x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Music for a marriage

The trial of deciding on a wedding playlist with the parents

To be fair, we had left it all a bit late. The wedding music, that is. With six weeks to go until the big day, we had vague plans of maybe sorting out some sort of playlist for the iPod so it could be plugged into some speakers, or perhaps my fiancé and I could sit down and make a bunch of compilation CDs that we could bung into the stereo at the reception venue.

But as the day draws nearer, we never seem to have enough time to go on a possibly copyright-infringing, CD-burning rampage. So, we sent my parents an e-mail saying that we'd just get a DJ in and we'd pay for it. We figured that, given my parents have worked tirelessly to get everything sorted out, from booking the church to organising table runners, we could save them time and money by taking care of the music.

We were clearly living in a fool's paradise. My parents' initial response was that DJs talk too much and there were grave fears that the music would be way too loud and inappropriate. That particular e-mail conversation culminated in my parents admitting they had never been to a wedding with a DJ, and me clinging to my laptop and sighing.

Then there was the stipulation that our guests shall be entertained by the tunes of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and maybe a few more recent tracks, provided they were "not too wild and had a tune".

As anyone who has ever been in my car could tell you, my taste in music does veer towards the retro. And as I recounted the wedding music saga to a friend of mine in Australia the other day, she laughed and reminded me of the time I went home early from a night out because I deemed the music to be too loud.

But given my parents' 1979 cut-off date for the music, I had to take action. My fiancé and I were both born in 1976, so we decided we would like some music played at our wedding that was recorded after we were three years old. We wanted to dance to a few songs that we could actually remember the first time they were released.

There were a few more tense e-mails, but we finally set aside some time over lunch at Cosi to write out a playlist, a mix of old and new, and sent it to the DJ and to my parents.

I am sure they weren't thrilled with the inclusion of Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine and anything by the Manic Street Preachers will probably just cause mass bafflement among those over 50, but I think we came to a happy compromise.

In the interests of compromise (always good training before embarking on married life), we let our parents choose the music to be played over dinner and that will indeed be a festival of tunes aimed squarely at those who remember The Beatles when they were an up-and-coming new band from Liverpool.

And the final irony? Our bridal dance will be Chuck Berry's You Never Can Tell, first released in 1964.