The 2016 wedding season is shaping up to be very interesting from my musical perspective. I have already had my first wedding of the year (cocktails, dinner & first dances), and it was a lot of fun! The groom was a huge classic rock fan, so I got to bring out material I never usually get to play in a wedding reception format – Beatles, Eagles, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Peter Frampton, Genesis, etc.
Playing for the cocktails portion of the reception gives me the freedom to stretch out some with the music. Yes, you want to keep it appropriate for a wedding atmosphere, but you can also have some fun with it, and vary the material. I want the guests to enjoy what I am doing, and I want to entertain them, but I don’t want to be the focus. Sounds odd, but I want them to enjoy, without the music being about me. It’s all about the day, and if I succeed in helping them to enjoy everything a bit more, then I have done my job.
I have some weddings upcoming this year that are definitely going to stretch me both vocally and instrumentally. There will be some challenging pieces to learn, and a lot of material that I have never done before. It’s great, because it keeps me learning, and pushing myself to get better at my craft. I have heard that many live musicians will only work from a set list of songs, and while I understand why they do that, I think that being able to tailor the event to the couple is so important, and a limited list doesn’t allow you to do that completely.
I was recently asked for a list of material that ‘I enjoy playing, and works in a ceremony format’. I certainly have many songs that I enjoy, but it’s not about what I enjoy for the ceremony. It’s all about the couple and creating the musical backdrop for their day. I much prefer hearing a range of styles that a couple enjoys, and working with that. I have even had clients who didn’t really know where to start, but after discussing the mood they wanted to create, and songs that they enjoyed, I was able to make some suggestions. Once the flow of songs got started, it was relatively easy to come up with a song list for the day.
For those that are planning – all the best in making your day amazing. If you are considering live music, then I would love to have a chat with you about it. Remember, live music is like nothing else; it stirs the soul, and the emotions of life. For every big moment in life, there is a song that goes with it.