Featured Wedding – Ismar and Hayley Alabedi’s Wedding – Manchester Town Hall – 23rd December 2016

Matthew Stephens All Day Wedding Package at Manchester Town Hall

Well, it was another highly enjoyable day for another lovely couple in another gorgeous setting! I genuinely love this job and why wouldn’t I? I meet great people from all over the world and I get to enjoy these great occasions with the added satisfaction of being able to help it all run smoothly. Once again the lovely British traffic tried to put a spanner in that plan, but thanks to the fact that I’d left over two hours to drive the hour long journey; and the fact that I’m still able (barely!!) to run around Manchester Town Hall like some kind of mad Springer Spaniel – I was able to make sure everything went to plan.
Just to put the traffic disaster into perspective – If I’m providing the ‘All Day Wedding Package’ for a couple, as I was for Ismar and Hayley, I will arrive at a venue two hours before I’m first needed or before anyone arrives. This gives me plenty of time to make sure everything is set up and correct before the guests start to arrive because nothing would spoil the beauty and atmosphere of a wedding like me lugging speakers around and testing disco lights, etc. By leaving so much time to set up I’m able to make sure that no one is bothered by my uninvited presence during an important moment.

   I only really need an hour at most to set up all my equipment so I’ve always at least an hour to spare – this coupled with the fact that I always leave double the time for any journey to a wedding venue means that on this occasion I had over two hours to play with but, thanks to the wonderful traffic, that two hours had been whittled down to 20 minutes!! An absolute nightmare!!
To cut a long story short I was able to get everything ready and be in place to play some gentle acoustic guitar instrumental music as the guests were seated for the ceremony with time to spare – but it wasn’t easy! I have to give some credit to the brilliant staff at Manchester Town Hall – they were so helpful at every single juncture. From the duty manager making sure I was taking the quickest routes around the incredible building to the wedding planner making sure I was taken care of the whole day through.

   I should give a special mention to Manchester Town Hall itself too. The building was absolutely beautiful – you could spend hours exploring the spiral staircases and admiring the intricate detail in the stonework and woodwork that decorated the walls. I’ve played at so many wedding venues around the country that I forget which ones I’ve been to sometimes!! But, I have to say that as of now my favourite venue for a long time is Manchester Town Hall. It was just so beautifully grand and well kept that it was a joy to be there, never mind to be involved in such a happy occasion as Ismar and Hayley’s wedding.

Ismar and Hayley hired me to play during their ceremony, during their drinks reception, before the disco and to provide a DJ service. For the ceremony Hayley asked me to learn an instrumental guitar version of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ by Elvis to be played as she walked down the aisle, Paolo Nutini’s ‘Candy’ and ‘Ho! Hey!’ by The Lumineers to be played as the register was signed and ‘Friday I’m In Love’ by The Cure to be played as she and Ismar left the ceremony (they were married on a Friday – great choice!).

   I learned the Elvis and Paolo Nutini especially for them – both great songs that I really enjoyed learning. I was particularly pleased with the original arrangement of the Elvis song I was able to create for them, so much so that I’m going to make a recording of it for my website.
   Hayley looked beautiful in her dress, she looked so happy and both she and Ismar were full of smiles as they said their vows. They looked a little nervous at the occasion, but totally at ease with each other; and I watched them throughout the evening there was no doubting that they were a great match – such lovely people and the kind of people that make this job as amazing for me as it is. 
Hayley also had me download some popular Bosnian songs for the disco, I just wish there had been more, because once one of those songs were played – the Bosnian contingent that attended the wedding filled the dance floor with some fun dancing that involved everyone. They really knew how to have a good time! This is what I mean about this job – I don’t think I’ve ever really interacted with any people from Bosnia, not knowingly anyway, but thanks to this job I was able to meet some lovely people from another culture that I would have never had the pleasure of. It was brilliant for me to see and speak to these fun loving people and I was very happy to be able to get a tiny glimpse into their culture as they enjoyed this happy event.

I think the event as a whole was a great success and I was very happy to be a part of it. I genuinely hope to see Ismar and Hayley again and I also hope to be able to be back at Manchester Town Hall again because it was an absolute pleasure. The building suited a Christmas wedding so well. I’ll just make sure I leave four hours for the one hour journey next time as the Manchester traffic wasn’t quite as beautiful! 🙂

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