At Thornton Manor wedding entertainment is a key element on the day. I’ve just got back from Si and Claire’s wedding and what a belter it was!
I had initially chatted with Si & Claire just under a year ago at a bridal fayre. They loved the idea of having someone playing and singing their favourite songs on a 6ft white baby grand piano. They were holding their wedding reception in the Lakeside Marquee. Great choice! I was duly booked to help create the mood they wanted for their special day.
As soon as the guests arrived for the drinks reception, I spotted two of my favourite wedding peeps: Mark Anson from Classic Bridal Cars and Phil Ritchie from Prestige Wedding Video & Photography. These guys are also born entertainers so the party was in full swing in no time.
Si and Claire liked a lot of the Rat Pack and swing repertoire, so I included a lot of that in my sets. Guests on the day also requested songs like All of Me (John Legend), A Thousand Years, How Long Will I love You, Lego House and of course You’ve Got A Friend In Mefrom Toy Story. I absolutely love this one too. It’s guaranteed to get the little ones up and dancing around in circles and they didn’t disappoint.
As the champagne glasses were being filled, I could see it wouldn’t be long till speeches. I decided to go for Hey Jude as the last song before speeches and the guests were with me all the way. After some very touching speeches, it was time for me to take my leave.
All the best to Si & Claire, a truly lovely couple! You’re wedding day was a belter! xx
Last Sunday, Pete and Corinna finally celebrated their own Hinderton Hall wedding. Theirs was the first wedding held at the new Hinderton Hall wedding venue after the extensive refurbishment earlier this year.
Pete & Corinna had been guests at another wedding I’d played at in Chester. They were looking at the same format for their own wedding. This meant performing during pre-ceremony, ceremony, drinks reception and the wedding breakfast.
Proceedings on the day were to be shared between the Manor House and the Chapter House. We began in the beautifully appointed Chapter House for the ceremony. I set up my white baby grand in the far corner where it would remain for the wedding breakfast later on.
The music for the wedding ceremony was as follows: Pachelbel’s Canon in D: to walk in to Forrest Gump Theme and
Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid): signing of the register You Are My Sunshine: to walk out to
From here, we moved over to the Manor House for the drinks reception. I had set up a piano keyboard to create a nice backdrop while guests enjoyed the canapés inside and occasional photographs in the sun outside.
By 3:30pm it was time to return to the Chapter House for the wedding breakfast. At this point, I played 2 special requests for the bride and groom: Chocolate by Snow Patrol and The Day We Caught The Train by Ocean Colour Scene. Characters on both tables nearest to me couldn’t wait for a singsong so the singing and banter was in full swing in no time. Perfect!
Bev and the team at Hinderton Hall took care of every detail and nothing was too much trouble. Everybody had a great time! After some very moving speeches at the end of the meal, it was time for a quick coffee before handing over to DJ Pete to take the party up to midnight. I for one can’t wait to come back! Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Carter! x
On Monday, I returned to Heaton House Farm as wedding pianist for Alex and Jess’ wedding. We had spoken at length about playlists and this happy couple had pretty clear ideas on songs.
I was performing during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast. Their wedding set lists included a few new songs along with other more familiar requests:
Video Killed The Radio Star Where Is My Mind Don’t Stop Believing We Built This City Swing Life Away (Rise Against) & It Must Be Love amongst others…
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the venue, Heaton House Farm offers exclusive use of 2 barns which are connected in an L-shape. The team generally set up the Wedding Barn for the ceremony, drinks reception and subsequent evening entertainment reception.
If the weather is fine, the team usually set up for the ceremony and drinks outside beside the Oak Pagoda. This is a great venue for photography too. The backdrop and views outside are absolutely amazing and span 3 counties! When the ceremony is outside, I perform on a second piano keyboard. More recently, although I usually work as a wedding pianist, I’ve also performed on guitar as a special request.
I set up my white baby grand piano at the bar end of the wedding barn. Then, just before inviting guests to go through to Steele’s Barn for the wedding breakfast, we slid the piano through the curtain which separates the two barns. It took less than 2 minutes. This way, I could play in the newlyweds and then entertain everyone during the meal up until it was time for speeches.
After a few nerves and some very heartfelt words, the father of the bride, groom and best man had finished their speeches and it was time for me to take my leave. All the very best to the new Mr & Mrs Carr! x
I returned to Rookery Hall as Cheshire pianist vocalist at the Nevins’ wedding last Friday. Sarah & Chris asked me to sing and play during their extended drinks reception. As the weather was superb, I set up the white baby grand piano outdoors. With a fine cast of characters, there was an abundance of requests and spontaneous singalongs – just the way I like it.
At previous weddings at Rookery Hall, I have performed during both the drinks reception and wedding breakfast in the Worleston Suite. Sarah & Chris decided to use the rear terrace for the drinks as the weather was so fantastic. As canapés and drinks kept appearing, out on the terrace was a great place to be!
The guests were soon in full party mode as the drinks reception eventually went on for nearly 3 hours! After a short break for more water, I sat back behind the piano myself forLiving On A Prayer and a few other rock anthems. Classic! The bride’s father then asked for Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold“. While not widely sung, this song clearly meant a lot to him.
The best man and ushers posed around the groom and “pianist vocalist for a day” Chris for a great shot at the piano. I rather cheekily hijacked this wonderful set-up (see image) by local wedding photographer Jane Hockey. The whole wedding party was then ushered away for the wedding breakfast to party on. Time for me to get a cup of coffee: rock n roll! x
As a wedding pianist & singer, I perform often at Heaton House Farm Cheshire. On Saturday, the day had finally arrived for Sara and Scott to say “I do”.
For their wedding, I performed during the ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast. Team member Dom helped me roll the piano very discretely from one area of the barns to the next – only taking about 2 minutes each time…
Sara & Scott had requested all instrumental wedding ceremony music:
Kissing You (Des’ree) for the walk-in. Loch Lomond for the Scottish contingent in Scott’s family and The Power of Love (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) during the signing of the register. Release Me (Agnes Carlsson) to walk out as newlyweds.
Once again, this was a combination of wedding ceremony music that I had never done before. Many other details of Sara and Scott’s wedding on the day were also very personal to them. In addition, they had asked the Heaton House team for a white wedding. Not a problem! The team dressed the whole floor of the ceremony area of the barn in white. It looked absolutely stunning!
White wedding at Heaton House Farm
I picked out the characters in the wedding party to join me in some singalong during the wedding breakfast. With a good singsong to finish off the meal on the run up to speeches, it was time for me to get my Christmas coat.
It was a fantastic day for a very special couple. More than that, they packed the day with details that they and all their guests would remember for a long time. Thank you for having me and letting me play my part. All the best! x