Nothing quite says elegance at a wedding like a harp.
It’s so special even Prince William and Princess Katherine had the Royal Harpist play as the guests returned from their royal wedding.
The versatility of the harpist and the range of this glorious stringed instrument allows for any type of music to be played on the harp, although some songs are more aptly suited and simply sound better.
But wedding harp music does not have to be stodgy or staid; quite often I am asked to play popular pieces or arrange musical numbers that are special to the bridal couple.
For civil ceremonies the wedding ceremony has several parts where music is acceptable:
Prelude: while the guests and family are arriving and taking their seats
Processional: entrance of the bridal party
Signing of the Register: the legally-binding element of the ceremony
Recessional: exit of the bridal party and guests
For most civil ceremonies a list of the chosen music must be submitted to the Registrar several weeks before the ceremony, hence the reason I strongly recommend a wedding music consultation. This consultation service is included in the price of booking for a wedding and I’ve been told is “invaluable” by brides and grooms for hearing the harp and selecting the wedding music.
The venues I am most often asked to play at are located in the Sutton Coldfield area:
In 2014 Wagner’s Bridal Chorus from “Lohengrin” is still my most requested processional piece by brides, although Canon in D is a close second, followed by a smattering of popular pieces including A Time for Us from Romeo and Juliet and Wind Beneath My Wings. 2015 remained consistent with the Bridal Chorus most often chosen for the processional followed by popular pieces for the recessional such as Clean Bandit’s Rather Be and Elvis’s It’s Now or Never.
Church weddings tend to be more formal and allow for a richer repertoire of classical and religious songs. The format is similar to a civil ceremony although the signing of the register may or may not take place during the middle of the ceremony.
Some of the most glorious church weddings I’ve experienced have been at:
Some churches will only allow the organist to play during the wedding ceremony, then the harpist entertains guests whilst the bridal party has their pictures taken or during the drinks reception. The popular cocktail reception time is a lively and happy bit of the celebrations and a good musician will help the transition from the seriousness of the wedding ceremony to the playfulness of the reception.
I am often asked to play for the drinks reception and through the wedding breakfast or reception meal, which is lovely because then a mix of well-known classical pieces interspersed with old and new love songs can be enjoyed by the guests.
Harp music for your wedding or drinks reception is not as costly as you may think. The starting rate is £300 for a wedding ceremony, or an hourly rate for reception music. This is simply a price guideline, please do get in touch if you are interested in checking my availability and price for your wedding or wedding reception.