Sam and Mark's Super Happy Wedding Funtime

Posts Tagged ‘dancing

On my wedding day I spent 3 hours getting my hair and make-up done. 3 hours.

After, I went home and my apartment was quiet. The first time it had been quiet in days. It was mid-day, but the apartment was a little dark and cool, which just added to the quiet. I walked down to where my dress waited for me and I couldn’t help but think about polish dancers. You know, when you are a kid and you go to the county fair and there are these dancers and they are wearing special costumes and they do their traditional folk dances? Big skirts and maybe aprons and hats?

Polish Dancers.

We’ve all heard that America is a melting pot. Cultures come here and melt into a gooey American cheese ball. I’ve also heard that America is a mixed salad, multiple diverse and culturally connected elements that keep their identity while coming together to form a delicious and nutritious salad of patriotism. But really, America is a fondue. It isn’t either/or. There is the melted bit, but then you dip in all those exciting bits of bread and veg. I’m in the melt-y bit. We are just white people. Even though our family is Scottish, there is no throwing of cabers in our house. I am part Swiss … but, well, do the Swiss even have a cultural identity? I don’t know if I’m German Swiss or Italian Swiss, and while I do love chocolate, I don’t own a watch. I guess I’m just American, and while that’s fine 50% of the time, it isn’t that exciting to me. It isn’t like I get to put on crazy shoes and skirts with special names and dance around.

Except today. That day. My wedding day.

That day I was going to be a polish dancer. I was putting on my ceremonial garb, my war paint, my helmet (trust me, with the amount of hairspray I had in my hair, I was ready for football) (also, I don’t think polish dancers wear helmets, but just go with it). I was getting ready for my “dance,” my performance. My moment at the county fair.

It was really cool.


OK.  I’m not going to have a band play my wedding, but if I were, here are my picks:

Talking Heads (see also: David Byrne as the Talking Heads are now defunct)- This is my favorite band.  I fell in love with music dancing to Burning Down the House in my bedroom.  I’m sure I did not, I’m sure that it started much earlier, but whatever, this is the story I’m going with.  We still lived in Georgia and I had a radio and a yellow room and I loved, loved, loved this song. Oddly enough the Atlanta DJ later moved to LA and I heard him every day until KROQ became completely insufferable.

Phoenix– Easily one of the best live show’s I’ve ever seen.  The music just makes you want to dance! So much joy and life!

Spoon– Spoon is solid rock and roll. They have those janglely guitars, Brit’s voice is amazing, and the band is everything you want in a rock band.  Even Spoon’s sad songs make me happy because they are just so darn good.

Arcade Fire– I think Arcade Fire playing our wedding would somehow turn the whole thing into a post-modern take on weddings.  But that’s OK.  They have a lot of energy.

M. Ward– Have you seen that guy play guitar? It is amazing.  And beautiful.  Perfect, I say, for a wedding.  Plus, it is just one guy.  That’s got to be cheaper…

The Flaming Lips– You wouldn’t need wedding decorations.  The confetti cannons will take care of everything.

Ray Davies– The first show Mark and I saw together was Ray Davies at the Warfeild, so of course, there is sentimental value there.  Plus the Kinks have some of the greatest songs ever written, so why not play them at the best wedding ever weddinged?


Dancing at a wedding is like bacon at brunch.  Assuming you eat bacon. And brunch.

Dancing, I’ve come to find, is expected at weddings.  Expected.  So expected that the comments on internet posts seeking help on non-dancing weddings are peppered with people telling you that it is weird to not have dancing and that you should have dancing and that if you don’t have dancing everyone will hate you.  People really want dancing.

I’m not opposed to dancing. I’m also not opposed to bacon.  I’m pro-bacon.  I’m pro-dancing too, I guess, but it just feels weird to plan for it at my wedding.

And the wedding blogs make it even tougher. Dancing is shorthand for joy.  Look at any wedding blog post you’ll see pictures of people dancing.  Old people, young people, fat people, skinny people, hipsters- yes, especially hipsters- they all must dance.  Dancing is Proof that the wedding was Fun.

So looking at these lovely weddings, and these obviously joyful and happy dancing people, I get a little nervous.  Like, maybe I should have dancing.  Like, maybe the internet is right.  If I don’t have dancing, no one will enjoy themselves. Everyone will just sit there and stare at each other, biding their time, waiting for an opportunity to exit stage right as fast as their dancing shoes can take them.

The thing is,  I never go dancing.  I have lots of friends who do, but we have managed to socialize successfully without doing either the running man or the fox trot thus far, so I think we should be ok for one more night.

Dancing needs to be organic.  The most fun I’ve had dancing at weddings has been because the band was amazing (and I was probably drunk, but mostly it was the band).  It worked, it was a natural part of the festivities, it was right (it was perfect) for that wedding. It wasn’t forced. If we were getting a band, I might change my tune, but we aren’t.  I can’t afford Spoon or David Byrne.  And a DJ?  Well… something about hiring a DJ just makes me feel… weird.  It doesn’t sit right with me.  I’m not the DJ hiring type.

Music is important to us.  Music is what first brought Mark and I together, so our reception will have music. If the joy cannot be contained, and dancing must occur, I will not stop it. I’m not a monster. I’m just not going to schedule it. I’m not going to assign it a start and end time.  I’m not going to have a floor set up in expectation. I’m not going to set myself up to feel stress because people aren’t dancing when they are supposed to be dancing.

So what about the First Dance? This is a SPECIAL MOMENT and you are just going to throw it away?


Actually, yes.

And it feels kinda good.

Sam and Mark