Wirral

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

Rebranding Marco’s New York Italian Restaurant Hoylake

I performed at the corporate rebranding event for Marco Pierre White’s New York Italian Restaurant last Thursday. The restaurant is situated inside the new Holiday Inn Express in Hoylake, Wirral. Hoylake has become even more popular following the Open Golf tournament at Royal Liverpool which is less than a mile away. With this rebranding event, The Holiday Inn Express now also boasts a fine dining restaurant on site.

Many local business owners and personalities were in attendance on the night. The organisers even arranged to have a big yellow NYC taxi parked by the front door for this New York themed event. I set up my piano just inside the open bi-folding doors to perform for guests in the patio area outside.

There was of course a rumour that Marco Pierre White himself would be making an appearance. I know he’s a busy man. Despite his absence, the kitchen was sending out some delicious canapés. The bar staff, meanwhile, were gliding past with a myriad of colourful cocktails. The level of service was very impressive. I had my eye on the calamari… Only time would tell.

Pianist vocalist at corporate rebranding event Hoylake

With the help of GM Matt Knight, restaurant manager Aldo Bove and all the team, the evening was a great success. With such an elegant setting, delicious canapés and no end of cocktails, the event went on until the early hours, far beyond what was expected. I chatted with some local guests who are friends of the family. They vowed to come back soon to have some dinner inside the restaurant. In the meantime, canapés on the patio in the summer air would have to suffice.

What a great night! And as if things couldn’t get any better, I didn’t have to dismantle the piano. Yay! I left everything there ready to perform at Kerri and Ian’s wedding the following day. Happy days!

 

Wirral Wedding Fayre at Thornton Hall and Thornton Manor

Welcome to Wirral wedding fayre season! Following my busiest year yet in 2012, I’m now looking forward to Wirral wedding fayre season 2013. Let’s get this show on the road!

I really enjoy meeting all the new brides and grooms who have recently become engaged. In addition, we see some couples returning year after year as they plan their wedding over time! I’m always interested to listen to their ideas and offer tips or advice to add to their special day. I love it!

Nowadays, different venues hold wedding fayres or bridal fayres on the same day. On 13th January, Thornton Hall put on yet another very successful wedding fayre. I met lots of brides and grooms on the day. It is definitely one of the best wedding fayres on the Wirral for quality of exhibitors and organisation on the day.

Last Sunday 20th January, County Brides organised the first fayre at Thornton Manor in 5 years. The exhibitors were certainly of a very high standard and many of the visitors seemed very keen to proceed with bookings.

Clearly, when exhibiting I want to engage with visitors but without being pushy or overbearing. I find it easier to begin a conversation from behind the piano. I’ll play a few bars from what I think might be a visitor’s favourite song. If I’m unsure, I’ll play the riff from A Thousand Miles (Vanessa Carlton) – a hit with pretty much everyone…

I like to include a little bit of humour too. It can be quite daunting when you have so many options at once. A light-hearted but professional approach always helps the brides and grooms relax. It doesn’t have to be just about entertainment. I think it’s good to discuss all aspects of your wedding day with people who are working full time in the industry. We are all happy to share our experience. This may consist of recommending other suppliers, discussing the running order or just reminding you to breathe and savour the moment on the day! x

Inglewood Manor Wedding Entertainment for Kristen & Daniel

Inglewood Manor wedding entertainment Wirral

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

Thornton Manor Wedding Music for Sophie & Rob’s Special Day

Thornton Manor wedding music

Once Sophie had booked the Lakeside Marquee at Thornton Manor wedding music was next on her list. Like the venue, he booked me as pianist singer for her wedding about 18 months before the big day. She had come to my studio with her Mum to talk about music and timings.

She didn’t realise at the time but Sophie’s best friend Claire had also secretly booked me already for her own wedding in May. This understandably freaked the pair of them out a bit – “how much alike are we!?”.

Sophie had a very clear idea of what she wanted: a selection of love songs on piano and vocals during the long drinks reception. Afterwards, some instrumental piano sets during the wedding breakfast to include PS I Love You (John Powell) and Butterfly Waltz (Brian Crain).

After the meal and some emotional speeches, she wanted some upbeat piano & vocals sets for the arrival of evening guests. Many familiar faces began to appear and there was a great buzz both inside and outside the large marquee. It was great to see the Richards clan in full force too!

I have to say that Thornton Manor lakeside marquee formed a beautiful backdrop for what was a lovely family occasion.  The weather was amazing too… A great day! Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Kurton! xx