Due to a disk crash and backup failure, this site has been restored from an old backup with a number of more recent articles missing. The missing site content is being restored as time permits. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Nutters.org The Nutter Log
Wedding Music to Avoid Entry id: wedding-music
By The Famous Brett Watson
On Wed, 20 Dec 2006 00:50:00 +1100

Weddings should be memorable, but it's important to get the right kind of "memorable". You don't want the kind of memorable that winds up on a "funniest home videos" show, or becomes a frequently retold anecdote over a few drinks for many years to come. To that end, I have collaborated with a group of friends (relaxing late one night after putting on a Christmas production) to produce this set of Wedding Music to Avoid.

We focus on the most important piece of wedding music: the processional. This is the music to which the bride and her entourage approach the altar and waiting groom. The second most important piece is the bridal waltz, and this will be given a little consideration here and there in conjunction with particular procession songs. It's one thing to be merely kitsch and use something like ABBA's "I do, I do, I do, I do, I do" for the procession, but quite another to use one of the following songs-to-avoid.

Return to Sender (Elvis Presley)
Let's start with a simple example. Sure, Elvis is the King, but there's appropriate and not appropriate. This one falls into the latter category unless you're deliberately trying to make your audience lose all decorum and crack up laughing.
The Bitch is Back (Elton John)
Definitely inappropriate except for the most self-confident of brides — particularly those who are on their second (or subsequent) marriage. Likely to shock the audience if they are paying any attention. In the unlikely event that this song is appropriate, it opens up a good selection of otherwise inappropriate bridal waltz songs, such as "Oops, I Did It Again", "Cecilia" (if that happens to be the bride's name), or "It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night (that chew your ass out all day long)" if you want a more "country" feel.
Highway to Hell (AC/DC)
Really, if you're going to be this cynical about the prospect of married life, why bother? Possibly appropriate for couples who are hardcore AC/DC fans that think of Hell as an infernal party zone. When this song is used, the bridal waltz should be a good bonking song, like "Boom Boom Shake the Room", or maybe "Satisfaction" (Rolling Stones) if you want to keep it more cynical.
Send in the Clowns (Stephen Sondheim)
Your audience could get entirely the wrong impression from this song, bittersweet though it is. Bear in mind that if the bridal party enters to this song, it could easily be misconstrued as suggesting that the bridal party are the clowns. One should also bear in mind that clowns are usually sent in to cover for some mishap, such as a trapeze artist falling and fracturing his collar-bone, which is probably not the kind of portent that you want. In any case, have you listened to the words? "Just when I'd stopped opening doors / Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours / Making my entrance again with my usual flair / Sure of my lines, no one is there." It's appropriate if the groom is going to do a runner while everyone is distracted with the bride's entry, I suppose. If you insist on this beautiful but somewhat woeful song, you may as well use U2's "With or Without You", or Elton John's "Sacrifice" for the bridal waltz.
Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
Although this is a great song for getting the adrenaline going, adrenaline isn't usually appropriate for a wedding procession. I must therefore declare this song inappropriate unless it's a wacky "themed" wedding in which the bridal party are dressed in designer track suits and running shoes, and jog up the aisle rather than the usual slow march. Even then, the groom should beware: the bride may be so pumped on adrenaline by the time she gets to the front that she forgets herself and proceeds to punch his lights out. If you're going down this road, you may as well use Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" for the bridal waltz. Tacky, yes, but you're the one planning the athletic-themed wedding.
The Last Post (Traditional Military Bugle Call)
This tune carries almost entirely the wrong connotation for a wedding, even if the bride and groom have a military background. For similar reasons, one should also avoid Chopin's "Funeral March", or anything else describing itself as a "funeral march". (Inappropriate music for funerals is a separate subject, which may be covered at a later date.)
L'Apprenti sorcier (Paul Dukas)
Better known as "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", and made most famous by Disney's "Fantasia", this catchy piece unfortunately conjures up the wrong image, if you'll pardon the pun. One thinks of the bridal party as being out-of-control animated objects, and the groom desperately trying to stop the madness by hacking them to bits with an axe, but the fragments re-animate and continue to march up the aisle. Surreal, disturbing, and entirely the wrong atmosphere for a wedding.
Theme from "The Great Escape" (Elmer Bernstein)
Yes, it's a march, it's catchy, and it's famous, but it's a little on the up-tempo side for a wedding procession. It also carries the unfortunate connotation that one of the newlyweds will wake up on the first day of their honeymoon to find that the other has dug a tunnel during the night and escaped to freedom. Said escapee may get away with it, or be recaptured by an irate father or mother-in-law and reunited with their spouse at gunpoint, or just taken out and shot. This being so, you may as well use Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover" for the bridal waltz.
Theme from "Jaws" (John Williams)
In order to make proper use of this music, the bride would have to forgo the usual walk up the aisle, accompanied by her father. Instead, she would need to stalk between the rows of the audience, on her own, such that only the top of her head-piece is visible now and then from the groom's perspective. At the appropriate moment, she would burst forth from the audience, lunging at the groom with mouth wide open, like a vampire attacking her prey. This behaviour would be considered highly odd in most circles, and I don't recommend it.
The Imperial March (John Williams)
Don't get me wrong: John Williams has written some great music. It's just that some of it is rather inappropriate for weddings. "The Imperial March", for example, is a great piece, and widely recognised, but immediately evokes images of a dark, oppressive totalitarian regime, and its legions of Imperial Stormtrooper enforcers, led by the dread Lord Vader. It's very hard to make this kind of thing work for a wedding procession unless all the parties involved are hard-core Star Wars geeks, and the bride has a Princess Leia hairdo. Even then, the wedding should be a forced marriage, where the bride is being joined against her will in matrimony to some high-ranking official, or a "blaster" wedding where the groom is under duress from the bride's guardian to do the honourable thing. In the latter case, the best man should be a Wookiee. The "Cantina Band" music is the obvious choice for the bridal waltz.
Baby Elephant Walk (Henry Mancini)
I don't care if the bride's gown can double as the main tent for a three-ring circus: using "Baby Elephant Walk" for the procession music is just plain rude. So what if you had to widen the aisle? Who cares if the wedding limo is legally required to carry a "wide load" sign and flashing warning lights? Drawing further attention to the bride's gravitational field with one's choice of music is a low act. Under no circumstances should you use this song, and you certainly should not follow it up by using "Baby Got Back" (famous for the line "I like big butts and I can not lie") or "Fat Bottomed Girls" for the bridal waltz.
Public Domain: the author waives copyright on this log entry. Other sources (if any) are quoted with permission or on the principle of "fair dealing" and retain their original copyrights.