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  • Sarah Donkin

The Wedding Playlist

As some of you know, I’m getting down to the wire on wedding planning. My fiance and I are just over a month out from our wedding date, and we’ve been filling up a lot of our time running around to finalize plans with vendors, following up with delinquent guests who forgot to send in RSVPs, and experimenting with ideas for decorations, sending pictures back and forth.

One of the things we are working on is putting together the music. We chose to save money and time by putting together our own playlists for dinner, dancing, and the special dances at the reception. We left a spot on the RSVP cards for guests to request a song that they want to hear at the reception, and after adding all of those songs to the playlist, we will be filling it out with our own song choices (and most likely a few more suggestions from family and friends). Spotify sure makes life easier.


One of the exciting things about putting together a playlist based on guest suggestions is that everyone has different tastes and associations with different types of music and songs. Of course, my great-aunt and great-uncle requested a classic — Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis. A friend of my fiance’s wants to hear Mr. Brightside. Another family friend requested the Hokey Pokey (and how can you deny a song request that comes with a built-in dance?).


I think the songs people choose can say a lot about them. Some people asked for sweet love songs by Stevie Wonder. One couple wanted to hear Baby Got Back (I have been doing a lot of squats recently). One family member initially responded that he doesn’t dance (boooooooo (even though I really don’t dance either)). He recently texted my mom to ask for a Bill Withers song “if it isn’t too late.” Of course it isn’t too late. And the almost-last-minute change of heart shows that at some point between when he sent the original RSVP card and when he texted my mom, something about his mindset shifted, if only a little bit.


If I had been putting together a wedding playlist when I was in high school, it would have been entirely different from right now. Think lots of cheesy, acoustic love songs, romantic country songs (maybe a little Taylor Swift?), and fun dance music. Now, there’s definitely going to be some of that on the playlist, but there’s also a range of country songs (Jake Owen), pop punk (Blink-182), classics (Earth Angel), and plenty of other genres.


To me, the idea behind having guests suggest songs is similar to the idea of having guests in the first place. We could run down to the courthouse and get married on a Wednesday afternoon. We could have eloped to Vegas over spring break this year. We could have snuck away from the rest of the choir and had a quick ceremony somewhere in Scotland ( I can almost hear my mom protesting now).


Instead, like so many other people, we decided to spend a year planning a ceremony and celebration with friends and family. We decided to pick out venues with enough space for over a hundred people and send out carefully crafted save-the-dates and invitations. And we did it because we want to share one of the biggest days of our lives with some of the most important people in our lives.


And we asked guests to share song suggestions with us because, first of all, we want everyone to have a good time. But also because we want to have input from all of these people who are so important to us. Music can be a very personal thing to some people. Even if you don’t write or play music, the type of music you listen to creates a soundtrack for different parts of your life. For this special day, we are creating an eclectic, messy soundtrack, built with pieces from a wide range of people, to start out the next part of our lives. I can’t wait to hear it in all of it’s genre-mashing, varied glory.


The playlist is coming along great, but we’ve definitely still got room to add more songs. Got any suggestions? Feel free to comment some! We could always use more song ideas. Thanks for reading, and see you next month!

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