Like many other couples, we’ve chosen to kick off the party part of our reception with some special dances. Like our ceremony songs, we put a lot of thought into choosing these tunes, so I thought I’d take some time to share some of the meaning behind them and why we chose them to play a prominent part in our wedding reception.
Something About the Way You Look Tonight (Elton John)
Shaun and I don’t always agree on music, but when we do…we prefer Elton John. (Dos Equis, anyone? Ok…bad joke…) Anyway, we do both really love Elton. When we were first trying to pick the song for our first dance, we easily narrowed the options down to a handful. “At Last” by Etta James was a top contender for a while, but that’s definitely more my taste than it is Shaun’s. And then we found/remembered this song…and there was no longer any doubt in either of our minds which one it would be.
We’ve grown even more attached to this song, if possible, since picking it for our first dance. It’s become so much more than our first dance song…it’s become our song. I’m glad that I let Shaun make the ultimate decision on song choice, because it means so much to me that he loves our first dance song as much I as do. And this song is definitely one that we both connect to.
Father/Daughter, Mother/Son Combo Dance:
Unforgettable (Nat Cole, with Natalie Cole)
When it came to dancing with our parents, Shaun and I decided that we would combine the traditional father/daughter dance with the mother/son dance and just get them both done at the same time. While we want to dance with our parents and think it’s important, neither of our families are really comfortable in the spotlight and so multiple slow dances with everyone watching could get awkward for them and us. This way, there will be two couples out on the dance floor for people to focus their attention on, so I can just enjoy dancing with my dad, and he can enjoy dancing with his mom.
Why this song? Well, this is most definitely my style of music. And at first, I was having a lot of trouble picking a father/daughter dance song. While I love my dad to death and I think he is an amazing and supportive man and I wouldn’t trade him for the world…we don’t have that “daddy’s little girl” relationship that so many traditional father/daughter dance choices focus on. Especially the country ones. Then, I was introduced to this song in a class I took my senior year of undergrad – “Legendary Performers” with Mike Leckrone. (If you haven’t heard of the guy…he’s the director of the UW Marching Band. Hence the reason I was in the class. Because the guy is a legend himself.) As soon as I heard it, I couldn’t let it go from my mind. I loved the song as Nat recorded it originally, but when I saw the version that added Natalie (his daughter) and created a duet between them after Nat had passed away, the song took on a whole new meaning for me. And truly, I love the lyrics and I think they do describe my relationship with my father, and Shaun’s with his mother. They’re unforgettable to us, we are unforgettable to them and we do have a deep and profound love for each other…even if we don’t always say it.
In addition to the “first” dances, a few other songs will play a prominent role in our wedding reception. First of all, we’re keeping the old tradition (at least it’s pretty popular where I’m from) of having a “grand march” of the bridal party around 9:00 pm. Then later on, of course, we’ll have the bouquet toss and the garter toss. All of those things are much more fun with music involved, so here’s what we picked!
I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Whitney Houston)
Using this song as our grand march is the way that Shaun and I are paying homage to our “first date” at the wedding. In case you don’t know this part of the story, way back in high school when I was a freshman and he was a junior, we started dating at prom. Shaun was on prom court with another friend of his, and I was just there with some friends. We had talked to one another periodically in the hallway or at lunch, but prom and the school-sponsored after prom party…(I was a freshman, after all) were really what sealed the deal between us. I think we held hands that night. I know. Scandalous.
Anyway, this song is important to us as a couple because it was the grand march at that prom, the night that started it all. Shaun made a point to tell me that night how much he loved this song, and I never forgot it. Even when we were broken up for a while there, I always associated this song with Shaun and prom – and they were always happy associations. So it was only natural to include Ms. Houston in the “party” our wedding reception, all these years later.
Bouquet Toss: Single Ladies (Beyonce)
I don’t care if it’s overdone. I don’t care if you hate the bouquet toss. I don’t care if you hate “Single Ladies” as the bouquet toss song. Obviously, this choice is pretty self explanatory. We didn’t focus too much on being “original” or creative with this one. Sure, while the idea of girls clamoring over a bouquet of flowers so that she’ll be the next one to get married is a little outdated, it’s also fun. And because Shaun and I are young, we’re some of the first in our respective groups of friends to be getting married. These traditions aren’t overdone yet for us. In fact, I’m kind of looking forward to it.
People either love or hate the bouquet toss, and people either love or hate “Single Ladies.” People also tend to have strong opinions on whether “Single Ladies” is overdone as the bouquet toss song. You know what? I love it. And I’m the bride. 😉
Garter Toss: Milkshake (Kelis)
Obviously, we’re now to the point in this list where Shaun and I are not focusing on finding the “perfect” songs to represent us…but, rather the ones that we think will be fun. And maybe a little scandalous. 🙂 In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I love this song. I always have. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. But Shaun was the one who thought it would be hilarious/perfect as a garter toss song. I agree!
Let’s face it. The garter toss is a little awkward anyway. We decided that we’re going to do it because it’s a tradition and I’m not so opposed to the garter toss that we’d cut it from our reception. If Shaun is comfortable digging around under my dress for a sweaty, useless piece of lingerie to toss to his friends, I’m comfortable letting him. Yes, even if my parents and grandparents are watching, because they did it at some point too. So we chose this song because we think it will be a hit at the party, and because we like it. It’s a little bit sexy and a little bit scandalous. Just like the garter toss itself.
That’s it for now! Other than these special songs that were chosen for special purposes, we’ll be having our DJ rock out some tunes for us all to dance and party the night away to. But I really like all of our choices for these special songs! Did I forget any important reception music that we need to pick a specific song for?