Wedding songs are the ones that beside the wedding flowers presence transmit messages of love, commitment, faithfulness, happiness and wishful thoughts for both the marrying couple and to the people gathered to witness the event as guests of this special event. They witness not only the joining of a man and woman in the holy act of marriage but also they witness moments of remembrance, of nostalgia, of deep feelings that lie inside the emotions contained in the selected songs. Because of their usage inside such beautiful celebrations, these songs have been given the title of wedding songs, as long as they are considered appropriate to a wedding celebration.
One of the weddings I have witnessed before as a guest on the bride’s part, was an African American wedding where black wedding songs were the ones to be heard throughout the entire celebration of the event. From the moment we stepped inside the chapel we were accompanied by these songs most of them pertaining to the gospel style. It was my first time I took part in an African American wedding celebration and to be honest I had no idea that actually the ceremony was meant to be performed in the classic style of a Western traditional wedding. The only difference was the presence of the powerful gospel music which gave goose-bumps all over my body seized with deep emotions as the gospel chorus kept on performing during the entire ceremony.
Lucky me that there was a ceremony program waiting for us on each seat, otherwise I would have had no ideas on the black wedding songs that were played during the wedding ceremonial. And as such now I can say that the one selected for the groom entrance was called “because of you”, the one for the bride’s walking down the aisle was “Since I found you” by Vicki Winans, for the part where the couple exchanged vows and handed over the rings was chosen “With this ring” by Duwane Starling, and for their exit “Lord, I lift her up” performed by Jesse Campbell.
When the reception part came into the picture, the couple’s parents have organized a beautiful African dances program as prelude to the actual wedding reception with African drummers to play those impressive djembes (drums made of goat skin tightly caught in a round format of the instrument) and voices of women dancers to follow the sounds of the drums again made my skin all goose-bumped.
After this performance of traditional Afrcian dances, the reception began and the song played for father and bride to dance to was chosen “You are the sunshine of my life” by Stevie Wonder, for mother and son dance was selected “Dear mama” performed by Tupac, and the one to accompany the steps of a bride and the groom in the moment of their first dance was “You complete me” by Keshia Coles.
And plenty of other black musicians songs followed on the list as appropriate to a wedding reception and because jazz, R&B and soul styles of music pertain to these African American composers, their tunes are often preferred as favorite songs on the list of the music selection for the biggest celebration in the life of a couple.11