Frequently Asked Questions –
Here’s some of the stuff I think you’d like to know. If I’ve missed anything please don’t hesitate to contact me.
What type of music can you play?
In short, anything and everything! Bach, Beatles, Beethoven, Boyzone, Bruno Mars, Elgar, Ed Sheeran, Einaudi, Eric Clapton, Fauré, Franck and Frank Sinatra, Sam Smith, Saint-Säens, Offenbach, Opera, One Direction: If you can hum it, I can play it for you. I have never been asked for something I could not interpret. Honestly. Your wish is my command… Check out my current repertoire.
You are a classical musician, don’t you just play classical music?
Not at all! I understand that if you are not a fan of traditional classical music you might be reluctant to engage a classical musician, and that is why I describe myself as a crossover artist. As an experienced composer and arranger I can offer you your favourite song for your ceremony or reception absolutely free of charge. I guarantee you will not easily find this option from any classical ensemble nor contemporary group.
How long can you play for?
With over 14 hours of music in my repertoire encompassing all genres, I can bring a variety of styles and a seamless continuity to your day. I can play for 90 minutes without any break; a sensible maximum for an event is 3.5 hours of music.
What kind of events do you cover?
You can hire me for your destination wedding ceremony, cocktails, reception, evening do, proposal, engagement, welcome drinks, rehearsal dinner, farewell barbeque… I play for charity functions, gallery openings, business events, birthdays, anniversaries, garden parties…
What are your credentials and experience?
I passed my Grade 8 ‘cello aged fifteen, I have played for numerous orchestras, ensembles, bands, choral and chamber groups, I compose, arrange and record my own backing tracks. But above all, I love music, and I want you to have the Perfect Day, with the music you love, live and absolutely gorgeous.
I really love your website but have no idea how to start choosing my music. Can you help?
Absolutely! Every wedding is as unique as you are, and I have a vast experience of helping Brides and Grooms to create the perfect ambience for their wedding day. In fact I love getting into the musical mindset of every new couple. When you book me I will send you a simple A4 sheet to get us started. All you need to do is pick a handful of songs or artists from my existing repertoire that you really like, (and maybe one or two that you really don’t) then leave the rest to me. I will come up with suggestions and advise you on styles and choices. If you want complete control, that is fine. If you want guidance, I will give it to you. If you have no clue, I am the girl for you. The sky really is the limit. See how I helped one Bride to create the perfect champagne reception.
What is included in your ceremony packages?
I offer a bespoke wedding music planning service so you can have exactly the music you want on your day, when you want it, and for how long… But appreciating weddings can be expensive, and budgeting for your perfect day is always in your mind, I have created my ‘Ceremony Packages’ to help you in your planning stage. Each ceremony package includes:
- Travel to and from your venue within a 80km radius of postal code 87440, covering the whole of the Haute-Vienne and Charente departements and North Dordogne (known as ‘Perigord Vert’)
- Arrangement of up to three special requests not currently listed in my repertoire (6 weeks notice is required for this)
- Travel, set-up and time spent at the venue not playing, (e.g. breaks longer than 5 minutes,) will not be charged for
I can send you a written quote as appropriate if you want to tailor your package to suit a specific need. I do travel, but will require accommodation for over a 200km range.
Can I request additional special arrangements?
Yes, of course! I want everyone to be able to enjoy quality live music of their own choice on their wedding day, and not be bound by limitations of genre, instrumentation or technical capability. I am constantly adding to my repertoire, keeping in touch with current trends and discovering new material all the time.
Do you charge for special arrangements?
Live music creates an unforgettable ambience at a wedding and it is my belief that every bride should be able to walk down the aisle to her chosen piece of music without resorting to an i-pod ceremony.
I therefore offer a special arrangement service free of charge when you book a Ceremony Package. (To have a piece of music specially arranged would usually incur a charge of between £50 and £150 depending on the length and complexity of the arrangement, whether sheet music is provided or available, and whether the arranger is willing to work from an audio or video track – most aren’t.)
How do I go about making a special request?
To take advantage of this astonishingly good offer, all you need to do is book a Ceremony Package, pay your deposit and send me a link to your chosen track or tracks e.g. on YouTube. I will then arrange it for ‘cello and backing track (piano, strings or other, as appropriate to the music). I usually require six weeks notice for this service.
Do I need to provide you with sheet music?
No. I will arrange the music from the link you send. I cannot emphasise enough that this is very unusual – most arrangers will not attempt this, and those that do will charge high hourly rates.
Can I request more than three special pieces?
I offer to arrange three pieces without additional charge because this enables the couple to hand-pick the music for their ceremony (processional, interval and recessional). However, if you are a huge fan of a particular genre, please do feel free to ask about additional material for your cocktails, reception or first dance. I have a huge ‘To Do’ list of music I want to transcribe, so if your ‘morceaux préfèré’ is on that list, pas de soucis! Or if I think it will fill a gap, or fit nicely with my other repertoire, then I should be able to include it too. Esoteric requests will attract a charge of €35 per item.
Can you arrange any song for the ‘cello?
Almost! The ‘cello is extremely versatile, having the largest range of any orchestral instrument (excluding harp or piano) and has a tonal quality very similar to the human voice, making it very pleasing to any audience and adaptable to music in which the melody is normally sung, e.g. popular music, musical theatre or opera. In addition, I am an experienced composer and arranger, and having played in numerous ensembles and bands I can interpret all genres of music from rock to pop, folk to soul, musical theatre to opera.
Do you play acoustically or amplified?
That depends on your requirements and those of the venue. For a church wedding or unlicensed venue you will not be permitted to use amplified music, therefore I will play acoustically and solo – the effect is intimate and truly engaging. For a larger venue I use a sound system (supplied) which allows me to fill a large room or be easily heard in an outdoor space. Alternatively I can plug in to an established system (my requirements being a 6mm mono jack and stereo mini jack). If you have any questions regarding the licensing of your venue, please contact me for advice.
Can you play outside?
I can and do frequently, weather permitting. My instrument is extremely sensitive to heat and humidity, so I will require shade from direct sun (in the summer season) and suitable shelter in case of sudden downpours (all year). I must stress that I cannot set up or play in even the mildest rain. My fingers work very hard and I need to be able to feel them and the strings, so I cannot play outside in temperatures below 17˚C. In high winds you will not hear a thing! I also require an electricity point or the sound will not carry – we can liaise with your venue to ensure that this is feasible.
On your ReverbNation and ‘Listen’ pages you are often accompanied by a piano, strings or band, but you are a soloist; will this be replicated on the day?
Yes! If you are marrying or celebrating in a venue with a music licence and access to a suitable electric point, I will be accompanied by either professionally produced backing tracks or an accompaniment arranged and recorded by me to ensure a full and authentic sound. The sound bites on my web pages exactly represent what you will hear on the day. What you hear is what you get.
Do you have your own PA equipment or sound system?
I do. In fact I have two systems: One for smaller venues, and one for outdoor venues to ensure the sound carries. I usually bring both so I have a back-up, and if you want me to play in two separate locations such as the ceremony room and the dining room, or indoors for the canapés and outdoors for the ceremony, this will reduce the down time and ensure you have continuous music throughout your reception.
How do I book you?
Firstly contact me to check my availability. I will then send you a booking form (known as a ‘Devis’ in France) for you to sign and return with a €100 deposit. This can be paid either by cheque (in Euros drawn on a French bank account), by PayPal or Bank (SEPA) Transfer. The receipt of the signed Devis and deposit secures the date and confirms the booking. Then we can start to plan your music!
Do you require a deposit to secure the booking?
A €100 deposit will be required at time of booking in order to secure the date. This can be paid either by cheque (in Euros drawn on a French bank account), by PayPal or Bank (SEPA) Transfer.
When is full payment required?
The balance will be due six weeks before the event, payable by Bank Transfer (including Currencies Direct, Transferwise, etc.,) only. Due to new PayPal regulations I can no longer acccept this payment method for the final balance. Due to logistical considerations I can no longer accept cash payment on the day for weddings.
Can you co-ordinate with my wedding theme?
Live musicians are not just about the sound! We create a visual spectacle which will delight your guests and give your photographer a real treat. I have even been asked to pose for photos with the Bride and Groom (so lovely!) and have featured in many a wedding album. Therefore it will be my pleasure to fit in with your chosen theme or colour scheme. I can co-ordinate with vintage, black tie, rustic, cocktail or country wedding themes or any colour you choose given enough notice! I am truly blessed to have a job where I can play beautiful music and enjoy dressing up at the same time!
Any further questions?
Don’t hesitate to contact me. I rest at your disposal from first enquiry to wedding day: To create the mood of dreams is ‘mon metier.’ Bisous xx