Typically, this is the spot where we help readers manage their relationship issues. But today I’m being selfish and talking about ME.
I think I’ve earned a little narcissism. Well, more than the usual, anyway.
Today marks my 10th wedding anniversary to my beautiful bride, Javacia Harris Bowser. If you’re new around here and aren’t familiar with her work, to quote one of my bros, “I guess that says more about you than it does about her.” Allow Southern Living Magazine to tell you how awesome she is.
A decade after we exchanged rings, the memories that stand out the most from that day all involved music. From the ceremony to the reception, our playlist was meticulously curated. Every single song was handpicked, and for good reason — those melodies served as a backdrop for the most important day of our lives.
For the first time on these here Internets, I’m sharing the most memorable songs from our wedding playlist and how they set the tone for 10 years of matrimony.
Amel Larrieux, “Make Me Whole”
My future wife walked down the aisle to this song, sung by our friend Shannon Warfield. “My spirit flies when I say your name/If there’s one thing that’s true/It’s that I was born to love you” — many thug tears were shed that day.
Marc Broussard, “The Beauty of Who You Are”
Mr. Broussard serenaded out first dance, which honestly I was kinda dreading. I really wasn’t looking forward to 200 people staring and me and my new bride like two characters in a middle school play. But as corny as it may sound, no one else mattered once I took her hand. It’s like we were the only two people in the room. Until…
Jagged Edge, “Let’s Get Married Remix”
Near the end of our first dance, our DJ cut through Broussard and dropped the remix to “Let’s Get Married.” Some of the guests thought the guy goofed but nope, it was all part of our master plan. Once Javacia started waiving her arms around, everyone stampeded to the dance floor and practically stayed there the entire night.
Marcia Griffiths, “Electric Boogie”
Playa, it’s a wedding filled with black folks. OF COURSE we played the Electric Slide song. Fun fact: I’m probably the only African American on planet Earth who doesn’t know how to Electric Slide. I tried to slink away when the song hit, only to have one of my wife’s bridesmaids drag me back on the floor. “Everyone knows how to do the Electric Slide!” she said. And after 2 minutes of watching me stumble around like a newborn gazelle, she said “yeah I guess you don’t know how to do it.” Still, the sight of 200 people doing the dance in unison was awesome, like a scene from a Tyler Perry movie — one of the ones that DON’T suck, of course.
Juvenile, “Back That Thang Up”
So, I’m over on the sidelines talking to my mom about something when a majestic voice from the heavens beckoned:
CASH MONEY TAKING OVER FOR THE 99 AND THE 2000
My mom was talking to my shadow .000001 second later.
Busta Rhymes, “Touch It”
It was time for the cake cutting but the crowd was so hype that our DJ was hesitant to slow down the evening’s proceedings. Actually, I think he was just too afraid of pissing off the crowd — I don’t know if you know but alcohol + hip-hop + church folk can be a deadly combo. Give First Lady Prophetess Sister Patterson some Thunderbird and a hip-hop playlist and she’ll take out half of ISIS single-handedly. Anyway, after we finally got the crowd calm enough to join us for the cutting of our wedding cake, DJ Brain Surgeon decided to play Busta’s “Touch It” and IMMEDIATELY half the crowd ran back to the dance floor. NO CAKE FOR Y’ALL.
The Notorious B.I.G., “Hypnotize”
I don’t typically dance. At all. But when I hear a song I REALLY like, my soul is suddenly overtaken by the spirit of Usher Raymond. All it took was Biggie to drop that trademark “UH! UHHH!” and I was literally Harlem Shaking out of my tux. My dad was like “since when could you dance like that?” Since Big Poppa, poppa.
ODB, “Got Your Money”
Like the majesty of the Aurora Borealis, I’m not sure how it came to be but you have to admire its beauty: My mother-in-law — a less pimpish version of Momma Dee from Love & Hip-Hop — and our wedding photographer, the incomparable Matt Stone, somehow, someway engaged in a dance off to ODB’s hit. The crowd was going ballistic and swear the walls were shaking. If Vine existed back then we’d all be social media icons.
The magic of that day set the tone for 10 years of bliss — a love that has touched down in Louisville, Ky., but spread to California, Seattle, Virginia and currently Birmingham, Ala. Ten years down, infinity to go. Let’s keep making music together, Javacia.