This felt like a good subject for the beginning of the wedding season of 2018. I have been performing at weddings for over a decade now, so have a lot of experience. I honestly could not tell you how many I have been a part of. All over the country; London, Kent, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Essex. I think the longest drive I’ve done for a wedding is six hours there and back.
On the day of a wedding, I will always make sure I arrive an hour before I have to start playing, so that I have enough time to set up and tune the Harp and change into which ever dress I might be wearing that day. If I’m playing during the ceremony, I will always make sure I have a chance to speak to the registrar, possibly the groom, and definitely the staff so that I can get that all important cup of coffee!
During the ceremony I typically play four pieces. As you can imagine, because I take requests, the amount of repertoire I have accumulated over the years is fantastic. I play as the bride walks in, two during the signing of the register, and another as the bride and groom walk out. I think the best request I have EVER had was the Star Wars Theme Tune.
I then normally play during the drinks reception, in which I will play a whole mix of genres; pop, jazz, classical, folk, Disney. I like to play a mix because there tends to be such a wide range in the age of the guests and I think it is important to appeal to everyone’s taste.
Before the actual day of the wedding, there is a fair bit of work to be done. Writing up of confirmations and invoices, making
sure there is good communication with the bride and groom, a consultation at my home if necessary. The consultation is a great thing to do because it gives everyone a chance to feel more ready for the day, choosing what music you will have played at your wedding is very exciting. Then there is the chance to get to know each other a little bit, which is a great opportunity and ensures that it will be a lovely day.
The other side of being a harpist is making sure you look the part, you have to make sure your dress will not clash with the chosen colour scheme and it is important to look smart and presentable. Nice hair and make up is a must.
When it comes to learning new repertoire for weddings, I always tend to use my weekly background gigs to practice performing the tunes ready for the wedding. I do not normally need more than a week, but I do prefer to be prepared in advance, making sure I’m 100% confident with my performance.
So as you can see, there is a lot that goes into being a Wedding Harpist. It is a really lovely part of my job that brings me a lot of joy and it’s all about making the bride and groom’s day special. If you have any questions or an enquiry, please feel free to get in touch.
Thank you for reading and see you next time!