So – you’ve chosen the date and venue, what could be more atmospheric and romantic than having a Harpist to entertain you and your guests? Fiona explains her role at a typical wedding:
Thirty minutes before the ceremony, I play quietly in the background, as guests arrive and settle. I choose calming and recognisable pieces and can suggest songs and music for this part if you aren’t sure where to start.
Then, for the entrance and wedding processional of the Bride a selected piece of music (discussed beforehand with the Bride and Groom) is played until the Bride reaches the front of the room or Altar.
During the signing of the register, two to three pieces of selected music are played and I continue to play whilst the happily married couple make their exit.
If the couple have a specific piece of music they’d like to listen to, then I can always play this as a solo piece during the Ceremony itself.
I’m more than happy to play outside for yourself and your guests; I’ll just need shade for myself and the Harp if it’s a very hot or sunny day).
Atmospherically, it’s best to have a rhythmic, upbeat and bright feel to the music choice for this part of the day, as everyone will still be impassioned from the Ceremony and ready for a few glasses of something refreshing and bubbly!
I can play either recognisable pieces of classical music here, or modern music can be played at the choice entirely of the Bride and Groom. “Rat Pack” items of music tend to be received very well here as they give the guests pieces of music that they can relate to and usually guests approach me with questions regarding the Harp, which I am more than happy to answer and even let them have a pluck or two on the strings!!
I tend to move myself and the Harp into position about 10 minutes prior to any guests entering the room to set up. Then, whilst guests settle into their designated places and are commencing their meal, you will find the harp provides a perfect atmosphere. I’ve sat right next to tables before and have had great feedback from the guests about how unobtrusive the Harp is and they usually end up playing ‘Name That Tune’!!
Inevitably, you will have people who are meeting each other for the first time and the Harp can be a great focal point for conversation between them.
I finish my performance 10 minutes before the speeches are due to start, present myself to the top table to say my goodbyes to the married couple and their respective family members and I find that this method has always worked well, as it minimises disruption and allows a discreet exit for both myself and the Harp.