Manor House Music are frequently approached by prospective brides and grooms to arrange a song or track for the string quartet to play especially for their wedding day. As this process can take several hours a small fee is attached to it, but as a lot of effort will go into making this unique arrangement sound stunning it‚Äôs important that it is heard properly (you can hear a selection of our especially arranged modern rock and pop songs for string quartet on the jukebox at the top of our Playlist page).
I can think of many instances where a piece of music has been asked for that wouldn‚Äôt have otherwise been arranged (as it was either obscure or a niche interest) which was wasted in that it never got heard properly. In one instance guests chatted loudly through the signing of the register and the song got lost in the midst of it; and in another, the couple were busy having their photos taken during the reception drinks and the afternoon passed by without an opportunity to play their special song which had taken many painstaking hours of careful preparation.
Here are a few tips on getting the most from a specially commissioned piece of music. If the song is for your processional piece (or entrance) be aware that only the first minute or so (depending on the size of your ceremony room) may be heard. Once a bride approaches the registrars desk or the front of the aisle the music is generally faded out or brought to a timely conclusion by the string quartet. This therefore may not be the best opportunity to hear your special arrangement as it is likely you may not hear it in it‚Äôs entirety (this also applies to the recessional or exit music).
The signing of the register is however an excellent point in which to hear a special track. Here (as in the earlier story) there is the potential for guests to ‚Äòdrown out‚Äô any music in excited chatter, so it may be a good idea to instruct the registrars/minister to announce that a special piece is to be performed for the bridal couple and therefore to enjoy it with them.
Sometimes a song has been requested to be performed during the drinks reception and this has often worked out well, with the bridal couple showing a real enthusiasm for the music and savouring the moment. On a few occasions the wedding breakfast has taken place in a different part of the venue and we have been left with just the bride and groom to entertain. This has been a special time as they often haven‚Äôt had a moment to spend together all day and are able to find some space for a few minutes and be serenaded with their meaningful music. On one occasion I remember the bride dancing very gracefully with her elegant dress making flowing patterns as it followed her movements.
The wedding breakfast isn‚Äôt a particularly good time to enjoy a specially requested piece of music as everyone is in the same room and by this point of the day (often with a couple of drinks inside them) a little more extrovert in their conversational style. A special feature could be made of the group with an announcement that a particular song is to be played. This would work just before or after the speeches. If it was requested for the entrance of the couple to the wedding breakfast however, only the first snatch of music would be heard, only to be overwhelmed by the (hopefully) tumultuous applause greeting their arrival.
The best advice would be to have a careful think about the particular point in the day a requested song would work best in. . .and enjoy the experience, after all it‚Äôs not everyday you have a piece of music written especially for you!