First Dance

I can finally reveal* that the traditional first dance at the start of our wedding ceilidh will be to Aaron Copland’s ‘Saturday Night Waltz’!

I’ve been in email contact with the guy who leads the band playing at our ceilidh (- Jimmy Smith of the Crewneck Ceilidh Band, if you’re interested). He’s done a folk dance arrangement, and we are both absolutely in love with it – any initial apprehension at clicking ‘Play’ on my part was very, very quickly swept away by what we heard from the mp3 recording just now.

We’ve just got to learn how to actually dance now…

*You know that you were waiting on tenterhooks 😛


Reception Music

We have passed T minus 4 months ’til the wedding. How did that happen?!

One of the things that is by no means at the top of the urgent to-do list (but which does need sorting out at some point) is a playlist for arrivals drinks at the reception. And having hit “a song that you want to play at your wedding” on the 30 day song challenge, this seems as good a time as any.

So, the remit is as follows. We have decided not to have any music playing immediately before or after the ceremony. Before for obvious reasons – the Meeting needs silence to settle – and after because having had an hour of silence (or the very noisiest, an hour of spoken ministry), we don’t want to bombard people’s ears. There will also probably be quite a lot of chatter, so music wouldn’t get listened to anyway.

The après-dinner ceilidh will take care of all music there. J and I will give the bride and groom’s speech right at the end of the evening, and while sailing out to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ would have been pretty awesome, it just wouldn’t fit with the folk that will have been played all evening. The mood needs to gel.

What we are still needing to fix, then, is a 75-minute long playlist for the time during which guests arrive at the reception venue for drinks and a few photographs are taken, leading up to the point where the meal starts. We want songs which are love-y, but not *too* sickeningly love-y; feel-good but not crazy-dancing-on-the-ceiling feel-good because we want the focus at this point to be on people, not music.

If you are in any doubt as to my musical tastes then I suggest you take a look at my 30 day song challenge. J’s taste goes along the lines of “if it was recorded after the 1970s then it’s not worth listening to”.

Bearing all of this in mind – what might we forget to put on our playlist?

Bridezilla With A Difference

There’s the cliché, isn’t there, that all women turn into bridezillas in the weeks and months (and sometimes years) leading up to their weddings. They’re so fixated on getting everything just perfect that they lose all sense of proportion, reason, and decency whenever anything remotely related to the Big Day is mentioned.

I didn’t think I was doing that. In fact, I’ve been trying really hard not to.


J and I have sporadically been talking about the music that we’d like to have at various stages of our wedding and reception. It’s just as well we started early, as perhaps inevitably there have been a few differences of opinion. The movement of Bach that I’d’ve loved to have at the end of the ceremony got turned down because it “sounded like the Antiques Roadshow theme tune”*. J, on the other hand, likes The Turtles’ ‘Guide for the Married Man’. Discussions continue.

One of the classic things that couples having dancing at their reception have to decide upon is a tune for the ‘first dance’, whereupon the four left feet of the newly wedded couple are under the scrutiny of an entire hall of guests. Despite the fact that ceilidh tunes do not classically lend themselves to romantic waltzing, J and I both quite like the idea of having a first dance, but it obviously needs to be in keeping with the music that follows.

We have now booked the band for the evening. In the initial email correspondance, I asked them whether they could suggest any waltzes that they might normally play at that stage of the evening, but the question got lost among other discussions. So I got my thinking cap on, and for a long while came up with nothing… until bam, it hit me! The perfect tune, which J knows and likes too!

And at this point, I have completely, unwittingly turned into bridezilla, albeit with less conventional tastes than many. I need to be back in touch with the band. I don’t even know whether they read music (as many folk musicians don’t) nor less be comfortable with a classical arrangement, but already I have been into the Central Library in town, borrowed the appropriate score, and started an arrangement (which could just really do with a ‘cello to bulk out the bass line, and I know lots of people who play the ‘cello, and I’m sure they could put it together on the day), and I’m already clapping my hands with glee at the sheer brilliance of the plan, and I’m going to be so disappointed if things don’t come together, and can’t they just make a special effort because it would be so perfect?



*ie. was trumpet based and in a major key; if you ask me it sounds nothing like the Antiques Roadshow at all! Compare this and this.