Playing at your own wedding - Lessons learned!

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
For my wedding this past October, I booked an exceptionally talented New Orleans style brass band for something a little bit different (Different that is to folks in the UK in terms of wedding bands!)

I chatted a lot with the band leader and mentioned that I was a drummer (not on purpose honest, just trying to identify oneself as a fellow musician).

He straight away suggested I sit in on a song with them. We picked Trombone Shorty's Hurricane Season. Nice and simple and has a good groove.

The week before the wedding I managed to grab a practice room for 3 hours and rehearsed the song. By the end I had it down to the point where I could throw in some exagerrated arm movements and have some fun with it.

Cut to the day. I am handed some sticks by the bands drummer, who I thanked immensly for indulging me. Sat at the drums. Brilliant I thought, everything looks to be in comfortable places. A nice win right there.

The Sousa player counts us in and right off I second guess where the beginning comes in because I got cocky with the arm movements! whoops. But no matter. Here comes the groove.

First attempt at a back beat and I get nothing but rim. Oh.... Second attempt....rim. Dammit, the snare was about 1" higher than I would have had it. From there on I'm running scared, its my wedding day and I can't mess this up, so I have to just get through it and hope that I groove enough to make it sound cool! All of the hopes of really letting rip are gone lol.

Half way through, we get to my favourite bit. The middle 8 of this track is tasty and I was really looking forward to it. Over email the band leader had asked if I wanted a solo, to which I replied, no no, I'd rather just play with you guys, thats one element I'm not bothered about.

Yep you guessed it, he suddenly yells solo right at the start of the middle 8 and they all drop out!

yikes! so as you can see from the video I pretty much just play some time and chuck in a fill that gets them all back in again. Except none of them notice and the leader gestures to me to keep going!

Haha, ah well. It was still fun.

Below is something the videographer put together for me. Its a bit choppy and edited because of the available footage he had, but you get the idea!

Not sure what lessons I learnt exactly, perhaps its something to do with not trying to show off!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By0WlkhJ0Z4&feature=youtu.be
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I would NEVER play at my own wedding! A few reasons. The most important being that it's ALL about the bride. I just think it's a better choice to not indulge in that situation. Now if SHE played drums, then yea. Not the groom. The best thing that can happen is you don't mess up. Regrets aren't what you want to remember on your wedding day.
Like if you are a pastry chef, no one wants to see you decorate a cake at your wedding reception lol.

Sorry. You pulled it off OK. I wouldn't have put myself in that situation. Even if the whole crowd was chanting for me to play, yea, no. I would have steered the attention to my bride somehow.

How much did the band get paid?
 

Macarina

Silver Member
That was awesome. That just made me smile. You let it roll and it will be something you will always remember... That's a good thing.

Thanks for the back up story.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I would NEVER play at my own wedding! A few reasons. The most important being that it's ALL about the bride. I just think it's a better choice to not indulge in that situation. Now if SHE played drums, then yea. Not the groom. The best thing that can happen is you don't mess up. Regrets aren't what you want to remember on your wedding day.
Like if you are a pastry chef, no one wants to see you decorate a cake at your wedding reception lol.

Sorry. You pulled it off OK. I wouldn't have put myself in that situation. Even if the whole crowd was chanting for me to play, yea, no. I would have steered the attention to my bride somehow.

How much did the band get paid?
You're a funny guy. One day, we WILL have a beer and cheers. We can snort some Borax together.


Anyway, back to the OP. I think after/during the "solo" you did fine and it was only those two rim clanks that put you out in the first place. I will say those stinkers most definitely should have come back in when you so obviously cued them. Anyhoo, given that it's your wedding, that's far from a disaster. Just consider the worst case scenario where you run out wearing a cape and have your mom collect your stuff later!
 

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
I would NEVER play at my own wedding! A few reasons. The most important being that it's ALL about the bride. I just think it's a better choice to not indulge in that situation. Now if SHE played drums, then yea. Not the groom. The best thing that can happen is you don't mess up. Regrets aren't what you want to remember on your wedding day.
Like if you are a pastry chef, no one wants to see you decorate a cake at your wedding reception lol.

Sorry. You pulled it off OK. I wouldn't have put myself in that situation. Even if the whole crowd was chanting for me to play, yea, no. I would have steered the attention to my bride somehow.

How much did the band get paid?
Of course its all about the bride, but we both put a lot of our personalities into the wedding. It was OUR day rather than just HER day. Thats how we both felt about it.

She loves watching me play, so she was all for it. The next song, unbeknown to my wife the band launched into a song I wrote for her, so don't worry the spotlight was appropriately swung straight back to where it should be!

I havn't been on sage in a couple of years, that was my best shot at snaring a captive audience ;)

The band were paid £1,400 and no I didn't take a cut :p

That was awesome. That just made me smile. You let it roll and it will be something you will always remember... That's a good thing.

Thanks for the back up story.
Exactly and thats how it made me feel. It was a lot of fun to play with a brass band, something I've never done and may never get to do again!

You're a funny guy. One day, we WILL have a beer and cheers. We can snort some Borax together.


Anyway, back to the OP. I think after/during the "solo" you did fine and it was only those two rim clanks that put you out in the first place. I will say those stinkers most definitely should have come back in when you so obviously cued them. Anyhoo, given that it's your wedding, that's far from a disaster. Just consider the worst case scenario where you run out wearing a cape and have your mom collect your stuff later!
I know right, if that wasn't a "right you sods, here's your set up get back in and help me out here!"

It was genuinly a fun and memorable moment, and by no means did I expect it to be a flawless performance. I think its kind of fun and humbling to put up a video of a bit of fluff and stumble drumming!

My mum took some of the flowers afterwards, but there are others whose cape skills are more honed than mine!
 
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