Wedding singalong!
January 29, 2010 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Song to sing along to at our wedding? Lots of requirements inside are making us stuck.

We're getting married in august and asked a friend if he could be part of the ceremony by playing a song on his guitar. The complications:
- must be non-religious
- must be something relatively popular enough for people to be able to sing along to if given the words
- also our guestlist is mostly british but a good portion american.
- our friend can play on his own on the guitar
- extra credit: my fiance and I aren't really into sappy love songs but maybe we haven't thought of the right one?
posted by like_neon to Media & Arts (34 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This is the first day of my life is a nice song, and pretty popular I think. I'm not sure how known it is across the pond though
posted by Think_Long at 12:59 PM on January 29, 2010

Friends of mine had their musicians play "All You Need is Love" for their recessional at their wedding a few months ago, and all the guests pretty much joined in on the first chorus as if on cue. Seems to fit all your criteria -- non-religious, widely known among Brits and Americans, easy to play, and very "love love love" but not sappy-schmoopy.
posted by scody at 1:01 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Rainbow Connection. :)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:02 PM on January 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

Is 'Sweet Caroline' too sappy ?
posted by carefulmonkey at 1:06 PM on January 29, 2010

at my friend's wedding they played "Sea of Love". It's pretty simply, classy song that a lot of people know. And it's an easy four chord progression...
posted by phelixshu at 1:18 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz is the perfect choice. It has the right sentiment for a wedding, it’s a happy, easy tune, and it’s well known. If you want to see a very cool singalong to this song in action, check it out here (of course, these are his fans singing along, so they have a bit of an advantage).
posted by yawper at 1:18 PM on January 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ours was If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out by Cat Stevens. It was fabulous, we loved it, and it was so awesome to hear our friends sing us back down the aisle.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:19 PM on January 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

All You Need is Love
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:21 PM on January 29, 2010

Best answer: This Will Be Our Year by the Zombies.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:23 PM on January 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

Here are some ideas to make any song a more successful sing-along:

1. The guitarist plays the song (but doesn't sing) while people are walking down the isle. Those in attendance are already quiet and attentive.
2. The guitarist plays the song again at the end, and starts singing.
3. Plant some knowing seeds in the audience, or have maids of honor and groomsmen sing along.
4. Include the lyrics in the wedding brochure, or have them projected on a wall somewhere (behind the guitarist if he's in a good location for people to see him and the exiting progression, or near the exit location so everyone can glance at the lyrics as needed, yet still watch the exist progression).

I think any song can be a great song with your friends and family singing along on your wedding day, so don't fret too much.

Tips from someone who had a guitarist at his wedding: make sure the guitarist can be heard from wherever he is sitting. Work out with him how loud he can be, and maybe do a dry run with people sitting in seats. The guitarist at my wedding was too quiet for most of the people to hear (open-air event, ~100 people)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:27 PM on January 29, 2010

I came to say This Will Be Our Year by the Zombies, but it looks like someone with incredibly good taste has already beaten me to it.
posted by phunniemee at 1:27 PM on January 29, 2010

Well, it was kinda spontaneous at a friend's wedding, but somehow everyone ended up singing Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline. Of course, it works better if your name is Caroline, but it's not a deal-breaker. And everybody knows it -- even if they tell you they don't.
posted by cgg at 1:36 PM on January 29, 2010

Best answer: When I'm 64.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:37 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

This Will Be Our Year is an excellent choice. I'm not sure how many of your friends will know the song, though. All You Need is Love is good. Personally, I'd go with Something.

Please not Jason Mraz
posted by ludwig_van at 1:37 PM on January 29, 2010

Best answer: 'When i'm 64' by the beatles.
posted by Kololo at 1:37 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

DarlingBri: JINX!
posted by Kololo at 1:38 PM on January 29, 2010

"All You Need Is Love" might be a tad problematic, because it was heavily featured during the recessional march at a wedding in the movie "Love, Actually" - in a totally awesome way (within a not-so-awesome movie).

The Monkees are cheesy, but "Daydream Believer" is a cheerful, lovey, excellent singlaong song that everyone most assuredly knows.
posted by peachfuzz at 1:53 PM on January 29, 2010

We did this at our wedding, while we were signing the registry, to keep the guests entertained. My cousin played the guitar, and the song was "Eight Days a Week", which was upbeat & well known so even people who weren't comfortable singing could clap along.
Lots of my relatives had practiced beforehand and sang loudly, so that others could sing more quietly if they weren't big singers. It worked out so well, and I had so many people say what a highlight it was for them.
posted by nprigoda at 1:53 PM on January 29, 2010

"So Happy Together"...I can't see me lovin' nobody but you, for all my life...
posted by Knowyournuts at 2:10 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Could I Have This Dance (for the rest of my life)."
posted by Carol Anne at 2:36 PM on January 29, 2010

For happy cheesy group fun - SING by The Carpenters.
posted by jbenben at 2:48 PM on January 29, 2010

Best answer: We used "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" for our wedding sing-along, but that may not be everyone's cup of tea.

Some songs that most everyone knows and are very happy-sounding and fairly sing-along-able:

I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do
I Think I Love You
You're My Best Friend
posted by Oriole Adams at 3:21 PM on January 29, 2010

Some with excellent clapping-along potential:

"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"
"I Second That Emotion"
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours"
posted by sallybrown at 4:04 PM on January 29, 2010

"God Only Knows" - Beach Boys
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:09 PM on January 29, 2010

Since Rainbow Connection was taken (went well at the nuptials I attended), may I offer the other sing along that often went over well: The Time Warp.
posted by tilde at 4:41 PM on January 29, 2010

Nthing "Sweet Caroline." Or substitute your own name.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 5:24 PM on January 29, 2010

The Book of Love
posted by MsMolly at 5:31 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sunshine Day by the Brady Bunch
posted by GaelFC at 6:26 PM on January 29, 2010

I attended a wedding where everyone sang "What The World Needs Now Is Love." Even now I get teary remembering that moment!
posted by polyester.lumberjack at 9:30 PM on January 29, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everybody! Some awesome suggestions in there. I've marked as best answer all of my faves but I'll come back in to let you know what we go with.
posted by like_neon at 6:09 AM on January 30, 2010

Response by poster: Just popping back to say When I'm 64 is currently my fave because of these lyrics:

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside

I love to knit and fiance was a electrical engineering major in uni. :P
posted by like_neon at 6:15 AM on January 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

When I'm Sixty-Four was our first dance at our reception (no sing-a-long). Added bonus to that is that our kids get very excited when they hear it now and love that it's Mom and Dad's special song. Downside is that at least one of them will be required to have children named Vera, Chuck, and Dave.
posted by Dojie at 7:52 AM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

our friend is singing "book of love" by the magnetic fields. we're using mike doughty's more upbeat arrangement. unfortunately i can't find a link to the song but i think you can get it on itunes for a buck.

here are the lyrics--it's wry and funny and sweet:
posted by thinkingwoman at 9:25 PM on January 30, 2010

Response by poster: We're going with "When I'm 64" for the ceremony sing-along! Our friend has been practicing quite diligently and even performed at a local pub so he could get used to playing in front of a crowd. :)

Runner up prize to "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. Our band is going to play that as our first dance.

Thanks everyone!
posted by like_neon at 3:19 AM on August 10, 2010

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