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The everyman's wedding playlist

OPINION

  • There's a good chance "My Girl" will be playing for the father-daughter dance.
There's a good chance "My Girl" will be playing for the… (Blend Images - Roberto Westbrook…)
March 13, 2014|By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins | RedEye

We're only weeks away from the annual Hunger Games of our twenties: wedding season. Fortunately in this case, the only thing being massacred is your bank account.

For those of you still in your early stages of adulthood, it goes like this for most of us: You graduate, get a crappy job, turn 25, then BOOM! All of a sudden you're in a seafoam green dress or a far-too-baggy tuxedo watching your college homie declare he or she won't shack with another soul for the rest of eternity. (This act will be repeated no less than 8 times over the next few years, unless you were in a sorority, then it might as well be 100.)

Wedding receptions used to be a time to kick back, take your shoes off and dance, but they have been hijacked by predictability, especially in the realm of music. Don't believe me? Below is a timeline of the music you will hear at every wedding reception you will attend this year.

6 p.m.: Reception begins.

6-7 p.m.: Cocktail hour, i.e. pop songs covered by an orchestra/Rat Pack tunes/Motown.

7:05 p.m.: Announcement that open bar is closing for dinner.

7:06 p.m.: Loud boos!

7:07-8 p.m.: See cocktail hour.

8:02 p.m.: First dance time. Like the sun rising in the morning, you can expect to hear either "Amazed" by Lonestar, "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake or "At Last" by Etta James. (If the couple is really cool, it'll be "Love On Top" by Beyonce.)

8:05 p.m.: Father-daughter dance time. This will either be Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely," Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable" or "My Girl" by The Temptations. Set your watch to it.

8:09 p.m.: Mother-son song: "In My Life" by the Beatles.

8:12 p.m.: DJ announces that the dance floor's open, leads off with either the Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout," unless you're at a black wedding. Then it's "Before I Let Go" by Maze.

8:43 p.m.: All Slide everything. Be it Cha Cha, Electric, Cupid Shuffle or the Wobble, it's time for a big line dance! Also, why isn't anyone wearing shoes?

8:54 p.m.: "Shout" by the Isley Brothers. Enough said.

8:59 p.m.: Grandma leaves.

9:01 p.m.: Songs recorded after 1980 are played.

9:04-9:56 p.m.: All the songs designed to facilitate random hookups are played, as well as the drunken requests (I was at a wedding where they played Master P's "Make 'Em Say Uhh!" It was a Top 5 life moment.)

9:57 p.m.: "Piano Man" and drunken swaying. Thanks for coming! Be sure to grab a party favor and to hydrate. You've got seven more of these before Labor Day!

>>Stay tuned for our 2014 Wedding Guide in select copies of RedEye on March 20 and online at redeyechicago.com/wedding and in our iPad edition on March 19.

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