Introducing your wedding pianist in France (and soon, the UK)
Looking for an English-speaking wedding pianist in France? Someone who can play during the ceremony, then afterwards for cocktails? And who plays with a cellist, double-bass player, jazz singer, and five-piece rock/pop cover band?
You’ve found me!
I’m currently based near Bergerac, in the Dordogne, in southwest France, but am happy to travel.
My set list includes achingly beautiful songs from Norah Jones, David Bowie, Queen, Elton John, Billy Joel, Lady Gaga and John Legend. Classic jazz from Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Dave Brubeck and Ray Charles. And historic favourites from Bach, Satie and Schubert.
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and check out the videos on YouTube and recordings on SoundCloud. Then book me for your BIG DAY.
We’re over half way through the 2022 season. But, if you’re wondering if I still want to play your wedding… I do!
Have a listen while you read on
When you really need a wedding pianist
Every wedding is different (and yours will be amazing), but they all have some things in common… Those times when a pianist is the perfect person to announce, accompany and entertain.
Wedding ceremony music
There are four moments to think about when planning the music for your ceremony:
- Five to 10 minutes while your guests are getting comfortable
- The Processional (can be short, depending on the size of the hall or garden)
- A few minutes during the signing of the Register
- The Recessional (after which the guests file out, dabbing eyes, happily)
Music for the ceremony often includes classical pieces, like Bach’s Prelude in C, or C Minor, or Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Or a contemporary classic, like Comptine d’un autre été by Yann Tiersen, or Gymnopédie Nº1 by Eric Satie. Or something slightly jazzy, like La Vie en Rose. And usually a special song with great meaning.
I was recently asked to play this beautiful version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, which is mashed together with Pachelbel’s Canon in D. For a wedding in Saint-Émilion, I played Handel’s Hallelujah chorus as the happy couple left the church (the bride’s idea—which I thought was genius).
Wedding pianist for cocktails
You’ll find a sample set list for the garden party on this page. (Instant French lesson: The drinks reception is called the “Vin d’honneur” in France.) It’s a cocktail of beautiful contemporary songs and jazz standards, with a focus on love and romance. This music is not meant to dominate, but to provide a suitable ambiance for you and your guests. Singalongs are not unknown. And sometimes, dancing.
If you are booking me as a solo pianist, I am yours for the whole day, including up to 2.5 hours of playing time. I can quickly change locations—usually once, and occasionally twice. (Some weddings have pre-service drinks—every wedding is different.) Drop me a line and let’s see what makes sense.
When only a duo will do
I am deliriously happy to play in a duo with the truly outstanding and wonderful Phyllipa.
A bassist, double bassist and sultry jazz singer, Phyllipa joins me with an extensive set list of classical piano and cello pieces that are perfect for wedding ceremonies. Plus a mixture of swinging jazz standards, modern classics, and crowd-pleasers that provide an entertaining soundtrack for cocktail parties of all sizes.
She’s played with some of the biggest names in music – and now she can play for you!
Phyllipa currently plays with French world music and manouche-leaning band, Saramabalouf, so her availability is very limited. Please book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
And for the evening, how about a full live band?
My wedding band is called SouthWest. We’re an all-live five-piece rock/pop cover band (try saying that after a couple of glasses of Champagne) with an awesome set list of dance-oriented music. I’ve always thought we’re the best wedding band you can book. So I was delighted to receive this comment, from a more than satisfied client.
Hi Alex! Just wanted to say a massive thank you to you and the rest of the band for being so amazing on our wedding day! You really made the evening party what it was, and we had so many compliments about you all. We even had a few saying “these are the best wedding band I’ve ever seen”! We all thought you were fantastic and really got the crowd going. So thank you again for all you’ve done for us and for making our wedding a huge success! We are also so grateful for the way you stepped in to give us your mic and speakers for the speeches. We didn’t think that one through. Thanks for everything! I will send you over a copy of the video when we have it.Samantha Maunder
Don’t just take my word for it. Have a look at this video instead.
Wait no longer—ask about availability right now
Or call (or text) +33 637 53 99 03. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Huge news for 2023
I am relocating to an island just off the French coast, in September 2022. Initially based in Leicester, I will be available for weddings, funerals and other Significant Events in the UK from October.
Existing and future bookings with SouthWest will not be affected, and I will publish all the details here in the coming months. Keep an eye on the blog to stay up to date in the meantime.