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Your Wedding Day

Traditional Weddings, Civil Ceremonies, Civil Partnerships Wedding Vow Renewal

Throughout the year I play the piano for more weddings and than any other type of event.

I am a professional solo pianist, who is able to play music from many different genres. This gives me the ability to provide music for every part of the wedding day.

Formalities of the day:


Although the ceremony appears to be the first thing on the agenda, I am frequently asked to play for ‘pre wedding drinks’ while the guests are gathering, before they go into the ceremony room.

With a Civil Ceremony the only restriction with the music you want is that it doesn’t have any reference to God or religion. With a Church Ceremony there no restrictions with the music.

As far as the pianist is concerned the main parts of the ceremony are as follows:

The Gathering of the Congregation

This part can last up to half an hour, and I play some appropriately chosen tunes while everyone gets themselves seated.

The Entrance, Procession or Processional

This is where everyone stands and the bride enters the room. This is the start of the ceremony and can last between 15 – 45 seconds. As the entrance is short only a small snippet of the music chosen will be heard.

The Signing of the Register

This is where all the documentation is taken care of and lasts between around 7 – 12 minutes. Towards the end of this section the registrar will invite the congregation to take photographs of the married couple. This is the point where I start to think about bringing the music to a close. During the signing I usually play 2 – 3 pieces of music.

The Exit, Recession or Recessional

This is where everyone stands once again, and the bride and groom leave the ceremony room followed by the congregation.

Drinks Reception

After the formality of the ceremony everyone is ready for a chat and the drinks reception can be quite noisy at times. I usually play up-tempo music for this part of the day.

This also the part of the day where the photographer is busy taking pictures of the bride and groom and various groups of guests. Sometimes the photographer can take a large group of people away for the main crowd and it can sometimes leave the atmosphere pretty dead. Music during this part of the day can really set the mood for the rest of the day.

The drinks reception usually lasts between one and two hours.

Wedding Breakfast


This is where everyone sits down for the main meal of the day and last from around two to two and a half hours. Traditionally the speeches come at the end of the meal, but it is now common practice to have the speeches first. This allows the speakers to get their ordeal over and done with so that they can enjoy their meal.

Solo piano usually work the best for this part of the proceedings. All too often there are too many people crammed into a small room and I have to be careful that I am not too loud. The most important part of my job during the wedding breakfast is to find a volume that allows people to talk easily. This is sometimes difficult to achieve with a larger line-up such as piano, bass and drums or piano and vocals.

Evening Reception

This is the evening party and usually involves another selection of guests arriving. Very often a live band or DJ provides the music for this part of the day’s proceedings and the bride and groom finally get a chance to relax.

For the evening reception couples often book me for the early part of the evening. I then offer the use of my PA system so that the bride and groom can put their own disco music through my system to round the day off. This can either be in the form of a laptop, phone or Ipod. This works really well as they can have the best of both worlds. This is also a cheaper alternative to booking a separate disco.

It is really important to note that a lot people really hate loud discos at weddings. Guests can often be found in remote parts of a venue and even go outside just trying to get away from the noise. Very often couples book me to play in a room away from the disco so that people have somewhere to escape from the hubbub.