Wedding Pianist Tales

I've played the piano for many weddings.  I play for at least one wedding a year.  This year, I was scheduled to play for two weddings.

Last Sunday's wedding was the second wedding for the year.  I was flanked by two violinists, and we made fabulous wedding accompaniment for the now, husband and wife.

Weddings are never perfect, at rehearsals and at the actual event.  There are always glitches, or last minute changes.  There are always people who come late.  Sometimes something explodes and catches fire (seriously this happened once).

But I will not talk about non-music related incidents.  Since I think I'm a resident pianist, I will share interesting innuendos about wedding music.

#1 - It's always the pianist's fault
This happened at one of the weddings I played for in my earlier years in Thailand.  There was this lady, a fellow Sabahan, or Sabahanian, whatever you like to call us, who was assigned to sing a special number for the reception.  Now this lady has a tolerable choir voice, but nothing close to solo material.  It is quite unfortunate that she has so much misplaced confidence of how well she can sing.  This misplaced confidence extends to her song-writing skills, as well, as the song she was going to sing was written by none other than herself.  The accompanying music, on the other hand, was ripped-off from some cheesy Malaysian song.  We practice and practice.  At the reception, she soulfully renders her love message for the newlyweds.  She does a terrible job, no doubt.  It was so bad that even her misplaced confidence was insufficient to tell her otherwise.  At that reception itself, while we were mingling and mixing.  I got word that she has been relaying to every wedding guest she forcefully met, that the pianist sucks.  It was the pianist's fault that she had so many off keys.  That _________.

#2 - Every bride deserves her dream wedding
This bride her wedding to be as grand as Maria and Captain Von Trapp's in the Sound of Music.  She had a partial orchestra, a grand piano, a synthesizer, and an organ.  I was on the organ.  The whole concept of the wedding was lifted off from the movie.  At the rehearsal dinner, which started really early, she made everyone sit in front of a giant screen to watch the Sound of Music.  The Bride, of course, was crying by the end.  Now, one thing with wedding rehearsals and the actual ceremony, these two never match.  What you practice the night or day before will not be like what you will play on the actual wedding day.  If it turn out the same, then you are one lucky pianist.  On the actual day, the bride was really feeling the moment.  She waved and smiled as she walked down the aisle.  It was like she won Ms. Universe: Bride Edition, or something like that.  This was confusing, for all of us accompanist.  Halfway through the music, I got lost, so did the person at the synthesizer, as well as the pianist.  So there you go, the piano, synthesizer, and organ playing different parts of the same music.  Talk about having a fugue.

#3 - The bride is da boss
This happened at last week's wedding.  The bride's sister was the wedding coordinator, so I dealt with the sister to get the music sorted out.  I got it sorted out a week before the wedding, sent it off to the sister, and got no response.  That meant it was okay.

Come rehearsal, they asked if I could play a separate song for the groom.  Now, the groom was strategically placed in the middle of the male entourage.  If I were to play a song for him, I would have to let all those in front of him finish the march, then start a new song for the groom, then after the groom had marched all the way to the altar, start a new song for the remaining men.  This of course, would take ages.  Thankfully, the minister, who had done many weddings, was opposed to this suggestion.  Thank you minister!  The bride wasn't going to give up, no way.  She had to have the last word.  She said to me, "could you play the song (trumpet tune) a little differently when my man marches in?" I replied, "what do you mean differently?" she answered, "like maybe play louder."  That was my cue to leave.


bloggerluvr said...

Walk away when you're no longer loving it. Stick too long and you just might die on that piano chair. A friend of mine did...actually she just broke her hips when the, broke.

Kiara Thorne said...

I want to do that for my daughters wedding, I want to have someone that plays well. Her taste in music is interesting so I hope she likes it. Do you know about how much they charge?