Friday, April 6, 2012

Dream Wedding: Ceremony Special Music

Our wedding, both the ceremony and the reception, were filled with unique, personal touches.  I don't think I was a "Bridezilla" -- but I had a very meticulous attention to detail.

Of all of the very special details I arranged for our wedding, there was one part of our wedding for which I was SOOOO excited.  If everything else had fallen apart, the one thing I was over the moon excited about was the Special Music in our wedding ceremony.

I was a music major in college, so music is very important to me.  Add to that, I was a music major in college, so I have some VERY talented friends.

When I was planning our wedding, I knew exactly what songs I wanted sung, and I knew exactly who I wanted to sing them.  I was very fortunate that when I played the songs for Chris, he thought they'd be beautiful, and he had no objections to my friends (people he hadn't met yet) singing them.

The songs I wanted were a duet and a solo -- "The Prayer", and "How Beautiful"
The people I wanted to perform them was my best friend from childhood, Abigail Rockwood on piano, my roommate from college, Lisa Zevorich as soprano, and my friend from college, Julian Ledford as tenor.

I grew up with Abigail (Abbie, back then), and she is the most naturally talented musician I have ever met.  Not only is she naturally brilliant but she has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Organ and she is currently working at the Organist and Music Director at the largest Episcopalian church in Buffalo, New York.  I am still, to this day, so humbled that she was able to get a break from work and come to Michigan, not only for my wedding, but to perform in my wedding.

I met Lisa my Junior year of college, and we instantly knew we would become good friends when we bonded by our love of singing Broadway songs.  The night we met, we stayed up most of the night playing songs for each other and looking up lyrics so we could sing duets together.  The first time I heard the song, "How Beautiful", was when I heard Lisa sing it the summer before my Senior year.  Her amazing voice and the poignant song brought me to tears.  To ask Lisa to sing at my wedding was a complete circle of hearing that song for the first time, when she took my breath away.

I have known Julian since our Freshman year of college.  We sung together in University Chorus that Freshman year and even toured Cuba together with our choir that Spring.  Julian has the most amazing tenor voice, and he's from Jamaica, and he speaks French, Spanish and Italian.  He has such an amazing accent, and trust me, to hear him sing "Under the Sea" is identical to Sebastian in the movie!  :-D

I have sung with both Lisa and Julian and grew up performing with Abbie.  I knew these amazing musicians and I KNEW when the three of them came together to perform the result would be breath-taking, tear-jerking, goose-bump-creating, show-stopping.

The actual performance was everything I had imagined and so much more!

Please enjoy the following clips from our wedding.

"The Prayer" performed while we combined Unity Sand

"How Beautiful" performed right after we were pronounced Husband and Wife while we took communion

These performances made me cry during the wedding, and they make me cry every time I watch the video.

Abbie, Lisa, and Julian, I cannot express to you how much I means to me that you traveled so far, worked so hard, and came together in song to contribute to our wedding.  The giving of your time and talents are the most beautiful wedding present we could have ever asked for.

A few behind the scenes tid-bits:
* During "How Beautiful", when, on the video, I whispered something to Chris, he had been whispering to me several times... so I finally leaned over and said, "This is my favorite verse, so will you please stop talking to me."  :-D
* At the end of "How Beautiful", as I was beginning to openly cry and look for a Kleenex, I looked out at our friends and family in the congregation, and tissue after tissue was being raised to women's eyes throughout the church.  It was a really cool sight to see.

One of the things I love about music is that sometimes the words tell the story, and sometimes the music tells the story.  During the climatic bridge of "The Prayer" the words are in Italian and the music is so strong and powerful that one cannot understand the words -- one doesn't need to words at this point.  The music is expressing the meaning of the song.

That being said, I think the lyrics to both of these songs are beautiful and worth sharing in case you want to read the amazing message behind the music.  I especially think the words to "How Beautiful" are worth reading today, Good Friday.  "How Beautiful is the Body of Christ."  What a perfect day to reflect on this message, His sacrifice, and the many levels of meaning behind this song.

Have a very Blessed Good Friday.

"The Prayer"
by David Foster & Carol Bayer Sager

I pray you'll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don't know

Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your Grace
To a place where we'll be safe
La luce che tu dai

I pray we'll find your light
Nel cuore restera
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarci che
When stars go out each night
L'eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c'e
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe.
Sogniamo un mondo senza piu violenza

Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace e di fraternita

La forza che ci dai
We ask that life be kind
E'il desiderio che
And watch us from above
Ognuno trovi amore
We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a se
Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child

Needs to find a place,
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe
E la fede che
Hai acceso in noi
Sento che ci salvera 


"How Beautiful"
by Twila Paris

How beautiful the hands that served
The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth
How beautiful the feet that walked
The long dusty roads and the hill to the cross

How beautiful, how beautiful
How beautiful is the body of Christ

How beautiful the heart that bled
That took all my sin and bore it instead
How beautiful the tender eyes
That chose to forgive and never despise

How beautiful, how beautiful
How beautiful is the body of Christ

And as He laid down His life
We offer this sacrifice
That we will live just as he died
Willing to pay the price
Willing to pay the price

How beautiful the radiant bride
Who waits for her groom with His light in her eyes
How beautiful when humble hearts give
The fruit of pure lives so that others may live

How beautiful, how beautiful
How beautiful is the body of Christ

How beautiful the feet that bring
The sound of good news and the love of the King
How beautiful the hands that serve
The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth

How beautiful, how beautiful
How beautiful is the body of Christ

image signature

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by and joining the conversation.