??? I'm having a hard time hearing any of them in my head.

PS: do TWP and I have a song to walk in to? What do you think, TWP? Pretty Woman? Hot Legs, by Rod Stewart? Really, anything sultry would work, I think......


ebs handler April 14, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

Wow! I'm with the ladies...how does a string quartet play the Monkees? I love James Taylor, but fair warning, I sing along, remember? If you go with the Beatles, many of your "baby boomer" guests may do the same! Good thing the wine doesn't come until AFTER the recessional.

keby April 14, 2009 at 6:26 PM  

Believe it or not, but this was the one section of our wedding that we did not spend enough time on. We ended up not having any milling around, prologue music. You'd think Ben, with his fancy-pants conservatory degree would have made a huge deal. I think it's because we went the more traditional Jewish music than classical music.

I love your selections for the recessional. My vote is for Billy Joel or the Beatles!

Anonymous,  April 14, 2009 at 8:00 PM  

Long time reader and I love your blog! I had to delurk to let you know that we had a string quartet play our wedding ceremony too, and mixed classical with the less traditional. In fact, I walked down the aisle to 'Here, There and Everywhere' and 'Simple Gifts' is an inspired choice.
It will all be beautiful.

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