West Midlands Wedding Musicians
Piano + Cello Duo with nearly 30 years experience, provide the perfect entertainment for your wedding day
I’ve known Andrew + Nicky, the husband and wife duo that are Finesse Piano and Cello, for many years. Having first came across them probably 20 years ago, whilst working alongside my father Barry James Photography, I have always loved being at a wedding with them.
As a musician myself, I’ve always admired other musicians. Whether it be a string quartet, a guitarist, a band or indeed a piano and cello duo, live music always adds to the mood and feeling of an event. With Finesse Piano + Cello, however, the closeness between Andrew and Nicky brings another dimension to their performance – and I will never tire of hearing them play!
With a background in the music industry of many years and a skillset that includes composing for films and productions along with playing, you really do get an amazing creative with Andrew + Nicky. Knowing that they can not only bring your chosen song to life but also compose an individual arrangement for you, is truly fabulous. Not something merely purchased from a website, the pieces performed by Finesse Piano + Cello are truly bespoke and unique to them!
Piano and Cello Duo for Your Wedding
Knowing the background Andrew + Nicky both have within the music industry, it was fabulous to hear them explain why they love playing at weddings so much, even after the 4000 weddings they’ve performed at:
“The wedding industry’s one that we really enjoy with love playing for weddings. They’re always happy occasions and I think we have to reinvent ourselves constantly because there’s new music coming, and all they’re all different.
If you take pride in what you do and also take pride in the fun and just having that conversation, then you get a lot more out of it, and then, of course, in turn, your enjoyment hopefully gets transmitted over the audience.”
I love the language both Nicky and Andrew use when talking about their playing, being more of a conversation; a musical conversation between piano and cello, and the guests listening and enjoying:
“It’s communicating without actually using words. The music we play during a wedding, we look and see what sort of people we’re playing for and we try and play appropriate music for that.”
The variety and repertoire from film music, Disney of course, and more modern pieces, I always love hearing how Andrew and Nicky tweak their live performance to match the crowd perfectly:
“We get a lot of nonverbal feedback from people we can see that people are enjoying a certain style of music, so we’ll follow it up with another one like that.”
Choosing music for your wedding
Choosing the music for the big day can be such an important part of the wedding.
I remember choosing the song that Beki was to walk down the aisle to, and together choosing the songs we wanted for the signing of the register and the recession together – it was all about setting the mood, and bringing our character’s and tastes out in the music everyone was to listen to.
From standing next to Nicky and Andrew many times over the years, I love the excitement that comes as a bride and groom start talking about the music for their day. Whether it’s trying to describe a tune they have in their heads, that Andrew is able to pick up on and start tinkling away to on the piano or turning to an arrangement of their song, it really is beautiful.
Choosing the right music for your wedding is so special, and a little journey you get to take with Andrew and Nicky:
“We try and squeeze out of a couple what sort of music they would like for their ceremony, which is probably one of the most theatrical parts of the day, particularly for the bride although for the grooms as well.
We sculpt the music to fit how the bride walks in so we’re constantly watching. It’s not a case of heads down and playing the music. We’re watching what’s going on. We liaise with everybody beforehand, and then we will watch the bride and her entourage during the walk-in and will sculpt the music to fit rather than getting to the registrar and her groom and then pausing the music, we build it up and then rounded off, and it makes it sound as though she’s arrived, and it’s a great moment. We love doing it. It’s because the reaction from people is fantastic. It’s what makes it different from recorded music.”
It was really interesting talking to Andrew and Nicky and picking up one of their #TopTips for the wedding music – and that is not choosing a piece you are too emotionally attached to for the procession, after all – with the build-up of emotions, that last thing you want is for music to trigger yet more emotion!
Sculpting the Music for Your Day
I wanted to let you see how Andrew + Nicky approach the performance of music on the wedding day, with them choosing the ever popular Thousand Years by Christina Perri to cover their approach:
Music during the wedding day
From performing for around 20 minutes as your guests assemble for the wedding ceremony, Finesse Piano and Cello start to set the mood for your wedding. Choosing music around the style you’ve discussed, the live music adds to the ambience for your guests, building up to that grand entrance of the Bridal party – or indeed to the entrance of the groom first to a good bit of James Bond – always sure to bring a smile from the guests!
From the grand procession into the ceremony, the next performance is during the signing of the register – a great time to choose your favourite tracks, but nothing too lively, “because the lively piece, the big piece, the strong piece can be the one that you walk out to!
We play the main piece for you and all your guests walk out of the room, and then we pick up our things and move off to every play for the drinks reception.”
Playing lively music that gets the guests relaxed is what it’s about for Andrew + Nicky during the drinks reception. Adding to the happy atmosphere as everyone enjoys the occasion.
With a small mobile setup, it takes Nicky and Andrew only a matter of minutes to move from the drinks reception ready for the wedding breakfast, “providing some ambience when the guests walk into the room.”
I loved Andrew’s thoughts on the importance of music here too:
“[Playing music for your guests as they walk in] is quite important because otherwise, they’re walking into a space lovely as it may be with all the decorations and all the finery, but nevertheless, it’s a room without a soul in a way. The music that we provide them when people walk in is a continuation of that atmosphere. We’re providing a backdrop of music during the wedding breakfast.”
I’ve witnessed many times at weddings with Finesse Piano and Cello, with guests discussing the music they’re listening to, “we’re giving them something to talk about if they don’t know each other. The kids love it as well because they’ll come over and ask as if you can play with Toy Story or something, which of course we can, and we have fun with the guests.
It’s always that kind of conversation between ourselves musically, but we’re also having a non-verbal conversation with everybody because we’re seeing how they react, how they respond to some music and then we follow it up with a little bit more. We try and get a reaction from people but not using any words just by playing some music which they might know.”
And with a catalogue of 95 hours + of music, Andrew and Nicky are sure to be able to make your guests feel comfortable!
Variety of Music for Your Wedding
Whatever your musical tastes and inspirations, with the great catalogue of music from Finesse you are almost guaranteed to be covered:
“Anything from Mozart to Bollywood to Justin Bieber, loads of films including Gladiator, Lord of the Rings, the list goes on.
Literally, we can pick at any moment what we think is appropriate for that moment, rather than having a set routine.”
From the thousands of wedding’s Andrew + Nicky have performed at, music like us, it is the variety that keeps them excited:
“They’re all slightly different and sometimes you’ll have a slightly different idea of how you want the day to evolve, and that’s absolutely fine with us. If the wedding is different if you’re wanting something a little different than we will adapt and flex around what you want and create a package that works for you.”
When to Book your Wedding Musicians
Of course, there is never a set time to guarantee to book the musicians for your wedding but one piece of advice rings true – as soon as you’ve found who you want, get it booked!
With dates being taken up over 18 months in advance, right up until a few weeks before the wedding, it’s about getting the suppliers you want for your day.
Wedding Tips from Finesse Piano + Cello
Following on my pattern with the suppliers I’ve featured over the past few months, I wanted to pluck a few gems of advice from Andrew + Nicky from the thousands of weddings they’ve seen over the years.
A big music-related one to start:
“As a couple, listen to the music that you think you might like. Get a good range of music, have a listen and then talk to talk to us about it because then we can guide what will work and what may not work as well.”
As already mentioned earlier in the post, one of the most important pieces of music is for the bridal entrance, with the advice from Andrew + Nicky being absolutely key here:
“I would recommend because we’ve seen so many brides who suddenly are overcome with emotion at the beginning of their walk up the aisle, is to choose a piece that you like, but not one that could hit you emotionally. Because if when we start playing, the emotion will suddenly hit you. So choose a piece that you like but you’re not so emotionally invested in.
Save that piece of music to later on and then we’ll play it later on even during the signing of the register.”
As wedding professionals and no-doubt the same as friends and family, we all tell you how fast the day will fly by!
“Have a few moments here and there just to look around and absorb what is going on, because that’s what makes memories. So really enjoy it. Just enjoy the day, give yourself time and space, let the professionals do that work that you’ve you’ve been preparing for so many months.”
Working closely with suppliers on your wedding day is so important to us and also to Finesse:
“We pride ourselves on being part of a team. We’re not just the musicians who come in and play and then off we go. We’re working with the photographer. We’re working with everybody from the staff at the hotel to ensure that it’s slick transition. You don’t notice any joins and we’re working with everyone to ensure the smooth running of the day. All the professionals work together and we consider ourselves part of that team wherever we’re playing. I think it makes for a nice calm experience for everybody.
See The Full Interview
The full interview which we aired live on the Stuart James Photography Facebook Page last month is available to watch directly here:
Find Out More About Finesse Piano + Cello
To find out more about Andrew and Nicky from Finesse Piano and Cello, and to see if they could be a good fit for your wedding, take a look at their website and facebook pages linked below: