As many wedding couples will undoubtedly know, the preparations and planning for a wedding day can sometimes begin well over a year before the big day itself and in the case of Janice and Nic, they first booked Rock My Reception to play at their wedding way back in October 2013. As Chaucer’s quote quite rightly states ‘Time and tide wait for no man’ and low and behold Saturday 13th June 2015 was upon us.
Rock My Reception being a wedding band based in Yorkshire is really convenient for us. It means we’re practically equidistant from anywhere in the UK. That doesn’t mean we’re blasé when it comes to the logistics of a wedding and we’re always realistic about how long a journey may take and whether it would be best to set off the day before the wedding, therefore avoiding the possibility of traffic jams and indeed, fatigue: nobody wants to see a couple of exhausted and washed out looking musicians trying to play after setting off at three in the morning! As Janice and Nic’s wedding was a few miles outside of Saltash in Cornwall, we decided the best policy would be to drive down on the Friday, have a good nights sleep, refreshed and ready for the next day!
Nobody can deny that life’s main driving force as human beings is the want and need to constantly push forward, plan for the future, to progress. For a wedding couple this fact of life is paramount as they begin to not only organise in great detail their wedding day, but to map out the rest of their lives together. It was on our journey down to Janice and Nic’s wedding however, that I was immediately transported down anostalgia-laden,déjà vu trip along memory lane, as not many miles North of Saltash was the picturesque village of South Brent where I’d spend many weeks as a teen with my father playing music with him
In local pubs. The very birth of my involvement in performing music. It seemed not only poignant, but quite right that 20-odd years later I should be performing at a grand wedding in the vicinity. Something of which my Dad would have been proud!
As we checked in at the local accommodation we couldn’t help but overhear some guests with friendly Glaswegian accents say to the receptionist that they were here for a wedding at St Mellions and putting two and two together we introduced ourselves to them as their entertainment for the following evening, already collecting song requests for the following day!
St Mellions International Resort near Saltash has so much to offer it’s guests. Not only is it a 4 Star Hotel offering extensive leisure facilities and inspired dining, it also sports some of the most striking views Cornwall has to offer. This is certainly one of the South West’s most desirable wedding locations. Each room was not only spacious enough to accommodate all Janice and Nic’s guests, but also easily accessible from one part of the wedding day to the next. The ceremony songs Janice and Nic chose were John Legends ‘All of me’ as Janice walked down the aisle, Elbows ‘One day like this’ as they both signed the register and Helen Shapiro’s ‘Walking back to happiness’ for the ceremony close. The ceremony also included readings, one of which was read out brilliantly by Nic’s son Cameron; Albert Einsteins ‘Relativity’. Janice looked beautiful and radiant and Nic, working in the Navy, looked smart and distinguished in his uniform and medals, making for more unique wedding photos than the standard wedding attire.
If there’s one thing to be sure, whenever you play at a wedding in England, the possibilities of playing outside for the drinks reception, regardless of time of year, will be dictated by the weather. St Mellions do offer a balcony patio area for guests to congregate after the ceremony, but although the skies did seem to be holding up it did rain constantly the previous day so we decided to play safe and opted to position ourself by the patio entrance enabling ourselves to be heard by guests inside and outside.
Some great songs were chosen for the day including a request to play Tina Turners ‘Simply the best’ for Janice’s father, being a Glasgow Rangers fan! We also had a budding musician want to join us in Janice’s young niece Allana who was transfixed by our guitars and was eager to have her photo taken rocking the reception herself! As luck would have it we’d brought along a Ukelele which was the perfect size for Allana to hold. Not only did she pose for a photo, she then gave us all an impromptu rendition of ‘Bah bah black sheep!’ As musicians It’s always heartwarming to see children showing an interest in music, whether it be them asking to have a strum on our guitars, sing a song or simply dancing joyously on the stage. Who knows; Allana may just turn out to be the next Amy McDonald!
After the wedding breakfast and the brilliant best man’s speech which included some hilarious anecdotes and good-hearted ‘risqué’ photo’s of Nic- much to the delight of the congregation!- the guests made their way through to the bar area for coffees as we and St Merrions staff helped turn the room around for the evening function. Janice and Nic had chosen The Foo Fighters brilliant ‘Everlong’ as their first dance. This was the first time we’d ever played the song for such an occasion and I’d specifically listened Dave Grohl’s acoustic version on YouTube to get a feel for it as it should be played. I really hope we get asked to play it again soon as it is certainly a fine choice for a first dance song. By sheer coincidence, only the previous night Dave Grohl had been playing with The Foo Fighters and had fallen off the stage breaking his leg, still carrying on with the gig regardless!
For the last hour of the evening we continued to play requests for the guests who were really really getting into the whole spirit of the occasion. It wouldn’t have seemed churlish not to play The Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ for Nic, as the song would probably never be more appropriate! Paul Weller, Joy Division and Journey were also on the cards, but what other choice of song could we choose as our set reached its pinnacle, but The Proclaimers ‘500 Miles’!
It was a total pleasure to play for Janice and Nic that day and its a weekend we shall certainly fondly remember. We wish them both a wonderful time on their honeymoon in Paris and a long and happy future together.