Last weekend, Darren Criss sang at some gay wedding. And while Darren’s boyish good looks might entertain your Fire Island friends with short attention spans, he is definitely not the first artist to come to mind when planning my dream wedding.
So I’ve imagined a world where gay marriage is legal everywhere, and top entertainers are vying to serenate me down the isle.
When coming up with the list I took into account singing talent obviously (sorry, Nicki Minaj) but also the artist’s ability to convey a romantic side for the sake of all the lovebirds (sorry Alanis and Adele, you girls got dumped way too many times).
And while booking LGBT allies like Criss and Pink and Cyndi Lauper might help infuse my wedding with even more political panache, how about booking artists who have not been so open about supporting our community? They say the best way to show sanctioning of someone’s marriage is by showing up to the ceremony.
Wedding Song:“Peach Trees” (watch him dedicate the song to his husband-to-be Jorn Weisbrod in Vienna)
Even though he was once a self-proclaimed commitment phobe, the popera pianist is celebrating his own marriage nuptials this Thursday. His grandiose orchestral arrangements could certainly fill a cathedral and his sweet piano melodies can melt even the staunchest of hearts in the audience. Wainwright is also famous for his phenomenal renditions of “Across the Universe,” “Hallelujah” and Judy Garland’s catalogue.
Wedding Song: “If I Ain’t Got You” (watch her performing it live at the Grammy’s)
If the breakout “Fallin'” had Keys confused about how she felt for a guy, then her follow-up smash “If I Ain’t Got You” had absolutely zero reservations when it came to matters of the heart. The singer and world-class pianist rewrote the age old love over money song trope with the type of soulful performance you don’t see very often and would certainly make for a memorable wedding moment.
Mumford & Sons
Wedding Song: “I Will Wait” (watch the band perform their upcoming single for the first time in New Jersey)
The British folk-rockers play the type of music that makes you want to stomp around barefoot on the grass, clapping your hands along to the drum beats and shouting the lyrics full-heartedly above the relentless banjo. In other words, a very merry celebration. Their much-anticipated upcoming album, Babel, continues the group’s affinity for gut-wrenching lovelorn folk anthems.
Florence & the Machine
Wedding Song: “Cosmic Love” (watch the performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert)
Live, Florence Welch exudes a bewitching persona similar to Stevie Nicks. Her voice pierces the furthest reaches of an outside venue and indoors, she is equally powerful as an intimate performer. Fitting to her presence and voice, Florence’s songs typically tackle romance with an otherworldly force.
Wedding Song: “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” (watch him sing the song at the White House)
The living legend and Obama’s fervent endorser still puts on one of the best live shows in the world, one that all your extended family can sing along to. In his most recent performance at the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco, Wonder gave flawless renditions of love classics “Signed, Sealed, Deliver” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” All throughout, he was outspoken with inspirational messages of brotherly love, equality and overall kindness.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Wedding Song: “MAPS” (watch them perform the song in a New York City club)
The band from New York may come off as too noisy, gritty and studded to play at a wedding, but their breakout hit “MAPS” continues to make hipsters shed a tear whenever it comes on NPR. Although the title could easily be a reference to distance and being separated from once’s lover, it’s actually an acronym for My Angus Please Stay — Angus being lead singer Karen O’s boyfriend at the time. “MAPS” was declared the best alternative love song of all time by NME the year it came out.
Wedding Song: “Ordinary People” (watch him perform the song for AOL’s acoustic sessions)
There’s something about most male R&B singers that they tend to equate love with sex, and most of their “love ballads” revolve around mentions of all-night sex benders on the kitchen floor or making a woman’s inner thighs tingle or worrying that the moans are so loud they’re going to wake up the neighbors. Fortunately John Legend has the songwriting prowess to make R&B songs that tug at the heartstrings.
Wedding Song: “I Believe in You” (watch the ballad version of her hit that appeared on the Kylie Show)
Out of all the female performers overcrowding today’s pop diva royal court, Kylie Minogue seems like the only one classy enough to invite to a wedding, let alone have her perform at ours. And despite the costumes, the overly theatrical live shows, the sculpted Greek gods she employs to carry her around the stage, Kylie still seems like the most earnest Maid of Honor we’ll never have. And unlike her breast-baring, hair-dying, sex tape-leaking contemporaries, some of Kylie’s best songs happen to be beautiful love ballads.
Wedding Song: “Islands” (watch them perform the song at Glastonbury music festival)
The male/female duo alternate singing in most of the songs, which may be a little too traditional a set-up for a gay wedding, but what better band to perform at a marriage ceremony than one who’s upcoming album is called Coexist? “Islands” off their freshman album is the story of no longer searching the world for what’s right here: love.
The Rolling Stones
Wedding Song: “Wild Horses” (watch the band performing the song on their 40th anniversary tour)
We bet not even Chris Hughes nor Peter Thiel could afford having Mick Jagger crooning the timeless classic at their nuptials, but hey! It’s called dream wedding for a reason, right?
BOY TOYS TALK BACK: Which artist would you have perform at your dream wedding?