FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Marcia and Todd Fleming tied the knot Saturday in this western suburb of Boston, then followed their guests to the Chateau de l’Argent function room for a reception that Marcia’s father likened to “buying a new BMW and driving it off a cliff” in terms of expenditure per minute. “She’s our little girl,” Marcia’s mother chides him, “and she’ll only get married for the first time once.”
While the ceremony was traditional, guests at the reception noted a departure from convention when the bride and groom took the floor for the first dance. Instead of a schmaltzy song such as “We’ve Only Just Begun,” Todd and Marcia clasped each other, exchanged sly glances, then began to move to a tune whose introduction sounded familiar to those in attendance, but which no one could identify until Jo Ellen Musriki, the wedding singer, gave voice to its lyrics.
“I’ve got that Kress Market feeling–from the top of my head to the tips of my toes,” she sang, belting out the jingle for the regional supermarket chain where the two first met in front of the frozen entrée case. Dubious looks soon turned into smiles as the love the young couple felt for each other radiated outwards from the dance floor, a testimony to the power of shallow advertising content to inspire deep and lasting emotional attachments.
“People over 40 got some break from commercials when their mothers turned off the TV and told them to go outside to play,” says communications professor Kyle Northrop of the University of Iowa-Keokuk. “Kids in their twenties just went to their rooms and turned on their laptops. As a result, while older people believe that an apple can sometimes be a fruit, younger people think it is exclusively a manufacturer of personal electronic devices.”
While disagreements over “our song” are still subordinate to larger issues such as a prospective mate’s education, financial prospects and disgusting personal habits, misunderstandings can flare up when a wedding reception band asks for a playlist before a couple has reached agreement. “You want to dance to the Dentu-Kleen toothpaste song?” Ellen Bierstock says with ill-suppressed rage to her fiancé Mike Quirk while Ken Fulstrop, the manager of The Velour-matics, stares at the ceiling hoping to stay out of the conflict. “I thought we agreed on the Mazur Department Store jingle!”