June 07, 2013
by Sharon Planer, Pianist for Parties
An outdoor wedding ceremony at Grand View Lodge was beautiful! It couldn't have been more perfect.
What makes for a perfect wedding? I can suggest a few tips from the lovely wedding where I just performed my piano music.
THE LOCATION. Grand View Lodge is an award winning beautifully restored historic lodge set in the north woods. They specialize in weddings.
Saying wedding vows under the lush canopy of trees on the cobblestone pathway leading down to the lake was this couple's ideal location. The guests were seated on either side of the path. The bride and bridesmaids emerged from the historic lodge and began their procession down the staircase and along the path. It was a nice long walk which allowed the guests ample opportunity to observe the processionals.
This gave me enough time to play my piano wedding processional music in its entirety.
The bride and groom stood under a beautiful arbor. They and the guests had a lovely view of the lake in the background.
Their site was dramatic and beautiful!
THE STAFF. The quality of the staff is critical to the success of a wedding. The staff at Grand View Lodge are exceptional and always friendly and helpful!
I have always been impressed with the staff at Grand View Lodge, and this event was no exception.
The wedding coordinator communicated with me ahead of time, covering every detail pertaining to the set up of my portable piano and my wedding music performance and reconfirmed everything as the wedding neared.
Besides performing solo piano ceremony music, I was also going to be accompanying a vocalist and guitarist. The staff made sure to include arrangements regarding microphone and PA for this. The coordinator was very organized and efficient in communicating the details I needed to know. This made my set up on the day of the wedding go ever so smoothly. The coordinator guided the rehearsal as well as on the day of the ceremony. At the start of the ceremony she stayed with the family and bridal party at the top of the stairs and sent each group down at the proper time. This allowed me to play the proper music as the grandparents entered and the groom escorted his parents to their seats followed by the bridesmaids and then the bride..
The audio guys were set up ahead of time and eager to make sure my piano, the vocalist and guitar inputs were balanced and connected properly into their PA. It was especially valuable having them monitoring the sound throughout the ceremony. The PA guys were real pros! There were no sound glitches and the micing and music were amplified perfectly.
THE OUTSIDE SERVICES. The outside service providers should be professional and knowledgeable in the services they are providing. It is helpful if they are familiar with the venue and consider themselves part of the 'team' working on behalf of the bride and groom.
The reverend at this particular wedding was very experienced and easy to work with. The bride and groom included communion in their program. At the rehearsal the pastor helped all involved understand how to make everything go smoothly. He provided me with a final outline of the ceremony and we discussed what cues I needed. On the day of the wedding we both knew what each other was doing.
I was delighted that the bride and groom hired me to perform live piano music for their ceremony and also accompany their singer!
I had played for prior weddings at Grand View Lodge and was also experienced with the precise location this couple had selected. I had a prior working relationship with the staff and the PA guys. So I most certainly enjoyed working with them again! I knew what it would take to make my music at this particular location sound wonderful. I also knew how to be prepared in the event of inclement weather. If rain were to force the event indoors, I was familiar with the indoor set up. If rain were to happen midway during the ceremony, I had everything I needed to make it through the ceremony without a disaster on my part. Luckily, the afternoon turned out to be beautiful and I never needed to use my backup plan.
The vocalist accompanied herself on guitar and I on the piano. We met each other months before the wedding to practice and also at the rehearsal. She gave an outstanding performance of Patty Griffin's, 'Heavenly Day'. Guests were so wowed, they even clapped!
Every bride and groom want their wedding to be special and perfect! You can get a lot closer to making this happen by selecting a venue with a quality reputation and whose staff is experienced in handling weddings. It will help if your outside vendors are experienced with the venue and have a good working relationship with the staff at the venue. Once you select your venue, why not ask them for their recommendation of the other services that you need? You want everyone to be on the same 'team', YOUR TEAM for your dream!