Weddings

Liverpool Red Piano & Vocals at Liverpool Wedding Show

Last weekend, I finally unveiled my new Liverpool RED piano. Yay! BLISS had very kindly invited me to perform in the VIP Lounge at the Liverpool Wedding Show. The piano looked amazing (see above) and guests really loved this new addition to the portable baby grand collection. I’ve had my other white baby grand piano for 15 years now. But this Liverpool red piano is very RED and very SHINY!

We can set the piano up practically anywhere. We transport it on its side with the legs off so it can fit through a single door. It is actually a mahogany piano body which houses a Nord Stage 2 keyboard. Once on site, set-up takes about 20 minutes. It is connected up to a Mackie PA system which we can also use for playing iPod music during performance breaks.

Repertoire can be anything from background (John Legend, Rat Pack, Bublé, current charts) to full-on party and singalong! There are thousand of songs in my playlists. For evening events, I also set up appropriate stage lighting. In addition, I always carry a spare mic or 2 and an iPad with a ton of lyrics ready for guest singers. Or how about some Live Karaoke?

So imagine:
a) you’re having a red colour scheme (maybe a ruby wedding),
b) you support the Reds,
c) you’re planning a Christmas party with red and white
d) you just want something original and different

How about a guy in a hat singing and playing your favourite songs on a red piano? x

Wedding piano in Leasowe Castle: “The Keep”

A white wedding piano for a white wedding? I set up my portable white baby grand piano in Leasowe Castle‘s new “Keep” the other week for a quick photo shoot. What a fantastic space! It’s so light and fresh. Absolutely beautiful! It’s already looking like a real hit with couples who are planning to book their wedding venue. The pews offer plenty of comfortable seating space for your guests. As a result, there is no need for extensive chair dressing. The room looks even more stunning when simply dressed with bows and classic flowers.

Wedding_piano_in_The_Keep

This 21st century addition to the 16th century Castle has the feel of a very modern chapel. Work was just completed at the beginning of June 2015. The original pews and vaulted ceiling in particular help create a beautiful setting for your civil ceremony. They look even more stunning when dressed with the sashes and bows (see below). The white wedding piano is an elegant addition to the “stage” area and fits perfectly with the room’s neutral tones. I can perform both instrumentals and piano & vocals songs during the wedding ceremony.

In addition, I have performed in all of the function rooms at the Castle: wedding ceremonies inside and outside in the garden pergola; wedding breakfasts in the Castle Suite; private dinner parties in the Star Chamber and Portcullis Restaurant; Christmas parties upstairs in the Turret Suite… Therefore, as you can see, it is a very adaptable venue for your wedding with a great team that can take care of everything on site.

As a matter of fact, I’m back there tomorrow! Hope to see you at the next Leasowe Castle wedding fair on September 20th 2015 x

Fiona & Ian’s Sheldrakes Wedding

At last Saturday’s Sheldrakes wedding in Heswall, I provided the entertainment for Fiona and Ian’s party.
They had actually got married 2 weeks earlier in Las Vegas. This was to be their UK wedding reception.

I had performed at several Sheldrakes weddings before but they had been downstairs. Using the disabled lift, I loaded the piano up to the new function suite on the first floor. What a view! It was a stunning, bright, sunny day and the room was absolutely perfect.

I’d just started my 2nd set when everybody rushed out to the balcony! Everyone had been really enjoying the music up to that point. Was it the Take That medley?

But then I saw the paragliders fly past (see right) and I stopped playing to take a photo too. These guys were pretty close and flew past 3 or 4 times! How cool is that!

Once everyone had enjoyed the stunning sunset, it was time for the first dance and then some serious charts for the younger guests. Once the lights go down, it has a great small bar / club feel. It’s a great live music venue. So with several more Sheldrakes weddings booked in for 2015, good times lie ahead. Good times!
Vivan los novios! All the best to Fiona & Ian. Thank you for a great party xx

Si & Claire’s Thornton Manor Wedding Entertainment

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 Me from 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

Peter & Corinna’s Hinderton Hall Wedding Pianist

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

Wirral Pianist at Iris & Rob’s Thornton Manor Wedding

Rob and Iris were looking for a Wirral pianist to perform at their Thornton Manor wedding. We set up a meeting at my studio where I laid out an entertainment programme for the whole day.

They wanted mostly instrumental pieces so I would not be singing as much as usual. I would be playing during guests’ arrival, the wedding ceremony and then during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast.

They were also planning a wedding in China where Iris’ family still lived so there was twice as much organising to do…

I set up a piano keyboard at the back of the ceremony room. The wedding ceremony music was as follows:
Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the walk-in or processional.
Bella’s Lullaby, The Meadow and The River Flows In You (all Twilight soundtrack) for the signing of the register.
Mariage d’Amour (Chopin) for the walk-out or recessional. This is apparently a very popular piece in China.

Once we moved into the hall for the drinks reception, the many Chinese guests were clearly enjoying themselves. When we moved into the Music Room for the wedding breakfast (see image), they were just in awe.

The venue Thornton Manor never fails to impress. I must also mention the fact that the bride looked absolutely stunning and the groom didn’t scrub up too badly either…

It was my privilege to perform at your wedding. Thank you for having a local Wirral pianist to play for you and your guests. It was a fab wedding! All the best to the new Mr & Mrs Anson x

Wedding pianist for Alex & Jess at Heaton House Farm

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

Cheshire Pianist Vocalist at Sarah & Chris’ Rookery Hall wedding

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 for Living 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

Liverpool Wedding Pianist at Elaine & Michaels’ Wedding

This afternoon, I returned to the stunning Knowsley Hall to perform Elaine & Michael’s wedding. They had been searching for a Liverpool wedding pianist and a friend had given them my website details. I really appreciate it when past brides and grooms recommend me to others.

Due to the high winds, the team had to set up for the drinks reception inside the Hall rather than outside on the terrace. I set up the baby grand in the reception hall. As requested, I played instrumental When You Wish Upon A Star followed by Bella’s Lullaby as the newlyweds arrived at the venue.

For the next 2 hours or so I took requests and chatted during breaks. There were some familiar faces of couples who had also booked me to play at their weddings. It is lovely when you bump into couples a few years down the line and they now have young families.

As at previous Knowsley Hall wedding, the drinks reception lasted more like 2 hours so I played slightly longer sets. I had already set my piano keyboard up in the dining room ready for the wedding breakfast. So there was no problem moving from one area to the other. I had prepared everything ready for that seamless transition…

Liverpool wedding pianist at Knowsley Hall wedding breakfast

Once guests had taken their seats, I played in the new Mr & Mrs Walsh with their song: Marry You. Elaine & Michael had given me a list of requests including:

One Day Like This
Wonderwall
I Just Haven’t Met You Yet

That’s Amore
and plenty of others.

Guests were now enjoying their main course, so I put the iPod on and took my break. I had a quick main course myself near the bar. Delicious! Thank you very much!

For the final half hour or so over desserts and coffee, I went for the old Hey Jude rousing finale. I would like to thank my dancers (you know who you are!) and past groom Mr Steve McKenna for leading the singing and the arm waving. We ended the wedding breakfast on a real high note…

Congratulations to a lovely bride and groom wishing you every future happiness! xx