In 1997, a full two decades ago, I was sitting in a friend's room listening to "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You" from NSYNC's debut album, NSYNC, and thinking, This is the most beautiful song in the world, and I am going to dance to it at my wedding. And honestly? That's still kind of the plan. (Although I am no longer intent on marrying Growing Pains–era Leonardo DiCaprio and living in a house where, instead of having stairs, if you want to go up a floor, you climb a rock wall, and if you want to go down, you slide down a slide.)
I'm no boy-band fanatic, but I appreciate a good pop song regardless of its high- or low-brow status, and the fact is that nineties/aughts boy bands gave us some truly great love songs. When you're at a wedding, you want a song that brings you back to the uncomplicated, consuming love of your teen years, no matter how old you are. Maybe you like Radiohead and Beck now, but wasn't your first love a little less…serious and a little more sincere? If the Backstreet Boys showed up at your house, wouldn't you squeal like the Bachelor contestants did on last night's episode? Allow us to present a few unexpected but, we promise, deeply romantic NSYNC and BSB alternatives to the usual wedding fare.
Instead of "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran, play "As Long As You Love Me" by The Backstreet Boys (not Justin Bieber; there's also a Bieber song with this title, but that's not the one).
"I don't care who you are/where you're from/what you did/as long as you love me" is a beautiful sentiment. We should all strive to overlook, or at least accept, one another's pasts. Everyone makes mistakes; what matters is what you're willing to put into the relationship in the future. Also, look at this video! It's so fun!
Instead of "Photograph" by Ed Sheeran, play "This I Promise You" by NSYNC.
My goal for 2017: Stop playing Ed Sheeran at every wedding because it is enough, people, it is enough. Bonus: If you're having trouble writing original vows, you could just borrow the lyrics to this cheesy, silly, totally sweet song:
Just close your eyes/ Each loving day/ I know this feeling won't go away/ Every word I say is true/ This I promise you/
Instead of "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele (or another artist who covered this famous and romantic tune), play "Drowning" by BSB.
How old does something have to be for it to be considered a classic? 'Cause this song is 10 years old. How underappreciated does something have to be for it to be considered "forgotten"? This song has just shy of 40 million plays on YouTube, but no one ever talks about it. So is "Drowning" a forgotten classic? No! Because I'm making you remember it!
Instead of "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri, play "That's When I'll Stop Loving You" by NSYNC.
Sorry, TwiHards, but it's time to lay this song gently to rest in its coffin and stab it through the heart with a stake. Boy bands are best known for their dance hits and the accompanying iconic music video choreography ("Bye Bye Bye"), and it's time to recognize the slow jams.
Instead of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel, play "I'll Never Break Your Heart" by BSB.
Fact: Any song is 10 times more fun when everyone is singing along. This is the entire appeal of the song "Sweet Caroline."
Instead of "All of Me" by John Legend," play "More Than That" by BSB.
You really want to be one of the other zillion couples dancing to this very good (but overplayed) love song? Or do you want to be a #unique and #cool and #special couple swaying to this oddly country-styled bop?
Instead of "She's Got a Way" by Billy Joel, play "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You" by NSYNC.
This is the most beautiful song in the world.
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