We recently played for a beautiful wedding ceremony and cocktail hour at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix that was such a lovely, memorable event.
The couple were living out of town, so many of the arrangements were made by the bride’s mother and father. We made most general arrangements about the music through them, but before the final decisions were made, the couple themselves decided on the music for the processional, bride’s entrance and recessional – as well as a list of 98 songs they wanted played at the cocktail hour! The processional of bridesmaids was to Edelweiss from Sound of Music, the bride entered to What a Wonderful world and the recessional was to You’ve Got a Friend in Me, from Toy Story.
The wedding itself took place in the ceremony area of the Desert Botanical Garden behind the Ullman Terrace. It was a pretty area with plenty of seating and a gorgeous view of the mountain and desert landscape behind. As the ceremony musicians, we sat behind the guests in an unpaved area. The ceremony took place on a large raised stage with the guests a few seats lower. There was enough seating for more than 100 guests.
It was a busy preparation before guests arrived. Since there were military personnel participating, they held several run-throughs of their sword arch ceremony that would be performed later in the evening as the bride and groom were presented before dinner. It seemed like it would be a very impressive ceremony, at least as we saw it rehearsed.
As we were setting up for prelude music, there was also a DJ setting up to play for the dinner. We played prelude music as guests arrived and sipped on cool drinks. It was a beautiful day albeit a bit windy and warm. For the prelude music, we played some of our favorite classical romantic music.
The processionals went without a hitch, followed by a pretty extensive ceremony. There was a large wedding party, many of whom participated in the ceremony by doing one of the six readings. They had a microphone set up for the readers, so it was easy for guests to hear. The readings ranged from scripture to a Dr. Suess poem.
Following the announcement and recessional of the new couple, we packed up our sound system and quickly relocated to the cocktail hour location nearby on the Ullman Terrace. We set up in a corner close to the building in the shade that was also out of the way of guests. We were close to they bar, so there was lots of activity nearby.
For the cocktail hour, we played a large selection as chosen specifically by the couple. It included a variety of music including standard love songs, Broadway favorites, movie music, jazz tunes and contemporary songs. It was a lively celebration, but before we knew it, the wedding planners were moving guests back to the ceremony area which had been transformed into an outdoor dining room.
We had a wonderful time playing in this gorgeous setting. Yes, it was a bit of a walk to bring all of our equipment out to the wedding venue, but it was definitely worth it! Such an appreciative family and a beautiful day. We were honored to be a part of their wedding!