One of my favorite quotes is by J.R.R. Tolkien: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Here I'm giving glimpses of all I am deciding in the time that is given to me. Enjoy! All pictures and posts are mine, thank you! Please ask permission for photo use.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

wedding playlist

For the music at my wedding reception, I used a playlist I created on iTunes. It took a lot of time, and I was lucky that the house where our reception was had a wonderful sound system that could be adjusted throughout the house as well as outside of the house. The day before the wedding, my friend Becky was helping me connect my laptop to the sound system. My parents were in other parts of the house, setting up spaces for a snack and bar station, and they heard our music as we tested it on the speakers. Later that night, dad was remarking about "weird music" he heard at the Wrights' house. I laughed and told him it was a part of my playlist, and told him I considered it a "multi-generational" mix that was supposed to please a variety of people.

I am so glad I decided to provide my own music (and that I was even able to get away with this). We started it a little late and paused it for cake cutting and toasts, and it lasted us until people left the party. Throughout the night I'd hear snippets of songs and smile as memories flooded me.

There's the memory of my friend and colleague, Christa, riding with me in the car to Luray as we blasted Cee Lo Green, both of us with tears in our eyes as he sang exactly what we wanted love to feel like and how we wanted to be loved: "One rarely finds a lady that happens to be three times a lady; God is good, but he took his time when he designed you baby...that's why I want you. Oh I'll even quit my job, loving you I'll make it my job, thank you Lord, thank you Lord, this is it, my God."

There's the memory of my partner and I driving around eerily quiet neighborhoods after a massive snowstorm shut down the D.C. area, just days after I saw a friend and former colleague buried, listening to Robin Thicke's 2 Luv Birds and Leona Lewis' The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face as I tried to remind myself of loved ones still present in the world rather than focusing on the string of people I had lost in the past few years. He consoled me with good food and good music and I will forever be grateful to him (and he distracted me with laughs as we watched Groundhog Day with my roommate at the time and her then-boyfriend-now-husband).

I remember crying in England and Scotland when I was five because my sister, Heather, had beautiful purple flowers surrounding her that were also called heather, and I had no flowers named after me, but that's when my mom told me about Nat King Cole and his daughter, Natalie Cole. I remember listening to Nat King Cole (along with Paul Simon, who somehow didn't make my list...shame) on long road trips with my parents and sisters. I still equate Nat King Cole, the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack, Paul Simon's Graceland album, and the Lion King/Rhythm of the Pridelands cassette tapes with trips out west.

I hear Josh Turner ask if I'd go with him and I think of my friend Natula and our time together on the horse farm. I hear Darius Rucker's Wagon Wheel and think of Lauren, Steph, Bridget and I driving to the Great Smokies and our hiking (and somewhat scary Tennessee) adventures. I hear Jack Johnson and songs from the Garden State soundtrack and I think of my best friend growing up, Coley, and the 20+ years of friendship we share. I hear Guster and Jack's Mannequin and think of Kathryn and that drizzly night we spent on the cool ground at Ravinia just outside of Chicago, hearing those bands play while we drank red wine and ate a picnic we had made. I hear Colplay and think of Rebecca and Becky, our magical times in high school and college where we cared nothing about what the world thought of us and dreamed and danced pirate dances and made films for Latin class and for fun. I hear Josh Groban tell me I'm loved and not to give up, and I think of Genevieve and how we sang this song at the top of our lungs as we blasted it in our Raleigh apartment we shared in college. Other songs remind me of my friends at the animal hospital where I worked when I first moved to the D.C. area. One song in particular reminds me of a friend whose life was taken too soon by someone who didn't deserve her. I think of my sister when I hear Keane singing about somewhere only we know, and that weekend where we listened to Keane's album over and over again in her car, the same weekend she cheered me up after a breakup with a college boyfriend. I hear Michael Buble and I think about the day my mom and I drove to Charlotte to see The Lion King on stage for her birthday, listening to Michael Buble there and back again.

Throughout the evening a number of people commented on my playlist and how much they liked it, and so I've decided to share if anyone wants a rocking mix of music (I'm biased, of course) or wants ideas for their own wedding music. I've nothing against DJs and I think they can be really fun (as long as they're not obnoxious). Still, I'm glad I chose to utilize my own playlist, because it felt more personal, I get to play it anytime I want to remember the fun evening and smile, and, as Coley put it, "it was us."


Buongiorno Principessa by The Ten Tenors
Wait Till You See My Smile by Alicia Keys
Let's Stay Together by Maroon 5
Better Together by Jack Johnson
You Are by Lionel Richie
Feeling Good by Michael Buble
If My Heart Was a House by Owl City
L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole
I Choose You by Sara Bareilles
Unforgettable by Nat King Cole
All You Need Is Love by 101 Strings Orchestra (instrumental)
Marry Me by Jason Derulo
For Once In My Life by Michael Buble
The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face by Leona Lewis
Close Your Eyes by Michael Buble
Can't Help Falling In Love by Andrea Bocelli Featuring Katherine McPhee
I Want You by Cee Lo Green
Your Song by Elton John
Crazy Love by Michael Buble
2 Luv Birds by Robin Thicke
Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker
The Luckiest by Ben Folds
Take Me Away by Keyshia Cole
Lovely (Just The Way You Look Tonight) by Michael Buble
Love Somebody by Maroon 5
From This Moment On by Shania Twain
Come Fly With Me by Michael Buble
When I Fall In Love by Nat King Cole
Many The Miles by Sara Bareilles
No One by Alicia Keys
Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner
A Message by Colplay
Alive by Celine Dion
Somewhere Only We Know by Keane
You're Still the One by Shania Twain
Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall by Coldplay
She Will Be Loved by a UNC Chapel Hill a capella group (I hate I don't know their name!)
Stereo Hearts (feat. Adam Levine) by Gym Class Heroes
Everything by Michael Buble
Save The Last Dance For Me by Michael Buble
Hey Mama by Mat Kearney
Swallowed In The Sea by Coldplay
Sway by Michael Buble
Heaven Sent by Keyshia Cole
Dark Blue by Jack's Mannequin
Let Go by Frou Frou
Your Song by Ewan McGregor & Alessandro Safina (from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack)
You and I by Michael Buble
The Real Thing by Bo Bice
One Of These Things First by Nick Drake
Why U Wanna Go by Sean Kingston
Your Love Is a Song by Switchfoot
Try A Little Tenderness by Michael Buble
You Are Loved (Don't Give Up) by Josh Groban
A Thousand and One Nights (SMASH Cast Version) [featuring Raza Jaffrey & Katharine McPhee] by the SMASH Cast
Tale As Old As Time (Instrumental) [From "Beauty and the Beast"] by London Music Works
My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson
Do You Love Me by Guster
Clocks by Coldplay

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