K. wrote in to ask about wedding music, which is a topic I should probably get around to addressing more. Thus, I must be grateful to K. for providing me with an opportunity to do so. On to her question!
I’ve got a wedding question for you that’s equal parts opinion and experience. The question is this: For my wedding that’s coming up in three weeks, I want to walk down the aisle to Jerusalem by Hubert Parry. If you’re unfamiliar with it, a rather slow video of it being played on the piano can be found here. The problem is that my fiancé is from England and associates the song with (a) rugby matches and (b) Yorkshire coal miners. I wish I was making this up. He’s concerned that his family (all three of them who are attending, out of 100 guests) will think I’ve gone round the bend if I walk down the aisle to a “coal miner’s anthem.” My rebuttal is that the rest of the guests, being American, are utterly unfamiliar with Jerusalem in the first place and therefore won’t associate it with rugby or coal or anything else except “Ooh, pretty song!”
He’s agreed–albeit very reluctantly–to the song, but I need to know if I’m being a lunatic for wanting to have this song played at the wedding. I don’t want to make a total fool out of myself. You must have heard crazier songs for bridal entrances than an old English hymn, right? Your thoughts?
Well, K., if I was one of your guests, my reaction would indeed be “Ooh, pretty song,” because it is a pretty song and because I am an American wholly unfamiliar with Jerusalem. And as entrance songs are concerned, I have indeed heard of far crazier choices…the Pink Panther theme, for example. Heck, even the old standby “Dah-dum-da-dah” is a pretty crazy choice when you consider that the opera it hails from is more tragic than romantic.
The short answer is that you should walk down the aisle to the strains of whatever music you like best. I’d recommend shying away from dirty or profane songs, of course. And unless you’re having a kooky Halloween wedding, it’s probably best to steer clear of anything particular dark or unpleasant sounding.
But I would never suggest that you don’t play the music you like because three people at your wedding may decide you have a thing for coal miners. It’s a hymn, for cryin’ out loud. If you get any odd looks from your intended’s family, just tell them that you love a good rugby match. Pick a team before hand, and impress everyone by telling them how much you love an open scrum.