By CLAIRE AND JIM CASTAGNERA firstname.lastname@example.org
"Are you aware that Fran has chosen teal for her bridesmaids? Teal, the color of gangrene. Oh, and 'I Honestly Love You' as your wedding song? You might as well commit matrimonial suicide right now!" The Wedding Planner.
I think I can safely say that, at this point in time, I am smack dab in the middle of full-blown wedding planning. And it's not pretty.
Luckily, we already have some of the biggest decisions out of the way: we've chosen a venue, a date, and a dress. It's the little things, though, that have been tripping me up. For example, despite that my fiancé and I have never in the course of our six-year relationship had "a song" - aside from both of us really liking Def Leppard, which isn't helpful unless we're willing to choreograph a dance to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" - now we need to find one. Fast. Preferably, it should be meaningful to us in some way, but you know, semantics.
Turning to romantic comedies for wisdom, as I so often have in the course of planning this wedding, I'm led to believe that choosing "our song" is an important decision. We all saw disaster coming when we learned that Dermot Mulroney and Cameron Diaz didn't have their own song in "My Best Friend's Wedding" (they ended up "borrowing" a song from Julia Roberts, and I can see the affair coming in 3… 2… 1). And according to Jennifer Lopez in "The Wedding Planner," a couple's choice of song could predict the entire trajectory, and length, of that couple's marriage. Thus, Olivia Newton John is out and I'm back at square one.
So I must ask: who are all these couples that have "a song" already in place before the wedding? Personally, I don't know any. But is it bad luck to just… pick one? Is calling a song "our song" and dancing to it at your wedding enough to make it your song? Or do I need to drag my fiancé out to the clubs more often so we can find a tune more meaningful, and suitable, than "Pour Some Sugar On Me"?
A favorite song of mine is "A Little Bit of Everything" by a fairly new LA band called Dawes. One verse runs this way:
"There's a pretty girl who's writing invitations for a wedding she has scheduled for the fall.
"Her man says, 'Baby, can I make an observation? You don't seem to be having any fun at all.
"She says, 'You just worry about your groomsmen and your shirt size and rest assured that this is making me feel good. I think that love is so much easier than you realize. If you can give yourself to someone, then you should.'"
When I got married, some four decades ago, I didn't even worry about my groomsmen or my shirt size. During the year leading up to the wedding, I was mildly distracted by boot camp and officer candidate school. The Coast Guard graduated me, commissioned me, and handed me a set of orders exactly one week prior to our wedding day.
Brother Leo was my best man. He was it. We had no depth on the bench. He was still a high school kid at the time, but we managed.
As for a photographer, ours - a next-door neighbor - took some snapshots and provided Joanne and me with a set. No video… no fancy photo album… just two dozen black and white snaps.
No limo… our wedding car was a big old Caddie owned and driven by another neighbor.
When the reception ended, my bride and I got into my used Pontiac (or was it an Olds?) and headed for Cleveland, where I reported for duty two days later at the Coast Guard regional HQ in the federal building. In between, we honeymooned for a night in the Quaker Motel in Dubois, PA.
But I digress.
Did we have a song? Joanne and I agree that we must have. But neither of us today has a clue as to what it was.
And that should be a great comfort to Claire and her Corey. In June, Joanne and I celebrated our 43rd anniversary… with a song in our hearts.