I was very apprehensive about this particular wedding. In the days leading up to it, South Wales was hit hard with 'The Beast From The East'. Severe weather warnings were issued across the country and people were advised only to travel if absolutely necessary. Winter was coming!*
I love snow as much as the next 11 year old but the adult in me was slightly worried about this.
I did my usual preparations for my performance e.g. learning and rehearsing the requested songs. I was to play during the whole ceremony from 12:30 and drinks reception up until the guests go in for the wedding breakfast.
Checked in with the venue and the bride to make sure everything was going ahead and the guests/staff could make it and thankfully, I woke up on the morning of the wedding with literally zero snow on the roads outside my house.
Things were looking good, but as I am a secret punctuality freak, I left my house at 9:00 to make the 30 minute journey to Hensol Castle.
It was literally one road all the way and as I was getting closer to Cardiff, the surrounding fields were getting whiter. First, just a light dusting. I thought, "Oooo thats pretty, I wish had snow like this where I live..."
I pulled off the motorway and was hurled into post-apocalyptic Narnia.
Beautiful and serene with abandoned cars nestled in six foot snow drifts. No other cars on the road, just me and the soft crunching of my wheels.
I was constantly watching my Sat-Nav with one thought,
"If I can get to within one mile from the venue, I can walk it if I have to."
I passed that milestone and watched as the remaining mileage ticked down to zero.
Pulling up to the venue, I was met with big iron gates which automatically started to swing open on my approach. Skootching fresh snow into neat lines on either side of the path leading to the venue.
I pulled forward making sure I didn't lose any momentum on the icy driveway. The grounds looked beautiful in the snow.
The castle, situated in front of a lake and jutting out of the snow looked like something from Game of Thrones. Only with less zombies.
After a slippery approach, I parked up and loaded in my equipment. The inside of the venue was just how I expected it. Big majestic staircase, high ceilings, antique art, beautiful fixtures and big heavy oak doors.
After quite a long wait (due to my Mr Meeseeks approach to timekeeping**), it was time for the ceremony.
There were some really nice song choices for this ceremony and the view from the inside was beautiful.
Walking in: Birdy - Wings
Register signing: James Bay - Hold back the river
Walking out: Lumineers - Ho Hey
For this I was situated in the main entrance hall where drinks and canapés were served.
A lot of the time at a drinks reception, I don't get all that much attention. Its all up to the wedding guests.
Sometimes they like chilled music played in the background while they reminisce about the time Uncle Degsy took his top off and killed all the koi carp in that Blackpool Hotel.
Sometimes they've been drinking since 10:30 and want to sing along to 90's trance hits.
This was somewhere in the middle. Different crowds enjoyed different songs from their respective eras. i got a few requests and noticed a few ears 'pricked up' during a few of my favourites.
I thoroughly enjoyed playing to an appreciative audience and I'm sure they had an amazing night in the wintery mansion after I left to brave the snow.... ***And avenge my Native American son.
References you should have known
* Game of Thrones
** Rick & Morty
*** The Revenant
10 points to anyone who got them all.