Wedding Ceremony Music explained

Blog: How to choose music for your marriage ceremony

I think wedding music is one of those things that can sometimes get a little overlooked during the planning phase. As a singer and guitarist, I speak with lots of brides and grooms who are huge music fans and know exactly what they’re after! But for every couple that have it all figured out, there’s another couple that don’t know where to start. I find the same questions tend to pop up again and again, so here’s my quick guide to picking your perfect ceremony music.

How many songs should we choose for the marriage ceremony?

Undoubtedly the most common question I get asked! This can vary, depending on whether you’re having a civil ceremony, a church wedding or an alternative celebration – such as a humanist ceremony, for example. Typically, you’ll always need some music during the processional (walking down the aisle), the signing of the register and the recessional (exit of the married couple).

The civil ceremony

A civil ceremony is a non-religious marriage ceremony. Most civil ceremonies will have:

  • One song during the processional (walk down the aisle / bridal entrance)
  • Three songs during the signing of the register
  • One song during the recessional (exit of the married couple)

The main varying factor here is the signing of the register. Usually what happens is – the couple sign the legal marriage register, then shortly afterwards the registrars bring out a blank register. This allows the couple to have a ‘fake’ signing, and the photographer can take some pictures of the happy couple sealing the deal! Photos of the legal marriage register are not allowed, which is why they bring out a blank register for the fake signing. You may also invite your guests forward to get some snaps at this point, so depending on how long this takes, it’s usually up to about 10 minutes, so three songs is usually bang on the money.

Church/religious wedding ceremonies

Religious ceremonies are a little different, so you should liaise with the person conducting the ceremony. I can only comment on Christian ceremonies here, but in my experience you would usually have:

  • One song during the processional
  • Two or three hymns for the congregation to sing
  • Two or three pieces of music during the signing of the register
  • One song during the recessional

Often the songs will played by an organist at the church, however some ceremonies are more flexible and may allow a live musician such as myself. I’ve played at a number of church weddings – sometimes I’ll play all the music (other than the hymns), and sometimes I may alternate with the organist.

Humanist and other alternative ceremonies

For those couples that don’t want to go down the more traditional route, the options are limitless for creating their own perfect ceremony. Humanist and alternative ceremonies don’t hold any legal status, so often couples will choose to tie the knot elsewhere beforehand, maybe the day before.

These ceremonies are usually conducted by a celebrant, or maybe even a friend or family member who is confident talking in front of large groups of people! In terms of music, it really can follow any path you want, but typically there will be songs during the processional and recessional, just as in a civil or religious ceremony.

A popular option is to have guests sing along to a song or two during the ceremony, kind of like an alternative hymn – more on this in the hints and tips section below.

Other interesting ideas I’ve seen include handfasting, tree planting and sand ceremonies. Often during these rituals, I’ll play a lovely chilled acoustic song or two!

 

Hints and tips for choosing your ceremony music

Religious content

If you’re having a civil ceremony, remember this means that it’s not a religious service so your music must reflect that. Your song lyrics must have no religious content whatsoever. Most registrars will ask you to submit your music choices to them a couple of months before the ceremony, so just check through the words before sending them off.

Wedding guest singalongs

This is becoming an increasingly popular idea – throwing a song or two into the wedding ceremony for the guests to sing along to, maybe as an alternative to a reading.

It’s a great idea in theory – kind of like a modern day hymn – but you have to be really careful that it doesn’t fail and become a bit of a damp squib. Having done this a few times, I’ve seen this work with varying levels of success, so these would be my tips if you’re planning to get everyone singing from the same song sheet!

  • Choose a REALLY well-known song, with a big, easy singalong chorus that even if they don’t know, they’ll pick up quickly. For example – All You Need Is Love by the Beatles is absolutely perfect.
  • Keep it upbeat and fun. Don’t go for a slow song – you’ll need something that will keep the energy flowing.
  • Make it short! Don’t choose a 6 minute epic… everyone will lose interest. Around 2 minutes is the sweet spot. If I’m playing the song live, I can adapt it and shorten it as necessary by removing long intros/outros, cutting verses etc. If you’re playing the song through a phone/iPad, it’s a bit more tricky but you can arrange for someone to fade it down at an appropriate point.
  • Print off the lyrics onto your wedding programme, so that everyone knows what they’re singing. Even better, have the lyrics on a screen up front (maybe tricky to organise but not impossible!) – when people’s heads are up and not looking down at a sheet, their voices will project and it will sound so much better!
  • Ask someone super-confident to be a bit of a ringleader to get everyone going. If your registrar says “ok, everyone is going to sing a song now”, chances are people will be less-than-enthusiastic and will mumble quietly into their lyric sheets. Instead, ask the registrar to “hand over to (person) who will lead us through a singalong to (song title)”. Ask that person to stand up at the front, sing as loudly as they can and get everyone involved! Also ask all the guests who can to stand – people tend to sing more enthusiastically when stood up rather than sat down.
  • Similar to the last point, another idea is to practice the songs on the hen or stag party, and have the hens or stags up front at the ceremony leading the song. A bride recently mentioned to me that this was what they were going to do – I think this is a great idea!
  • Finally, and this is more of a hunch, but I think this will probably only work well with a live musician who can interact with the group. Just playing a song via a phone is probably not going to get everyone to engage as well with the idea.

Pre-ceremony music

There will usually be 15-20 minutes before the marriage ceremony itself, during which guests will take their seats and settle before the big moment. This is a nice time to have a bit of background music on. Often your venue will provide some light music. If booked for the ceremony, I will play some live music during this time which may include some instrumental and some vocal music.

It’s great to have a live musician such as myself during this part of the day, as we can be flexible with how long to play for – particularly handy if the bride is fashionably late! To read more about my wedding ceremony, drinks reception and other live music options, have a look at my pricing page where everything is explained.

So there you have it – that’s the basics of wedding ceremony music covered. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line on info@guitaristforweddings.co.uk – even if you haven’t booked me for your wedding, I’ll be glad to help! It’s what I do 🙂

The trickiest bit, of course, is which songs to choose… that’s a harder one to help with, but I have written some blogs on the subject which you can check out below:

https://www.guitaristforweddings.co.uk/top-10-wedding-ceremony-dance-songs/

https://www.guitaristforweddings.co.uk/unusual-wedding-songs/

https://www.guitaristforweddings.co.uk/100-wedding-ceremony-songs/

I’ll be adding some new selections for 2019 very soon, so keep your eyes out on my blog page.



Published 8th May 2019 by Pat McIntyre – singer & guitarist and professional musician for weddings based in Bristol.

This article is based on UK wedding/marriage ceremonies.

For more information about my live wedding music services, please visit www.guitaristforweddings.co.uk

Wedding venues in the Southwest – the BIG list!

Wedding Venues in the Southwest

Following on from my previous blog post, where I put together a list of 10 of my favourite wedding venues, here’s an exhaustive list of every venue I’ve played at down the years! I’ve arranged them by area, and each has it’s own web link so that you can check out what they have to offer…

Wedding venues in Bristol

The Avon Gorge HotelHotel Du VinMercure Bristol North HotelPaintworksNumber 4 CliftonBerwick LodgeThe Bristol Golf Club AlmondsburyClifton Pavilion (Bristol Zoo)The Square ClubColliters Brook FarmGlassboat BristolGoldney Hall (The Orangery)The Bristol Packet (a boat!)The Grain BargeMerchants Hall, Ashton Court Mansion

The Orangery, Goldney Hall, Bristol

Wedding venues in Bath, Somerset & Wiltshire 

Aldwick Court Farm & VineyardThe Roman BathsOrchardleigh HousePriston Mill Tythe Barn and WatermillWick Farm BathCoombe LodgeAmerican MuseumBathwick Boatman RestaurantClevedon Hall,  Haberfield HallCadbury HouseRookery ManorThe Gathering BarnCornerhouse HotelNailsea Tithe BarnCharlton HouseBishopstrow House HotelCombe Grove ManorBailbrook HouseKilver CourtAbbey Manor Centre YeovilCourt Farm BanwellThe Old Mill BathMoonraker HotelHuntstile Organic FarmLimpley Stoke HotelHomewood ParkFolly Farm PensfordBatch Country HouseBabington HouseYarlington BarnHare & Hounds (Lansdown, Bath),  Haselbury MillBrympton House, The Battleaxes, Quantock Lakes

The Roman Baths, Bath

Wedding venues in Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds

Kingscote BarnCripps BarnStone BarnBerkeley CastleGreat Tythe Barn TetburyThe Manor House Hotel (Moreton-In-Marsh)Westonbirt ArboretumThe Manor House (Castle Combe)The Matara CentreThornbury CastleThornbury Golf ClubThe Hare & Hounds (Tetbury)Eastwood ParkManor By The Lake CheltenhamHatton CourtRendcomb College, Elmore Court, Egypt Mill

Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham

Wedding venues in Cornwall, Devon & Dorset

Watergate BayTunnels BeachesTrevennaDunster Tithe BarnLusty GlazeThe Green CornwallMill End HotelThe Lynhurst (Lynton)Ever After – A Dartmoor WeddingPolhawn FortSt. Elizabeth’s HouseYeoldon HouseBovey CastleWoolacombe Bay HotelBridwell ParkBranksome Dene

Trevenna Barns, Cornwall

Wedding venues in Wales

Canada Lake & LodgeGlen-Yr-Afon HotelWest Usk LighthouseLlancaiach Fawr ManorThe Barn at West FarmFforestOxwich Bay HotelNew House Country HotelCardiff Marriott HotelClearwell CastleManorbier CastleBarn at BrynichBryngarw HouseFlorin

Clearwell Castle

Others

Friars CourtCaswell HouseSpittleborough FarmhouseSulgrave ManorOaks Farm (Surrey)Bordesley ParkBirtsmorton CourtBrockencote HallAldwickbury Park Golf ClubMorden Hall, Little Channels, The Mill Barns

Birtsmorton Court

Wedding Venues in Bristol, Bath and the South-West

Wedding Guitarist Blog – Wedding Venues

As a wedding musician, I get to see a lot of fantastic venues. Based in Bristol, I’m lucky that there is a big, varied choice of amazing places to get married nearby. There’s hidden gems right here in the city, and in the neighbouring counties of Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire you’ll find everything from country manor estates to tithe barns, boutique hotels to castles. Heading West towards Wales and South to Dorset, Cornwall and Devon you’ll find stunning beachside venues, farms… I’ve even played at a lighthouse once!

It’s hard to have favourites when there’s so many brilliant venues around, but here’s a few of my top picks. I must say, it was very hard to narrow it down to just 10 and there are lots more I’d love to include. For a list of ALL the venues I’ve played at in my time as a singer/guitarist for weddings, see my full list of venues here.

Without any further ado then, here’s 10 of the best!

 

Wedding venues – Top 10 picks

1. Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard

I’m lucky enough to visit Aldwick quite often – it’s a popular spot to get married and for good reason! It’s in a fantastic location, just half an hour South of Bristol near the beautiful Mendip hills. A perfect blend of countryside chic with a modern twist, it’s a working vineyard so you’ll have the opportunity to test their British wines, and if you get married here there’s some fantastic photo opportunities in the grounds!

There are two adjacent barns, one which holds the wedding ceremony and the larger barn which is set up for the wedding breakfast during the daytime. Later on, there’s plenty of space to hold a wedding band or DJ to keep the party going until late.

There’s a large outdoor space which is absolutely perfect in the Summer if the sun is shining. I have many fond memories of playing live acoustic music out on the terrace as guests mingle and the married couple have photos taken.

Apart from the stunning surroundings, I think my favourite thing about Aldwick is the people – you’re always greeted with a friendly welcome and the staff and catering team are so helpful!

2. Coombe Lodge at Blagdon

Just down the road from Aldwick is the bold, imposing building that is Coombe Lodge. Similarly to Aldwick it’s in an amazing location, just outside the village of Blagdon, adjacent to the Mendip hills. With stunning views of Blagdon Lake, out to the Chew Valley countryside, it really is an amazing spot and on a clear Summer’s day the views are hard to beat.

It’s a country house building with exclusive use of the house and gardens for weddings so you can truly make the place your own. I’ve never been to a wedding at Coombe Lodge that hasn’t been full of fun! I think the staff are a big part of what makes this place special – they always go out of their way to make sure everything runs perfectly and are always friendly and helpful. It’s always a pleasure to play guitar at Coombe Lodge, whether I’m out in the gardens in the Summer sun, or inside in the cosy surroundings in the Winter – it’s one of my favourite places to visit.

3. The Kingscote Barn

Set in the middle of the beautiful Cotswolds countryside, this barn venue is absolutely gorgeous – pay it a visit and you’ll fall in love with it instantly! They’ve won many awards at Kingscote and it’s easy to see why. Apart from the incredible views and the fantastic buildings, the team at Kingscote are just brilliant and always on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly.

I’ve played guitar in various locations at Kingscote Barn – in the main barn for the wedding ceremony, near the bar and in the reception room as guests have drinks and canapés. There’s also an outdoor area, and in the Summer you can get married outside with views of the glorious countryside as you walk down the aisle. I can play acoustic music outside if the weather allows, and the gardens out the back are quite a sun trap when the sun is shining. Drinks, relaxing in the sun and live acoustic music – perfection!

4. Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe

On the North-Western Devon coast, Tunnels Beaches is surely one of the most amazing places in the UK to get married. The location is simply jaw-dropping – you even get your own private beach if you’re married here! After walking down the famous tunnels which were hand carved in the 1820’s, you enter the venue, nestled neatly into the rocky coastline. The vibe is stylish and relaxed – seaside chic with a modern twist.

The open plan layout of the venue means that you always feel like you’re outside, even if you’re not – and you have that relaxing sea view at all times. It’s a spectacular place to get married, and I always have a tingle of excitement when someone books me to play their wedding music at Tunnels!

I’ve played here during the daytime, in the evening, inside and outside and each time it’s been an fantastic occasion. A word of warning if you’re interested in getting married here though, it’s highly in demand as you could imagine, so you may have to book well in advance to secure this amazing place as your wedding venue!

5. Wick Farm Bath

Wick Farm Bath is actually a venue I’ve not visited that often, but I wanted to include it on the list because a/ it’s stunning and b/ I got married here! I also think it’s a little under the radar – although it’s certainly very popular as a wedding venue, it seems that not that many people I speak to have heard of it. So a worthy mention for this lovely barn venue. The owners are relaxed, friendly and are happy for you to really make the place your own. They were tremendously helpful when we were planning our wedding, and equally as welcoming when I came back to sing at a wedding a few months later!

The inside of the barn is cosy and warm with underfloor heating if the weather isn’t so great, so perfect for Winter weddings. In the Summer sun, guests can mingle outside in the beautiful grounds so it’s a winner in all seasons. I love playing guitar here – the acoustics in the main barn are beautiful for wedding ceremony music, and if the sun is shining you can’t beat a bit of acoustic music out on the terrace!

6. Priston Mill

Priston Mill, not far from Bath, comprises two separate buildings – the Watermill and the Tythe Barn. Both equally stunning in their own right, the Watermill is totally unique and the Tythe Barn is warm and inviting. You can host your wedding in either of the venues – the Tythe Barn has a bigger capacity but the Watermill may be on your list if you’re looking for somewhere a little more quirky.

Both venues are perfect for music, especially if the weather is good. Guests can wonder the gardens and enjoy the beautiful North East Somerset countryside… whilst listening to some live acoustic music in the sun!

7. Clevedon Hall

If you have your heart set on a stunning manor house with beautiful grounds and plenty of amazing photo opportunities, Clevedon Hall may be just the place for you. Located in the sleepy seaside town of Clevedon, the beach is just a stone’s throw away – so as well as getting amazing photographs in the extensive grounds (you may even see some deer if you’re lucky!), you could also pop over the road and get some pictures by the sea, or by Clevedon’s famous pier.

Acoustic music works fantastically at Clevedon Hall – the grand main hall plays host to the wedding ceremony, where I’m often booked to play during the bridal entrance, the signing of the register and as the married couple make their jubilant exit. Afterwards it’s outside for drinks in the sun, weather permitting, where I’ll play some music as people mingle and enjoy their afternoon. Later on, the place is transformed for the evening party and it tends to get pretty lively! I’m often booked to do a kind of ‘warm up’ set before a DJ or live band take over for the rest of the evening.

8. The Great Tythe Barn, Tetbury

There’s a lot of wedding venues in the Cotswolds, but this stands out as one of my favourites. Just outside the picturesque town of Tetbury, it’s main feature is the beautifully restored 16th century barn, and it also has accommodation on site with self-catering cottages which can be used by the wedding party.

Equally beautiful inside and out, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining at the Great Tythe Barn – the grounds are lovely in the sunshine but it’s just as good inside if the British weather isn’t playing ball! Again, at this venue I tend to be booked for the wedding ceremony and drinks reception but I’ve also done a few evening events here which are always good fun!

 

9. Ever After – A Dartmoor Wedding

Now, this venue I think falls into the ‘hidden gem’ category! Not far from Tavistock in the Dartmoor countryside, this venue is truly one of my favourite places to visit. The word ‘magical’ sounds a bit cheesy, but there really is something other-worldly about this place. From the moment you drive through the large wooden gate, you realise this is no ordinary wedding venue. It sits next to a small river, and as you walk around you notice unique personal touches everywhere – the attention to detail makes this spot really stand out from the crowd.

As well as having a beautiful location for the wedding ceremony, there’s also a grand luxury marquee which hosts the wedding breakfast and evening celebrations. Some of my favourite memories are of singing in the sunshine as guests mingle and explore this unique place.

However, I think the thing that really makes Ever After tick is owner Nicola and her team. Nicola works with you to ensure you get your perfect big day – she’s incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and will even style the wedding to make your vision a reality. It’s a truly personal service, and every time I have the privilege of playing a wedding at Ever After, it’s clear how much time and effort has been spent preparing for the big day. Just a really special place, with wonderful people.

10. Stone Barn

Last on my list but most certainly not least, it’s another barn venue (you’re probably realising that I really love converted barns by now!) – and one of the most spectacular ones you’ll find. In the heart of the Cotswolds, you drive down a country track to get there and at first you may wonder where you’re headed! As you drive on, the barn emerges in front of you, almost hidden in a little dip amongst the fields that surround it. The first thing that strikes you is the corrugated iron roofs over the Dutch Barns, which gives it a rustic, traditional feel.

When you walk in, it really takes your breath away. It’s a big space which can accommodate up to 250 guests if required, and is tastefully decorated with draped lighting and a stunning open plan layout. The other thing you’ll notice is the smell of food being freshly prepared in the open plan kitchen, as the chefs flame grill delicious offerings right in front of your eyes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

The ceremony room is equally as stunning with it’s stone walls, high ceilings and traditional styling. Outdoors you’ll find a relaxed area where guests can enjoy drinks and canapés, and later on the fire pits are lit to create a warm, cosy atmosphere. It’s an absolutely amazing place to play live acoustic music and I just love visiting this gem in the Cotswolds.

 

So there you have it. 10 of the best wedding venues in the Southwest – but there’s plenty more to choose from! If you want to see a full list of venues that I’ve played at, arranged by area, click the link below.

Wedding Venues Southwest – the Big List!

I hope this blog was informative – if you’re planning your wedding and found this article useful, let me know! Or if you have some feedback about wedding venues I’d love to hear from you… drop me a line at info@guitaristforweddings.co.uk or via the Contact Page.

 


Pat McIntyre is a singer and acoustic guitarist from Bristol, UK. An experienced live performer and music aficionado, Pat is available to book for weddings and other events.

For more information about booking Pat for your wedding, click here – or get in touch here.

13.01.18 – The wedding of Will & Vicci


13th January 2018 – Will & Vicci’s wedding music at The Gathering Barn

My first wedding of 2018 saw a visit to the fantastic Gathering Barn near Warminster. A new venue for me this one, and it’s an absolutely beautiful spot in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside. After driving down a farm track for a couple of miles, I was worried that the sat nav was sending me on a wild goose chase, but thankfully I arrived at the barn with plenty of time to spare – I don’t think that was the official entrance though!

The barn was looking absolutely amazing thanks to Helen of I Do Weddings, who was busy making sure everything ran smoothly when I arrived to set up. Will and Vicci booked me to sing at the wedding ceremony and drinks reception, so I set up and put some music on as guests started trickling in.

As everyone entered the ceremony room I began playing some live songs to set the ambience, ready for Vicci’s big entrance. Shortly after 1.30pm I began playing Vicci’s bridal entrance song – Marry Me by Train. We had some live songs during the signing of the register, then finally ‘My Universe’ by The Shires for the exit of the married couple. A new song for me this one that that I learnt for the day and it worked perfectly!

Then it was through to the bar area for drinks, photos and of course more live music! I played acoustic songs from 2-4pm as guests mingled and took in the beautiful surroundings. An absolutely fantastic day, and a wonderful couple – congratulations Will & Vicci, aka Mr & Mrs Tonking!

Here’s their acoustic playlist:

Wedding Ceremony music

Bridal Entrance: 
Train - Marry Me

Signing of the Register:
Newton Faulkner - Dream Catch Me
Jack Johnson - Better Together. 
Jason Mraz - I’m yours

Recessional (exit): 
The Shires - My Universe

 Drinks Reception music

Bruno Mars - Marry You
George Ezra - Listen To The Man
Ed Sheeran - Perfect
Elvis - Can't Help Falling In Love
Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine
Blackstreet - No Diggity
Outkast - Hey Ya (acoustic version)
Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah
Michael Bublé - Everything
Passenger - Let Her Go
Jack Johnson - Banana Pancakes
David Gray - This Years Love
Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait

The Kooks - She Moves In Her Own Way
The Zutons/Amy Winehouse - Valerie
John Mayer - Your Body is a Wonderland
Kodaline - The One
James Bay - Hold Back The River
Ed Sheeran - Galway Girl
The Coral - Dreaming of You
McFly - It's All About You
The Lumineers - Ho Hey
Noah & The Whale - L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.
Paolo Nutini - New Shoes
Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Stealers Wheel - Stuck In The Middle With You

Pat McIntyre | The Acoustic Wedding Album – Vol.2 | Out now to download/stream

A little later than planned but just in time for Christmas, I released the Acoustic Wedding Album – Volume 2. It features 12 brand new acoustic recordings of some of my favourite wedding songs, from slower romantic numbers such as “How Long Will I Love You” through to upbeat fun songs like “Signed, Sealed, Delivered“. Here’s the full track list:

Here Comes The Sun (The Beatles)
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Stevie Wonder)
Let’s Stay Together (Al Green)
All Of Me (John Legend)
How Long Will I Love You (Ellie Goulding)
Fly Me To The Moon (Frank Sinatra)
Make You Feel My Love (Adele)
At Last (Etta James)
Wonderful World (Sam Cooke)
Sky Full Of Stars (Coldplay)
Stand By Me (Ben E King)
One Day Like This (Elbow)

Download/stream on iTunes/Google Play/Amazon/Spotify:

Download on iTunesDownload on Google Play
Download Amazon Music mp3Stream on Spotify


And of course the original Acoustic Wedding Album Vol. 1 is still available!

Pat McIntyre - The Acoustic Wedding Album

Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis)
Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran)
Grow Old With Me (Tom Odell)
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher (Jackie Wilson)
A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
Crazy Love (Van Morrison)
Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
Marry You (Bruno Mars)
Love Me Tender (Elvis)
The Acoustic Bridal Chorus (Short)
The Acoustic Bridal Chorus (Full Length)

Download on iTunesDownload on Google Play
Download Amazon Music mp3Stream on Spotify

17th May 2017: End of an era!

Well, after nearly 8 years, I’m saying goodbye to one of my resident venues Illusions Magic Bar. Sadly there will no longer by live music at Illusions at the weekend, but I’d like to say thank you to Mark, the staff, my fellow musicians and of course everyone that came down to watch me through the years!

illusions2

Can’t believe I was there nearly a decade – how time flies! I remember the first few gigs when the music stage used to be near the bar, with the grand piano. Fun times! Then the renovation and the nice new stage that was installed. It’s always been a totally unique and fun place to play, and I’ve had some really memorable nights there!

I’ll still be continuing my regular gigs at Smoke & Mirrors in the centre, and will also post up any other public appearances on my gigs page.

Thanks Illusions – it’s been fun!

illusions1

 

20th March 2017: Kingscote Barn Spring Open Day/Wedding Fair

 

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Yesterday saw my first appearance at the Kingscote Barn Open day. I’ve played at Kingscote many times, but this was my first appearance at one of their open days. What a fantastic day! Very busy, and such a great atmosphere – I highly recommend checking out one of their open days if you’re on the hunt for a wedding venue, or if you’re after some wedding inspiration.

Kingscote Open Day

A great day playing live music and chatting with wedding couples. Looking forward to returning to Kingscote Barn in June for Alex & Rebecca’s big day 🙂

Talking of live appearances, you may notice that the gigs page is a little bare at the moment. I’ve had a couple of people email this week asking whether I have any live shows coming up. Well – no, at the moment! My two resident venues Illusions and Smoke & Mirrors are currently putting together their musician schedule, so I’ll add my dates in as soon as they’ve got this organised.

Otherwise, my next public appearances will be at the Old Down Estate wedding fair in September, and the Chosen Wedding Fair in October.

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Feedback from the Wedding Industry Awards

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Here is the feedback received from my wedding couples, in no particular order:

General Comments

We found Pat looking for a wedding singer. We couldn’t have been happier to fall upon Pat. We had been let down by another musician we had found and had waited out for. But as soon as we contacted Pat he was brilliant. Fast to reply with communication and he bent over backwards to accommodate our special requests. On the day Pat was simply amazing…so many of our guests commented on how great he sounded and how happy he looked to be there. We couldn’t recommend Pat any more!!
Mr Alex Redgrave

redgravewedding

Pat was an absolute pleasure to deal with from start to finish and his range of music was fantastic! Very pleased that we booked Pat as he didn’t disappoint and learnt out first dance song which was amazing, we also have a copy to remember for rest of our lives.
Mr Craig Spanswick

We could not sing Pat’s praises more highly. Not only did he make our wedding ceremony extra special by learning a completely new song for us for the bridal procession and merging it with the bridal march, but he was also brilliant during the rest of his set (not to mention helping us with song choices in the run up to our wedding). All of our guests commented on his playing! All this, and he agreed to play at our wedding the DAY AFTER he returned from his own honeymoon – now that is dedication!
Mrs Victoria Stevens

Really easy to book and was thoroughly professional during the whole process and especially when playing during our wedding. Definitely added an extra ‘wow’ factor to our day and all of our guests loved him.
Mr Keith Johnston

Pat is fantastic!! He really made our wedding day complete he even learnt 3 new songs for us without any problems. He was so good that we asked him to stay for the first dance and since that for us which he also did with no quibbles! We still have compliments now from our guests. Absolutely fantastic person who is a must at ANY wedding big or small – THANK YOU PAT you really are amazing!!
Mrs Danielle Scourfield (Wheeler)

Pat is a brilliantly talented musician, that is instantly likable and creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere from the first note. Our guests loved every song he played and he inspired many guests to get their own guitars and share their favourite songs. His communication was superb every step of the way and he attended our every whim (even learning a McFly song!! Thank you Pat!) I was so sad when his set finished, it flew by and I wished we’d booked him for longer 🙂
Mrs Amanda Bathory-Griffiths

withamandaiwan

Pat was brilliant, he played at our wedding ceremony and drinks reception and was fantastic, so many of our guests commented on how great he was. Very professional and just got on with things when he arrived, music was fab and such a wide range of music to play
Mrs Amanda Harper

Pat impressed us from the first time we saw him at the Bristol Zoo Wedding Fayre and we both immediately knew we had to have him at our wedding. He was thoroughly helpful and friendly throughout the booking process and after; he made everything really easy. On the night he was brilliant, everyone loved his acoustic set and he played out first dance song perfectly making it something we’ll never forget. He worked alongside our DJ without an issue, we would definitely recommend Pat.
Mrs Jenna Wakley (Stinchcombe)

Pat was absolutely brilliant! We found him on the internet and after listening to some samples of his sets on you tube we new he was perfect for our wedding. On the day of our wedding he performed beautifully, if only we had had more time to sit and enjoy the music more, but you know how weddings are for the B & G! We would definitely recommend Pat to anyone!
Mrs Charlotte O’Brien

Pat was fantastic at our wedding, he has a great voice and everyone enjoyed his performance. I would highly recommend. He even learnt a number of new songs that I requested.
Mrs Amy Hicks

I can not fault Pat Mcintyre in the slightest! He went over and above for us even learning and performing a song that he had not sung before. All of our guests commented on how amazing he was on our special day.
Mrs Louise Gould

Pat was an absolute star from start to finish, right from the initial enquiry, he was responsive, detailed and professional. We chose to have the all day wedding package and Pat was there on the morning of our wedding all the way up until the music was turned off at 11pm! He helped us with our DJ playlist at the end of the night which was brilliant. Pat was an expert at ‘reading the mood’ and helped to give our wedding an amazing atmosphere, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.
Mrs Kristy James

kristyolliedance

From the first point of contact we had with Pat to our wedding day he was polite, friendly, professional and full of helpful advice. Having him play for two hours after our wedding breakfast as the evening guest arrived was one of the best parts of our day, guest were dancing and enjoying his amazing voice, feedback from our guest was that when Pat was singing was the big they all enjoyed the most, amazing would highly recommend him.
Mrs Lucy de Scossa (Bray)

Super friendly, so good at communication and was really accommodating when explaining what he can do for us, we also booked this supplier at quite short notice and he was just utterly fantastic, all my quest had such amazing comments on him and his style and the song choices and how friendly he was! Pat really deserves this award
Mrs Paige Josham

withpaigedaniel

Pat was an amazing entertainer all of my guests spoke about how talented he was and how beautiful it was for me to walk down the isle to him singing my entrance song his communication was outstanding any questions I had were answered promptly and professionally. I was so impressed with his work i will be booking pat again in the future for other events.if your looking for a singer for your wedding pat is your man, I had a wonderful wedding and pat made it so much more with the sets he played ?
Mrs Samantha Kemp

Pat went the extra mile that made our wedding so special. I walked down the aisle to Pat singing one of my all time song by Paolo Nutini. A moment I will cherish for the rest of my life
Mrs Helen Wall

Fantastic – had great comments from all our guests. Not intrusive and created a great atmosphere.
Mrs Helen Beck

We were recommended Pat via our wedding helper. From the day I first got in contact to our wedding day I couldn’t fault him. He was so helpful on the lead up to our wedding and everyone mentioned on the day how brilliant he actually was. Couldn’t recommend Pat enough. He made our wedding reception complete.
Mrs Gemma Westlake

withgemma

Pat was brilliant on our wedding day and we had so many compliments from our guests. Talented musician, great singer and all round nice guy. Would book him again and recommend to others without hesitation.
Mr Alec Howard

withlauraalec

really enjoyed his way of interacting with couple and guests great variety of songs
Anonymous

Pat was fantastic he played our selected songs all through the day from ceremony, drinks reception and evening reception. He was fantastic. Really friendly and helpful and everyone loved his music.
Mrs Abbey Bintcliffe

From the first day we made contact with Pat to our wedding day, he was a dream, nothing was too much to ask. We loved his laid back approach and his willingness to take on new pieces of music. I was blown away when he played our very special wedding march and even though it rained non-stop he managed to keep everyone enchanted and tapping their feet. Pat was amazing and went above and beyond on the day especially when I was running fashionably late 🙂
Mrs Cherie Stammers (Perfect)

withcherie

Very professional, took all of the stress out of organising music for my wedding.
Mrs Kate Spalding (McMenamin)

I rate Pat McIntyre a 10. Sound and musical styles were varied and delivered with expertise. Advice and guidance prior was good. Customer service was excellent, Pat gave us everything we asked for, learned new tracks and brought additional equipment in order to deliver. Pats presentation is spot on, he’s smart and looks the part. Web page is good, user friendly. Pat delivers sets that are fun, beautiful and very professionally delivered. He has a great voice and is a great guitar player.
Ms Helen Smith

Wide and varied song list with excellent vocals
Mrs Emily Gebhard

Pat was simply lovely, he slotted into the our day seamlessly and really added to it with style. The music was stunning and he even took the time to learn and add some songs to his already large repertoire specifically for us. We have musicians in the family and they commented on how good he was. I would have him again at any function we did and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to anyone else knowing that he would deliver for them.
Mr James Allen

ANAZING, TRULY AMAZING. He made our wedding perfect, great music, great sounds, great variety and a really great genuine guy.
Mrs Rebecca Thorne

I was searching for a ‘different’ version of can’t help falling in love with you and I stumbled upon Pat – what can I say I’m so glad that I did! He is amazing, so professional but personable too which I liked. Whatever we asked of Pat he would do his best to do it as soon as possible! I can’t fault pat or his service and will recommend him on to any other couples I know due to get married! He is a must boom :D! thank you Pat!!
Mr Christopher Scourfield

 

voterscores

Why They Booked

Saw his videos online and thought he was excellent
Mr Alec Howard

A credible, relevant & original singer who put his stamp on our favourite songs. He was so helpful throughout the process as well.
Mrs Emily Gebhard

Because he sounded amazing and he really was. Our first dance couldn’t have been any better!!!
Mrs Rebecca Thorne

Because he sounded amazing in his YouTube videos
Mrs Danielle Scourfield (Wheeler)

As soon as I heard him on YouTube I told the now wife that if I have one say for our wedding day it would be that we have to book Pat – he is fab!
Mr Christopher Scourfield

After watching his you tube video’s we liked his style, music and was great to work with! No issues! just got the job done so we could crack on with the good stuff!!! Getting married 🙂
Mrs Helen Wall

A lot of searching the internet and listening to his music, we liked his style and how he came across
Mr James Allen

Professionalism, Service Delivery and Value for money
Mr Craig Spanswick

We attended the wedding of our lovely friends Ceri and Jenna, where Pat was also performing. We loved his laid-back soulful style, and Jenna couldn’t have praised him more highly.
Mrs Amanda Bathory-Griffiths

Recommendation from a friend.
Mrs Gemma Westlake

I stumbled upon Pat’s music on Youtube whilst looking for a version of my late Grandads favourite song ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’. My Grandad used to sing and play the guitar to me when I was a child so I hold fond memories of these times. I always said that I wanted to walk down the aisle to one of his songs so I’d feel like he was there with me on our special day. Upon finding Pat and hearing his version of this song i knew I had to have this man sing at my wedding no matter the cost! I didn’t think he would travel from Bristol to Surrey so when my Mum told me he’d agreed to come I was completely over the moon! Pat absolutely made my day! Can not thank him enough.
Mrs Louise Gould

We wanted something a little bit different to fill the two hours inbetween the wedding breakfast and the evening, he set up outside and as our guest mingled and enjoy the sun they also got to enjoy listening to Pat, he was fantastic
Mrs Lucy de Scossa (Bray)

Loved his influences and the way he delivered his songs. Pat can deliver technical beautiful songs and upbeat tracks. Suits all tastes and Pat really is perfect for any wedding day.
Ms Helen Smith

I wanted an acoustic guitarist to play my wedding entrance I listened to pats work and fell in love with his voice and from that moment knew I had to book him
Mrs Samantha Kemp

Youtube channel had lots of videos to view. Song choices and voice. Looks smart
Mrs Amy Hicks

For evening acoustic entertainment at out wedding which was something different and to play our first dance song all of which we achieved by booking Pat as he was excellent.
Mrs Jenna Wakley (Stinchcombe)

My partner and I loved his style, his website is great for listening to his songs and his voice seals the deal. Amazing guitarist and singer.
Mrs Cherie Stammers (Perfect)

Simply we were very impressed with every aspect, he’s wonderful!
Mrs Paige Josham

great website with examples,
Anonymous

Was exactly what we wanted at our wedding, plenty of videos on website to see what he sounded like before booking
Mrs Amanda Harper

Reasonably priced, professional website and the fact that we could listen to some of his songs on you tube to get an idea of his sound.
Mrs Charlotte O’Brien

Pat’s website was very professional and easy to navigate, we listened to some of Pat’s videos on Youtube and then went to see him live at a local bar before we decided to book him! We loved his style of playing, his musical repertoire and his personality on stage. We also loved that he offered different types of packages and that we could have him play during our ceremony as well as the reception.
Mrs Kristy James

We saw him play at a friends wedding and were very impressed.
Mr Keith Johnston

We saw him on his website and YouTube and thought he’d be perfect also because he was able to play all day.
Mrs Abbey Bintcliffe

we loved his song list on his website and videos posted.
Mr Alex Redgrave

Really liked the music he offered and the acoustic style.
Mrs Kate Spalding (McMenamin)

Absoutely loved his style when listening to his videos online, and the way he took a variety of newer songs and old classics while putting his own acoustic guitar ‘spin’ on them.
Mrs Victoria Stevens

Watched his videos and was very impressed
Mrs Helen Beck

The Wedding Industry Awards 2017

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The red carpet shot!

The Wedding Industry Awards – Regional Finals awards presentation

This year I was nominated for an award at the prestigious Wedding Industry awards. I attended the regional finals last Wednesday at Old Down Estate, Bristol. Did I win? Well, more on that in a moment, but first – why I entered, and some background.

Taking the plunge…

Well, I must say it’s been an absolutely amazing year for me and my little wedding guitar business. It’s my second full year of being a full time musician, specialising in live music tailored specifically for weddings. I’ve been a working musician for over 10 years now, but in the past I’ve always fitted it around other jobs. Last January I took the plunge and made the business my 100% focus.

It was a little scary at the start, as I’m sure anyone who’s dived headfirst into self-employment can relate. I spent the whole of January promoting my business, redesigning my website, filming new promotional videos, arranging performances at wedding fairs and doing all I could to move things forward. Slowly but surely, my little snowball got bigger and bigger. At the turn of the year, before I took the plunge, I think I had six bookings in the diary. I ended up playing at 40 weddings in 2015 and 55 in 2016. Add to that private parties and gigs at my regular venues in Bristol; all-in-all it’s been a very busy year!

I’m now at a point where, unfortunately I seem to be turning down more bookings than I can take on – obviously great news for me business-wise, but also such a shame! I hate having to send that “sorry, I’m already booked” email.

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Entering the Awards

Anyone who’s planned a wedding, or worked in the wedding industry will most-likely have seen the above logo – it’s the Wedding Industry Awards symbol, a body that recognises the very best suppliers in the business. I’ve thought about entering a few times, and this year I was nominated on more than one occasion so thought the time was right to put myself forward.

I contacted my wedding clients, and was thrilled to received such support, positivity and enthusiasm from everyone! The comments I received were absolutely incredible – you can read all my feedback from voters here, it really blew me away.

voterscores

Scores from voters – almost perfect 10s across the board!

When I received notification that I was a Regional Finalist, I was over the moon! In my first year of entering I’d made it all the way through to the finals, and was in with a chance of winning an award.

And the award goes to…

Well, sadly it was not meant to be this year! The award was picked up by the very talented Evertide – worthy winners for sure. Naturally I was a little disappointed to miss out – despite assuming that I probably wasn’t going to win, when it came to the point where the award was being announced I couldn’t help but get my hopes up! Never mind, there’s always next year – and I’ll be looking to up my game in every area to see if I can secure an award next year!

Despite not actually winning the award, the feedback I received was just incredible. It’s so satisfying to know that you’ve done a good job, and contributed to someone’s perfect day. I was really moved reading some of the comments received.

My philosophy has always been to create a rapport with my wedding couples – that’s why I’ll never work for an agency. The personal interaction is what makes it special. I’d like to take a moment just to thank every single bride and groom who have booked me to play at their special day. Every occasion has been unique, memorable and an absolute pleasure to be at.

People who know me will have heard me say this on a regular basis:

I HAVE THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD!

Here’s to 2017 🙂

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At the awards with Lauradana of Wedding Creations UK and make up artist Charlotte Tillyer

26/11/16 – Richard and Sarah: The Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wolds

Ok it’s Monday the 28th November and I’m well aware I haven’t updated my wedding guitarist blog for a longggg time! I was trying to blog about every wedding I attended; I missed one, then I missed another…. before I knew it I’d missed nearly a year of weddings! Time to get back on it. I’ll also be backfilling the blog, so hopefully at some point I’ll catch up on all the posts I’ve missed.

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So, Saturday saw a trip up to picturesque Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds. The venue: The Porch House, the occasion: Richard and Sarah’s big day. I arrived at roughly 1.30pm and bumped into Kirsten, aka The Little Wedding Helper who was busy working her magic to make the place look amazing, as she always does. With some amazing calligraphy and stationery from de Winton Paper co and floristry from The Rose Shed, the place was looking classy and absolutely stunning!

I set up ready for the drinks reception and awaited the guests arrival. The ceremony began at 2pm in the nearby church, and from 3pm people started to filter in from the cold, crisp day outside. The log fire was very welcoming, and I began some acoustic music as people mingled.

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We had just over and hour and a half of acoustic tunes (playlist below). It was an absolute pleasure to meet the newlyweds, and to be a part of such a stunning occasion. Congratulations Sarah and Richard!

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Afternoon playlist:

Adele - Make You Feel My Love
Ed Sheeran - The A Team
Christina Perri - A Thousand Years
Ellie Goulding - How Long Will I Love You
Justin Bieber - Love Yourself
One Direction - Little Things
Bastille - Pompeii
The Calling - Wherever You Will Go
Ed Sheeran - Lego House
Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
James Bay - Let It Go

American Authors - Best Day Of My Life
Adele - Rolling In The Deep
Amy Winehouse - Valerie
George Ezra - Budapest
Walk The Moon - Shut Up & Dance
The Fratellis - Whistle For The Choir
Paolo Nutini - Last Request
Sam Cooke - Wonderful World
James Bay - Hold Back The River
Tracey Chapman - Fast Car
Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud