Sure, singing at your own wedding isn’t for everyone; this brave act should be reserved only for those with true, awe-inspiring talent and of course, a whole lot of nerves. Think back to Uncle Jesse’s wedding on Full House. As he sat at the piano and sang the Beach Boys’ romantic classic Forever to his TV sweetheart Rebecca Donaldson, it was a lovely, authentic wedding moment that pulled at the heartstrings of 80’s TV sitcom viewers alike (if you haven’t seen this before I will give you a moment to go search “Uncle Jesse’s Wedding Song”…are you back yet? Great.)
While John Stamos is clearly lip-synching to a pre-recorded track, it is undeniable that this is the kind of authentic and original musical moment that makes for a truly one-of-a-kind wedding experience. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to have witnessed first-hand such bold, courageous souls who have not only sung at their own wedding, but lived to tell about it. In sharing some stories here, perhaps you can find some musical inspiration to add to your brilliantly authentic wedding reception too.
The Love Song Surprise
I am right now in the midst of helping a close friend of mine write a love song that he will surprise his bride-to-be with at their wedding (his name will remain anonymous here as their wedding hasn’t happened yet.) The part of this that is SO amazing is that unlike Uncle Jesse from Full House who covered a Beach Boys song, my friend has written both the lyrics and music for this one (with me helping with the arrangement and melody). Not only will this be an incredibly beautiful gesture on their wedding day, but it is a song that the two of them will have for the rest of their lives.
NOTE: This is a bold move! Think Adam Sandler in the final scenes of the Wedding Singer; you need to DELIVER on the performance. There is definite chance of failure here. You might break a string. You might forget the lyrics. You might slip up and call your fiancé the wrong name in the third chorus. This move is only for the strong of heart!
The Cover Quartet
This one is very similar to the previous story with the big exception that the song being sung here was a well-known cover song. The setting was at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music a couple of summer’s back where Paul the groom organized his groomsmen into a barbershop quartet to serenade the bride Danielle with a fantastic rendition of Billy Joel’s Longest Time
The singing was spot on, the ladies hearts were fluttering and the response was electric, a huge round of applause ensuing after the brilliant performance and a memory not soon to be forgotten. What a fun way to create a lasting memory (and seriously ladies, a man in a suit that can sing to you on your wedding day? Nuff said.)
Getting The Band Back Together
It was a hot night in July at Toronto’s Old Mill where I had the pleasure of performing at a wedding with a groom who used to sing in a popular local Reggae/Reggaeton band. As the dance was starting up in the picturesque Guild Hall, groom John surprised everyone including bride Jackie when he hit the stage with his old band. John sang through the band’s old repertoire (including some incredible reggaeton covers of Murder She Wrote by Chaka Demus & Pliers and Heads High by Mr. Vegas!)
What made this work so well was that firstly, John’s band rocked and secondly, the band was an integral part of the couple’s history together (she being a huge fan of the band to begin with.) It is this sort of musical moment that made this wedding a true original…any other way just wouldn’t have fit.
Recording A Love Song
Recording a song is a great idea for those that would love to sing at their wedding, but don’t have the desire to perform it in person. Amy wanted to surprise her husband-to-be with a song that she had recorded. While she didn’t have the desire to write her own song, her natural singing skill shone through as she covered James Blunt’s Bonfire Hearts with a warm sounding voice slightly reminiscent of Chantel Kreviazuk (non-Canadian readers will have to Google that one).
For this recording, we set up our office studio with recording gear and got a few takes with me on piano behind her. Add some harmonies, vocal doubles, a violin track, a few solid hours of track editing and production and you have the gem of a song that became their first dance.
If you have talent, are bold at heart and want to create a memorable moment at your wedding not soon to be forgotten, then perhaps you should join the ranks of these fearless souls and sing at your own wedding too!