Featured Wedding – The Martin and Julie Heaton Wedding – Farington Lodge – 26th August 2016

Matthew Stephens All Day Wedding Package at Farington Lodge

Well, this job is never without event – that’s for sure! An accident involving a lorry on the motorway nearly put my appearance at Martin and Julie’s big day in total jeopardy!

I was hired to sing at the drinks reception, after the first dance and to provide a DJ service for Martin and Julie; and when I have that amount of preparation to do when I reach the venue, I always set off early enough to leave two hours to set up my equipment when I arrive. It doesn’t take that long but I like to be there nice and early to talk to the staff, feel the venue out and see what the best options are going to be. Also, in some of these gigantic stately homes it has taken me half an hour after pulling up at the venue just for a member of staff to point me in the direction of where I’m supposed to be playing!! Also, I don’t like to be rushed – I want to be relaxed as I set up so I’m relaxed as I perform because that’s the key to a good performance for me.

I also set off early for much the same reasons. So if a journey will take 90 minutes, as the trip to Farington Lodge would normally, I leave a little over two hours just to account for any mishaps that may occur (lying SatNav, flat tyre, monkeys in the road that have escaped local zoo). So you can see, I have a lot of time in hand between getting to the venue really early and setting off early I leave myself a good 90 minutes to play around with should anything pop up. And pop up it did!! I found myself sat on the M61, dead still, for about 17 years give or take! Sat there as the clock ticked on and the wheels sat still. If I was not so lucky as to have gone bald on top at 20 years old (think of the money I save on haircuts!) and so now have a shaven head – I would’ve pulled my hair out! But, bald as I was, I was forced to tug at the meagre offerings from other parts of my body! I called ahead to the venue as I really didn’t expect to make it in time, but mercifully, after several decades, the traffic started to move and I was able to thrash my car within an inch of it’s life to reach the venue with 20 minutes to spare! That’s when the bride and groom were due to arrive in their very groovy VW Camper wedding car.

But, all this was moot as the wedding traffic was stuck in the same situation I’d been in! Not knowing this, I insanely rushed around and did get set up in the 20 minutes I had to spare ready for them to arrive at 1:30 but, they didn’t arrive until 2:00 anyway! The happy couple arrived stood out of the sunroof of their super cool VW wedding car (well, van really) as cool as a pair of cucumbers, looking great, waving to all the guests; and I have to say – it really did make me smile along with everyone else. The van looked brilliant and they seemed as happy as could be. It was clear they weren’t going to let a bit of traffic annoy them! It was an amazing entrance.

So, I started to sing the songs Martin and Julie had picked out for the congregated guests in the boiling summer sun as they drank their champagne. They had been so lucky because I’d checked the weather report and the days either side of their wedding day had forecast heavy rain but this day was forecast as blazing sun all day! The selection they had picked worked well and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, none the wiser that i had various bald patches all over my body from the stress earlier on!
   After a couple of hours of sun and songs everyone went inside to enjoy the wedding breakfast and speeches; then when they came out for coffee I had to nip into the room to set up for the disco.
   It was a really great night that started with a lovely first dance to Oasis’ Songbird. (a little video of which is below) The bride and groom had planned how they would dance; and after a little discussion about whether the dress would get in the way, they performed it for the congregated guests. It was really nice. Very fitting, very understated. A really nice moment.

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