I began playing at weddings just over 15 years ago. At that time, my performing schedule included hotel residencies, restaurant residencies, weddings and corporate events. I played piano as a soloist, in a duo, trio and as part of various function bands in just about every corner of the UK. I supported artists such as Liane Carroll (BBC Jazz Award Winner) and Ian Shaw (BBC Jazz Best Male Vocalist) and was fortunate to learn from some of the best musicians in the industry.
I believe this to be one of the things that separates myself from other wedding musicians, that being the tuition and experience I gained early on. I studied a degree in Music Performance in Paul McCartney’s old college, The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) and received 1-2-1 song writing tuition from Paul himself. Studying in such an esteemed University led me to meet many great mentors such as Mike Walker (The Impossible Gentlemen), Eddie Lundon (China Crisis), Keith Mullen (The Farm), Dominik Schirmer & Paul Walker. Furthermore, my peers were incredibly talented musicians, which helped me grow and improve massively as I absorbed lots of different musical influences.
As time went by, I began to realise that weddings were the thing I wanted to focus my energy on. I enjoyed the hotel gigs and restaurant gigs but I knew I didn’t want to be a touring session musician and I always found something far more fulfilling and meaningful about playing piano on the occasion where two individuals celebrate their love and commitment to each other. I love playing piano, and it is an absolute privilege for me to play on a couple’s wedding day. In addition to creating the soundtrack for the couple’s big day, I feed off interaction with guests and enjoy playing requests and have developed a knack for reading a room.
The three packages I offer include playing during the Wedding Ceremony, playing throughout the Pre-Dinner Drinks Reception and playing throughout Dinner, or a combination of any or all of these. For the Ceremony I can guide the couple with some musical suggestions that I know work well, however I love when a couple comes with certain music that they want played as it often makes the ceremony that bit more unique and bespoke to them. In the last year and particularly since Covid, I offer a Zoom call as part of each booking to discuss these things with each couple and as an opportunity to virtually meet before the big day.
For the Pre-Dinner Drinks reception and the Dinner I can adapt my set to centre around a particular genre of music such as Jazz/Swing, or focus on certain artists for example if the couple are big fans of Ed Sheeran or Coldplay or Bruce Springsteen then I’d incorporate a lot of their music. I suppose most typically I decide on the day and play a mixture of music to appeal to all guests. Piano is one of the best instruments you can have played over a drinks reception or dinner as it sets the right ambience without being intrusive or overbearing allowing people to talk and have the craic.