Church Wedding Ceremony Music
I was contacted fairly last minute directly from the groom to play and sing some songs in their church wedding ceremony. Unusually they asked me to pick the songs and they wanted 5! One for the bridal entrance, three in the ceremony at various points and one for the recessional at the end. Although it was a church wedding the brief I was given was: modern and romantic. They wanted me to play acoustic guitar and although the couple were from Germany, the bride’s family were all American so they wanted english language songs. (Most northern Europeans put the native english speaking world to shame when it comes to languages – they all speak better english that some english people). It was my pleasure to pick out songs for them based on some information they gave me about them as a couple and their baby daughter too. They agreed my selection but because it was very last minute I didn’t make a contract with them so therefore didn’t take all the details from them that I usually take… this is important it turns out!
Ermita de Betlem, Mallorca
Normally in a contract I take the address of coordinates (some places are very remote!) of the venue. This time I didn’t and it was a bit of a disaster. I typed ‘Ermita de Betlem, Mallorca’ in and Google maps had the ‘Ermita de Betlem’ labelled very close to the Casal Santa Eulalia where I have played many weddings before and where the groom had told me their own reception was to take place. So naturally I didn’t question that this was where the Ermita de Betlem was. When we turned up at that location however, we found we are on a horse farm (where all the horses looked like real life My Little Ponies) and we figured something wasn’t right! Also in the contract I would normally take contact telephone numbers for the couple and also someone else who will be at the wedding on the day – best man or an usher or a wedding planner… But again this is a detail I skipped and I didn’t have the number of anyone at the wedding. We had to work out clues from past emails about it “on a hill” (it’s a mountain) “overlooking the sea”. This My Little Pony joint definitely didn’t overlook the sea so we made our way toward the coast and 15minutes later asked at a petrol station about the Ermita where we received directions to the turn off. Along the turn off it started to look a bit like we were going down instead of up a hill (mountain) so we asked a very friendly but quite mad-as-a-box-of-frogs German guy along the road who was concerned we were heading to the Ermita because of the thunder storms and rain that was coming in… “Yeah mate it doesn’t really bother us it’s an indoor wedding ceremony…” But he persisted with his concern and kept using phrases like “you will find a parking spot on the left and then there are two possibilites to go upstairs to the Ermita…” eventually twigged that we were on the hiking route to the venue!
“I’m a musican! I need to park outside with the heavy equipment” (not to mention the 8 month old baby sleeping in the back of the car). “Oh you need to park there! Well that is possible so in that case turn around, go to back through the town, out to another town, to the end of that around the mountain, through a nature reserve, up the mountain and then down the other side of the mountain. It’s a bit of zig zag road but take your camera…” This was with 45mins to go before the ceremony was due to start! And we were still unable to contact anyone at the wedding!!
And then our petrol light came on as we turned around… If we stopped to find a garage we’d surely be late, but if we ran out on the mountain we’d be late and screwed!! We had to keep the air con on too as it was 34degrees and super close and muggy and we were trying our best pop-maths to work out exactly how much fuel we had left and how long it would take us to get to the venue… With a ‘The Show Must Go On’ and a ‘Just Get To The Gig’ attitude we made it ten minutes before the start of the ceremony with Matt knocking guests out of the way with my guitar as they were all filling in! We made it!! Excuse the sweaty, blurry photos that Matt managed to get as I was soundchecking but we made it and the groom nor anyone else never even noticed how close to late or absent I was!
The ceremony was a success, the bride was streaming with tears as she entered to me singing Make You Feel My Love and picking it on the acoustic guitar (If I’ve got the bride in tears, I’m doing a good job). The acoustics were out of this world! I wish I played more church gigs. Good gig in an amazing location in the end but my god was it a close shave!! Congratulations to Henning and Kerri and the lesson I learned is to always take an actual address or coordinates and not trust Google maps!!