I first met Claudia and Mike in the summer of 2014 about a year prior to their wedding. I vividly remember Claudia’s warm and inviting smile as we came off the stage from performing at one of our Monday night showcases at the Drake Hotel. We were able to chat briefly at the Drake and I received an email from her the following morning letting me know that she would like to begin the process of booking the St. Royals for her wedding date. I scheduled a meeting for the following week to meet with her and her fiance and discuss the music for their wedding.
I knew right away that these two were music lovers. They really wanted live music throughout, and even though it was early in the game, they had a great grasp of the special requests they would want for their wedding day.
One of the first questions they asked me during the booking process was “Can you sing in French?”. Their first dance was to be “La Vie En Rose” by Edith Piaf and they wanted it as close to the original as possible. The St. Royals are accustommed to taking special requests for first dances and as both their consultant and the lead vocalist, I was able to draw on my classical training (I can sing in Italian, French and Spanish) and I assured them that we would be able to accommodate this request!
One of the best moments of the night, for both the crowd and the band, came about because of a unique song request.
An interesting fact about this couple, they were both completing medical residencies in different provinces in the year leading up to their wedding. I wanted to take all of the pressure off of them when it came to the musical planning for their big day as I knew they had a lot on their plates already! Planning a wedding with your partner on the other side of the country is extra stressful so I made sure to work around Mike and Claudia’s busy schedule.
A challenge arose during the final planning stages. Initially, Claudia and Mike were under the impression that the venue would be able to provide background music for their cocktail hour but when I checked in with them about this they informed me that this would not be possible. Since I knew that Claudia and Mike were big live music fans I suggested that instead of needing to bring in an extra PA for a background playlist we could have a much simpler setup with a solo guitarist. This was the perfect addition that added a beautiful ambience to this portion of the evening. This was a great example of how much a live performance can add to an event. We received many compliments on our guitar player throughout the evening!
On the night of the wedding we were able to load in to the King Edward Hotel and seamlessly set up prior to the guests arriving. The room was arranged beautifully with flowers from Cool Green and Shady and the wonderful, classic ambiance of the King Eddie.
Not only did the crowd go crazy for it, singing along the whole time, but the band had such a blast playing it!
Our jazz band played live mini-sets of jazz music throughout the meal service and added a lovely soundtrack and show for the guests while they enjoyed their meal.
When it came time to dancing, the night kicked off with a little bit of French, moved to classic jazz and then straight into the Motown and funk! These party goers were ready to dance and even started a conga line that snaked all the way around the room during out first set! In between live sets, our DJ played salsa and latin requests that had the whole group out on the floor!
One of the best moments of the night, for both the crowd and the band, came about because of a unique song request. Mike expressed an early interest in the fact that the St. Royals bands come with a horn section featuring both saxophone and trumpet. Mike said that was excellent because he really wanted to hear “Careless Whisper” by George Michael at some point in the night. This was a bit of an odd request for us. We specialize in soul, funk and Motown and don’t get a lot of requests for 80’s era pop music. Not only did the crowd go crazy for it, singing along the whole time, but the band had such a blast playing it! This was a great lesson for me when taking requests from clients, they know their friends and family better than we do and playing a song live that has special significance can really bring a dance floor alive.
After the wedding I followed up with Claudia and Mike just to let them know that theirs was one of my absolute favorite celebrations of the year! Claudia sent back an email thanking us for an amazing party and telling me “your band was unreal”. One of her guests even commented “There are people dancing right now that I have never seen dancing before in my entire life” and “your band is making my life right now.” From booking through completion of this event, Claudia’s infectious smile always shined and this was an amazing event and client to work with.
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