Red Pattern

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ceremony Music: Hiring a Harpist

Let's talk about music - for the first of many times. Music is a pretty big part of Mr. Coach's and my life, both individually and as a couple. We really enjoy live music and going to concerts together, and in my opinion, we can both really appreciate a great new song or album. Because of these things, I knew that music would be a pretty significant part of our wedding day festivities. Not just in the form of great music at the reception, but also when we had to decide how to incorporate music that we liked and music that was “us” into the wedding ceremony.

I have always really liked the idea of live music for my wedding ceremony. I’ve experienced weddings where the Bridal Chorus was being played as a recording as the bride walked down the aisle.  It doesn’t make too much of a difference until she reaches the end of the aisle, stands next to her husband to be, and the song cuts off with a very unpleasant, and abrupt end. No good.

I’ve also experienced weddings where the flower girl literally RAN down the aisle, or made it about half way and decided she had to turn around and go back because she didn’t drop enough rose petals the first time. Adorable? Yes. Does a CD track account for unpredictable flower girls? No. 

So, for these reasons, among others, I have always wanted live music, played by professionals who can react to unpredictable moments, as well as fade the music off at the perfect time. Now it should be easy, right? Find someone who can play the piano, and more than likely they’ll know Canon in D like the back of their hand. But what I would really like to have is someone who can not only play the traditional wedding ceremony music, but also some songs that represent Mr. Coach and I, as well as some that our guests will recognize and enjoy. 

My first thought was string instruments. I had recently seen a string quartet performing at a local mall (yes, it is a very nice mall), playing everything from Lady Gaga to the Beatles. I loved that it still sounded beautiful and “wedding-like” because of the instruments they were playing on, but was also unique and would allow us the freedom to choose our own, possibly not-so-traditional, music.
Image via Dallas String Quartet

Although I liked their musical diversity, after more thought, a string quartet didn’t feel quite right for our ceremony. I was worried about having a full band at the front of the chapel and I didn’t want things to feel too formal. So, I continued to search. Luckily, after some online browsing, I stumbled across the website of harpist,
Jenny Glass. Her tagline, “Music from Classical to Coldplay” made a great first impression on me. She had some sound clips on the website that I was also really impressed by. Jenny and her harp would be much less crowded than a quartet in the chapel, and more flexible for where we positioned them. I was also less worried about the music feeling too formal, and just feeling romantic and elegant instead. 
I emailed Jenny, and she invited me to the Fort Worth bridal show to hear her play. She was literally one of the kindest people I have ever met. I listened to the Demo CD she gave me, and after Mr. Coach and I discussed it, we decided she was the best fit for our ceremony. Literally, one of the easiest decisions we've made so far, and I’m so excited to choose the songs we like and hear how beautifully she can play them on her harp. 
Image via Jenny Glass, Harpist

Jenny's harp outside the Piazza! / Image via Jenny Glass

What were your reasons for choosing the type of ceremony music you had/are going to have?  Anyone else having a harp - I'd love to hear your song choices!

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