A Hertfordshire Wedding: Danni & Stuart at Knebworth Barns

There really are some spectacular venues in the south east of the UK, and one such setting is Knebworth House & Barns in Herts. Autumn had set in, providing the perfect backdrop for the wedding of Danni and Stuart.

The couple had booked me to perform during their ceremony, afternoon reception drinks and wedding breakfast. Danni walked down the aisle while I sang Amazed by Lonestar, then I performed I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You by Elvis Presley and Have I Told You Lately by Van Morrison during the signing of the register. The newly-married pair then exited the ceremony to Stand By Me by Ben E. King. All of these songs are classic suggestions that were a pleasure to play.

Knebworth Barns offers plenty of good opportunities for photos outside, so Danni and Stuart headed out with their guests to achieve those key shots. Once they returned to the barn, I performed a chilled out set as … Continue reading

A Kent Wedding: Sarah & Sam at Preston Court

It’s not often that I venture to Kent for a wedding, but what a pleasure this was, and what a venue! Preston Court is a sprawling estate located not far from Canterbury and features a lovely main house, outside barns and a quaint courtyard. The owner of the venue is also a steam train enthusiast, and has an impressive collection of locomotives spread around the place.

For Sarah and Sam, I was booked to play during the wedding ceremony and the afternoon reception drinks. The ceremony took place on a little island surrounded by water and accessed via a white bridge. Guests were seated on the other side of the water, while the bridal party, including those who were performing readings, made their way onto the island. The couple chose A Thousand Years by Christina Perri for the procession, Perfect by Ed Sheeran and The One by Kodaline for the signing of the register, and Crashed The Wedding by Busted … Continue reading

A Destination Wedding: Megan & Nick in Cavtat, near Dubrovnik, Croatia

I’ve already been fortunate to perform at several weddings in Italy, and now I was invited to travel to Croatia to play for Megan and Nick. Cavtat, on the Adriatic Coast, is a stunning town and the setting of Hotel Croatia could not have been more beautiful.

The couple had booked me for the full day, including ceremony, afternoon drinks reception, wedding breakfast and first dance. Guests gathered for the ceremony in all manner of formal and informal attire, and the groomsmen were wearing full black tie. Fair play to them – they looked great but must’ve been boiling!

Before long the ceremony was underway, and was conducted in Croatian as well as English. The couple chose

The picturesque wedding ceremony.

I played instrumental music as guests took their seats.

The town of Cavtat is a real gem.

I sang as Megan … Continue reading

A Cambridgeshire Wedding: Jasmine & Allan at Bassmead Manor Barns, St. Neots

It was my first time travelling to Bassmead Manor Barns in Cambridgeshire, and what a venue! It has a very rustic feel but is also contemporary. Jasmine and Allan chose well.

I was booked to perform during the ceremony, afternoon drinks reception / canapés, during the wedding breakfast and for the first dance. Jasmine had chosen an instrumental version of You Are The Reason by Calum Scott to walk down the aisle to. I then played Someone Like You by Van Morrison and Lego House by Ed Sheeran while the register was signed. The newly-married couple exited the ceremony room to Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher by Jackie Wilson, a great exit song choice, as I discussed in my recent choosing ceremony music post.

The ceremony was held in a beautiful setting.

It is always a pleasure to play for such a delightful couple as Jasmine and Allan.

Continue reading

How to Choose Music for Your Wedding Ceremony

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

A London Wedding: Kim & Will at Greenwich Yacht Club

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

Life behind the lens: The ultimate guide to wedding photography from camera extraordinaire Tom Halliday

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

A Destination Wedding in Italy: Sam and Charly, Lucca (Tuscany, Italy) June 2018

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

A London Wedding: Sarah and Michael at Kew Gardens

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

A Wedding On The Water in Herts : Jack & Michelle, Ware Priory

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