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
For Jen and Richard’s special day at Rowton Hall wedding entertainment was absolutely key. As Christmas is around the corner, I have a few caroles prepared. There’s mistletoe above the door and love is definitely in the air…
First of all, I set up the white baby grand piano in the conservatory ready for the drinks reception. However, I was also providing piano music for the couple’s wedding ceremony. So, new roadie Ben set up a piano keyboard in the main room for me.
Bella’s Lullaby to walk in to; Love Letters from Sex & The City soundtrack and Make You Feel My Love for the signing of the register and Skinny Love by Birdie to walk out to.
All great pieces with very different styles: certainly an interesting selection for any wedding pianist.
Once I had played the newlyweds out, I moved over to the baby grand piano with vocals this time for the drinks reception. As requested, I started off with Love & Marriage. I followed this with a selection of Rat Pack and more current songs from Jen and Richard’s requests list. Ben managed to hijack this great photo (see image) set-up by wedding photographer Jane Hockey.
Due to a quick turnaround by the Rowton Hall wedding team, the room was soon ready for the wedding breakfast. In summary, Jen and Richard are a fun couple and I thank you for letting me be a part of your special day. I wish the newlyweds every future happiness xx
Inglewood is one of my favourite venues and the team regularly put my name forward for Inglewood Manor wedding entertainment. Last night, I performed at Kristen and Daniel’s wedding celebrations.
In our first meeting, I discovered that Kristen’s family used to live in my old piano teacher Mrs Cameron’s house. What a coincidence! She only taught me piano until I was 8. Then, she retired. I think I might have tipped her over the edge! But she did open up a whole world of possibilities so I wanted to do her proud.
I would usually set up in the middle room facing the terrace with a typical wedding party of 60-70 guests. However, on the day, the team had to find space for 103 guests!
After some consultation, I set up the piano in the restaurant ready to start playing after the wedding breakfast. Guests came out in high spirits following some very impressive speeches and we went straight into a marathon singalong. It Must Be Love, Dakota, Everything, Shine, That’s Amore… I played even more Rat Pack for the father of the bride, Arthur…
I have performed at lots of daytime weddings at Inglewood in the main rooms. It was a nice change to play rather more upbeat sets at the evening reception in the restaurant area with such a great atmosphere all around. Thank you Fi for the photos and to the rest of the Inglewood Manor wedding team…
I think we all had a great night! I hope your pupil did you proud, Mrs Cameron… x
It was great to return to Inglewood Manor last Saturday providing the evening entertainment at Jo & Jerry’s wedding reception.
I had met the couple at Inglewood Manor wedding fayre in early March. At the time I already had a booking with my band elsewhere for their date.
However, at the end of March, the other couple sadly had to cancel their wedding. So, I got back in touch with Jerry and Jo who happily confirmed their own booking with me.
I was to play sets for the early evening including their first dance “Everything” (Michael Bublé). After that, I was to keep guests on the floor before handing over to resident DJ Ian around 10pm. He would then take things up to half-past midnight.
I ended up playing a mixture of Rat Pack, classic rock, disco, pop and current cover versions. That way, the evening entertainment offered something for everyone. Between myself and Ian, we covered all of the bride and groom’s requests and the dancers did not disappoint… Oh what a night!!
For any wedding pianist Chester Grosvenor weddings are an absolute joy. For a start, if you are transporting your own piano there are no steps. You can normally see some very nice cars parked outside. The decor has a luxurious feel and the team are extremely courteous and professional. And although I have performed around the world as a singer and pianist Chester is just 20 minutes from home.
Mark & Steph had clearly been seduced by the Chester Grosvenor when they came down from Morecambe to see the venue. They decided to host their wedding there last Thursday. Thursday, of course, is the new Sunday.
The bride and groom wanted me to play their ceremony music and then entertain during the drinks reception. As guests took their seats, I played some background instrumental pieces: Forrest Gump Theme (Silvestri), Portuguese Love Theme, Human (Killers), etc. Steph’s request’s for the wedding ceremony actually included two processionals:
Where Is My Mind (the Pixies) for the walk-in of the bridesmaids Glasgow Love Theme (Craig Armstrong from the Love Actually soundtrack) for the walk-in of the bride.
The newlyweds walked out to Dakota (Stereophonics). While they disappeared for photos, I played piano & vocal requests for the guests. These included tracks by Muse, Rolling Stones, Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen which were what the bride had also requested.
Mark and Steph eventually returned in time for the wedding breakfast. As the team invited guests to go through, I said my goodbyes and wished the newlyweds all the best for the future. Thank you for having me. Let’s raise our glasses to the new Mr & Mrs Fenton xx
It looks like I am the only Wirral pianist with a portable white grand piano. It comes in very handy at wedding fayres to lay out my business cards, enquiry forms etc. I think it sounds rather nice too!
I was performing at the first Wirral wedding fayre of the season at Thornton Hall Hotel. After 2 weeks in Philadelphia, New York and New Orleans (!!!), I was straight back to business and ready to rock n roll.
First of all, I set up as usual in the Torintone Suite. If you are considering attending a wedding fayre, this one isn’t too big and has a wide variety of suppliers who aren’t “pushy”.
You can check out venue dressers, wedding dress suppliers, cake makers, chocolate fountains. In addition, there are photographers, videographers, stationers, wedding cars, etc. You can probably find most of that you are looking for.
I also enjoy performing at weddings in the Pulford Suite at Thornton Hall. This is the smaller, rather more intimate suite with more soft furnishings. It’s quite separate, on the other side of the hotel. How wonderful to find a venue which offers different options for your wedding reception.
Finally, if you are looking for a local Wirral pianist & singer for your wedding, come to a fayre. More than others, I would recommend the fayres at Thornton Hall (mid-Jan & mid-Sept) and Inglewood Manor (early Oct & early March). See you there!