Is it ever too early to rock? Your wedding music and entertainment should reflect your taste, but, as always, timing is key. Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your wedding music questions in our daily post.
Can I have a rock band at my 11:00 a.m. reception?
Even if Ozzy is walking you down the aisle, live rock isn't really the way to go that early. Instead, pick a sound that's more soothing and complementary to your site. "If the place is light and airy, like a country club, a jazz band with a vocalist would work well," says Marc Jason of New York-based event production company Total Entertainment. If your venue is a catering hall or a hotel ballroom, which lends itself to dancing, Jason suggests a scaled-down orchestra (seven pieces, versus 10 with a horn section). Start with smooth tunes (like Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald), then switch to rock later.
We are thrilled to announce the first-ever Brides Beauty Awards! For the April/May issue, our editors tested more than 250 polishes, powders, and potions all in an effort to identify the best beauty products of 2013. Since it would be impossible—and really expensive—for you to try every single long-lasting lipstick, waterpoof mascara, and miracle defrizzer, we did the work for you. Along with the usual suspect (moisturizers, eye shadows, and volumizers) our beauty director, Dana Wood, scoured the shelves to find ultra-bridal specific products—things like false eye lashes, emergency blemish zappers, and tattoo concealers. Any one of these products would steer you in the right direction towards looking fabulous on your wedding day.
One lucky winner will receive a prize package containing the products in the 2013 Brides Beauty Awards. To enter, simply head over to our Win page (brides.com/win). We'll announce the winner on April 9th.
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter and for full rules, go to www.brides.com/win. Starts at 10:00AM EST March 7, 2013 and ends at 11:59PM EST April 9, 2013. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States/D.C. 18 or older, except employees of Sponsor, their immediate families and those living in the same household. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries. Void outside the 50 United States/D.C. and where prohibited. A.R.V. of prize $1,775.45: Sponsor: Conde Nast.
*Limit 1 person per entry per day. Winners will be selected at random.
Your first-dance wedding song is one that you—and your guests—will remember forever. While some couples go the classic route, others just pick a tune they really like. Reflecting back on some of our favorite real weddings, we rounded up more than two dozen memorable dance floor moments.
Few wedding moments are more touching than the father-daughter dance. But finding a song that encapsulates the relationship you share with your dad can be tricky. (Let's face it: There are a lot of songs that start out endearing, but quickly take a turn for the awkward once it becomes clear the lyrics are about a different kind of relationship.) To help you choose the perfect tune for your tender moment, we've compiled 40 of our favorite father-daughter dance songs below. With everything from Louis Armstrong to Guns N' Roses, there's sure to be a song that fits your style.
Sweet Pea by Amos Lee How Sweet It Is by James Taylor Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra Times of Your Life by Paul Anka Unforgettable (Duet with Nat King Cole) by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle Father and Daughter by Paul Simon
Forever Young by Rod Stewart What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong You are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder Daughter by Loudon Wainwright III My Girl by The Temptations I Loved Her First by Heartland Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman Daughters by John Mayer My Funny Valentine by Frank Sinatra Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses The Way You Do The Things You Do by The Temptations The Wonder of You by Elvis Presley Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross Have I Told You Lately by Rod Stewart I've Got the World On a String by Frank Sinatra It Had To Be You by Ray Charles Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel Michelle by The Beatles My Little Girl by Time McGraw Not While I'm Around by Kat Jennings and Angela Lansbury Oh! My Papa by Eddie Fisher Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoole The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles There Goes My Life by Kenny Chesney When You Need Me by Bruce Springsteen I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher You Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker (The Long To Be) Close To You by The Carpenters A Wink and a Smile by Harry Connick Jr. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder Scarlet Begonias by The Grateful Dead
In his American Idol days, judge Simon Cowell often scolded contestants (and that's putting it nicely) for tackling iconic songs without doing justice to the icons who made them famous. How fitting, then, that former American Idol star Jennifer Hudson was entrusted to pay the late Whitney Houston tribute at last night's Grammys by delivering a powerful performance of the Houston hit "I Will Always Love You."
Watching Hudson struggle to hold back tears as she belted out the ballad (originated by Dolly Parton), we were struck not only by the raw emotion of the moment, but by how enduring the song truly is—which is obviously how "I Will Always Love You" became such an immensely popular first-dance song. But it's not the only one. In honor of her passing last weekend, we rounded up our favorite Whitney Houston songs ideal for your own powerful, raw, emotional first-dance moments.
"The Greatest Love of All" and "One Moment In Time"
"The Greatest Love of All" is one of Houston's greatest songs of all, spending three weeks at #1 in 1986 and ranking as the singer's second-longest chart appearance. So what better song to inspire your own longevity as a couple?
Recorded for the 1988 Summer Olympics, "One Moment In Time" is Houston's anthem for perseverance and self-confidence—two qualities essential to a successful marriages and gold medals alike.
"My Love Is Your Love" and "You Give Good Love"
You're in good company if you choose "My Love Is Your Love" as your first dance song. The track rates third behind "I Will Always Love You" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" as Houston's most successful international single.
Although "You Give Good Love" was originally intended for Roberta Flack to sing, the song made its way onto Houston's debut album in 1985, putting the star on the scene. Some 25 years later, the song still proves that, whether with Flack's soulfulness or Houston's power, it knows how to make an impact.
"Saving All My Love for You" and "I Have Nothing"
"Saving All My Love for You" was Houston's first single to hit the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1985 and the song earned the star her first Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance—rather promising karma to pass along to your nuptials, don't you think?
Thanks to a little movie called The Bodyguard, you probably know all the words to Houston's "I Have Nothing" without even thinking. Imprinted in your memory from the 1993, lyrics like "I have nothing if I don't have you" make an obvious case for the song as a meaningful first dance track.
"I Believe In You and Me"
There's simply no easier way to tell your partner that you're in it for the long-haul than by dancing slowly by their side to tell them "I Believe In You and Me."
Bringing the House Down:
"I'm Your Baby Tonight"
Not one for gushing love songs? Houston was also a master of the upbeat ballad, like 1990's "I'm Your Baby Tonight," which became the singer's eighth hit to reach #1.
Perhaps no song is more beloved in the wedding repertoire than Etta James' 1961 ballad "At Last." But today those unmistakable opening bars giving way to James' powerfully raw voice carry with them a note of sadness. James died just shy of her 74th birthday after a long battle with leukemia, leaving behind the legend of her landmark career.
"This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends, and fans around the world," said James' friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. "She was a true original who could sing it all—her music defied category." Beyoncé portrayed the groundbreaking singer in 2008's Cadillac Records, also famously serenading the President and First Lady with her version of "At Last" during The Neighborhood Inaugural Ball in 2009.
Want to keep James' first-dance tradition alive with your own updated twist? Check out our list of classic wedding song remakes, including Jason Mraz's take on "At Last." Just remember, there will only ever be one original, and she will be missed. —Phillip B. Crook
"—this shot was taken during the line that goes: 'Little bit softer now.' Some people had crouched down for too long and fell over—I think the man with his foot in the air is my husband! Later, my 86-year-old grandmother got into the middle of a dance circle with her cane—that was priceless." —Susan, married November 6 in Washington, DC. See more dance floor shenanigans in the full slideshow.
"...we had about 25 people in total by the end of the song. Even though we were playing disco and hip-hop songs, my father, a ballroom dancer, began doing the fox-trot and the rumba, while my best friend and her husband broke out their swing dancing skills!" —Angela Sparacino, married April 17 in Leesburg, VA. See more dance floor shenanigans in the full slideshow.
"...we had almost 400 guests at our wedding, and nearly everyone was on the dance floor. When "Spring Love" started playing, some of our guests began breakdancing, including the boyfriend of one of my girlfriends. I don't think anyone knew that he danced at all! I loved the shocked expressions on everyone's faces." —Melinda, married October 9 in Lancaster, PA. See more dance floor shenanigans in the full slideshow.
The 20th-anniversary edition of U2's Achtung Baby is out now (one bride already told us she's putting the ginormous Uber Deluxe box set on her registry), which got us thinking about the great first-dance songs the band has recorded over the years ("All I Want Is You," "Love Rescue Me"). It also got us thinking about all their not-so-great first-dance songs—you know, the ones that are disguised as love songs but are actually dark and twisty voyages into the heart of despair. After the jump, find out which three U2 songs seem like totally genius wedding picks but are just very, very wrong:
For theater-lovers, the song "Sunrise, Sunset" holds a special place in the wedding repertoire, taken from the 1964 musical "Fiddler on the Roof." In the show, the ballad is sung during Tzeitel's wedding to the tailor Motel by her parents, Tevye and Golde, who reflect on the passage of time. Now, 47 years later, the song's lyrics have officially been re-written to include same-sex couples. Joshua Ellis, an interfaith minister, approached the musical's lyricist Sheldon Harnick a few weeks ago to request that he rework the non-inclusive words to premiere a new version at the wedding of Richard Skipper and Daniel Sherman's in Tappan, NY. Harnick agreed and spent a few days on the changes, so that the new lyrics now read:
For male couples:
Is that the little boy I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older.
When did they?
When did they get to be so handsome?
When did they grow to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday when they were small?
For female couples:
Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little girl at play?
I don't remember growing older.
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
[Alternative: When did she get to be so handsome?]
When did she grow to be this tall?
Wasn't it yesterday when they were small?
Of course, Ellis—who has officiated many same-sex ceremonies since marriage equality went into effect in New York in July—could have simply changed the lyrics himself without ever going through the official channels. "I wanted them them to be sanctioned," he told The New York Times. "If I'm going to do it with a Sondheim lyric, why not ask him first? It's the professional thing to do, the ethical thing to do and the classy thing to do." —Phillip B. Crook
Choosing a father-daughter dance song for your wedding can be a difficult task. How do you select a song that appropriately honors the first man in your life? You want something that's meaningful without being cheesy, fun yet danceable, and memorable enough that 20 years from now you won't ask, "What was I thinking?!" We came up with some suggestions that we think fit the bill. From country to pop to rock, these touching tunes offer a new spin on that dance with Dad.
Here's a goodie by Kenny Loggins called "Always, In All Ways." For the complete list that appeared in the September issue of BRIDES magazine and to hear the playlist, see the full article.
BRIDES has teamed up with Grammy Award-winning rock band Train to give one lucky couple a one-of-a-kind first-dance experience. Before beginning their first dance, the grand-prize winning couple will surprise their guests with a personalized video greeting from the band Train, which will be followed by the music video of the band's hit song "Marry Me"—the ultimate way to kick off the reception. To enter the contest, visit us at facebook.com/brides, upload a photo of yourself and your fiance, and tell us about your proposal story.