String Quartet Playing for Outdoor weddings and events
Just had another busy weekend where we played for two weddings and a birthday party. Despite the weather being a bit unsettled, we still managed to play outdoors on Friday when we returned for another wedding at Notley Abbey near Aylesbury. As we are a Buckinghamshire string quartet, this was a very local engagement to us.
Although the wedding ceremony was outdoors, by law the registration process (signing the register etc) has to be conducted under a permanent roof, so the venue have a charming wooden gazebo which is purpose built for the registrar. Our duo played nearby under a fabric gazebo and were very pleased that we brought some pegs for the music as there were some small gusts of wind which were in danger of sending the sheet music for Pachelbels Canon blowing across the gardens!
Playing in windy conditions isn’t usually adviseable - if winds are too high then it can become unsafe as music stands can blow over, potentially gouging a hole into a priceless cello and because a violin is held in place with the lightest possible touch, it has been known for a gust of wind to blow the instrument out of my hand.
We’re looking at the weather forecast with even more interest this week, as next Saturday we’re giving an open air evening recital at the Swiss Gardens near Biggleswade – a venue where we regularly perform at weddings. Weddings at the Swiss Gardens are always particularly beautiful as the gardens themselves have a sense of something quite magical. Ceremonies take place usually in a small cottage at the top of a hill, looking down over the lawns, or in a fern grotto overlooking the gardens - we’ve found that as the setting is so intimate, a string duo is more appropriate than a quartet, but for this concert it’ll be all four of us. As the audience will be seated on the lawns, eating their picnics while we play, we’ve got everything crossed for a glorious summers evening!