It is just over 11 months until I marry my best friend and there are so many decisions left to be made - but choosing the music to underpin our big day will be THE biggest decisions we will have to make! As a wedding singer - I take special song requests every single week from couples-to-be to make their wedding day truly personal - now I know how hard that decision is!!
Music has always been at the heart of mine and Ali's relationship - we spend most of our weekends either travelling the country to go to gigs or sharing a few drinks at home whilst listening to the record player. (After all, we are only together as I promised him that one day we would play at Glastonbury... but that's another story that can be read here in my fist blog post!) We have been brought up in families that have concealed us in music for all our of lives. We literally live, breathe, dream music... So when we sit down to pick the music for our wedding day - it will have to be the ultimate soundtrack. I know that this is just the case for most wedding-couples too - so here's my little guide to help you to pick the most perfect love songs for your wedding day.
I think the most important thing to consider when choosing the songs for your wedding day is that these tracks represent you both and your unique relationship. Each song is a story in just over three minutes. Think about the first song you ever danced to... the song you always put on in the car... songs that make you smile... songs that remind you of family and friends...songs from gigs that you've been to together.... These songs need to be YOUR soundtrack.
Another important aspect to contemplate should be the vibe you want for your big day - what atmosphere do you want to create? Romantic? Happy? Funny? Vintage? Nostalgic? Bohemian? Traditional? It could be all of these! Trust me, as a wedding singer - I have sung it all! Dare to be different - make your guests smile. Teach them something about you... Music, after all, is the food of love...
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to curate my own compilation of my favourite love songs! Some of these tracks are my all time favourites.... and some are my most loved requests I've had the pleasure of learning for other couples!
If you fancy listening along - HERE is the link to the Spotify playlist.
It's All About The Lyrics...
All I Want by Joni Mitchell
"All I really really want our love to do
Is to bring out the best in me and in you
I wanna talk to you, I wanna shampoo you
I wanna renew you again and again
Applause, applause, life is our cause
When I think of your kisses my mind sees stars..."
To me, as a songwriter and a musician, lyrics are one of the most important element to a song. There is nothing more magical than a string-of-words teamed with a beautiful melody that really connects with your emotions. They can be written 40... 50... 100 years ago and still sound perfectly relevant today. A great lyric makes you feel like the subject of the song and that you're living every line. I really think this is something to consider whilst picking songs for your wedding day - connecting with the lyrics - they should be telling your story.
Music To Make You Feel Good...
Is This Love by Bob Marley
"I want to love you, and treat you right.
I want to love you, every day and every night..."
I love this track more than anything - it takes me back to dancing in Victoria Square in Birmingham with Ali. The lyrics are simple, straight to the point and the melody is joyous. What more could you want for your wedding day? Dare to be different - pick songs that define your personalities. Pick songs with stories behind them.
The Book Of Love - Peter Gabriel
"The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we're all too young to know
I love it when you give me things
You ought to give me wedding rings..."
I had the pleasure of playing this song for Mr & Mrs Dawson at The Out Barn on 30th March this year as their first dance. The lyrics are timeless and the melody is almost haunting. When I listen to this song it gives me shivers - it's like you are accepting love as something magical, something we will never understand, but at the end of the day, we are human and we are just in this moment together. The perfect first dance...
Can't Help Falling In Love With You by Elvis
"Wise men say only fools rush in..."
This is one of my all time favourite songs to play during a wedding ceremony... It's starts straight away into the first verse with the most breathtaking lyrics. Everyone knows Elvis and it can unite a room full of people in a heartbeat. It's romantic. It's humble. It says everything in a just a few simple lines.
Would't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys
"Happy times together we've been spending
I wish that every kiss was never ending
Oh, wouldn't it be nice?"
I couldn't make a list of my all time favourite love songs and not include this one - The Beach Boys, Wouldn't It Be Nice - it makes my soul sing with happiness. This song has always been a part of my life - from dancing around as a child with my mum and dad - to dancing with Ali at festivals. This one will definitely be making an appearance on our wedding day!!
Something To Share...
Higher Love (Cover) by James Vincent McMarrow
"Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is a wasted time
Look inside your heart, I'll look inside mine..."
I had the honour of learning Higher Love for Kelsey & James Pilkington who got married at St Anne's Church in Singlton on Saturday 1st June 2019. This song was Kelsey's Bridal entrance and it couldn't have been more perfect. The lyrics are transcendent and feel like a modern-day-hymn. It was a true blessing to learn and to sing.
(Adam and I will be doing a little bit of filming this summer and this is one of the songs we will definitely be performing! Watch this space!!)
Reminds Me Of You...
I think this might be the most important reason for choosing songs for your wedding day! I asked Ali which song reminds him of me...
A Case Of You by Joni Mitchell
"I remember that time that you told me, you said
"Love is touching souls"
Surely you touched mine 'cause
Part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time..."
"I remember Hannah learning this for a wedding when we were first together - she would sing and play it constantly. It reminds me of living in Todmorden together and sunny afternoons. I can't really listen to it anymore without hearing Hannah's voice." - Ali
I had the privilege and honour of playing this song at Dan & Tom Ford's wedding at Browsholme Hall in August 2017. They both walked down the aisle together and the lyrics just melted into the atmosphere. It was a challenge to learn - but I LOVED every second of performing it. Joni Mitchell is my greatest inspiration.
Fantastic Man by William Onyeabor
"Since I came to know you babe
I've been telling you how sweet you are
I've been telling you how good you are
Now I want you try to tell me how I look
Tell me, please tell me how I look
You look so good
The song I have chose for Ali is far less romantic!! This is one of the first songs Ali ever played to me and said it was the only song he would ever consider as a first dance at his wedding!! I love how honest the lyrics are - it's so true!! We never tell our Men how sweet they look?! It reminds me of dancing in our first house (can you tell we do a lot of dancing?) and long, warm, bright summer nights! This one will definitely be making an appearance on our big day!!
I really could go on listing my favourite songs forever - but there needs to be some surprises on our wedding day too!! I hope this has helped future wedding couples pick out their special soundtrack.
All in all - music is the only thing that genuinely touches the soul - it makes you cry at the same time as making you want to dance. It brings us together... it makes you time travel... it makes you feel young and old at the same time! It forms memories and re-plays memories. Your wedding day needs to be YOUR unique playlist.
Choose the songs that are closest to your heart and tell your story.