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Let's Face the Music...and (TRY to) Dance

  |  By Emily Wood

So far in my blogging journey, I’d like to think you’ve been able to get to know me pretty well. In that I’m terrified of the cold (yet having a wedding in the dead of winter), I’m a DIY enthusiast, willing to dump eggs all over my head, dress up as a medieval princess, an eternal optimist, proudly English, poor, and maybe slightly too much of a nerd.  (Nice to meet you!)  But aside from all that, one of the things I’m most passionate about in life is music.

We’re really trying to incorporate fun, personality, and things that really are meaningful for us into our wedding. Short of hiring a kitten-shaped tux and training our little cat on the concept of “straight line,” I think we’re doing quite well! Music is a big part of both our lives, so naturally this was an area in which we could have a little fun.

Our ceremony will be at David’s church. Traditionally Roman Catholic, there are certain restrictions on the sort of music that can be played. Let’s just say my dreams of walking down the aisle to the Star Trek: TNG theme have gone firmly out the window. Luckily, David plays in the church band with one of the city’s best local musicians, part of a duo who are kindly going to sing at the ceremony. He’s wonderfully talented, fun, and down to earth, and I can’t wait to hear them perform!

The reception is where things are going to get even better, starting with the actual realization of my sci-fi dream—our entrance to the Doctor Who theme tune. +10 nerd points to David! Our first dance is going to be slightly unconventional in that it will be fast-paced (none of that lame and awkward shuffling around in a circle), and will probably involve some choreography… which is an adventure all on its own. I wish I could share the song, but we have to maintain some element of surprise!

Luckily, our venue by day is a dance studio (complete with beautiful 3,400 sq. ft. dance floor), and Patricia’s Banquet Hall is the only place in town to include complimentary lessons for the rhythmically challenged (ahem). However, in eternal keener fashion, I had to get ahead of the game: David and I signed up for eight weeks of dance classes, which started in April. The first couple of classes were surprisingly successful—if you define success by the amount of time you spend not falling over. It’s a hilarious way to spend our Friday nights, with me trying to understand the notion of coordination and David, somehow, a complete natural! Thankfully we still have a few months to go…

The DJ we hired, Platinum Productions, fortunately comes with an online music planner including must-plays, please-plays, and do-not-plays (there will be no saving horses OR riding cowboys at this reception), as well as a list of custom special request songs. We listen to a lot of indie and alternative music, which isn’t typically on a standard reception playlist—thankfully they’re very thorough in catering to our tastes, and we’ll have all sorts of favourites from the UK, from the ’80s (there’s got to be some Bon Jovi in there somewhere!), and possibly even the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

My biggest nightmare, however, isn’t forgetting my steps… it’s an empty dance floor! So I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to how to get people moving. I once designed an invitation for a bride which included the line “I promise to dance if you play…” on the RSVP card, but since we’re doing our RSVPs online, that’s not going to work. Would you…

a)     Cross your fingers and hope everyone likes the ’80s as much as you do

b)    Ask your wonderful Best Man/MC to do his best to get everyone on their feet, including subtle hints and perhaps not-so-subtle dragging by the hands

c)     Eliminate most of the songs people aren’t really going to know, and resign yourself to ABBA all night long

d)    Go with traditional RSVP cards with the option to request a song. Yes, it’s environmentally un-friendly, and yes, it’s more expensive—but it’ll plant the seed!

Your thoughts would be much appreciated—as would ideas for a certain dance. My wonderful Dad raised me well on ’70s punk and ’80s new wave, but unfortunately I have a sneaky feeling Rock the Casbah and “father-daughter dance” go together about as well as tequila shots and running with scissors, so any suggestions of something cool yet crowd-pleasing would be fantastic!

This article was originally published on May 17, 2010

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