My First Wedding

Posted In: Performing


  • Participant
    Molly K on #230928

    I am a fairly new harpist (long musical background) and have recently been asked to play a dear friend’s wedding. I have found simple enough versions of most of the songs she’d like. Air of the G String is beyond my ability to learn quickly, though. Any repertoire suggestions for advanced beginner or beginner music that can be played as guests filter in?

    My other question relates to how these things usually go. I have never played a wedding on any instrument and am totally unsure what to expect. Any tips or tricks for first timers?


    Participant
    Sylvia on #230940

    What kind of wedding? In a church or outdoor?
    Catholic, Protestant?
    How long is your prelude? (I always play a 1/2 hour while people are arriving.)
    Does she want all classical music?
    Entrance and exit marches? Traditional or other?
    Is there a communion, candle lighting, etc. during the ceremony?


    Participant
    Molly K on #230941

    Thank you for getting my thinking started! It’s protestant, in a church, quite traditional. She did ask for traditional songs to be played during the bridesmaid walk/her mother’s walk/and then her entrance. I’ll talk to her about prelude music – of course it should have occurred to me that just one song wouldn’t do. Thank you again!


    Participant
    emma-graham on #231980

    A good substitute for Air on a G String is Arioso (also by Bach) There is a very nice simple arrangement in this book

    Basically Bach

    The guest arrival can be quite long so if your repertoire is limited and your pieces are quite short, work out ways of adding repeats within each piece. Put sections up the octave, improvise different LH patterns etc. Nothing too tricky, just change it up to make what you have go a bit further.
    Always remember that the bride and her entourage will not hear the prelude music! For this reason I don’t encourage my brides to make specific requests for that part of the ceremony – just To indicate styles of music they would prefer. The most important choices are entry, exit and signing of the register (here in the UK at least – may be different in other countries) so those are the ones I focus on.


    Participant
    Gretchen Cover on #231985

    Molly, I presume you are playing a pedal harp? Are you taking lessons? If so, I would simply play glissando from Great Day for the postlude. Your teacher could guide you. You can play glissando on a lever harp, too, if you look at the last page of The Little Fountain by Samuel Pratt. Also, I strongly encourage you to record yourself on your phone as you practice. The music you play can be very simple but it must be played well to be effective. Use the voice memo on your phone to record. What I hear when I play and what I hear on a recording are often very different:). I call recording my truth machine,


    Participant
    Sylvia on #232012

    Now that you mention glissando… When the bride is ready to enter, I play several glisses to announce the entrance. I learned that years ago when a mom asked me to do it because she’d heard someone else do it. After that, I always did it. It’s very dramatic and lets everyone know the bride is there.
    Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. Then I play the entrance march.


    Participant
    wil-weten on #232025

    As to beginner or (early) intermediate music for a protestant church wedding well playable on a lever harp, I would think of Sylvia Woods’ Hymns and Wedding Music for All Harps and of Beth a Kolle and Laurie Rileys Wedding Music for the Lever Harp


    Participant
    Molly K on #232107

    Thank you so much for the assistance! Emma, I’m not able to see the link to the book you mentioned, what is it called? Thank you!

    I actually am playing lever harp and do not have a teacher – I studied music in college but have only been playing harp a year or so, watching many YouTube tutorials. I love the suggestion of recording myself!

    I have Sylvia Wood’s book, I’ll be playing her arrangement of the bridal march. I’ll check out Wedding Music for the Lever Harp, thank you!


    Participant
    Sylvia on #232117

    You know the exit march is different from the entrance march? I once heard a string quartet play the entrance march for both the entrance and exit. I wondered about that…if they just didn’t know or what.

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