Guess what guys? Today’s awesome guest poster… drum roll please… is a man! Isn’t it exciting and refreshing to hear from the Y chromosome in the wedding world? Well I think it is, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Jimmy writes a great blog called Founding a Father, the slogan of which is “Forming a new nation? Not bad but try raising girls.” As one of three girls in my family without any brothers, I quite enjoy that clever little line. I also feel like this post is perfect for the week of Father’s Day because a) the writer is a father and writes a blog about it, and b) his first dance song at his wedding (which he’s about to tell us about) was one of my favorites from childhood because my dad used to sing it to me! Ok, let’s get to the good stuff, shall we? Here’s Jimmy.
Music moves us. It inspires us. It links us back to unforgettable times in our lives. Some good. Some bad. But none the less, driving in your car suddenly you hear a song that transports you back to your prom, or first kiss, family vacations, or in this case…a wedding.
Weddings. Brides-To-Be have been known to put more thought and planning in to their weddings
than the Allied Forces did for D-Day. Everything from the proper dress train length measured down to
the millimeter to the perfectly painted pastel bridesmaid dresses, and on it goes to the multi-tiered cakes that put the engineering of suspension bridges to shame. Of all the things the grooms are subjected to (and yet have no official say over) the one item on the list of necessities the wedding (read: her wedding) needs is the perfect song.
Wrapped around the slow melodies and the lyrical sentimentality of a Hallmark card, lies the keystone of every happy couple’s first dance. This is where ‘Time in a Bottle’ comes in to play as a part of my wedding and an indelible part of my life.
Alicia and I came to the decision to dance our first dance as man and wife to Jim Croce’s ‘Time in a Bottle’ after deliberations that rivaled the Health Care debate. We had the daunting task of hashing out our first dance song when we sat down with our DJ and after we sifted through our playlist and what could and what could not be requested during our reception, (Out was Billy Idol’s Mony Mony. The thought of my 70 year old grandmother singing ‘Hey Hey what, get laid get…I think you know the rest, with my drunk friends was a little too much to handle). We were attempting to find the song that said what we both felt without being completely and overtly sappy. My (soon to be) wife had Shania Twain, some country band, and Celine Dion on her list. I had Metallica (it was a joke that Alicia found no humor in whatsoever).
So I threw out a suggestion of Jim Croce’s ‘Time in a Bottle’. I had long listened to his music and was familiar with ‘Time in a Bottle’. Alicia scoffed at the suggestion because up until that very moment, her knowledge of Jim Croce’s songs was limited to ‘Bad Leroy Brown’ (who is in fact meaner than a junkyard dog) and ‘You Don’t Mess Around with Jim’. I whisked her into my 1999 VW Jetta, put in my Jim Croce tape (believe it or not there was a time before Satellite radio and Mp3 players in cars) and played the song for her. And as the last lines of the song were sung…
“I’ve looked around enough to know…That you’re the one I want to go…Through time with”
Celine Dion, that country band, and Shania Twain were forgotten in an instant for a song that encapsulated all we had felt. A song that never says the words ‘Love’ or ‘We made it’ or any other clichéd rock ballad or pop song lyric, and yet managed to convey the devotion we both felt every time we looked at each other or when our hands even gently brushed together.
April 1st, 2000 we are introduced as husband and wife to a few hundred of our closest family and
friends and our first dance is upon us. The lights went down along the perimeter of people and
spotlights shone down on the 2 x 2 square pieces of the dance floor in the reception hall to highlight
Alicia and I. As Jim Croce crooned, I lost myself in her. My senses were flooded with everything from the
awe of the day, to how beautiful she looked at that moment, to the smell of her perfume. Every lyric fit
with the emotions of the day. There was no one at that moment (and today) I could imagine sharing my
life with. Everything felt right.
Jim kept on singing:
“If I could save time in a bottle… The first thing that I’d like to do… Is to save everyday… Till Eternity passes away… Just to spend them with you”
“If I could make days last forever… If words could make wishes come true… I’d save every day like a
treasure and then… Again, I would spend them with you.”
If I had a soundtrack to my life, then that soundtrack would have ‘Time in a Bottle’ in it because it takes me back to 11 years ago. It takes me back to a time when I was younger and maybe a bit more romantic. It takes me back to my ’99 Jetta as Alicia and I leaned in closely to the tape deck to listen to what would become “our” song. And it takes me back to my wedding day and the dance floor as I held my new wife in my arms. Every lyric to the song perfectly befitting how we felt. And no matter where I am when I hear it, ‘Time in a Bottle’ fills my senses with the awe of our wedding day and the depth of love I was in and remain in with my wife.
Such a sweet and beautifully written story. And, for the record, that song would be in my life soundtrack too! Thanks so much Jimmy for sharing with us, it’s been a privilege to have you.