Play it now or forever hold your peace: The art of the wedding song

Over the weekend the girlfriend and I went to see a couple of friends get married, and I get the impression that a lot of locals are in a similar spot. Since these were the first of my peers to tie the knot, I haven’t been to lots of weddings—more will come soon, I’m sure, now that this pair has broken the ice. But even in my limited experience with weddings, one moment is emerging as my clear favorite: more moving than vows, the first kiss, I’m talking about the unveiling of the wedding song.

After all the ceremony, the crying, the painted ladies, it’s the first moment when all of the circumstance fades and the couple gets to show its personality. At this particular wedding, the bride and groom shared their first dance to "Have I Told You Lately." (They pulled it off nicely.) And I wasn’t at my parents’ wedding, thankfully, but they danced their first to "I Love How You Love Me," the singer Bobby Vinton’s 1969 version of the song original made popular by the Paris Sisters earlier in that decade. It’s a little sappy, but it worked—they’re still together.

’60s style: Bobby Vinton’s "I Love How You Love Me"

I know I wasn’t the only local who has been out at a winery to catch friends getting hitched. Internet lists of "Best Wedding Songs" veer toward the sappy—Billy Joel’s "Just The Way You Are" tends to rank high—so let’s give the lovers some help this wedding season: What are some of the best wedding songs you’ve ever heard?

My two cents: At their wedding, my brother and his bride went lighthearted with Jonathan Richman’s "You’re the One For Me." The title sounds nice and the song itself is beautiful, but the plaintively delivered tune takes a mock-dark lyrical turn, typical Jonathan behavior: "And it’s too late," sings Jonathan, "because now you’re stuck with me / Better give up, it’s me you choose / I say, "ha ha ha ha, it’s me, you lose."

Everybody got the joke except for grandpa, who couldn’t hear the lyrics.

What’s the best wedding song you’ve heard?

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