Whatever type of wedding you're planning, a wedding harpist can bring an atmosphere of calm and serenity to an otherwise hectic day!
There is something inherently soothing about harp music played by experienced wedding harpists, either as an elegant accompaniment at your wedding service, classy background music for your drinks reception, or gentle entertainment during your wedding meal. The combination of gently strummed strings and relaxing music provides a welcome rest from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and sets the mood perfectly.
Surprising Variety Of Music
There are two types of harp played by wedding harpists; the large concert harp and the smaller Celtic harp. The concert harp is a very elegant instrument and is more versatile in the music that can be played on it, but requires careful handling in terms of moving from place to place. The Celtic harp is smaller and more portable, but is better suited to folk music, especially Irish and Scottish.
Not that harp music has to be classical or folk music; most harpists have a wide range of music they play, including pop, musicals, jazz and even rock. Alive Network harpist M F Harp does a terrific version of Led Zeppelin's classic "Stairway to Heaven"!
Most harpists are happy to play at your wedding service or civil partnership ceremony and at your reception too, and are experts in choosing the right music for each part of your special day.
Set A Romantic Mood At Your Wedding Service
At your wedding service, a harpist can delight your guests as they arrive with gentle music that sets a suitably romantic mood. As the bride (or groom) arrives, the harpist can play suitable entrance music, from the sublime to the quirky!
In every marriage ceremony, there is the legal requirement of the signing of the register, during which the happy couple may be out of sight, and your harpist can delight your guests with a tune or three at this point.
Entertain Your Guests During Drinks Or The Wedding Breakfast
While the photos are being taken, your harpist can move to your reception location and be there to delight guests as they arrive for drinks and/or the wedding breakfast. However, do bear in mind that not all harpists are happy to play outside, as both humidity and heat adversely affects a harp. So, always check in advance if your wedding harpist is happy to play on the terrace, for example, and don't be offended if they say no!
One huge advantage of hiring a wedding harpist is that they are absolutely fascinating to watch play. Harpists both stroke and pluck the string, and use pedals to alter the sound, producing such a variety and complexity of sound most people are amazed it can be achieved with just ten fingers! Kids will be enthralled by both the movement and sound, whilst adults are amazed by the sheer mechanics of playing. (If you think it's easy, ask your harpist nicely if you can just pluck a string - you'll suddenly realise how strong their hands have to be!)
One of the best features of wedding harpists is that they are virtually self-contained, requiring only a space measuring 3m x 5m. For a larger venue or marquee, they might bring their own discreet amplification, and will then need access to a 13amp plug socket.
Alive Network's Wedding Harpists
At Alive Network, our wedding harpists are all highly experienced players who love to delight your guests with all their favourite music.
For example, O L Harp plays a wide selection of easy listening, from 'Hey Jude' to Hedwig's theme from the Harry Potter films!
C Shapland Harpist will delight your guests with hits from the best contemporary bands such as Snow Patrol, Stereophonics, Take That, The Coors, Adele and The Verve, played on a replica three foot high 17th Century harp which was originally used to play dances.
Our expert wedding harpists have also played in a huge variety of prestigious venues; young harpist Amour Harp has played at The Houses of Parliament, Wembley Stadium, St Alban's Cathedral, Glyndebourne Opera House and Hampton Court Palace.
They have also played with some of the most prestigious orchestras in Europe; Edinburgh-based Beautiful Harp has played with the Young World Symphony Orchestra, the National Opera in Warsaw, the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ukranian National Philharmonic and toured Europe and the USA with Harp Fusion, one of the largest harp ensembles in the world.
When you book your wedding harpist from Alive Network, you know your guests will be entertained by some of the finest harpists in the country - what could be better for your special day!
For more details, see our article "Everything you'll ever need to know about booking a Harpist".