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Simply Wed: Play That Funky Music

Simply Wed: Play That Funky Music

By Casey Nilsson

At first, we swore off all typical sources for reception music: no Chicken-Dance-leading DJ, no cheesy wedding band, just our favorite tunes on shuffle on my iPod. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s us. What could go wrong?

Cue Murphy’s Law: I misplaced my iPod (read: I still have no idea where it is) and thus lost the “<3 Love” playlist that I’ve been freakishly compiling since my man and I started dating. Without my beloved red Nano, we started getting into Pandora at home. Really getting into it. After toying with the “Add Variety” feature, we successfully fused Florence and the Machine, Deer Tick, Ray Lamontagne, Amy Winehouse, Iron and Wine and Kate Nash into one mutant station. Perfect for a wedding reception. A funky Frankenstein, if you will.

Then, out of the blue, my talented brother offered to reassemble a one-time wedding band from several years ago, which includes a bunch of gifted dudes from high school. This was great, since I can’t really see my new mother-in-law getting down to “Dog Days are Over.” We could have the best of the music world: free, mostly contemporary tunes off of Pandora during the cocktail, appetizer and dinner hours, then almost free (cases of beer still count as payment) danceable retro and oldies songs for the rest of the reception.

But what will they play? Whether you get a DJ or hire a wedding band, it’s important to chat about which songs you treasure and which ones make you gag. As you may have guessed, I can’t stand “The Chicken Dance.” Or “The Macarena.” Or “The Cha Cha Slide.” Or anything, really, that requires all guests mime the same ridiculous steps like malfunctioning robots (though the robot is a pretty sweet dance move). I’m after some meaningful tunes mixed in with silly songs that keep everyone, from my cool aunties to my girlfriends to my dad, happily bobbing their heads. Check out some of our band requests for your own musical inspiration, and — as always and very much encouraged — leave your own song tips in the comments.

  •  “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” Otis Redding. Sigh, so beautiful. This is one of our forever-songs.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIaIw-UWK18&w=560&h=315]

  •  “Dancing in the Moonlight,” King Harvest

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5JqPxmYhlo&w=560&h=315]

  • “God Only Knows,” the Beach Boys

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOMyS78o5YI&w=560&h=315]

  • “Prove My Love,” Violent Femmes

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv7cLISnMyI&w=560&h=315]

  • “In My Life,” the Beatles

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI0Q8ytD44Y&w=560&h=315]

Listen to the whole playlist on Spotify here.

Casey Nilsson is the copy-editing extraordinaire for Rhode Island Monthly magazine. She’d like to marry her dreamboat, throw a personal, romantic reception and avoid angering any immediate family members — in less than eight months and for about $8,000. Follow her thrifty, DIY journey here or on Pinterest @cnilssonRIM.

2 comments

  1. Joshua Aromin says:

    My contribution: La Vie En Rose http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTzosMeo1bw

    Love this!

    1. Oui, I love this. Thanks, Josh!

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