The room as noisy as it could possibly get. The guests are shuffling in their seats, the photograph is taking pictures from every imaginable angle, the best friend is checking the content of his pockets, and a big drop of sweat can be seen falling from the father’s forehead.
A bell is heard and suddenly everyone gets quiet. That’s my big moment.
I grab my bow with confidence, check that my colleagues are ready, 3,4, and we start!
The music fills the room and the whole its guests start breathing in sync with it. Gentle steps are heard nearing from the back and getting louder, as the excitement in the room grows with them.
The bride approaches, young and fair, with her white dress trailing behind her like a brush of ice. But inside she feels anything but icy, with us musicians almost being able to hear her heartbeat as she gets closer to the civil officer and her soon to be husband.
He seems calm and poised, but if one looks closer, one can see that he is achieving this by holding his breath…a lot. At this point I really hope that he decides to relax and breathe, as it once happened for me to perform at a wedding where the groom dully fainted right before putting the ring on his bride’s finger. That was quite a memory, as people rushed forward to help him and, while I was alright protecting my violin from the crowds by holding it tight at my chest, not the same thing could be said about the cellist, who found herself desperately trying to save her precious instrument from hordes of concerned relatives who at the moment didn’t care much for the musician’s most precious belonging.
Not this time though. The best man gently pats him on the back and the groom relaxes just as the bride reaches him. They look so beautiful together!
We finish our piece and sit quietly while the vows and the rings are exchanged. This is always somewhat funny, as there usually is at least something that will go wrong and will seem overtly funny in the intensity of the moment. This time the bride manages to somehow add a faint ‘f’ at the beginning of ‘art of loving’ in her vow, and the audience’s reaction was as big, yet muted, as one would expect.
This is all forgotten as they look into each other’s eyes as the officer declares them husband and wife and their first kiss as a married couple happens.
That’s our que. 3,4, and we start again, this time with a more upbeat tune to signify the joy of the moment as the new weds leave the room followed by their parents and guests. We are left to finish the piece completely alone.
Just another day of work for me really, but what a work it is! Both me and my usual colleagues at Giardino Strings would say the same. The more I think about it, the more I am astonished by how lucky I am to be a part of some of the best moments in peoples’ lives and to help make them special with my music. This is something I am truly proud of as a professional musician.