If you are in the process of planning a wedding or ever have been, you know that music is a very important (and potentially stressful) part. As one of the 5 senses, it plays a huge role in the overall feel of your event and the experience for you and your guests. There are so many choices! So many moments that need the perfect tune! We asked our band from the New York NotWedding a few weeks ago to give us their philosophy on the process. Melanie Flannery, founder of MIXTAPE: a cover band for hipsters, had some revelations on the subject that led her to start the band in the first place. We think it’ll free some of us up. ; )
“I’ve been having a math problem lately. That makes sense since I have a Bachelor’s of Music Arts degree.
Anyhow. I’m hoping you can help me with this: Why is it that the median group of people getting married today were born between 1983-85, but so much of the music played at their weddings is from the 1970s? Sure, some songs from before one’s birthdate are pop-culture masterpieces. I get that. But for me, “Bad Girls” or “YMCA” don’t necessarily rank among them.
And then, I thought about weddings I’ve attended and wedding bands I’d been in before starting MIXTAPE: a cover band for hipsters, and realized that almost every time I had heard or sung the most common songs played at weddings was only from being at weddings–not because they’re a vital part of my life.
The reason I know the words to “Brick House” is not from buying a 1977 Commodores album. It’s from hearing it at every wedding reception in the western hemisphere.
Now, traditions can be great. For example, I’m a sucker for a good Hora. And I relish singing “Don’t Stop Believin’”, but is the “Electric Slide” a tradition that represents you?
You get the point. Just because all 43 of your cousins had “Mony, Mony” played at their wedding dance does not mean you need to.
I’m not saying that the solution is to play the most modern stuff you know. I’m just suggesting that there’s no need to accept the status quo if it makes you roll your eyes or if it doesn’t get you on the dance floor at someone else’s wedding.
If you’re concerned the older bunch might not dance to the music that floats your boat, communicate that to your bandleader or DJ. It should be important to both of you that your guests feel included and represented by the music at your wedding.
That said, while some are reluctant, people are miraculously capable of dancing to songs they’ve never heard before. Passing along the “I know you might not know every song you hear tonight, but I promise they will all have a good beat for dancing so I would love to see you on the dance floor” sentiment is never a bad idea.
Whether it’s the freshest top 40, a barn-burning country band or an eclectic mix of hipster favorites (yes, a shameless plug for MIXTAPE: a cover band for hipsters), be sure to represent yourself in the music at your wedding. Don’t let it stop at picking your first dance song. You’ve already had everything else, from your dress hanger to the napkins personalized on Etsy. Why not personalize your music selection too?”
[Photo cred. of MIXTAPE: a cover band for hipsters members doing their thing at the New York NotWedding goes to Jean Spencer Photography & Tim Kuder’s Authentic Photo]
So, brides, BE FREE! Play what you like, and like what you hear. We’re here to tell you that the status quo can be a major no. Your love story is unique, so start dancing through life with your new partner to music that represents that. If you’re planning your own music, use free music sites like Spotify and Pandora to find fresh new songs and bands. If you’d like to hire a band, consider ones like MIXTAPE: a cover band for hipsters that will play a variety of songs more palatable to your modern ear.