Pianist - A jazz pianist can provide classical music for the wedding
ceremony or civil partnership and jazz for the reception.
I can be hired for this service in Essex, Kent,
Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, London and other areas of the UK
The Civil Wedding Ceremony
At one time I used to
consider it a novelty if I had to play the piano for a wedding;
now, there seldom seems to be a week when I don't have at least
a couple of weddings to play for. One thing that has become more
and more popular, is the civil wedding ceremony and I think that
this is the reason that I am booked for more and more each year.
The advantage of having a jazz pianist, jazz trio, duo or any other
live musician, is that they can provide the music for the ceremony,
drinks reception and the wedding breakfast.
If you are thinking of
hiring me or anyone else to provide wedding music, then the only
thing that you really need to concern yourself about is your choice
of wedding music for the ceremony. You can, of course, leave the
choice up to the musician or musicians; but try and give them a
guideline. If you don't want to pick each piece of wedding music
for the proceedings then just try giving a style of music or maybe
If you are thinking of
having classical music for the ceremony, and jazz or something lighter
for the rest of the proceedings - then make sure that the musicians
you hire are comfortable with the styles that you have in mind.
I was classically trained (as most professional pianists are) so
traditional wedding music isn't usually a problem.
I frequently have phone
calls from people who are worried about what music to have for their
civil ceremony. The ruling is supposed to be that: you can have
any music you want, as long as the pieces you have chosen don't
have any reference to religion. I talk to registrars on a weekly
basis and there seems to be many differences of opinion as to what
is allowed. The rules seem to be set but they appear to be at the
mercy of the registrars interpretation. For instance: "Ave
Maria" and "Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring" are commonly
thought to be banned from the civil ceremony - yet I have played
both of these during ceremonies in the past.
Some registrars need to
know what is going to be played for the ceremony well in advance
while others just come over to me and ask me on the day. I've even
had a registrar want to know what pieces I had planned for the gathering
of the congregation - which is not really part of the ceremony at
Most people like to choose
music that means something to them and their partner, but I frequently
find that couples worry about the ceremony and end up leaving the
choice of music up to me. It is wise not to risk choosing "Ave
Maria" and "Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring" because they
will both, more than likely, be rejected. Later on I am going to
give you some ideas of playlists that will definitely be accepted.
Before the start of the ceremony there is usually some music played
while everyone enters the room and sits down. This is usually refered
to as "the gathering of the congretation". You don't have
to worry about this bit too much as it is not really part of the
Here are some guidelines
for choosing music for your ceremony:
The civil ceremony has
four main part's as far as a musician is concerned and they are:
1) The gathering of the
2) The Procession
3) The signing of the register
4) The recession
The gathering of the congregation.
The gathering of the
congregation speaks for itself really - I just play music while
people gather and seat themselves. This section doesn't really
have a time span and it isn't necessary to choose music for this
section. However, if a couple does select wedding music for this
part of the ceremony, they must accept that either: I won't be
able to play all of the chosen piece or pieces, or more frequently
I will have to play extra music of my choice.
The next section is
the entrance of the bride and traditionally this is carried out
to Wagner's Bridal March. Although most people stick to the Wagner;
you can have any music you like. The one thing you must consider
when looking an alternative is that it doesn't take long for the
bride to walk down the aisle - usually 15-30 seconds. Also, the
music has to be something that can be brought to an end easily.
A lot of couples go to great lengths to choose something very
special for the entrance: only to find that I can only play a
small snippet. I often recommend using the same music for the
entrance as the signing of the register (see the playlist
page). This usually ensures that you will hear your
favourite piece of music in it's entirity during the signing.
The signing of the register.
The signing of the register
usually takes about 5 - 6 minutes and it is customary (but not
essential) to have music that is calm and mellow. So if your favourite
piece of music is only two or three minutes in length then you'll
probably have to choose two pieces of music so that it will cover
the 5-6 minutes. I suppose that if you did choose something that
was too long there would come a point when I would have have to
stop playing but the piece would have to be excessively long.
This is where everyone
leaves the place of the wedding ceremony and traditionally this
was always carried out to Mendelssohn's Wedding March. In this
day and age wedding couples seem to request everything but the
Wedding March. Anything seems to be appropriate for the recession
but most people seem to select something that is jubilant. The
music is played for as long as it takes every one to leave the
ceremony room (3 - 5 minutes). So as soon as the last person has
gone; I finish.
Everything that I have
mentioned above also applies to the civil partnership.
Please note that none
of the above guidelines are written in stone. You can have something
up-beat for the signing of the register and a slow ballad for
the recession. As I said earlier, you can have any music you want,
as long as the pieces you have chosen don't have any reference
If you would
like to see some playlists for ceremonies then click HERE
That's it! The ceremony
is over and you can start the celebration.
After the ceremony everyone
usually starts making a lot of noise. They have so much to say because
they've had to keep so quiet throughout all the serious bit. I usually
play through this part and I usually find that for once I don't
have to worry about being too obtrusive.
The Wedding Breakfast
This is the bit where
I provide the entertainment while everyone is eating and chatting.
Most of the time I just go with the crowd: I play mellow dinner
jazz if they are quiet and more lively stuff if they start making
more noise. One of the most important things for me as a jazz pianist
in this situation is to be aware of whether my music is interfering
with the conversation of the wedding guests. If it is; then I'm
doing something wrong. For most weddings I play the piano right
up to the speeches and that's where I usually finish. I do however,
occasionally carry on after if there is a gap between the end of
the speeches and the start of the evening's entertainment. All weddings
are different and at the end of the day it is up to you and what
you would like me to do.
The Evening Reception
More and more I am called upon to provide the evenings entertainment.
Some couples prefer to have something a little more relaxing than
the normal disco have me as either a solo pianist, a duo (piano
and bass or piano and vocals) or one of the bigger line ups. Others
have a disco in one room while I am playing in another. This latter
option gives your guests a choice and it's amazing how many people
choose to come into the room with solo piano music. What a lot of
people don't realise is that most of the guests at a wedding haven't
seen each other for a long time and desperately want to talk. Having
mellow jazz gives people that freedom.
I can provide line ups from just solo piano right up to a five
piece band with piano, bass, drums, vocals and sax. Please note,
however, that whichever vocalist or instrumental line up you choose
- it will not be a function band. Quite a lot of couples like the
idea of having mellow jazz but they would quite simply like just
an hour or two dance music at the end of the night - without having
a fully blown disco. I can now provide this. Please visit the disco
page for more information.
Please discuss your
I suppose about half of
the weddings I play the piano for have the ceremony in a church.
This means that I often just play for the reception drinks before
the meal and the wedding breakfast. I am also frequently involved
in the evening's entertainment - especially if they require a jazz
singer, jazz trio or quartet. Everyone's requirements are different
so please don't be afraid to discuss any special requirements with
me. First of all if you fill out the form
here - I'll be able to give you a quote. Alternatively
if you don't like filling out forms, you can email me
and give me any relevant information that way.
as a jazz trio, duo or quartet.
If you are looking for wedding music that
is a little bit different from the usual function band or
DJ; then a jazz trio, duo or quartet playing tasteful mellow
jazz might be the answer. Click here
for more information.
Please fill out the form
for a free quote
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Here Are The Areas
I will Cover
COUNTIES IN ENGLAND: Avon, Devon, Isle of Man, Norfolk,
Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight, Northants, Surrey,
Berkshire, Durham, Kent, Northumberland, Tyne, Wear, Buckinghamshire,
East Sussex, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire
East Yorkshire Leicestershire Nottinghamshire West Midlands, Cheshire,
Essex, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, West Sussex, Cleveland, Gloucestershire,
London, Shropshire, West Yorkshire, Cornwall, Hampshire, Manchester,
Somerset, Wiltshire, Cumbria, Herefordshire, Merseyside, South Yorkshire,
Worcestershire, Derbyshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Staffordshire,
COUNTIES IN SCOTLAND: Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, Galloway,
Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, The Highlands, Dumfriesshire, Fife, Midlothian,
Stirlingshire, West Lothian, East Lothian, Glasgow, Perthshire,
COUNTIES IN WALES: Cardiff, Flintshire, Pembrokeshire,
Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Gwent Powys, West Glamorgan, Ceredigion,
Gwynedd, South Wales, Wrexham.
CITIES AND TOWNS IN ENGLAND:
Bath, Barnsley, Bedford, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Birmingham, Blackburn,
Blackpool, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Burton-On-Trent, Bournemouth,
Cambridge, Carlisle, Canterbury, Cheltenham, Chester, Chesterfield,
Coventry, Crawley, Croydon, Derby, Dover, Durham, Eastbourne, Exeter,
Folkestone, Gloucester, Guildford, Harrogate, Hereford, Huddersfield,
Hull, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, Luton, Maidstone,
Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Norwich, Northampton, Nottingham,
London, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading,
Runcorn, Warrington, Wolverhampton, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Stoke-on-Trent,
Stratford-Upon-Avon, Swindon, Telford, Torquay, Winchester, Windsor,
Worcester, York, Southampton.
CITIES AND TOWNS IN SCOTLAND:
Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dunfermline, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gretna
Green, Inverness, Kilmarnock, Oban, Perth, Stirling.
CITIES AND TOWNS IN WALES: Cardiff,
Caernarfon (Caernarvon), Colwyn Bay, Swansea, Bangor, Caernarfon,
Newport, Rhyl, Tenby.