Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Having a Mod wedding: Part II - That's entertainment

I mentioned in Preparing a Mod Wedding that music was the central theme for our special day. We basically based the ceremony on a Soul and Rock concert with us being the main act.

One of the hardest decisions we had to make had to do with the songs we would play walking down the aisle. I finally settled on The Precisions’ 1964 Northern Soul hit (Just Like) Romeo & Juliet. I just love that song. It’s upbeat, funny and accurately reflects my quirky personality.

I wasn’t looking for a solonel march to the alter. I wanted to burst in dancing and singing. And that’s exactly what I did. I think the “audience” was pleasantly surprised when Ben, Eric and Christophe jumped up and joined me as my back vocals, swaying to the beat in harmony.

Nikki walked in on one of our all-time favorite songs, It Must Be Love by Madness. No Here comes The Bride for her! It took my lovely lady a while before settling on that song. It’s easy to fall in the tacky and cliché trap. When she revealed her final choice to me, I had no idea she even liked that song. I was elated! The most important part was that I hadn’t associated that song to an ex-girlfriend.

The exit song was quickly picked. All Day And All of The Night by The Kinks was an obvious choice for us. We didn’t want your typical slow paced romantic tune. We wanted to leave on a bang! Obviously, we didn’t take the traditional route. Besides, this was far from being a traditional ceremony. So as soon as I kissed the bride, we put on our shades, turned around and rocked down the aisle. The party was on!

We opted for Signed, Sealed, Delivered by the legendary Stevie Wonder to be introduced for the first time as husband and wife. “Here I am baby. Signed, sealed, delivered. I’m yours,” sounds pretty appropriate for the occasion.

DJ Papa Bill took care of setting the mood during dinner spinning the best sweet soul music the 60s had to offer.

To kick off the evening’s festivities, I had a little surprise in store for the bride. I had been practicing for a month, in secret, a song that is one of our guilty pleasures. Appropriately enough, I sang Adam Sandler’s ballad I Wanna Grow Old With You from the movie The Wedding Singer. Far from a being a Mod classic, my partner in crime, guitarist Daniel Fiocco from Mod band Le Chelsea Beat, gave it a definite 60s groove. I might not have the sweet voice of Otis Redding or the power vocals of a Roger Daltrey but the important thing is that my wife seemed to genuinely enjoy it. I think I pulled it off!

We were very fortunate to have 3 great live acts as the night’s bona fide entertainment. First was my mate Eric’s band, Les Séparatwists. They gave us quite a performance. With classic hits like Peter Gunn, the James Bond and the Pink Panther theme, they had the floor packed in no time. I was touched when my father came up to me and said: “They’re amazing! I could listen to them all night.” I think the band was quite surprised when they were asked for an encore. The acclaim was well-deserved.

Next was Ben & Zoë, better known as The Soul Distributors. Black Clouds was to be our first dance. Let me tell you how amazing this 16-year-old singer is. Picture Amy Winehouse full of potential AND sober. When Ben sent me a link to his demo on YouTube, we both fell in love with his original composition. How can you not? Now if these guys don’t hit it big one day, there’s something wrong with this world. I’m just proud to say that they had their first public performance at our wedding. You should also check out Ben’s Soul record label in the making Papa Bill Records for updates.

Our final act of the evening was my favorite Power Pop French Mod trio, Kid Sentiment. They were dynamic to say the least. The added privilege you get when you tie the knot is that you get to ask the band to play your favorite songs off their new album. Available on iTune, give them a listen.

With the crowd warmed up, I had no problem keeping the guests moving with my own DJ set. Why DJ at your own wedding? I don’t know. I guess I like to see friends and family enjoy themselves and knowing that I lit the fire.

Eric took over and had no problem keeping the floor packed until the wee hours of the night.

Now that it's all said and done, I wouldn't change a thing. Except maybe for the fact that a had raging fever the whole night. But that must the effects of love. Now, off into the sunset...


  1. Sounds (and looks) like you guys made this a total party which it's all about in the end. That's what people remember most, which is awesome. (And I hope you guys avoided the traditional wedding party song 'We Are Family' throughout the evening!)

    We tried to incorporate all our tastes into our wedding night: Our friend Nick played jazz guitar as we walked down the aisle and his trio performed for people right after the ceremony. Then, our friend Mike's band played after dinner (a rock'n'soul affair) followed by DJ Alec who ended the evening with '60s soul/freakbeat/r&b/etc.

    What mattered most to us was to hear that people dug the party atmosphere!