'Rachel Getting Married' depicts a wedding that raises the bar on having music at your wedding that is played by friends, where you have an endless number of music-playing friends, who play in an endless number of styles, except for any style one might consider classical or non-rootsy.
My friend Andrew, who earns part of his living playing classical string music for weddings, will now be getting all sorts of odd requests he won't be able to meet.
"We'd like a quartet consisting of lute, guitar, ethnic percussion and violin. They will play at each of our meals, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding and the wedding banquet. We want them there the entire weekend, from the first morning as the overnight guests trickle in, to the morning after the wedding while they are leaving. They should be sitting around everywhere, noodling around, tuning up, improvising, and never taking a break unless told to shut up. At the wedding banquet they have to morph into a backup band for an annoying folk-roots singer.
We also want a 'White Stripes' style guitar-and-drums duo that will play really loud, but far away across the lawn, so they don't hurt our ears. They need to be content with not playing any actual rock music, but standards such as the Wedding March in Hendrix-playing-the-National-Anthem-at-Woodstock style.
All the other musicians, however, will be playing in extremely cramped spaces like tiny dining rooms and small tents. But don't worry, this will not be your ordinary gig. Everyone is really going to have a good time. All at the same time, all the time. They will all sway together and sing. Nobody, not even the groom's family and guests who haven't met anyone before, will be withdrawing into a contemplative mood, or feel shy or disconnected to the group mood. Well, there might be one person in whom we'll concentrate all the types of dissatisfaction that someone at a wedding might experience. Because that would make a good story.
By the wedding banquet, it should seem to our guests like we've already reached our peak, but wait until the wild nighttime bachannale we'll have in a very cramped tent, with a soul band with five brass players and hot Brazilian dancers direct from Carnival de Rio. Can you supply that? By the way, the wedding is in Connecticut.
Bear in mind that our wedding party is extremely multi-cultural. The band should match this demographic, or if you can't do that, achieve it with outlandish costumes.
We're really looking forward to this!"