Our day began in a Premier Inn just on the edge of Kings Lynn. This, for us, is quite normal when we are booked to play for a wedding some distance from our home in the Cotswolds. On this occasion, there wasn’t time for a trip round some charity shops, so we found some breakfast in a nearby Costa before driving the remaining 20 miles to today’s wedding.
Our brief was to perform for Lisa and Luke’s wedding which was taking place against the stunning backdrop of Holkham Hall in Norfolk. The starting point for this was the church of Saint Withburga.
The Wedding Ceremony
The ceremony took place at the Church of St Withburga which is inside the grounds of the Holkham Estate.
The flint church of St. Withburga is situated half a mile north-west of the hall. There is evidence of a church here from Saxon times but the oldest surviving tower, which, although heavily rebuilt, dates from the 13th century. A heraldic glass panel in the south-east chapel records restoration work initiated by the Dowager Countess of Leicester in the 1760s, but the church as we see it today owes much to the restoration in 1868-69 by the architect James K. Colling for the 2nd Earl of Leicester.
Arriving in good time we located the church and set about bringing our instruments in. This entailed a short walk up the hill upon which the church was situated. Doing battle with the elements we soon had our instruments inside the church.
Heading inside we were greeted by some helpful members of the church congregation, it soon transpired the church had no heating. On a cold windy day in January, this meant it was quite probably warmer outside than in! Aside of keeping ourselves warm, the bigger issue is keeping a string instrument in tune in such situations.
This is one reason why we always arrive in good time. The cello, you would imagine, is used to be dragged around and going from one place and temperature to another. But nevertheless, coming out of its case into almost sub zero temperatures is not something the cello is particularly pleased about!
It isn’t a massive problem, just means that Anne-Marie needs to play the cello for a while and retune a few times until it becomes accustomed to the new temperature. Ready in good time, we started to play as the wedding guests arrived, and themselves became accustomed to the cold!
Wedding Drinks Reception
After the ceremony, we had to quickly pack away in order to relocate to Main Hall for the Drinks reception.
After a short drive, following helpful instructions on the order of service, we found ourselves outside the rather grand and splendid Holkham Hall.
To make our setup easier we took advantage of the Steinway Grand Piano which was located in the Grand Hall where the drinks reception was taking place.
As with all our wedding couples, we had taken time to discuss their music choices. Luke and Lisa had provided us with music not only for their ceremony but also a selection of pieces they wanted us to play at the drinks reception.
With around 90 minutes to play for whilst guests drank Champagne and various photographs were staged on the very grand staircase next to us, we would estimate playing around 20-25 songs / pieces of music.
Holkham Hall is certainly a very beautiful venue for your wedding. The marble hall in particular is very imposing and idyllic for some beautiful wedding photographs in a very grand setting.
As the drinks reception drew to a close, the guests were called over to the Lady Elizabeth Wing for the wedding breakfast. We were also invited over as the couple had kindly laid on a hot meal for us too. In fact we were given our very own green room.
As we had a 4 hour drive to get home, this was most welcome!
JAM Duo at Your Wedding
Jules and Anne-Marie would love to be part of your wedding. We can provide day time music for your wedding ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast. We are also often asked to play for a first dance. If you are looking for something more upbeat then ask us about our new electric cello set which is ideal for going into the evening.
To find out more please get in touch via our contact form.