Monday, December 28, 2009

It should be ALL RISE, baby!

I'm talking, of course, about playlists.
Weddings, especially iPod weddings, are a great way to show off your musical tastes as a couple. You can put in favorite songs, or some really nice, meaningful, romantic songs. You can put in funny songs or songs that mean a lot to your girlfriends or your college buddies.
But where a Get Psyched mix should be all rise, I say a good wedding mix has some rise and some fall. (Any HIMYM fans?) I have been to a few weddings now that had no fall (meaning slow songs). Which is fine, as long as you aren't then going to complain about how nobody over the age of 35 was on the dance floor shaking it.
I understand the hesitation to put slow songs on the playlists - they make single people feel isolated, they don't contribute to the "party" feeling, whatever. But I'm here to defend the slow-dance, because it seems to be fading in wedding playlists. Here is why you should include a bunch of slow songs on your playlist:
1.) Slow dance songs get a different group of people out on the dance floor. The guy that doesn't want to disco dance with his girlfriend to the YMCA will get out to do the awkward bend-and-sway to a soft love song. And the bend and sway is more fun than sitting at the table.
2.) Slow dance songs allow for recovery. Dancing all night is exhausting. Absolutely exhausting. It's hard on your feet and your ears and if you play slow songs, people will either stay on the dance floor, or they will sit one out without feeling guilty. They will also be able to talk and hear themselves think.
3.) Slow dance songs are more romantic. It's a wedding. It's like a high school dance, but way more romantic, and you know the punch is spiked. You want to gaze adoringly into your date's eyes. You want to think about love and how much it matters. Weddings can be extremely romantic, and the slow dance helps bring that out.
4.) Slow dance songs lessen the likelihood of crashing and burning. The night is over, the music shuts off, and suddenly you're spent. You've been dancing like a crazy person, you're sweating, and you're exhausted. It's like sprinting to the finish line and collapsing. Slow songs are like taking walk breaks during a marathon.

Now, in fairness to those people who hate the slow songs, I will say this: there are "fall" songs, and then there are "middle of the road" songs. Middle of the road songs are mostly old classics that you can either slow dance to, or do the group shuffle to. They are also often songs that everybody (or most people) know and don't totally hate.
Some ideas? When I'm 64, Brown Eyed Girl, My Girl, Piano Man, Shameless, Moondance, Dancing in the Moonlight, etc. Upbeat but still danceable, sing-along songs.
You also don't have to play 20 slow songs. If you really hate slow songs, well, it's your wedding and people can quit bitching, but if you only sorta hate slow songs, or your nihilistic friend told you that he/she hates slow songs and you better not play any, stagger them. It's part of the rise-and-fall.
Any suggestions for good slow or middle-of-the-road songs? How are you planning to work your playlist?

1 comment:

  1. While we don't really have to worry about this problem since we don't plan on having a lot of time devoted to dancing during the ceremony, I have to agree with your defense of slow songs.
    Coming from a woman who's future husband has two left feet, the only shot in hell I have of getting him to dance is during a slow song where his spastic qualities are kept to a minimum, haha. Plus, you're right, dancing ALL night long would be much too tiring.