On Sunday I played for a wedding at South Barn in Royston, Cambridgeshire. South Farm is a lovingly restored Grade II listed country house surrounded by 20 acres of stunning gardens and landscaped grounds. The house lies next to a courtyard with beautifully renovated timber barns, granaries and stables. South Farm’s elegant buildings and beautiful grounds are totally secluded and set deep in the countryside, meaning you can have a secluded feel to your wedding with no motorways whizzing by as you tie the knot.
I played a mixture of flamenco and modern songs arranged for classical guitar but at the ceremony it was kept traditional:
Aisle walk: Here Comes The Bride by Wagner
Signing of the register: The Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba by G.F. Handel
Recessional: Wedding March by Mendelssohn
Last weekend I played for a wedding at Donnington Manor Hotel in Sevenoaks, Kent.
I played Fields of Gold for the Bride’s aisle walk, Chiemsee for the signing of the register and The Queen Of Sheba for the Bride and Groom’s exit.
I played at a wedding at Pinewood Studios recently and was really impressed by the venue and the fact that, although you’re not on a set of a film, the fact that the filming is going on around you really makes this a unique and interesting venue with a different feel.
I worked with a Stuntman on a Musical in the west End a few years ago and he told me about all the work he’d done at Pinewood – the James Bond films etc. and since then I’d always had an interest in visiting but had never got round to it because of work commitments etc. so it was great news when I was booked for a wedding there.
I had a look around the set of Johnny Depp’s new film Dark Shadows and also the set of Snow White (there are two major films normally being filmed simultaneously at Pinewood). The Dark Shadows set was particularly impressive as they seemed to have reconstructed an American street, traffic lights and all, on the set.
The building where the wedding ceremonies and receptions take place is a very cosy place indeed which houses the “club” where the Actors, Directors, Cast and Crew come to eat and drink when not on set. Is houses a small gallery with photos of the making of historic films including most of the Bond films and several Hitchcock and Kubrick films – really fascinating stuff. This “club” serves as a comfortable pre-ceremony meeting point before gusets move through to the adjacent ceremony room which is nicely decorated and has a raised platform at the “altar” which the Photographer and Videographer were very happy about.
The guests then moved back to the Club and the nice and spacious terrace for reception drinks before moving into another room for the wedding breakfast.
Although I was only booked for the ceremony and drinks reception, I met a fantastic tenor singer called Paul Byrom who sang during the ceremony and asked if I knew the jazz standard All of Me. I did and so we performed this during the wedding breakfast as a surprise for the Bride as it was her favourite song (helpful tip from the Mother of the Bride). I then stayed to play a few more songs with ——- and really enjoyed it.
The music for the ceremony was:
The Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba (Handel)
Pachelbel’s Canon In D (Pachelbel)
Your Song (Elton John)