Wednesday, September 24, 2008

wedding tuneage

i love music. music holds my attention like nothing else. i am constantly thinking about all things music and sound. my career and hobbies are largely music related. i judge a movie by its soundtrack (and i'll judge your wedding by its soundtrack too...sorry!) needless to say, the music at my wedding was important to me. the sound at my wedding was important to me. i wanted the music to fit us and fit the wedding atmosphere i had laid out in my mind. in the past, i've found feedback and sound issues at weddings to be very distracting. it's probably just me, but i feel that sound should looked at just as carefully as anything else in the wedding. with all that said, it's necessary to point out that i'm no musical prodigy/genius, nor am i an extremely renowned musician (quite the opposite actually). i'm just picky and probably have an opinion (and am working on expressing that opinions less frequently).

funny how things pan out. the music for our wedding came together VERY last minute: my bad.
sara reminded me on several occasions that music for the wedding was my responsibility and - apparently - i can be a bit of a procrastinator. luckily, with the help of some fantastic folks, we pulled it off.

my uncle ron is pro audio guy and i'm crazy in debt to him for all he did. he's also a bit of a rat bastard which isn't surprising as he's one of my dad's long time close friends. nevertheless, his experience and expertise in running live sound at large conventions and concerts and such, left me with little to worry about. all i needed to do was tell him what i wanted and i knew it would get done. we had no power out in the field and he took care of that by bringing his own generator. he and my cousin nick saved the day when the generator died EXACTLY when the wedding started. we drained the generator with the string lights hanging between the pallet panels. oops. we didn't anticipate they'd draw that much juice. that one got blamed on me, but ron and nick had us back up and running within 10 minutes. we paid ron zero dollars; money well spent. thanks uncle ron!

my dad wanted to have his buds play at the reception and i was cool with that. Dan Coy and Mac Mckibben are a duo that have been playing together in atlanta for some time. they showed up in their hawaiian shirts and really did a great job of setting the social mood. they are fantastic musicians and easy going dudes. some of you may have noticed a couple unusual jazz renditions they slipped by. i know for sure they played a nirvana song and the flintstones theme and would not be surprised if they had thrown in some 2pac and queen.

both the PA situation and reception band were set in stone at least 2 months before the wedding. however, i had not found musicians or picked music for the ceremony until much later. i had been looking for an accordionist for some time and hadn't had any success in booking one.

through a person, through another person, i finally stumbled upon the husband and wife duo of Mackenzie and Randy Chester. together they are 4 and 20 Blackbirds. they live in northeast georgia with their baby girl, rosie, and are a super fun couple. they write some really funky music and we dig it. i posted a music video they made towards the bottom of this post. it's a fun watch. they are gonna hit the studio for a few days soon so be on the lookout for that. they also bailed me out big time: they were excited to do the wedding and they were excited about my visions for the wedding.

sara and i love The Beatles. we opted to have Beatles songs played instead of the wedding march (whatever it's called). we really enjoyed the covers done for the "Across the Universe" soundtrack. i'm not usually a fan of covers, but i found these to be very tasteful and well done. to announce sara coming towards the ceremony site, an mp3 of "Girl" (listen to it loud) sung by jim sturgess was played loudly over the PA. this song is so beautiful and gives me chills every time i hear it. when the song finished, sara and her father could be seen on the horizon walking towards the chapel. this is where 4 and 20 Blackbirds played an accordion and guitar instrumental version of "Blackbird" (ironic?) in place of the wedding march. i couldn't hold it in. i was crying like a baby... and you probably were too. it was crazy beautiful to me, and my bride was downright stunning. hubba hubba. randy and mackenzie performed a beautiful stripped down version of "Be Thou My Vision" when sara and i shared communion. it was perfect. and to top it all off, sara and i were introduced as a couple to "Typical" by MuteMath. i love the energy at the beginning of that song. it pumps you up. i thought it was a bad-awesome introduction.

general guests at the wedding sat down to a fantastic mix (if i do say so myself) of oldie love songs: Ray Charles, Elvis, Aretha Franklin, and Ivory Joe Hunter to name a few. i intended for the wedding party to be seated to "All You Need is Love" by The Beatles, but that's when the generator died. sara choreographed our first dance to "You Never Can Tell" by Chuck Berry. that was a lot of fun. sara is a much better dancer than i. sara shared a dance with her father to "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman and i shared a dance with my mother to "Mama" by BJ Thomas. sara and i left the reception, rather appropriately, to "The Final Countdown" by Europe. sweet.

we may have lost power, we might have even had a tiny bit of feedback, and we may not have had the perfect wedding. but to me, at that time, it was the most perfect thing in my life.
thanks to everyone else who helped out with the music and sound stuff. and thanks to dad for letting us use his gear. you rock.


asher said...

aw. i miss you crying?


still, sounds lovely. how could it not? twas you two!

corey said...

great narration. still think you should mention that your dance was choreographed with music and moves from pulp fiction. people dig that. i know; they told me.

Anonymous said...

your dress is beautiful. i was wondering where you got it and what the designer was?

sara hanks giessen said...

thanks! it was by jasmine couture, and i got it from formally yours in lilburn, ga.