<![CDATA[<br /><br />Singers4Weddings - Blog]]>Wed, 30 Dec 2015 17:08:07 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[Do I need a choir at my church wedding?]]>Tue, 14 Aug 2012 14:09:05 GMThttp://www.singers4weddings.co.uk/blog/do-i-need-a-choir-at-my-church-weddingPicture
a small church choir in action
_With the numbers of church choirs dropping in the UK, many brides ask us if they really need a choir for their wedding, or if a soloist or two will do instead.

The answer is, no you don't necessarily need a choir, simply because many British church weddings feature a mix of live and recorded music.

Traditionally, a choir performs two main functions in a regular (non-Mass) wedding service; to sing an anthem or two, and to lead the hymns. (An anthem is a piece of church music often sung in 4 part harmony.) Singing at various other points in the service, such as the signing of the register, entrance and exits, are purely optional.

So, it is perfectly possible to have a soloist lead the hymn singing - don't worry, as opera singers, our trained singers will definitely be heard! You can also ask your soloist to sing a solo or two as your sign the register, or play your own recording if you wish.

At Singers4Weddings, we usually come as two soloists so we provide a little more vocal range for the hymns, and we can sing a duet or two at the signing of the register, which is a bit more interesting for the guests while you're both busy!

Please bear in mind that most smaller church choirs draw their members from their local population, most (if not all) of whom will be amateur singers. Unlike the church or cathedral choirs you hear on tv, there may only be a few people available and their sound may not be as large as you would expect. As professional opera singers, much of our training is in making a beautiful noise travel a long way, so we can be heard and enjoyed even in large spaces.

<![CDATA[UK weddings on the rise]]>Fri, 27 Jul 2012 11:02:22 GMThttp://www.singers4weddings.co.uk/blog/uk-weddings-on-the-risePicture
_It's official; weddings are on the rise! According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of weddings in England and Wales during 2010* rose by 3.7% compared to 2009. Which doesn't sound much until you realise that the number of marriages has been in steep decline since, wait for it,1971.

In 2010, 277,740 people in the UK chose to get married. Of these, 68% were civil wedding ceremonies, and the number of ceremonies in approved premises such as hotels, stately homes and historic building was up by 12%. That's quite a lot of people choosing to get married, which probably explains why you need to book your civil wedding venue so far in advance!

For those planning a church wedding, you too a setting a trend! Figures from the Church of England show the number of church weddings rose by 4%, and religious ceremonies of all denominations and religions account for 32% of all weddings.

And civil partnerships are on the rise too, by 1.7% in 2010, with over 46,000 ceremonies performed since the Civil Partnership Act came into force in December 2005.

So, the message is clear; more people in the UK are choosing to get married, and we'll drink a toast to that!

*Figures release by ONS on 29/2/2012. Preparing stats obviously takes time!

<![CDATA[Wedding hymns; the good, the long and the downright dull!]]>Wed, 11 Jul 2012 16:16:10 GMThttp://www.singers4weddings.co.uk/blog/wedding-hymns-the-good-the-long-and-the-downright-dullPicture
_Choosing hymns for your church wedding ceremony can be daunting if you're not a regular church-goer, and that includes most of us these days.

According to statistics from the Church of England, only 1.1million people in the UK attend a CofE church every week, despite 69% of the UK population defining themselves as Christian. It's hardly surprising, then, that many young brides and grooms simply don't have experience of singing hymns beyond their school days, if then.

So, when you're faced with a fat hymn book and loads of internet sites, how can you choose the best hymns for your special day? Here's our top five wedding hymn tips:

1. Ask the clergyman taking your service for advice. Every vicar or priest has their favourites, as do the organists, and they also know what sounds great in their particular church acoustic.

2. Also ask your friends and family which ones they like; if they know a hymn, chances are, they'll be happy to sing it at your wedding!

3. Take a look at our wedding hymns list here at Singers4Weddings. We've listed the top wedding hymns we as asked to sing, and we know they have really great, rousing tunes that encourage people to have a good sing! Trust us on this, a slow, low hymn can seem to go on for ever

4. Listen to the hymns being sung before you decide. You can search YouTube with the hymn title, but be aware that some hymns have more than one tune. The  rule we follow is; if the bride knows it, and her mother know it too, choose that tune!

5. Finally, bear in mind the golden rule of hymns for weddings: you don't need to sing ALL the verses! Ask your organist or clergy which ones are usually cut, and only print the verses you want in the Order of Service. That way, your wedding ceremony singers and your guests are, literally, singing from the same hymn sheet!

<![CDATA[Making an entrance; your wedding ceremony big moment!]]>Tue, 03 Jul 2012 15:15:14 GMThttp://www.singers4weddings.co.uk/blog/making-an-entrance-your-wedding-ceremony-big-momentPicture
_If there's one point in a church wedding ceremony we love here at Singers4Weddings, it's that expectant hush just before the bride enters to walk down the aisle in all her glory!

Often before the ceremony, the organist will be playing gently in the background, your guests will be chatting, and we'll be watching the door like hawks. It's always an exciting moment when we see the vicar or priest signal to us that the bride has arrived and the organist quickly wraps up the piece they are playing.

At that moment of silence, everybody realises your wedding ceremony is about to begin, and you can sense the excitement and anticipation. Here she comes!

But what piece of 'walk down the aisle' music do you chose?

Many brides we speak to are not aware that they don't have to walk down the aisle to organ music or a recording; we can sing you in instead! Most experienced wedding ceremony singers such as ourselves are experts in ensuring that whatever is sung is long enough for you to walk down at a gentle pace, but not too long so you are standing at the altar for agonising minutes waiting for the singing to finish! 

Almost any traditional sacred or traditional song is suitable, and favourite 'down the aisle' songs include the 'Ave Maria' by Schubert, 'Panis Angelicus' by Franck, or the 'Pie Jesu' from Lloyd Webber's Requiem. (An unusual choice but such a lovely piece of music.)

Most UK brides enter to the Bridal March by Wagner, otherwise known as "Here comes the bride", which is originally a chorus from Wagner's opera "Lohengrin". So, if you want to start your wedding with a twist on tradition, walk in to this familiar tune sung by our professional opera signers, for a thrilling start to a memorable ceremony!

<![CDATA[Does your wedding guest list include your dog?]]>Thu, 21 Jun 2012 11:38:07 GMThttp://www.singers4weddings.co.uk/blog/does-your-wedding-guest-list-include-your-dogPicture
_Love the idea of your dog(s) attending your wedding, but terrified of pawprints on the dress?

Enterprising dog groomer Jo Hart from Give a Dog a Comb has the answer, a wedding package that ensures your pooch can take centre stage with you in your wedding, or just be a familiar face in the wedding photos.

Jo's wedding service for your canine pal(s) includes an overnight stay the night before, a walk, wash and groom, and travel to and from your wedding venue. 

It's a stress-free way to have your best friend at your special day, and we think it's a corker of an idea.

Find out more at Jo's website: http://www.dogcomb.co.uk

<![CDATA[Pinterest-ing images]]>Wed, 13 Jun 2012 14:04:13 GMThttp://www.singers4weddings.co.uk/blog/pinterest-ing-images
_At Singers4Weddings, we've been grappling with new business social media for months now. And just when we thought we'd got the hang of it all, along comes the new kid on the block, Pinterest.

Pinterest is like those old cork boards we used to stick up in our kitchens, where everything got pinned up, from Tesco till receipts to funny pics of the dog. This website simply takes that to the next level, so you can have individual boards for your different interests, and 'pin' images and videos to the boards.

It's incredibly simple, engaging, and time-wastingly addictive. While we can see the business benefits for companies selling highly visual lifestyle products, like shoes and dresses, we have no idea of the business benefits for us. But who cares, it's fun!

So, take a look at our Singers4Weddings "wedding singers" board - it's early days yet but we're working on it!

<![CDATA[Our first footballer's wedding - in Basingstoke!]]>Wed, 06 Jun 2012 13:43:43 GMThttp://www.singers4weddings.co.uk/blog/our-first-footballers-wedding-in-basingstokePicture
_When we agreed to sing at Lesley-Anne's wedding, we knew she was marrying into an Italian family, but not that she was marrying a local footballing star!

Her hubby Salvatore Bibbo is goalkeeping coach for Reading FC, and although we've never seen him in action on the football pitch, he certainly cut a fine figure as he walked down the aisle!

We had a bird's eye view of the whole ceremony at Holy Ghost in Basingstoke; as so many guest attended, we were squeezed onto the organ loft balcony overlooking the church. It was a moving experience, not least because we were right next to the organ pipes and when organist Nick Woods hit the low notes, we could literally feel them rumbling the floorboards!

For the lighting of the marriage candle, we sang "All I ask of you" from "Phantom of the Opera". Rather than organ accompaniment, we used a full orchestral backing track played through our high quality mini PA beside us in the balcony, which worked a treat in the acoustics of the church.

Despite a cloudy sky, the bride looked simply gorgeous in her full wedding dress  and sparkling jewellery, and the gentlemen guests in their super-smart Italian suits almost outshone the ladies!

<![CDATA[Fantastic news for Hampshire & Surrey weddings this weekend]]>Thu, 24 May 2012 10:33:46 GMThttp://www.singers4weddings.co.uk/blog/fantastic-news-for-hampshire-surrey-weddings-this-weekendPicture
_Good news for all Farnborough, Camberley, Sandhurst, Farnham, Hampshire & Surrey brides to be this weekend - just look at this weather forecast for your wedding!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

(Image from the Met Office: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/)

<![CDATA[New YouTube video from Singers4Weddings]]>Mon, 07 May 2012 11:49:11 GMThttp://www.singers4weddings.co.uk/blog/new-youtube-video-from-singers4weddings_By popular demand (OK, one bride asked!), we have created a short demo video of us singing in various locations, and pics of unusual places we've sung in over the years. Simple click on the link below, or see our Wedding Music Audio page.
<![CDATA[Hear us live this Sunday for free!]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2012 17:23:18 GMThttp://www.singers4weddings.co.uk/blog/hear-us-live-this-sunday-for-freeWant some music in your life this Sunday? Meet our lady wedding singers and hear us perform a short set every hour at a lovely wedding fair near Basingstoke. Full details below!

Chineham Village Hall, Thornhill Way, Chineham, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8YE
Opening times: 11.00am - 4.00pm
Admission: Free