Growing up, I was never the kind of girl to fantasize about my wedding day. In fact once Mike and I did decide to marry – nearly 8 years dating and one baby boy in – I remained fairly casual in pretty much all of the planning that went into it. Which wasn’t a lot. I bought a 200$ dress online, and we decided right away on a simple ceremony in the backyard of Mike’s parent’s house which meant that I didn’t stress about too much. Except, the music.
I spent hours picking our what songs were to be played. I made specific play lists for the hired DJ to follow. A repertoire that included everything from Tina Turner, to Dwight Yoakham, to Neil Young to Muddy Waters to Springsteen to a whole lot of even older favorite “oldies.” It was the only aspect of the wedding that I felt neurotically obsessed about. I was to walk down the Isle to Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California, and we would exit as new husband and wife to Dylan’s “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” – a long time favorite of mine since childhood.
And so, the only bridezilla moment I can recall of that day happened when the poor, some how misinformed DJ mixed up songs and wrongly played our designated exit song just before I walked down the Isle. I don’t recall exactly what I did, or said. But I do remember that it wasn’t pretty. Luckily, I had seven bridesmaids by my side to calm the furry, and in the end, it all worked out just fine. Our exit song was replaced by the Stone’s “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and I remember thinking that that was the very best backup choice I could have hoped for so all was forgiven in the end.
The other song of significance would be the one played for our first dance. One we both put a lot of thought and consideration into because we each had so many ideas as to what the song should be. Mike liked John Lennon’s “Our Life Together” and I naturally had a number of Dylan songs in mind but in the end it was Bobby Darin’s “If I Were a Carpenter” that made the final cut. I’m not sure how, or why it was that song that we both agreed on but I do know that to this day when I hear it occasionally on the radio it makes my heart heavy with old, familiar sentiment. And still seems, without a doubt, the very best song to mark our dance as new husband and wife.
With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to ask a few of my friends to share a wedding photo and their song choice for their first dance. A contribution I will urge you as readers to open up and share as well. Either here in the comment section or via Instagram for a throwback / flashback game using the hashtag: #afirstdancefirstsong
Because, one: hashtag games are fun.
And two: everybody likes an excuse to share old wedding photos.
So guys, let’s see ’em!
Lex & Tony (left) : “Sleepwalk” – Santo and Johnny
Kate & Rob (top right) : “Tonight I’ll be Staying Here with You” – Bob Dylan
Anne & Ruben (bottom right) “Perfect Day” – Lou Reed
Michelle & Jason : “Make You Feel My Love” – Adele
Alyce & Edward : “Please Tell Me Again” – Ron Sexsmith
Ashely & Willie : “Catch the Wind” Donovan
Mother and Father in Law: “You Are So Beautiful To Me” Joe Cocker
Mom & Dad:
“I met my husband on April Fools Day 1972 , the day before Easter. I was a waitress at La Fiesta and had worked a very long shift that day and was checking out to leave and my boss asked me to take one more table. I went to take their order and they ordered Margaritas so I carded them. Richard’s driver License said divorced and I remember smiling when I read it. Richard and his cousin,Bill, invited me and my 4 year old son to color Easter eggs with them. That was the beginning of our relationship. We married 2 years later. We had a very small wedding and reception. We didn’t have a wedding dance but our song would have been “the First Time Ever I saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack. It had come out when we met and I remember it always being on the radio in the morning when the alarm went off. I still smile and sometimes cry when I hear our song. It holds so many memories of our love.”