Paula and Graham’s Garden Wedding at Arley Hall

Possibly the most spectacular setting for a wedding I’ve ever played, along with phenomenal acoustics for the harp.

Paula is a friend-of-a-friend I have known for quite a long time, but never had the opportunity to spend much time with.  That all changed when she met Graham and the two decided to marry.

Living quite near Arley Hall and Gardens, the couple spent many hours there during their courtship walking through the grounds and enjoying the blooms in different seasons.  Arley Hall and Gardens is famous as the backdrop for the show Peaky Blinders and is the family home of Lord and Lady Ashbrook.

When Paula contacted me about her wedding I was immediately intrigued by the venue’s website.  The grounds are massive and Paula had some very specific ideas of how she wanted the flow of the day and the music to work.  We arranged a site visit together in early April – and to say I was smitten the minute I drove onto the grounds is an understatement.  There are so many beautiful views here, and so many places the harp so naturally fit, I couldn’t wait to play there.

Weather in August can be challenging for brides hoping for an outdoor ceremony, especially on a Bank Holiday (Mother Nature must know when everyone is off work and wants to enjoy the outdoors).  But 26 August 2019 turned out to be a spectacular day for an outdoor wedding.

I arrived early to set up my harp in the Walled Garden.  The guests and groom arrived while I played some of his favourite songs:  The Last of the Mohicans theme song, Norweigen Wood and Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.

When the guests were asked to stand the bride entered ALL the way at the end of the walled garden with her twin children on either side – and the notes of her requested song, A Thousand Years, soared all the way to her!

For the Signing of the Register the couple chose La Source, Scarborough Fair and Greensleeves.

They departed the Walled Garden as a married couple to the traditional Wedding March followed by the upbeat I Gotta Feeling.  Paula and Graham are married!!

While the bridal couple, their family and friends went to the Sunken Garden for a group photo, I moved my harp to the main lawn for the drinks reception.  The sun was shining so I positioned the harp near the trees to take advantage of a bit of shade.  For the next two hours I played songs to entertain the guests including Wonderwall, Ed Sheeran’s Perfect, Annie’s Song, Thinking Out Loud and Moon River.  Several of the guests posted photos and videos to Facebook, feel free to take a look.

Dearest Paula and Graham, thank you so much for letting me be such a big part of your beautiful wedding day!  I wish you all the happiness in the world, and many years of wedded bliss. xo Michelle

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"Everyone was very much impressed with the music, especially as it was the first time many of them had seen a live harpist." Officer Patrick Mulligan
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