We’re really delighted to bring you the first in a series of interviews with brides and grooms for whom we have played, and who have very kindly agreed to share their advice and experience with those who are still at the planning stage and looking for some help.
Laura and Craig were married in the very beautiful Balbirnie House, winner of The Scottish Wedding Hotel of the Year for 2012, at the Scottish Hotel Awards. Over to Craig and Laura:
At what stage in the whole process did you start thinking about the music for your ceremony and reception?
We booked our venue and photographer 2 years and 3 months before our wedding date and then started thinking about music 6 months later, booking our band, and the Pleyel Quartet – I had been at the Scottish Wedding Directory Pamper Party, where the Pleyels were performing, and I booked them straight after that.
Because we were planning a religious ceremony, including two hymns, we knew that we wanted live music. We had chosen to have the ceremony at Balbirnie House, rather than in our church, for the convenience of our guests, so the church organ wasn’t an option. It als0 meant that the quartet could also provide the entertainment for our guests during the drinks reception, as well as the ceremony music.
We decided to go for something a bit different and choose a string quartet, as we enjoy the elegance of the strings!
How did you go about choosing the music for your ceremony and reception?
We found this quite difficult. We had agreed on everything in the planning process up until this point and found it hard to pick tunes that we both liked. We used you tube to search for string versions of different songs that we liked, along with listening to the samples on the Pleyels website, and finally agreed on the ceremony music.
We have a selection of short recordings of the quartet on our website, both to give an idea of the range of music we can play and to show how different the quartet can sound. There are classical pieces (such as the ever-popular Pachelbel ‘Canon’), as well as arrangements of well-known folk tunes – and jazzier pieces too.
We sent Laura and Craig a full quartet repertoire list (which is currently over six pages long!) and we were always on hand to give help, advice and suggestions if they needed it.
They settled on the following:
Processional Pachelbel ‘Canon’
‘The Wedding Song’ (to the melody of ‘Morning Has Broken’) and ‘One More Step Along The World I Go’ as their hymns
Signing ‘All You Need Is Love’
Recessional ‘Fly Me To The Moon’
We then gave the Pleyels control over the drinks reception music, although we did request music from the Pop and Film categories as found these more in keeping with our personalities.
It was easy for us to move from the Orangery, where the ceremony was being held, straight into the reception room. Once settled, we entertained the guests with a selection of film music including ‘Top Hat, White Tie and Tails’ and ‘Dancing Cheek to Cheek’.
Is there any advice you would give a bride or groom to be about the music for their ceremony and reception?
Compromise between yourselves and remember, it’s your day! Don’t worry too much about pleasing your guests! They will enjoy themselves. Choose music that you personally enjoy!
What did you enjoy most about having live music and a string quartet at your ceremony and reception?
I just loved the acoustic sounds – they sounded great in our venue. Having someone take over the responsibility of the music was great too. It took a great deal of the stress away, not having to worry about iPod playlists and controlling the music. Its amazing how versatile a quartet can be! I always associated quartets with classical music and its great to hear more modern pieces too!
A couple of words to sum up your big day?
Amazing, memorable and perfect! (thanks to all our suppliers that ensured everything went smoothly!).
And what are you enjoying most about married life?
Having more money and not having to save for a wedding! Sharing my husbands surname! And, although we had lived together for years, we somehow feel even more united now!
‘We just wanted to say a massive thank you for playing the music for our wedding ceremony and drinks reception. The music was lovely and brought a tear to my eye. I will certainly be recommending you.
Thanks again, Laura and Craig Watson x’
Thank you to Rob, of Lifetime Photography
for allowing us to use his images of Laura and Craig
Thank you to the wonderful team at Balbirnie House Hotel for making us so welcome