Booking your wedding music, you're bound to have hundreds of questions flying through your minds. Most of the answers should be on the other wedding pages of this site, but here are the most frequently asked questions and answers. Think of it as a mini online wedding consultation!
Have you played at my venue before?
Probably! Craig plays multiple weddings most weeks, all over the North West and beyond. He's played piano at most of the Lancashire wedding venues now, and some of them, such as Eaves Hall, Mitton Fold, The Villa, Mytton Fold and Samlesbury Hall, he plays at very regularly. See the menu above for wedding venue pages.
My venue has no piano. Is that a problem?
Not at all! Craig has a number of top quality electrical instruments, including portable baby grand pianos in gloss black and white at his disposal (see the Piano Hire page). By providing two pianos, Craig can play in different rooms without gaps for moving equipment. If you'd rather an acoustic instrument like a grand piano, we can advise on the best places to hire them, or for an additional fee of £50, we can liaise with the hire company to make all of the arrangements on your behalf.
Can you perform outside?
As long as the weather is dry and not too windy, and there's an electrical power supply available. Please get in touch with your ideas, and we'll do our best to facilitate an outdoor performance. It's rare that we can't make it happen.
How much does it cost?
Prices are dependent on location, but for Craig's most local venues they start from £230 including travel and piano provision. For venues with a piano, there is a £50 discount as there's no set up time required. See the Packages & Prices page.
When should I book?
As early as possible! Some bookings are taken only a few weeks before the wedding, but many dates - particularly Summer, Christmas and Bank Holiday dates - can book up two years in advance so it's best to book as soon as you are ready to avoid missing out. Most book 12-18 months in advance. We get brides telling us they've booked their piano music before they've booked the venue decor or DJ, or bought their dress. We've even had couples book Craig before they knew which venue they were using!!
Do you play requests?
All ceremony songs will be entirely your choice - you have to have you own choices for your ceremony!
For other parts of the day, a few requests is no problem. It's better to give Craig a more general idea as to the style(s) of music you'd like, rather than an exact list of songs to play. The more flexible you can be, the more you'll allow him to read your guests and change the set as he plays; Craig's experience means you can trust him to know what will work well. This also means that there's a better synergy between your music, your guests and the venue.
Do you need sheet music?
The simple answer is no. As a professional session musician, Craig is experienced in quickly transcribing (working out) and learning material by ear. That said, classical music is better played using sheet music, as there's usually more detail to work to. Most music is easy to source or transcribe for free, but, if not, there's just a small charge (usually about £2.50) to buy a piece of sheet music.
How much notice do you need of our song choices?
We ask for six weeks notice on ceremony choices. Advanced classical pieces can need longer, so just give as much notice as possible.
Songs and styles for wedding breakfasts, wedding cocktail music etc can be provided up to two weeks before the day, but again, the more notice you give the better it allows Craig to prepare.
What styles do you play?
Craig plays all styles of music. He specialises in modern music, both popular and classical, in styles that will allow your guests to enjoy the music without being forced to listen.
Although classically trained, Craig does not play classical as often these days (it just doesn't get requested much!), so just allow a couple of weeks more notice if you're choosing classical music; it's usually more detailed and technically demanding, so the time is needed to get it up to his usual high standard.
Do you have a playlist we can choose music from?
See the Demos and Setlists page.
Where can we hear you play?
See the Demos and Setlists page.
Craig plays open days at a number of the venues that recommend his services throughout the year; keep an eye on his social media for these. You'll also find videos of his playing posted there regularly too.
Are you insured?
Yes. Craig's public liability insurance covers him up to to £10million, during time spent at the venue, and loading in and out. Most venues ask for musicians to be insured with PLI these days, and may refuse to allow one to perform without it. All documents will be forwarded to your venue around two weeks before your wedding (many venues have Craig's documents on file at all times anyway).
Craig's equipment is also PAT tested for electrical safety at regular intervals. These certificates can also be provided.
What will you wear?
Whatever you like (within reason)! Craig will usually perform in a suit, or a waistcoat in hotter weather. He can also play in a dinner suit and bow tie if you'd prefer. If you've a different theme that might suit different clothes, just let us know.
Do you require a meal / dressing room?
Only for whole day bookings (which include the ceremony, drinks reception, and wedding breakfast). A meal need not be the posh meal your guests will be enjoying. A plate of sandwiches or something similar is more than sufficient.