My husband and I got married shortly before I decided to set up Tailor Made Music Agency. Music has always been a hugely important part of my life so it was inevitable that it would play an important part in our wedding day! I thought what better way to give you a taste of what Tailor Made Music Agency can provide for your wedding, than by writing a blog post on the performers and the music that I chose, and why it was so special to me.
Walking down the aisle
I have sung in more wedding choirs than I can count and my favourite classical piece of music to sing is the ever-popular Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring by J.S. Bach. I didn’t want anything too unusual to walk down the aisle to and this piece is a popular choice for wedding ceremonies, so it would have sounded familiar to our guests. It is gentle, beautiful and poignant. The choir was made up of many of my old school and choir friends so although it wasn’t a professional choir, it was very personal to me. I did book a professional organist to accompany the choir, and to make it even more personal I booked oboist Eleanor Tinlin to play the beautiful soaring counter-melody that accompanies the choir in the original orchestral version of this piece. I have played the oboe since I was 13 years old, and I have known Eleanor for many years, so it was very special to me to have her play. Hearing the first few notes as I waited in the church porch was an emotional moment!
The wedding ceremony music
We spent months choosing hymns for our wedding, whittling down a shortlist until we had our top three. The service opened with the rousing Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, and concluded with a roof-raising rendition of Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven. We had the gentler Come Down, O Love Divine by Vaughan Williams (a favourite classical composer of mine) in the middle. The choir and organist supported our guests’ singing with gusto, but to add an extra something special I booked trumpeter Tom Freeman-Attwood, who played during the final verses of the opening and closing hymns. Guests said to me afterwards that this took them by surprise, and how fantastically uplifting it was to hear the penetrating sound of a trumpet carrying the melodies above the choir and organ.
Music during the signing of the register
The signing of the register can take a little while, especially if you are having photos taken at the same time, so it’s a good idea to have some music to entertain your guests. We made good use of the oboist and organist we had booked as they played the slow movement of Albinoni’s Oboe Concerto in D minor. Again, this choice was very personal to me, as it was a piece I always loved to play myself. I first heard it shortly after I started playing the oboe when it was featured in the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla, and I instantly fell in love with it. We followed that with an unaccompanied choral piece, This Marriage by Eric Whitacre. The beautiful words in this piece have references from the Middle East, a little nod to my husband’s childhood growing up in that region. The choir sang it beautifully.
Leaving the church
We ended the service with our fantastic trumpeter and organist playing Stanley’s Trumpet Voluntary as we exited the church, giving it a suitably grand and regal finish! I was so happy and overwhelmed by this point that it is all a bit of a blur in my memory, but it was a wonderful end to a wonderful ceremony. So many of our guests complimented us on our choices of music – and as most of them knew my background was in music we had high expectations to live up to! Amongst all the excitement and the buzz of the reception and party later on, the ceremony remained the most special part of the day, and the music played a huge part in that.
Music for the wedding reception
On arrival at our reception venue (30 minutes late after our vintage car got a puncture en route!) we were greeted by the sound of jazz guitarist Greg Sanders, who was playing in the courtyard while our guests sipped gin and tonics and enjoyed a few canapés. I have worked with Greg for a few years and was delighted to book him for my own wedding. Solo jazz guitar, playing easy-listening jazz standards, was a lovely contrast to the very classical wedding ceremony. It was perfect for the relaxed atmosphere we wanted to create.
After a superb meal, speeches, photos, cutting the cake and a few games on the crazy golf course we had hired, we ended the night with a fantastic 5-piece function band playing all our pop favourites and getting everyone up on the dancefloor!
Visit our Brass page to find out about booking a Trumpet and Organ Duo.
Visit our Jazz page to find out about booking a Solo Jazz Guitarist.
An Oboe and Organ Duo is a bit more unusual so isn’t listed on the website, but we can do this for you through our Bespoke service.