The Adventures of The Chapel Hill Duo: 1

The Chapel Hill Duo, Sarah and Jaya as wedding guests.
A rare photo of us being Wedding Guests for a change! This was taken at the Carre Arms Hotel in Sleaford at Sarah’s Godfathers Wedding.

This is the first in a new series of blog posts where we will talk about our day-to-day lives as The Chapel Hill Duo. We will cover everything from our work at Weddings and other events to the joys and difficulties of being professional musicians living in rural Lincolnshire.

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“Best. Entrance Song. EVER!!!”

Sarah James Cellist in the gardens at the Bedford lodge hotel near Newmarket.
Sarah in the gardens of the Bedford Lodge Hotel near Newmarket.

When it comes to the entrance of the Bridal Party, we firmly believe that, if possible, the couple should choose a song that is special to them. Perhaps it’s a song that they heard when they first met or the first song they danced to, or perhaps they can relate to the lyrics (take “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, we’re sure all couples can relate to that one!). Maybe they just both really like the song! 

Whatever the reason, you can be sure that there won’t be a dry eye in the room, because everyone will know that this song is ‘their song’. 

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How Does A Wedding Ceremony Actually Work?

Bride and groom in military dress say their wedding vows at belton woods hotel.
The happy couple saying their vows in a beautiful Celebrant led Wedding Ceremony last weekend at the Belton Woods Hotel near Grantham.

We quite often get asked this question, along with ‘when do you play music during the ceremony?’ and ‘what order do they do things in?’, and now that we are planning our own Wedding we’ve realised that even with a Civil Wedding Ceremony (i.e. not a Church Wedding) there are so many different things to consider that it can be quite daunting! So, we thought it would be worth doing a very basic blog post explaining just exactly how things go down, in chronological order, during a Civil Wedding Ceremony – it’s not quite as confusing as you might think! We will also talk about where the music usually fits in as well.

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Mr & Mrs Gale, on the windiest day of the year!

Bride and Groom in wedding ceremony see each other for the first time.
We love that moment when the Bride gets to the top of the aisle and the happy couple see each other for the first time on their wedding day. There were tears from everyone in the room – especially the groom!

As professional musicians part of our job is travelling, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot! Last week we covered about 500 miles in 4 days, which definitely falls into the ‘a lot’ category! It was worth it however, to play at 3 beautiful and wonderfully unique weddings. The theme for the week was really strong winds, making travelling and playing tricky at times. It was funny, however, as our third couple of the week were Mr & Mrs Gale!

Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia. People were dancing along to this one. Can you spot the kid teaching the bridesmaid how to floss?!

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‘A Million Dreams’, a school reunion at a historical venue and a Woodland Ceilidh in under 36 hours!

A bride and groom say their vows at a Church Wedding Ceremony.
The happy couple say their vows at the Wedding Ceremony in St Michael & All Angels’ Church Brooksby.

The first wedding was in the idyllic setting of Lanwades Hall near Newmarket, an incredible building with stunning grounds to match! We were particularly blown away by the beauty of the ceremony room – just look at those windows!

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Music & Photography go hand in hand!

The Chapel Hill Duo performing the violin and cello at a Wedding Drinks reception at Holmewood Hall. Photo by Sam J Cook.
The Chapel Hill Duo performing at the Wedding Drinks Reception at Holmewood Hall (thanks to Sam J. Cook for taking the photo)

After the July 2019 heatwave, last Saturday was a bit of a shock to the system with the temperature literally 20’C colder than the day before! We were very relieved, however, to have a break from the unbearable heat of the previous week! 

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Two Weddings in One Day on the Hottest Day of the Year ☀️☀️☀️

A bride and groom play the violin and cello.
The Bride and Groom had a go on our instruments.

We very rarely get to play at two weddings on the same day as they inevitably clash. However our bookings today worked out perfectly; the first wanted us for their Church Ceremony at midday and the second, at the opposite end of the county, for their Wedding Breakfast at 4pm. And of course it would be 29’C, the hottest day of the year so far!

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