Gregory and Nusjaree Catholic Wedding Mass 1st of April 2017

I recently had the pleasure of organising the music for a Catholic Wedding Mass that was celebrated at the Parish I used to regularly attend, Holy Spirit in City Beach, Western Australia on Saturday the 1st of April, 2017.

I was contacted by the groom, Gregory Hall, two weeks prior to the wedding to enquire about various options that music could be included in his Wedding Mass. Gregory had initially approached my Father in-law after morning Mass at Holy Spirit with him thinking of trying to get the choir to sing. Unfortunately, the choir was not available so I was suggested as a good alternative to get excellent quality and prayerful / liturgically correct music in the short period of time left.

In the initial conversation with Greg he mentioned that he was thinking of just using recorded music and needing an operator, the main reason for this was related to volume, both Greg and Nusjaree didn’t want any of the focus taken off the importance of the commitment they were making to each other before God in front of their family and friends. They had concerns that live music might overpower the intimate atmosphere they were trying to create.

I made the suggestion that a piano with solo vocalist would be an option for live music which would be intimate and enhance the overall Mass rather than detract from it. After a few days consideration Greg made contact with me saying that they ad decided they’d like to have live music. The only stipulation was that the bridal entrance was a specific recorded traditional Thai song, “Love” which was important to Nusjaree to show the connection to her Thai heritage.

Over the next week Gregory emailed the various song names for the Mass through to me for me to source the music and prepare for they special day. I contacted the wonderful Stephanie Ryan to provide the main vocals while I did piano accompaniment and backing vocals. The songs they selected were:

  1. Pre-Music – Pachelbel’s Canon in D (performed by Simon Montgomery)
  2. Instrumental Music throughout the lighting of the candles (performed by Simon Montgomery)
  3. Here We Stand Lord (Traditional Hymn) for the lighting of the Unity Candle.
  4. Take Our Bread (Traditional Hymn) for the Offertory.
  5. Eucharistic Mass Parts.
  6. The Lord’s Prayer (Sister Janet Mead).
  7. One Bread One Body (Traditional) for Communion.
  8. Here I Kneel Before You (Traditional) for after Communion.
  9. Fields of Gold (Sting) Signing of the Register.
  10. Wedding March (Mendelssohn) Recessional Hymn.

The entire ceremony was one of intimacy and beauty. It is clearly evident that Gregory and Nusjaree love each other deeply and it was a pleasure to be able to contribute to the celebration to mark the beginning of their life together as husband and wife.

A huge thank you to Gregory and Nusjaree for entrusting me with the responsibility of organising and providing the music. In my conversation with Gregory at the conclusion of the wedding he was delighted at the quality of the music and how it was “just as he had imagined it.”

That is the biggest compliment a musician at a wedding can be paid.

I am available for booking as a musician or to organise musicians for your next event. Contact me for more details.

Misty de Haan and Tye Chatfield Wedding Ceremony

Event Details

Band: Ceremony Duo – Vocalist Steph Ryan and Classical Guitarist Karl Hiller.

Date: Friday 28th October, 3:00pm

Venue: Ceremony Gardens, The Novotel Vines Resort, Swan Valley.

Misty de Haan and Tye Chatfield celebrated their wedding ceremony and reception at the Novotel Vines Resort in the Swan Valley in western Australia on Friday the 28th of October in the beautiful setting of the ceremony gardens. This intimate outdoor wedding setting was complimented by the vocal talents of Steph Ryan accompanied by Karl Hiller on classical guitar, this music was organised through Simon Montgomery and my team at the Wedding Music Planner.

Misty contacted The Wedding Music Planner back in early March to enquire into possibilities for their wedding ceremony, wanting something that would be affordable and compliment the intimate and personal atmosphere of the venue. Misty was referred to the Wedding Music Planner through the Wedding Music Planner facebook page and a recommendation from a friend who used the services of Simon Montgomery as a piano accompanist at a previous wedding ceremony. Other requirements that Misty was wanting for their ceremony included the musicians learning a specific processional song and instrumental music being available for the guests for the period of approximately half an hour at the conclusion of the ceremony.

I suggested a number of options for small groups ensembles for this wedding ceremony including vocal and guitar plus vocal and piano options, the one that I thought would work best was in booking Steph Ryan, one of the contemporary vocalists available for bookings. Steph has performed a number of wedding ceremonies around Perth through the Wedding Music Planner as well as with organist Michael Peters and with The Catholic Guy Ministry. I felt that her relaxed and outgoing nature plus attitude to work hard would be perfect for this show. I suggested to Misty the possibility of booking Steph with a piano accompanist, which was more than likely going to be myself, to provide the music for the ceremony with solo piano happening after the ceremony to continue to entertain the guests. Misty was interested in this option and asked if she could hear the duo perform her processional song “Can’t Wait to Marry You” which she had found on YouTube. We organised a time for Steph duo to go out and meet with Misty and Tye and perform the processional song for them. About a month prior to the meeting Misty got in contact with me asking if it was possible to change the piano accompaniment to a classical guitarist instead. I let her know that this would be no problem for the ceremony however for the meeting at her place it would not be possible to have the guitarist was not available, she was happy with this arrangement so the meeting went ahead with Steph singing and me accompanying on keys.

On Sunday 26th of June Steph and I headed out to Misty and Tye’s house in Forrestfield to meet with them, audition the processional song and also go through the details of their wedding ceremony. We arrived at around 2pm and were greeted by Misty who was very appreciative of us making the effort to drive out to meet with them. After brief introductions we headed out onto their back pergola area and setup out equipment and performed their processional song, Steph sang it brilliantly and Misty was very happy to confirm the booking straight away. Misty wasn’t sure what she wanted for her recessional hymn at this point in time, they were thinking of “Signed Sealed Delivered”, we let her know that if she just get that information to us that would be fantastic. As a wedding planner I am loving meeting with clients and hearing about their story and the plans they have for their wedding day, every wedding is always unique and a reflection of the couple’s relationship.

In the coming weeks Misty had paid the deposit for the wedding music and sent me through the details of the wedding co-ordinator from the Vine, Jessica Terranova, for me to get in contact with and arrange a time to view the ceremony gardens. Upon contacting Jessica I made a time to view the area and get a good understanding of all the logistics of the day including setup, positioning of the band and the size of the area for PA purposes. Happy with all of this, I drew up diagrams for Steph and Karl to be able to follow and sent them via email to both of them. I have to thank Jessica and her team at the Vines Resort, they were really helpful and supportive of everything that we needed to make the wedding music a success, I found her organisation skills and abilities to be fantastic.

On the day of the wedding ceremony I spent an hour in the morning testing the PA system to ensure that everything was going to work smoothly and properly for their day. Steph Ryan came by in the middle of the day and collected the sound system plus the additional information that I had prepared for her and Karl outlining the various elements of the ceremony and gave her some business cards to be distributed if guests were interested in booking them. One of these elements included outlining exactly where they needed to setup as there were tow options available depending on where Misty and Tye had decided to have the main proceedings occur. Misty and Tye opted to have the main fountain as the centre piece with the formal proceedings occurring in front of this. To accommodate this Steph and Karl setup the music equipment off to the right hand side of the fountain in shade of a pergola.

Upon arriving at the ceremony location Steph and Karl met with the celebrant and the on duty co-ordinator at the Vines to run through any last minute details, both the celebrant and the co-ordinator were easy to work which made the entire ceremony a much easier experience.

The wedding celebration was a beautiful intimate for Misty and Tye and their close family and friends. Entering to the song “Can’t Wait to Marry You” Misty and her bridesmaids looked absolutely stunning and stole the show. The music provided was the perfect accompaniment and added to the atmosphere of the ceremony very well, Karl’s classical acoustic guitar was beautiful and elegant in its sound and timbre. The ceremony concluded with Misty and Tye leaving to the Stevie Wonder classic “Signed Sealed and Delivered” which was received very well by the guests gathered. For the next half an hour after the ceremony Karl continued to entertain the guests int he ceremony gardens with a range of songs from his diverse classical repertoire, this provided a pleasant atmosphere with a touch of class that people could appreciate whilst carrying on their conversation at a great ease. Karl performed at the perfect level of volume.

A huge thanks to Steph and Karl for doing a fantastic job with providing the music for this wedding, their professionalism and skill really added to the event and I am already excited at the prospect of them doing some more shows through the Wedding Music Planner in the near future. Thank you and congratulation also to Misty and Tye for the opportunity to organise and plan their wedding ceremony music, we wish you every success and happiness in the coming years as you embark on your life together as husband and wife.

The Wedding Music Planner is Simon Montgomery’s music management booking service that specialises in the provision of music for wedding ceremonies and receptions as well as other private and corporate functions. He prides himself in providing excellent professional musicianship at a reasonable cost. For more information or to book music for your next event contact the Wedding Music Planner.

John Birchenall and Sparanda Herbert Wedding Ceremony

Event Details

Band: Ceremony Quartet consisting of 3 vocals, violin and piano accompaniment.

Date: Saturday 2nd April, 11:00am

Venue: Chapel of St Michael the Archangel, 50 Ruislip Street, West Leederville, Western Australia.

On Saturday the 2nd of April 2011 I played as a part of the wedding ceremony band for the wedding ceremony of John Birchenall and Sparanda Herbert this was held at 11:00 am at the Chapel of St Michael the Archangel in West Leederville on the grounds of the Catholic Education Office (CEO).

John approached me and my music management business, the Wedding Music Planner, to see if i could help him in a few different capacities to organise the music for his wedding ceremony including running two wedding band rehearsals, song selection advice and actually playing / Musical Directing on the wedding day.


Chapel of St Michael the Archangel

I have known John for many years, we met in 2003 at a Catholic Youth convention where I was the Musical Director (MD) of the band. Since that time he served for a long period of time as the bass player in various church bands that I was leading through Foundations Community and Church, Youth Impact, City Impact Community and Church, the Foundations Arts Team and Impact Catholic Ministry. He has also seen me play professionally at many different functions and events including in various covers bands including Animal Jam (I played keys and did backing vocals), jazz gigs and plenty of weddings for a number of different people all of whom have asked for a diverse array of song styles and instrumentations.

For John and Sparanda’s wedding they had selected a group of musicians that they knew and trusted to provide the music, I and my business the Wedding Music Planner was one facet of their wedding band. The band consisted of four people including myself playing piano and singing vocals, Davia Bennett playing the violin and two vocalists, Pastor Joel Chelliah and Rebecca Gawel. We prepared the songs selected over two rehearsals on the Monday nights leading up to the wedding ceremony as well as with a soundcheck at the chapel on the morning of the ceremony itself.

John and Sparadna desired to create an atmosphere for their wedding ceremony of fusing together the traditional with the modern, this was reflected in their song selections. For a prelude song, to which both Sparanda’s families entered the chapel and took their seats in the front reserved pews, the song “Cannon in D” by Pachebel was played as an instrumental by myself and Davia on the violin. This was followed by Joel and Rebecca singing a duet called “This Day”, a modern song by Kriste that reflected the hearts of two people coming together and standing forever together from this day forward. Sparanda entered the church at the climax of the song, when Davia lead into her violin solo, ighlights of the songs included the harmonies and counter melody executed by Ps Joel throughout the final verse and chorus.

To add another element to the ceremony John and Sparanda wanted to include a song of worship to God, this was largely due to the importance their faith had played in their individual lives and how much they desired God to be a part of their married life. To be inclusive of all the guests they selected the song “Amazing Grace” which commenced as the parents lit their respective family candles on the altar. In a modern twist on the original, the version used was recorded by Christian artist Chris Tomlin and contained an added in chorus to the original hymn. The male voice of Ps Joel, supported with harmonies from myself and Rebecca and the violin passages from Davia created an atmosphere of reverence though out the entire chapel.

Tabernacle at Chapel of St Michael the Archangel

Tabernacle at Chapel of St Michael the Archangel

The next song we played was at the signing of the registry. John asked Davia and myself if we could arrange the song “From the Inside Out” written by Joel Houston, from  Hillsong Church in Sydney, to be played instrumentally. We had an extra rehearsal to work out the exact length of time we’d need, arrangement for when she would play the melody and when I would take the lead to ensure that this song would be done memorably.

For the recessional hymn John and Sparanda again went for a modern and contemporary hymn, “Now That You’re Near” by Marty Sampson, from Hillsong Church in Sydney. Their reasoning for selecting this song was to create a celebratory atmosphere and select something that many of the guests would know and be able to join in with the signing as they left the chapel. I lead this one on vocals with Joel and Bec giving backing vocal support and Davia playing supporting lines on the violin.

The whole process of preparing the band, rehearsing them and then playing at John and Sparanda’s wedding was an extremely enjoyable one. The combination of musicians we had to do the songs was the perfect blend of voices and skill and the personalities made it a joy filled experience with lots of laughter and many jokes throughout rehearsals.

I know a lot of musicians who don’t enjoy the experience of playing at and organising music for weddings, they don’t like the organisation and forward planning, the dealing with stressed brides and grooms and the responsibility that goes with providing what largely affects the entire atmosphere of a ceremony (it does make or break it). Personally I love all of that, the excitement you get when meeting with them prior to their wedding day and hearing their vision right through to the satisfaction you get when the ceremony is done and everything has worked perfectly and without mistake always keeps me enjoying this side of my professional work as a musician.

I am available to hire for weddings, private functions and corporate events through the Wedding Music Planner as a musician, booking agent, musical director or wedding music consultant.

For more information get in touch with me by connecting through email, twitter or facebook or through the Wedding Music Planner.

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