24 June 2011

Wedding Music

Because it's my anniversary, it seems the right moment to tell you about the music at our wedding. We had a really simple wedding. No caterer, no photographer, no flower girl, no limousine. No hymns, no recessional, no first dance.

But we did have a processional, with possibly the most idiosyncratic rendition of a wedding standard ever. A long time family friend and down the street neighbor was a professional musician who played every single woodwind instrument out there. Flute, piccolo, all the saxophones, oboe, bassoon, all the clarinets. He played jingles, Broadway shows, big band jazz, saxophone quartets. He was in the Tonight Show band before Johnny moved the show to Los Angeles. And he was on Sesame Street from day one, playing incidental music and Rubber Duckie and the entrance music for Mr. Snuffleupagus.

We wanted our wedding to be personal, eclectic and meaningful, so I asked Wally if he'd play the Mendelssohn Wedding March on the Snuffleupagus contra-bass clarinet.

Wally claims that he'd never in all his born days played a wedding, much less played a contra-bass clarinet solo in anyone's backyard, but he gamely located the score to the Mendelssohn and figured out a solo version. Buh buh buh BUH. You have to understand - the contra-bass clarinet is not a solo instrument. It's not pretty harp music or a soprano singing Ave Maria with a guitar accompaniment. It is NOT what you expect at a wedding.

Before the ceremony, Wally tucked himself behind an azalea. The guests trickled in and began milling around on the lawn. When the time came, Wally let out those first triplet bleats on the horn, and my grandmother said "What is that noise"?

It was a beautiful moment.

19 comments:

Amanda said...

Oh, I love this. How wonderful that you found a way to create an unexpected magical moment for everyone!

De said...

Must have been a large azalea. This made me smile. Happy Anniversary!

RuthWells said...

Aw, happy anniversary!

ifbyyes said...

Happy anniversary!

Harriet M. Welsch said...

I love it! How fantastic. And happy anniversary!

Slow Panic said...

Happy Anniversary!

alejna said...

This is wonderful. I am so very fond of you, Magpie.

Anjali said...

Happy, happy anniversary. Sorry I missed that wedding. It sounded wonderful.

Rima said...

That. Is. Awesome.

Wishing you many more melodious years together :)

Heide said...

Congratulations!

flutter said...

okay, THAT is funny. Happy Anniversary

lewis said...

It was grand! Happy anniversary to you and Will.

anymommy said...

I love you. This cracked me up. And you are so smart for going low key for your wedding. All the fuss seems silly now. Happy Anniversary!

Vodka Mom said...

beautiful moments- those are the ones I tuck away for when I need them the most.

This was lovely.

Mayberry said...

That is awesome. I love you and your grandma. And Wally.

slouchy said...

How fantastic.

nom de guerre said...

unique doesn't cover it. and a great story forever.
Congratulations!

leanne said...

I have no words other than "awesome." Also, Happy Anniversary!

painted maypole said...

awesome.