Friday, September 27, 2013

Pls help me shop for MUSIC

Dear ESB,

My wedding was about a month ago, and it was awesome and fun and spectacular and all that. Endless thanks for helping me stay sane throughout the process. You helped talk me into hiring a videographer, and now I need a bit of help in that department. The local guy we hired wants us to choose our own music -- for a 5-10 minute video, he asked for two suggestions each for slow songs that would be the backdrop to the ceremony, and two to match up with the dance party scenes.

The only songs we specifically asked our DJ to play were Spoonful by Howlin' Wolf (first dance) and Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (last song of the night), otherwise we asked him to stick to mostly 90's stuff, No Diggity, early Britney and the like. Makes for an awesome dance party, but none of it quite works for a wedding video... Some ideas we've tossed around and rejected include King and Lionheart by Of Monsters and Men (too epic) and Love and Happiness by the Rev (too bluesy).

So here I am, hoping your great taste -- and your readers' -- in other facets of life can help lead me to some good wedding video music. Got any suggestions? If songs are beautiful but actually about a stalker i.e. Sting, I would like to be aware of that. 

Totally thought I was done making wedding style decisions, ugh. Thanks in advance for any ideas! 


a) These are all good.

b) You are way overthinking it.


Collage by Richard Vergez via Jamaia Johns


  1. you do not, DO NOT want the videographer to choose the music for you. as i was telling celia last night, someone made a crazy-ass cameraphone video of our vows and gave it to a videographer relative to make a DVD for us. said videographer set the video to dave matthews band's "crazy."

    were i you, i would use jens lekman's "you are the light," for it is the best song ever. if you want a more instrumental version minus the lyrics about a dirty word on your old man's mercedes benz (even though they are also amazing), there's a 1:20 reprise version on the "you are the light" CD single.

    1. The Dave Matthews Band incident made me laugh a lot (though I am sorry that happened). That's the song that always makes me want to abandon my cart when they play it in the grocery store (it is on heavy rotation, apparently).

    2. Completely agree with lauren. No offense to even the best videographers, but they tend to have either bad taste in music, or they just pick something cliche and lame. You have to enjoy this video for the rest of your life (god, wait until you have kids -- they'll want to watch it every day and you'll want to throw it out the window) so make damn sure it's a song (or songs) you like.

    3. I'm a videographer and completely agree with Lauren too, not least because my taste in music is terrible! If it was up to me, all weddings would be scored by Pitbull and anything from anticon records. I ask for up to 10 songs that the couple like, and then chose the most fitting from their selection. Some couples are more specific than others, but I think it's really important to let them have a choice. Also, your songs don't have to be love songs!just think of you and your partner's 5 favourite bands, pick a song or two by each, and trust your videographer to make it work.

  2. The Troggs - With a Girl Like You

    This song always makes me want to grab Mike's hand.

  3. This is such a crazy personal question. We didn't have a wedding video, but I always envisioned "Strawberry Swing" or "Life in Technicolor" by Coldplay being great background music (the latter ended up being our recessional song- played by an 80 year old man on the Disney organ). But that's because I have memories attached to those songs and they make me happy. Many, many people don't like Coldplay and I'm already ducking for potential internet tomatoes for suggesting such a "mainstream" band.

    Also, ESB's second answer is spot on. You're overthinking it! Drive around with your iPod on filled with happy, love-y songs on a nice day and just listen. It'll hit you eventually.

  4. Yes, this is the definition of over thinking it. Let's face it, no one but you and your husband (and maybe your mom) are actually ever going to watch this video. No one is going to judge you on the music so just pick something you like that makes you happy.

  5. Beirut - Postcards from Italy
    Beirut - A Candle's Fire
    Noah and the Whale - The First Days of Spring
    Noah and the Whale - 5 Years Time
    Youth Lagoon - Afternoon
    Youth Lagoon - Daydream
    Passion Pit - Moth's Wings
    Lord Huron - The Ghost On The Shore
    TV On The Radio - Family Tree
    Princess Music - White Wave
    Explosions In The Sky - Your Hand In Mine

    Also check out Michael Kiwanuka for something different. Can't think of any specific songs at the moment, but they're all lovely.

    Obviously you could go old school too (Sam Cooke etc) but based on your songs above, you seem to like indie music.

    Here's the thing - if you love music (like I do) and have strong associations with certain songs, this is going to matter to you. If you don't, then don't worry too much about it.

    It's the job of the videographer to make the music work with the video, but I'd say you should submit 5-10 songs you like for him or her to choose from. You're probably paying out the ass for this video so it's in your best interest to pony up some decent songs.

  6. Slower: I second Beirut "Postcards from Italy." Also Purity Ring "Fireshrine", David Wax Museum "All Sense of Time", Yo La Tengo "Our Way to Fall", Horse Feathers "Last Waltz". Fast: I can't come up with anything better than White Stripes "Fell in love with a girl," if you're not willing to go the 90s dance jams route (why not!)

  7. "Postcards From Italy" is amazing. Third..ed. (?)

    (Bitchy moment: Does that wretched "Home" song make anyone else want to remove their toenails with tweezers?)

  8. It is wretched. Probably one of my top five most hated songs.

    Beirut, on the other hand -- saw them live once and I felt like I'd died and floated up to heaven on a spongy cloud.

  9. Sometimes if the videographer picks the music, you end up with Christian worship songs as your background music. So.....

  10. Anything from The Royal Tenenbaums, except the one with the choir boys

    1. the charlie brown christmas song?

  11. Cat Power's "Where is My Love"

  12. Stevie Wonder is good for the dance songs. Plus he has a lot of songs that are unabashedly lovey, without any stalker overtones.

  13. Crystal Fighters - You and I or Love Natural - upbeat/fastish

  14. Beach House - lazuli

  15. are some I used at my wedding: My husband and I's first dance was to Jets to Brazil's "Sweet Avenue", I walked down the aisle to Cat Power's "I Found a Reason", I danced with my Dad to Santo and Johnny's "Sleepwalk". Some other songs our videographer used and were played during big moments at our wedding were Bright Eyes' "First Day of My Life", Band of Horses "No One's Gonna Love You", Black Keys' "Everlasting Light" and "You're The One"