September 20, 2009 at 1:32 PM
Yesterday, I played an outside wedding. The setting was a farm field, and the nuptials were in front of an oak tree that was a few hundred years old. Idyllic and all that, except for the about 6 inches of rain we've had since Thursday. The bride had a backup location, but wouldn't use it. Our string trio was able to play most of the prelude in the open air, but then the rain started again, so we had to retreat to the small tent (originally there to hid the bride, etc.) for the remainder. Just before the wedding, the father of the bride tried to kick us out of the tent (he was just a little stressed), but a bridesmaid intervened on orders from the bride. Everyone could hear us, but we had a hard time hearing anything, as the bride's limo was idling by our tent. A special highlight of this event was accompanying the singer, who stayed up near the front (about 30 feet away from us) to sing by a microphone. We could not hear her at all, so could only follow by watching her mouth. Just glad to have my ouside violin and hope there aren't any ants in my case.
Strange things can happen at gigs. The ceilidh band I was in was playing outdoors, and a very strong wind came up. At first it blew our sheet music away. Then it blew our music stands over. We did a lot of faking just to get through the event.
I once had a gig like yours, except that everything went well. It was a commitment ceremony for two women. They were "partnered" under a big, old, oak tree on a beautiful, landscaped preserve. I played before and during the ceremony, and a small rock band played later. I asked them to help me do a sound check, and I'm glad I did. They could not hear me at all at the site of the ceremony. They set up their their audio equipment for me to use and took care of me. I stood at an opening of the tent where I could see the ceremony and also be plugged into their audio equipment. It all went well, and I had a great time.
One cannot pre-plan Mother Nature
Aahahahaa! I love weddings. So perfect and ideal in the mind of the bride, until it all plays out and Reality checks in. It's just like marriage, actually.
It's allways good having a second instrument for such cases in order to preserve your best one.
I was actually a bit disappointed by this gig report as I was SURE from the first paragraph that we were going to have cows or cattle taking part at some point in the wedding gig!
I remember going to a wedding as a guest, out in the beautiful local countryside and the bride's parents had set up a gorgeous huge marquee, but the only way to get from the car-park to the marquee turned out to be over a grass field covered with large, fresh, cow-pats... and it was getting dark by the time the reception started... Champagne doesn't taste the same mingled with the smell of cow (both ends...) Weddings seem to make people lose all common sense!
Now this was a situation for a carbon fiber violin. I was at a wedding Sunday afternoon and it had been raining all weekend. About a half an hour before the ceremony started the rain stopped and we had gorgeous sunset through the clouds over the Colorado National Monument for a backdrop. Some do work out.
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