Introducing your wedding pianist in France

wedding pianist

Looking for a wedding pianist in or around the Dordogne? Someone who can play during the ceremony, then afterwards for cocktails? And maybe accompany a wedding guest who wants to sing? And who plays with a cellist, double-bass player, a jazz singer, a five-piece rock/pop cover band, and a blues band?

(Just to give you some options.)

You’ve found him—that’s me on the right. I also speak French, which can come in handy. I’m based in the heart of Nouvelle Aquitaine but can travel anywhere, within reason.

Have a listen while you read on

When you really need a wedding pianist

Every wedding is different (and yours will be amazing), but there are some elements they all have 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:

  1. Five to 10 minutes while your guests are getting comfortable
  2. The Processional (a short piece, depending on the size of the hall or garden)
  3. A few minutes during the signing of the Register
  4. The Recessional (after which the guests file out, dabbing eyes)

Music for the ceremony often includes classical pieces, like Bach’s Prelude in C, or C Minor, or Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. A contemporary classic, like Comptine d’un autre été by Yann Tiersen, or Gymnopédie Nº1 by Eric Satie. 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 almost the same as Pachelbel’s Canon in D. For a wedding in Saint-Émilion, I played Handel’s Hallelujah chorus as the bride and groom left the church together (the bride’s idea—which I thought was genius).

Wedding songs for the reception

You’ll find a sample setlist for the garden party on this page. (Instant French lesson: This is called the “Vin d’honneur” in France.) It’s a mix of beautiful contemporary songs and jazz standards, with a focus on love and romance. This music is not meant to dominate, but provide a sophisticated ambience for you and your guests. Singalongs are not unknown. And sometimes, even 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 am happy to change locations—usually once, and occasionally twice. (Some weddings have pre-service drinks—every wedding is different.)

A duo of wedding duos

I am deliriously happy to play in a couple of duos with two outstanding musicians and wonderful people.

The first of these is called Piano & Cello etc, featuring Phyllipa on cello, double bass, voice and more. Piano & cello etc is enormously versatile, with a 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 ambience for cocktail parties of all sizes.

Here we are playing in the Jardin des nenuphars (Lily Gardens)

Phyllipa is touring with swinging French band, Saramabalouf, so availability is very limited. Please book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Last year, I also started working with Samantha Bramley of Wedding Music France.

As with Phyllipa, there is a huge crossover of wedding songs on our set lists, which allows us to play the right piece in the right place. Here’s what we are offering for weddings during 2019.

And for the evening party, how about a full live band?

For several years, I’ve been playing with 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 said that we’re the best wedding band you can possibly book, but I’m biased. So I was delighted to receive this comment, following our first wedding of 2019.

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 our word for it. Have a look at this video instead.

This is SouthWest playing up at the Manoir de la Foulquetière last year.

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.