In this song, Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox proposes a quickie wedding, the kind that take place in Las Vegas in venues like The Graceland Wedding Chapel, Cupid's Wedding Chapel, and The Little Neon Chapel. Why wait when they can get hitched right away? Besides, it will save a bundle.
"Why Wait" was the first single from Rascal Flatts' seventh album, Nothing Like This. The song was written by Neil Thrasher, Tom Shapiro and Jimmy Yeary and was their first release on Big Machine Records, which picked them up after their original label, Lyric Street, closed up shop.
Big Machine must have been pleased with their investment when the song went to #1 on the Country chart, their first in the new decade and 11th overall. Like all their previous albums, Nothing Like This went on to sell over a million copies, but the group's appeal started to fade over the next few years and they called it quits in 2020.
Bassist Jay DeMarcus told The Boot why they chose this song as the lead single from Nothing Like This. "Right when we heard 'Why Wait,' it instantly caught my attention as we were listening down through literally hundreds of songs on our [compilation] CDs," he explained. "I kept going back to that one, because it's such a unique melody and such a unique feel for us. It's actually a shuffle, and we've never recorded a shuffle before. I remember I had a phone conversation with Gary [LeVox, Rascal Flatts' lead singer] and I said, 'Man, the second song on this comp, 'Why Wait,' is really, really different for us and really catchy, and I think it could really showcase our harmonies.' So when we went into the studio, we knew instantly that it was something special for us, and it was going to be a showcase piece on the album. Didn't know it was going to be the first single by any means, but as we listened back through to some of the songs as we started to get the vocals on them, it just rose above the rest, and it became a no-brainer."
The song should not be confused with "Why
," a single from Rascal Flatts' previous album.
The song entered the Hot 100 at #48 for the week of September 4, 2010, the highest debut of Rascal Flatts' career on that chart.
Neil Thrasher and Jimmy Yeary explained to The Boot that much of the song's inspiration came from their wives - Lana Thrasher and Sonya Isaacs-Yeary (of The Isaacs):
Yeary: "I showed up to a writing appointment with Tom Shapiro, and I didn't have an idea that day. Right before I walked in Tom's office, I got a text message saying he had to run by the studio to close a mix and he was going to be about 40 minutes late. I was like, 'Phew, I've got time to come up with something.' What I like to do is turn on my digital recorder and whatever happens I'll get on tape – maybe it's something magical. I still have the recording of the melody to 'Why Wait.' In my head, I just thought up that opening lick. Tom came in from closing the mix, and he loved it. He thought it would make a tremendous Flatts song. He told me he was writing with Neil the next day. He presented it to Neil, and Neil loved it. We got together the following Friday to write it."
Thrasher: "We were at Tom's office. We all got together, and we started talking like we always do before we write. It all initiated really from Jimmy – the melody and the feel. Jimmy came up with the opening signature guitar lick. It was really good. He was humming this melody over it."
Yeary: "Sonya and I were newly married, so all I could talk about was that. I had just completely told our story about us deciding to get married after dating for only three months. Then Neil told me about how him and his wife had gotten married quickly."
Thrasher: "Lana and I actually eloped. We are always pulling from that experience when we write, and we did again with this song, especially."
Yeary: "We decided to write 'Why Wait' because it was certainly something we both could relate to since we both got married so quickly. After we finished the song, it got demoed a week later. We knew the Flatts were going in the studio soon. Sonya and I went on a Caribbean cruise. We had no cell service for a couple of days. I knew they were cutting songs, and I had no way of calling anybody back home to find out if I had gotten this Rascal Flatts cut. We finally dock, and we get some phone service. I called, and my publisher said, 'Congratulations on your Rascal Flatts cut.' I'm hootin' and hollerin', and Sonya hears me and starts hootin' and hollerin'. It was an incredible moment."
The Billy Zabka-directed music video was shot in Las Vegas, Nevada. Actor David Arquette plays the man who proposes to his girlfriend. You can also play "spot the star" by looking out for cameos by comedian Ron White, singer Wayne Newton, magician Penn Jillette, and Rick Harrison from the History Channel. The video was clearly inspired by the movie The Hangover, which was released the previous year.
Their tour to support the album was called Flatts Fest, a day-long event leading up to showtime with karaoke, a dunk tank, and various carnival games. To tie in with this song, they also had the "Why Wait Wedding Chapel" (actually a tent) and ran contests with radio stations to send couples to Vegas to renew their vows.