I wish I was one of those people who can listen to music while they write—when I was younger I used to be able to do it. Kissing You by Des’ree was the most listened-to song in my Windows Media Player collection; I was writing a lot of angsty teenage romance on account of, y’know, never having actually been kissed.
These days I’m all about the silence. Lyrics get in my head and before I know what’s happening I’m belting out Is it Cos I’m Cool? by Mousse T. and Emma Lanford and definitely not thinking of another way to say wedding (marriage, vows, walking down the aisle, standing at the altar, going from Miss to Mrs, putting a ring on it, kissing the groom… Not that I have to do this a lot).
So I was still in my silence phase when I wrote The High-Street Bride’s Guide, and again when I revised it for HarperImpulse in the middle of planning my own wedding. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t songs floating around in my head that I’d recommend for readers of the finished book. Here they are: five songs that will get you from Chapter 1: The Basics to Chapter 16: Inspiration—or in other words, from ‘I will’ to ‘I do’…
Hoppípolla by Sigur Rós Tense much? Of course you are, you’re planning a wedding—you’ve got to find something to feed your vegan bridesmaid and work out to tell your mum you won’t be wearing her dress. Fear not: Sigur Rós have you got covered with the most soothing, uplifting song I know. By the end of this track, you’ll feel like you could float down the aisle.
Marry You by Bruno Mars Obvious? Maybe. But when the table plan gets tough, this one will remind you why you’re getting hitched in the first place. Cue flashbacks of that down-on-one-knee moment and an irresistible urge to grab hold of your other half.
Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti and Spearhead Yes, the difference between white, ivory and diamond white is going to give you a headache at some point, and you’re going to question what in the hell you bought all those origami cranes for. But when nothing else makes sense anymore, all you need is those lyrics: ‘I know / one thing / that I love you.’
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) by Michael Franti ‘Everybody wants me to be / who they want me to be / except you.’ Need I say more? To me, this is one jubilant, euphoric tune about being in love and building a life together—it’s what every wedding should feel like!
Gimme Some Lovin’ by The Blues Brothers Anyone who’s ever tied the knot will tell you that getting from your first date to the first dance takes some doing. This was our first dance song because we were so glad we made it after four years of planning and saving, and trust me, soon you will be too.
Brides-to-be, this one’s for you!
You can say your vows in a catwalk gown so beautiful it reduces your mum to tears (and not because she paid for it).
You can style a reception so stunning your guests won’t believe you didn’t hire an A-list planner.
And you can sprinkle the day with personal touches that make everyone feel like you gave them special attention before they even got there. Without spending a house deposit on it. Honest.
Samantha Birch has written for GLAMOUR, Brides, You & Your Wedding and Cosmopolitan Bride. She knows a thing or two about planning a wedding on a budget, how much you can expect to pay for everything and where to go to get it for less. And she’s put it all down here.
Giveaway: WIN an eBook copy of The High-Street Bride’s Guide: just comment below with your favourite wedding or love song. Contest ends 5/11 at 11:59PM EDT.
So far I’m the author of one book: The High-Street Bride’s Guide. I’ve written about dresses, bridesmaids and cake toppers for Brides and You & Your Wedding, and regularly contribute to the likes of GLAMOUR and Love Baking – often while eating cake in my pyjamas. I live with my husband in a chaotically untidy flat in Letchworth, which I pretend is an artfully unkempt writer’s loft in St. Albans.
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