Play on! (Shakespeare) As a musician and singer, I have a strong connection to music and have been thinking a lot about what songs to include in our wedding ceremony. Lyrics are very important, the sentiments and mood of the song must fit with what we want to express.
I decided on the processional song early on. “At Last” was a natural choice, but whose version? As much as I love Etta James, I wasn’t sure I wanted that one, and I wasn’t crazy about Beyonce’s newer recording either. Then I heard Eva Cassidy sing it, and I was crying by the time I got to the last verse. No contest.
The words are perfect:
At last my love has come along
My lonely days are over and life is like a song
At last the skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped in clover the night I looked at you
I found a dream that I can speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to press my cheek to
A thrill I’ve never known
You smiled and then the spell was cast
And here we are in Heaven
For you are mine at last
We also want a song to play while we are signing the marriage license. For my birthday back in October, my fiance took me to see “West Side Story”. It is an emotionally charged musical, with such beautiful singing. During the scene where Maria and Tony are acting out their fantasy wedding, they sing a lovely duet called “One Hand, One Heart”. I immediately knew I wanted that played in our ceremony.
Make of our hands, one hand,
Make of our hearts, one heart.
Make of our vows, one last vow
Only death will part us now.
Make of our lives, one life.
Day after day, one life.
Now it begins, now we start
One Hand, One Heart.
Even death won’t part us now.
You can listen to this beautiful song here.
I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be great if there was a version of this song sung by two women instead of the traditional woman/man? Then I hatched a plan: maybe my partner and I could sing and record the song! What a personal touch to our ceremony, having our own voices express the beauty and commitment of the lyrics.
To my surprise, when I mentioned it to my fiance, she was all over it! And she’s not a professional singer, like myself. After the excitement wore off, I began to worry. Those soprano notes are really high! Would we sound good? My producer is a studio wizard, so he could probably make us sound great even if we didn’t. And, how much will this cost?
At this point, it’s an idea on the table that we will visit again more seriously in the spring, when we can actually consider doing it. So now we just need to decide on our first dance song, the recessional music, and the Father/Daughter dance song- which is proving to be the most difficult choice of them all.
What music are you including in your ceremony? Was it a natural choice, or did you search forever for the perfect songs? What do you think of my plan, should we record ourselves singing “One Hand, One Heart”?