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Today we were in Highgate, London for the beautiful wedding of April and Russell at Lauderdale House lead by the fabulous Stewart the Celebrant.

Lauderdale House was originally two small houses which Sir Richard Martin joined together. In Victorian times, it was in fact nearly pulled down but saved in 1893 by William Morris.

April and Russell
Lauderdale House, London
Saturday 13 April 2024
Ceremony and Drinks

On arrival at Lauderdale the first slight issue we had to contend with is that the gate wasn’t wide enough for us to access the unloading area. But no matter, fortunately for this wedding April and Russell had specifically asked us to play the venue pianos and had paid for them to be tuned for this purpose. As a result we only had to bring in the electric cello and a speaker.

Now of course you might ask if we were using a grand piano why not use the acoustic (traditional wooden) cello. The answer is simple. AT weddings, people are not sat listening to us as such. In fact the only moment of quiet is for the bridal entrance. Whilst the acoustic cello will balance against a piano for the purposes of a recital, it runs the risk of not being heard when people are talking.

And so we took the decision to use our electric cello with a single discreet speaker under the piano as this achieved a much better balance and ensured the music could be heard as April and Russell were expecting.

Starting upstairs in the ceremony room we set up in the location determined by the piano which was in front of all the guests and behind the ‘stage’ which had been set for April and Russell.

The ceremony was lead by Stewart the Celebrant and what can we say. His tagline is #goodbyeboringwedding and this is just so true. We play for an average of 250 weddings a year and so we see a whole variety of Celebrants and Registrars and have never come across anyone quite like Stewart. His energy and enthusiasm is infectious and he is clearly loving what he does and this comes across when he engages not only with the couple but with their family and friends too. It is easy to see why he was awarded National Celebrant of the Year at the wedding awards.

Along with a helpful music cue sheet from Stewart, we had some lovely music to play for April and Russell’s ceremony which they had chosen.

Pre Ceremony
Backstreet boys – as long as you love me
Lighthouse family – High
Greatest showman – A million dreams
Survivor – Eye of the tiger

Bridal Entrance
Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere

April and Russell were not signing the register but Stewart asked us to play a song to be building in the middle of the ceremony whilst he is speaking directly following the first Kiss. The song chosen for this moment was a slower version of Kylie – Love at First Sight.

Tina Turner – Simply the best

After the ceremony it was a quick relocation downstairs for the drinks reception where a second piano was waiting for Jules to play.

Starting indoors we set up next to the venue Steinway Piano to provide music as guests were handed a glass of champagne.

Our brief for the drinks reception was more upbeat songs with the following being given as an example by April and Russell

Signed sealed delivered
Tones & I – dance monkey
Rudimental – Feel the love
Dancing in the moonlight
Madness – it must be love
Harry Styles – As it was

We really enjoyed providing music for April and Russell and they were just such a lovely couple. All too soon the bus arrived – the next part of the day was afternoon tea on a Routemaster – this naturally made Jules very jealous as the combination of an afternoon tea and a route master bus combines his two most favourite things!

The confetti shot was our cue to wrap up the music and for April, Russel and their guests to head on to the next part of their day. We really loved being a part of this fabulous wedding and we wish April and Russell every happiness as they start their married life together.

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