Your wedding day is one that you will never forget, and it all begins with the ceremony. There are two main types of wedding ceremony: one that takes place in a church, and one that does not – often referred to as a civil ceremony.
A civil ceremony is conducted by a registrar or celebrant, and there will be a second registrar present to ensure that the official documents are signed properly and the marriage is properly recorded. This ceremony generally includes a declaration that both parties are free to marry, an exchange of vows and rings, and sometimes readings by guests. Over the years I have heard very formal and sincere readings that cite everything from classical poetry to Winnie The Pooh.
A church ceremony tends to be longer than a civil ceremony, and may also include readings by the priest who is officiating, as well as the singing of hymns.
Weather permitting, it is … Continue reading
It’s always nice getting out to see new places and playing at new locations. Visiting Greenwich Yacht Club on the south bank of the river Thames for the wedding of Kim and Will was a lovely day out! The couple wanted acoustic guitar music for their ceremony, drinks reception and first dance, plus an additional evening set to keep guests entertained.
Kim chose ‘Grow Old With Me’ by Tom Odell to walk down the aisle to, and ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars to walk back down as a newly-married couple. The clubhouse of the yacht club provided the perfect setting for the ceremony; plenty of natural light and splashes of colour. It was a very informal, relaxed setting and guests really enjoyed chilling out in the sunshine during the afternoon.
After the ceremony, I moved outside onto the decking to play some more songs while guests had canapés and reception drinks. Old school songs such as ‘All You Need Is … Continue reading
Wedding photos are timeless, precious memories that endure years after your big day is over. But how do you make sure that your wedding pictures are as perfect as possible? What do you have to bear in mind when selecting a photographer? In this post, I speak to Tom Halliday. Tom founded Tom Halliday Photography in 2010 and he is now one of the UK’s most established and highly regarded shooters, putting his unique spin on couples’ special moments with a combination of talent and charisma…
How did you become interested in photography?
When I was at school I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was a sponsored skateboarder and we were meant to be going on tour, but I broke my arm badly, so instead of skating I picked up my camera. My dad had bought it for my 16th birthday: a Pentax MZ-90 with digital film. As soon as I started taking photos I thought … Continue reading
When Sam and Charly asked me to play at their wedding at Villa Grabau near Lucca in Italy recently, I was in the fortunate position of having already sung at a wedding abroad. Last year I played for Jess and Nik’s big day on Lake Como, so I know that it would be logistically possible. It was a case of getting my guitar through security at the airport, purchasing an extra seat and bringing what I could!
Sam and Charly’s wedding was organised by Wiskow and White, a partnership between Lucy and Danielle that ensured the day ran seamlessly. Lucy had liaised with the DJ, who provided me with the required speakers, speaker stands, mixing desk and mic stand.
Lined by orange and lemon trees, Villa Grabau is a remarkable sight.
Guests were very pleased to get their hands on some ice cream during the aperitivo.
The … Continue reading
I don’t often venture into London to sing at weddings, but when I do, the venues can be breathtaking. That is certainly true of Kew Gardens, where I recently played for the wedding breakfast and first dance of Sarah and Michael.
Earlier in the day, guests were treated to a tour of the gardens while the couple had their photos taken. The evening reception was held in The Orangery, which functions as a cafe during the day for visitors to Kew. The building is absolutely stunning, and its high ceilings and hard floors were perfect for carrying music to everyone’s ears.
The cake looked ever so tasty. It is always placed temptingly close to where I’m singing!
Beautiful decorations adorned the two long tables.
Building up to the first dance…
Security at the venue is very tight and only a few cars are allowed … Continue reading
On a sweltering day in May I was booked to perform at the wedding of Jack and Michelle. The ceremony took place at Ware Priory in Hertfordshire, and for the afternoon reception guests boarded a boat set for Stanstead Abbots. It was my job to provide music for the ceremony and for the boat trip, including the couple’s first dance.
For the ceremony, Michelle had chosen to walk down the aisle to an instrumental version of Paramore’s ‘The Only Exception’. For her exit with Jack at the end of formal proceedings, they asked me to play an instrumental version of ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles. It seemed I was saving my voice for later!
After moving my equipment on to the tug boat and setting up, guests started to embark. Jack and Michelle had invited around 50 friends and family to celebrate with them on the water. The professional team at http://www.leeandstortboats.co.uk were there to … Continue reading
For the wedding of Ross and Hannah at South Farm in Herts, I played three sets: one for afternoon reception drinks, one during the wedding breakfast and one for the turnaround when evening guests arrived.
The couple’s ceremony took place onsite and guests then poured out into the courtyard. Ice cream was on offer, made fresh at the venue, and although it wasn’t a hot day, friends and family still took full advantage!
South Farm is a very picturesque venue and a number of animals including pigs and geese came out to say hello to us during the day…
Following the first drinks reception, guests made their way into the barn. Ross and Hannah had chosen to have their speeches before the meal rather than at the end, which seems to be an increasingly popular option. The father of the bride, groom and best men definitely get to enjoy their meals more this way, without having to be … Continue reading
Playing at the wedding of Kirsty and Adam was my first visit to Hengrave Hall in Suffolk, and what an impressive venue it is! A very imposing and grand building, I drove up the long entrance driveway and was excited to make my debut there. The weather was a little grey and misty, but this only added to the splendour of Hengrave.
I performed some more upbeat numbers during the wedding breakfast
I played right up to the start of the speeches.
Hengrave Hall was a very grand setting to sing in.
Kirsty and Adam had a fabulous wedding cake.
I played for Kirsty and Adam during their afternoon reception drinks and the wedding breakfast. The drinks took place in a beautiful drawing room with hard floors and wood panelling, which was great for the acoustics. The couple had not been very specific about what they wanted … Continue reading
I recently performed at the wedding of Betty and Eric at Quendon Hall, Parklands in Essex. I am quite a regular at Parklands and have sung there many times. However, Betty and Eric’s day was a little different. They did not have a DJ, and it was my job to provide all of the musical entertainment. With my trusty guitar and Bose PA system, I was up for the challenge!
The couple had enjoyed a traditional Chinese tea ceremony in addition to the wedding ceremony earlier that day. It was quite a small party of 40 or so guests, which made for a very intimate evening.
Eric and Betty chose Stand By Me as their first dance, and confetti cannons were fired during the performance.
All of the guests enjoyed Eric’s speech, which followed the meal.
The couple were a pleasure to play for, and I even managed to correctly … Continue reading
Your wedding rings are a fundamental part of your special day. An unbroken circle, they represent you and your partner’s married life together. For this post I speak to Colin Tuson of COO Jewellers, who has been advising couples in Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, London and beyond about wedding jewellery for many years, from the company’s bases at Martels Wedding Village in Essex and Hatton Garden in London. Colin shares his many years of experience and top tips below. If you are looking to choose a ring, his advice will come in very handy…
What is important to bear in mind when selecting rings? Your wedding ring is something that you’ll want to wear for the rest of your life, so it has to have the wow factor. Whether you want a traditional band or something more individual, it is important that a ring complements the bride’s engagement ring and suits a couple’s personal style. That said, … Continue reading