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Column: Music session

Wedding planning is an interesting thing to tackle. You have to make a lot of big decisions right away like picking a date and a venue. Next, you have to figure out who will be in the wedding party, pick a wedding dress, pick a theme and take engagement photos. You also must decide where to rent tuxes and what they will look like, picture your floral arrangements and decide on what food to serve, etc. The list seems never-ending at the beginning.

My fiancé, Tim, and I have reached a stage where a lot of the main things have been decided, now we just have to figure out the timeline to be sure everything gets accomplished before the big day arrives.

An important part of the ceremony to me is the music. In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably a rather minor detail; however to me, the music performed at a wedding can be the most beautiful part of the puzzle. Expressing faith and love in song showcases these in the perfect way. It’s perhaps the reason why I am drawn to musicals as much as I am. Words can be beautiful. Words in perfect melody and harmony go beyond beauty, in my opinion.

This is why Tim told me I could choose whomever I wanted to sing at our wedding. Carrie Underwood was booked up, so I had to look more locally.

In all seriousness, I had a few people in mind who I knew would do a wonderful job. I have been lucky enough to know a lot of wonderful singers in my life. When it came down to who I wanted to sing at my wedding, I really needed to look no farther than my old high school halls.

Sheryl Mullikin was my vocal teacher for my junior and senior years at GMG High School. She was and still is one of my favorite teachers ever. She taught me it was OK to just love to sing, no matter if it was in high school choir or in the car. Her husband, Alan, is a minister in a neighboring town and would help Sheryl with our musical productions at GMG. He has a background in the performing arts, and he has a great singing voice.

I knew they would do a wonderful job, and I would get the added bonus of working with them again. I called Sheryl at the beginning of the summer to be sure she and Alan would be willing to do it, and she graciously agreed. We had plenty of time to decide on music, so I waited a few months before contacting her again to go over possible song choices.

We will have at least two Christian songs, and I selected a book of duets that included some songs I thought would work. This past weekend, Tim and I visited them at their home to go over music, but mostly so we could catch up — I’ve seen them only a handful of times in the 10-plus years since I left high school. I wanted them to get to know Tim and make sure he understood why I choose this special couple to perform on our special day.

What I thought might last 30 to 40 minutes turned into a wonderful two hour visit full of laughter and song. I was asking a lot of the Mullikins to sight-read music, but they handled it like pros. We went through several options and have narrowed it down to three songs.

I expected to just sit and listen to them sing, but I got to join in as we sang “The Lord’s Prayer” for fun. The song has a lot of meaning to my family, so getting to sing it in a church on a Sunday was an exhilarating experience.

I can’t wait to get together with the Mullikins again to hear what they can do with the songs we choose. More importantly, I can’t wait until our wedding is here!

Contact Pam Rodgers at

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