Thornton Hall Hotel wedding entertainment – Singing Piano Man
I was playing at another great Thornton Hall Hotel wedding last night.
I had spoken with Matt about options for their wedding day on the August bank holiday Monday: I often cover the drinks reception and wedding breakfast part of the day. However, they were keen to bridge the gap between daytime and night-time entertainment, afraid that guests would be bored if there was no entertainment at that point. It can be a good time for guests to stretch their legs after the meal and to catch up with other guests who weren’t seated at their table for example. But Matt and Claire knew their family and friends wanted to party so they asked me to play some upbeat piano sets and to bring an extra microphone or two…
I set up the white baby grand in the bar area while speeches were going on in the Pulford Suite. That way I could surprise guests with a 6ft white baby grand piano suddenly in the bar when they came out. There were more than a few characters amongst the guests so by 8 o’clock we had a full on singalong around the piano. Then a few guest singers took up the offer of a spare mic to sing some Rat Pack including the groom himself: Matt sang “That’s Life” to his beautiful bride Claire who then returned the compliment with a great rendition of Duffy’s “Mercy”. I carried on taking requests for old singalong favourites like Delilah, Daydream Believer, Sweet Caroline, That’s Amore, Champagne Supernova, Shine, etc then played for the best man as he belted out ”Green, Green Grass Of Home”.
As soon as the very efficient Thornton Hall Hotel wedding team had turned the Pulford Suite around, it was time to hand over to the band…. and catch a breath! What a great crowd! All the best to the happy couple!!
Returned to Rowton Hall on Sunday to play at Claire and Oli’s wedding surrounded by their many friends and family. Bank holiday weekend weather was again unpredictable but the atmosphere inside the conservatory was great. After the drinks reception, I moved everything forward so that everyone could hear me during the wedding breakfast. As the last song before speeches, we did a rousing “Hey Jude” with hands in the air (the only way to do it!) in hommage to Oli’s mum Jude. I wish Claire & Oli all the best for the future.
Anna had called me to see if I was available to perform during the day at her and Steve’s wedding at the lakeside marquee at Thornton Hall. I already had a booking in Chester but was not using the piano so was able to hire it out to them for the day.
I set it up in the morning and they had the pianist from their chosen band for the evening play a few sets during the wedding breakfast. The white piano did look great in the marquee and Anna was made up with the overall white theme she had chosen.
They rounded the evening off with a trip round the lake on the boat before the band began the evening sets. I wish them all the best.
I had met Mike and Liz at a wedding fayre at Scarisbrick Hall in 2010. On the day, I set up the baby grand in ready for the wedding breakfast. Speeches were made before the food was served and then I began playing and taking requests from top table and guests including Can’t Take My Eyes Off You… “I love you baby…!”.
Thanks to guest special Dave for letting me have some images from the day. This one – I’m not sure if I’m going for a high note or the piano lid’s just come down on my fingers:
On the Friday at the start of the 5 wedding bank holiday weekend, I performed at Pete and Louise’s wedding at Rowton Hall near Chester. Pete had asked particularly for songs by Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Oasis along with a selection of Rat Pack and some songs from the charts so that there was something for everyone.
I started later than anticipated as the wedding breakfast was running over an hour behind schedule but everybody was clearly up for a sing song: ”You’re twisting my melon, man!” before I handed things over to the DJ who took them up to midnight. I wish them both all the best.
I had met Emma at Inglewood Manor fayre in 2010. We eventually agreed on the format of having piano keyboards outside if the weather was nice for the drinks reception and then the white baby grand piano inside for the wedding breakfast. It was very sunny outside and the requests from guests were coming in thick and fast. The banter continued throughout the afternoon and I ended up doing some numbers I hadn’t played for a while, most memorably “Drops of Jupiter” by Train and “Mmm Mmm Mmm” by Crash Test Dummies.
Following the stirring speeches at the start of the wedding breakfast, we moved on to a bit of background Rat Pack and piano vocals before building up to a proper sing song finale. A great day for a lovely couple. All the best! x
I had met Emma and Jake several years earlier at Jake’s Mum’s birthday party in Eastham. I remembered having a great night there amongst so many fun characters and a family full of interesting characters. Jake’s Mum Jan had sung a few numbers with me at her birthday and she also obliged at Emma and Jake’s wedding at Mere Brook House.
Lorna, Don and the team did a spendid job of making the guests feel right at home and the meal began with some very individual speeches and I remember fondly certain references to grandad’s twist on “well-known parlour games” that may be deemed unsuitable in certain company…
We had a great night with plenty of sing alongs and bopping to long improvised medleys of motown and classic hits that can take on a life of their own… I can’t wait to see some photos from this latest wedding at Mere Brook House and hope to upload soon. In the meantime, all the best! xx
Carrie, an established classical singer herself, had asked me to perform at her and Alex’s wedding at Craxton Wood using the hotel’s own piano. On the night, there were many guests present who had a background in theatre and opera and the pressure was on!!
A litte bit of humour and humility at the onset was enough to break the ice and there were several guests who were keen to sing a song for the bride and groom with one guest in particular giving a stunning rendition of Moon River with myself accompanying on piano. Carrie had requested “Run”, the Gavin & Stacey theme tune by Stephen Fretwell and this worked well with a piano vocal arrangement, I won’t lie to you. “Lush”, some might say…
A fun evening and I wish Alex and Carrie both the very best.
Paula and Johnny’s wedding reception last Saturday was held in a large marquee set up in a field next to her parents’ house in Somerford. I set up the baby grand on the stage provided and welcomed guests with a few upbeat numbers to set the tone for the day. Guests were keen to put in requests and I ended up playing extra time with a short break for a little dinner very kindly provided by Ray and the catering team.
The venue was superb and the rain held off until a minute after they had come inside for the wedding breakfast. Great timing! A memorable day with lots of laughter – long may it continue…
I was happy to return to the large marquee at Nunsmere Hall on Sunday for the second time in 10 days. Claire and Chris had found me on the internet and booked me to perform with my white baby grand. They both possess this infectious energy. It was a great day with some touching speeches and plenty of singalongs. Claire very kindly sent me a few words afterwards:
“Thanks a million! Just to say thank you so much for yesterday. To be honest, your set totally exceeded our expectations (which were already high!!) and it totally created the right atmosphere. Thanks so much for accommodating impromptu requests (you made my dad’s day by playing Fields of Athenrye) and our slightly delayed timetable!!”
Thank you. I wish you both all the best for the future!