Wedding Pianist and Piano Music Agency

Wedding Pianist for hire at Ashridge House

How much does a wedding pianist cost?

We have one email ready to send you that has all of our wedding pianist prices and special offers.

Hire an amazing wedding pianist for your wedding.

If you want to impress your guests with an incredible wedding pianist then we would love to help you.

PianoDJ is the most respected wedding pianist agency in the UK.

Book a wedding pianist with a good backup plan.

You don't want to worry about being without a wedding pianist on the day of your wedding. This is why we pay for a backup pianist to be on standby 365 days a year.

Accidents, emergencies and illness happen regularly and you need a backup plan when something as simple as a sprained wrist can take a pianist out of action for weeks.

Take control of the music that your wedding pianist plays.

Your wedding is such a special day and this is why you should be able to choose the music that you wedding pianist will play.

All of our pianists love learning new music and we never charge any extra for learning requests.

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Piano Music for your Wedding

You can hire a wedding pianist to play piano music for any of the 4 daytime sections of your wedding.

  1. Wedding Ceremony
  2. Drinks Reception
  3. Wedding Breakfast
  4. Turnaround Period

Most couples book a pianist for their whole daytime reception because it offers great value for money and it takes care of the music for the whole day. Other couples just choose to book a pianist for one or two sections of their wedding day.


A wedding pianist for your ceremony.

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Your wedding ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day.

You can hire one of our wedding pianists to play the most magical piano instrumental versions of your favourite songs so that this moment becomes a memory that you treasure for the rest of your life.

Top 4 Ceremony Piano Requests


A wedding pianist for your drinks reception.

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You are going to feel such a rush of excitement and happiness during your drinks reception and I promise that you won't be able to stop smiling.

Hire one of our talented wedding pianists to play upbeat, lively, fun, exciting music for your drinks reception to keep this atmosphere of celebration for your guests who have to wait for you while you have your wedding photos taken.

Top 4 Drinks Reception Piano Requests


A wedding pianist for your wedding breakfast.

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Put your feet up, tuck into the greatest feast of your lifetime, sit back, soak up the atmosphere and let it all sink in.

If music is important to you then you should book a wedding pianist to play all of your favourite songs and pieces of music on the piano.

This is a way for you to add your personality and style to your meal and background piano music will break the uncomfortable silence that you often get at weddings.

Top 4 Wedding Breakfast Piano Requests


A wedding pianist for your turnaround period.

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At some wedding venues, there is a turnaround period during which the venue staff collapse tables, stack chairs, sweep up mess, lay a dance floor and get the room ready for the evening dancing.

All of your guests will be asked to leave the room when this happens and it can be a really fun treat to hire a wedding pianist to play toe-tapping music for your guests during this time.

The wedding pianist will become your warm-up act, they will take requests and play music that will help get your guests in the mood for a night of dancing.

Top 4 Turnaround Period Piano Requests

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Wedding Pianist FAQ

Most Common Questions





What is the difference between a wedding pianist and a pianist?

A wedding pianist is a pianist who specialises in playing wedding piano music.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a modern pianist, a jazz pianist or a classical pianist to play at your wedding.

A wedding pianist will play music with a romantic theme and they will play a range of music that appeals to guests of a variety of ages from your preferred genre (classical / jazz / modern).

You wouldn’t want your guests to be bored by long and tedious classical piano music, confused by complicated jazz solos or uninterested with modern piano songs that only the teenagers would know.

A wedding pianist has experience in playing music that your guests will recognise and they have spent a lot of time putting together a set of music that will make the day feel even more romantic and special.

Most wedding pianists will be more than happy to learn requests for your wedding because they understand the importance of adding a personal touch to the music.

As a pianist you can specialise in various areas: concerts and recitals, live bands, shows and musicals, recording music in studios, teaching, accompanying other musicians, ballet and dance, playing in bars and pubs, etc. All of our pianists specialise in weddings.

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Will a digital keyboard sound like a real piano?

Digital pianos are designed to replicate the sound of a real piano. Keyboards are designed to play a range of different sounds, effects and rhythms. All of our digital pianos have the full range of 88 keys (the same amount of notes as a real piano) and many of them have wooden keys with a weighted action so that the feel of pressing a note on the digital piano is the same as on a real piano.

This means that our wedding pianists can play the same pieces of music that they could play on a real piano. The sound of the digital piano depends on the quality of the instrument – just as a cheap real piano will sound horrible, a cheap digital piano will sound horrible too. Our musicians use top of the range professional instruments that sound absolutely beautiful. You can listen to over 100 recordings made using our digital pianos.

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How much does a wedding pianist cost?

We have an interactive price list on our website so that you can see how much a wedding pianist will cost before you make an enquiry. We have set fees that reflect the standard running order of a wedding. You can book a wedding pianist for the ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast, turnaround period or any combination of these. If your wedding has a different format to this then we will quote you a price that reflects the amount of hours that the pianist will be playing for.

Our aim is to build a network of exceptional pianists across the UK and this means that there should always be a wedding pianist living within a reasonable driving distance of your wedding venue. In the event of a local wedding pianist not being available, we may look to charge travel expenses on top of the advertised price. You will be advised of this at the time you make your enquiry.

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Can I have a wedding pianist if my venue doesn't have a piano?

The short answer is yes, you can still have a wedding pianist.

All of our wedding pianists have professional digital pianos that they can bring to your wedding venue and this is included in the standard price of a wedding pianist. We have a trade account with Roland (the best digital piano manufacturer) and we encourage all of our wedding pianists to use their digital pianos. Our wedding pianists use digital pianos that sound just like a concert grand piano and every note will sound as stylish and beautiful as you would expect from an acoustic instrument.

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How loud will the piano be? Is it loud enough or too loud?

The volume of piano music is just right too…the piano music will float around the gardens and the rooms in your venue so that all of your guests can hear the music and it is quiet enough that your friends and family can chat without struggling to hear each other. The piano is a really versatile instrument.

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Which venues/areas do your pianists play at?

We have a team of wedding pianists based all around the UK including Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Kent, London, Midlands, Manchester, Birmingham and Oxfordshire.

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Will my guests be able to chat over the top of your piano playing?

I can assure you that your guests will be able to talk comfortably whilst enjoying the piano music. The piano is a beautiful instrument. When it is played sensitively, it forms a lovely backdrop to conversations in sophisticated and romantic settings.

There is a long standing history of high-end restaurants and hotels using live piano music to create a really special environment for afternoon teas and fine dining. The UKs most famous restaurants have a live pianist playing background music – Harrods, the Dorchester Hotel, the Ritz and the Savoy.

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Can we buy a piano recording instead of hiring a pianist?

For us to be able to make a recording of your chosen track and have the licensing rights to give it to somebody we have to pay a licensing fee and for a pianist to goto a studio to record the track.

As a special request we can offer this service for our customers at a cost of £50 per track. If you would like to request a song to be recorded please use our contact form to make an enquiry.

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What qualifications and experience do your pianists have?

All of the pianists that we supply for weddings undergo a thorough selection process:

  1. The pianist must provide recent demo recordings or videos which reflect an exceptional standard of piano playing.
  2. They must have already been performing at weddings for a minimum of one year.
  3. Each applicant must be able to provide a minimum of 15 positive testimonials from their previous clients.
  4. A reference must be provided from a venue / restaurant at which the pianist regularly plays to show that they are reliable, trustworthy and punctual.

If a pianist meets and exceeds all of these standards, then they will be called to audition.

In the audition, the pianist will be asked to play an hour of background music in their preferred style. They will also have to play three “set pieces” that they will be asked to prepare at the time they are invited to audition.

Our pianists are exceptional musicians and are the best pianists available to play for weddings.

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Where can we see you play?

Our wedding pianists are specialist musicians and they only play at weddings – unfortunately, we cannot invite you to somebody else’s wedding!!

However, we completely understand that you would want to hear and see our pianists playing the piano before you book them for your wedding, so we have taken the time to make the following options available to you.

You can listen to over 250 recordings on our website, watch videos of our pianists on YouTube or come and meet us at a local wedding fair.

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What type of keyboard do your pianists use at weddings?

All of our pianists own state of the art professional keyboards for weddings and these keyboards are included free of charge in all of our piano music packages.

We cannot guarantee any specific keyboard for any event.

The majority of our pianists use Roland professional keyboards and these instruments are designed and built to sound exactly the same as a real piano.

When you book a pianist to play for your wedding, they will bring their own personal professional keyboard(s) with them to use for your event. Most of our full time pianists have two professional keyboards and this works really well for venues that have multiple rooms – because you can have different keyboards set up in different areas of your venue.

Professional keyboards come in all different shapes, colours and sizes and a pianist will choose their instruments to fit in with their own circumstances. We cannot guarantee any specific keyboard for any event.

For example:

  • Size Of Keyboard – All of our pianists have different sized cars and vans and they will have chosen a professional keyboard that works with their vehicle. Our pianists also work abroad and will often have at least one lightweight professional keyboard that is suitable for taking on an plane / train / taxi.
  • Sound Modules On Keyboard – As well as playing background music for weddings, our pianists often work as session musicians for bands (with artists such as Tinie Tempah, Shirley Bassey, etc) and the type of professional keyboards that they use needs to be compatible with the software that they use to program sounds for these performances.
  • Height Of Musician – When you are playing a professional keyboard for over 5 hours a day, you have to pay a lot of attention to the physical demands that playing the piano has on your body. Although most people assume that pianists will have sore fingers, the most common ailment is back pain. Some of the nicer looking keyboards with fixed sides and fronts are fixed position keyboards that are designed for the ‘average person’. This means that they are not suitable for shorter or taller pianists and they are not appropriate for them to play. Instead, these musicians require a keyboard on a stand so that the height is adjustable.
  • Keyboards For Large Rooms – If your have booked a pianist to play outside or in a large room then it is likely that they will need to connect their professional keyboard to a more substantial sound system. In this instance, the sound of the sound system starts to become just as important as the sound of the keyboard. A lot of the “prettier” looking pianos do not have the right outputs to connect to a high quality professional sound system, as these instruments are really designed to be used in a residential home.

Remember, we are unable to guarantee any specific keyboard for any event. If it is important for you to have a really stunning instrument for your pianist to play at your wedding then we recommend hiring our digital grand piano.

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Can I hire a grand piano from you?

We have two stunning Roland digital grand piano's for hire and they can be hired with one of our wedding pianists or on their own.

This instrument makes an incredible sound and when we tested the digital grand piano in Harrods, we had so many shoppers stop and look inside the lid for the strings. Even when they saw the internal speakers, they still couldn’t believe that it wasn’t a real piano!

It is much cheaper to hire a digital grand piano than a traditional acoustic grand piano, it is easier to transport and set up and it will sound just as good.

Remember, we are unable to guarantee any specific keyboard for any event. If it is important for you to have a really stunning instrument for your pianist to play at your wedding then we recommend hiring our digital grand piano.

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Do your musicians have public liability insurance?

All of our musicians are covered by £10,000,000 public liability insurance and we actively encourage all of our musicians to join the Musicians Union. This membership includes a £10,000,000 public liability insurance policy.

All of our pianists have to send a copy of their public liability insurance certificate to our head office to prove that they have sufficient cover before we book them to play the piano at any event.

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How far in advance do I need to book a pianist for my wedding?

We currently have bookings in the diary for weddings that are in two years time.

We find that couples who have seen one of our musicians playing at a friend or relatives wedding tend to book us as soon as possible to make sure that we are definitely available.

In the summer, we are exceedingly busy and often have 4-5 weddings every day. If you are getting married between May and September, we recommend that you book your wedding pianist at least a year in advance, in order to make sure that one of our brilliant piano players are available for your wedding.

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What style of music will the wedding pianist play?

We will choose a wedding pianist who specialises in your favourite styles of music.

You will probably have visited other pianist websites and read numerous claims that “the pianist is an expert in all styles of music”. I would advise that you treat this statement as dubious.

All of our wedding pianists play a varied selection of piano music that will appeal to your guests young and old. They will play piano music in different styles and from different genres and they will mix together old and new songs.

We will be the first to admit, however, that a pianist can only really be a true expert in one or two styles of piano music.

Styles of piano music could include: classical, jazz, music from films, indie, the great American songbook, music from musicals, pop songs and chart hits arranged for piano, 90s dance music played in a chill-out style, etc.

One of the benefits of booking a wedding pianist from us is that we are able to pick the wedding pianist who is most passionate about the same styles of music that you like.

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Can you help recommend what music I can have playing on the piano for my wedding ceremony?

I would like to invite you to check out our free online guide with recordings, hints, tips and suggestions about choosing your wedding ceremony music.

Hopefully, this easy to use guide will give you some inspiration.

If you have a favourite song that you would like to have played on the piano for your wedding ceremony then why not drop us an email with your ideas?

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Can Your Wedding Pianist Play “Our Song” on the Piano?

We are often asked by couples who have booked our wedding pianist to arrange a piano instrumental version of their favourite song especially for them. Requests have ranged from love songs and chart hits to rock and UK garage.

You can be sure that our wedding pianist will make every effort to learn a piano cover of “your song” – even if it has not been done before.

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How will my song sound played on piano without lyrics?

A piano arrangement of a song will always sound different from the original, but the live music will add an extra special sense of occasion and intimacy that you cannot get from a recorded track.

We hope that live piano music will be able to give you that “spine tingling” sensation as you walk down the aisle towards your other half.

Please contact us and we will be happy to record a sample of how your chosen song will sound played on the piano.

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Can you accompany my friend who I would like to sing for my wedding ceremony?

Our wedding pianists are more than happy to accompany singers for your ceremony.

However, there are a couple of stipulations:

  1. You must provide the sheet music for our pianist. The music must be the same version as the song that the singer has learnt and it must be in the correct key.
  2. We recommend a 15 minute rehearsal on the day of the wedding to run through the song. Our pianist will be able to play the piano part to an exceptional standard, and the rehearsal is just to give the singer and the pianist a chance to play together before the performance. This rehearsal will take place 1 hour before the ceremony and it is included in the price that you have paid for our wedding pianist.
  3. If you want to book an additional rehearsal prior to the day of the wedding, then this is possible but it will incur an additional fee of £150 for each hour of rehearsal.

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Can my pianist friend play a special piece for me?

We sometimes get asked about if the bride or grooms friend can play a special piece for them. Would it be OK for them to use our piano?

We are happy to trust your judgement about your friends piano playing and we would love to help you with such a special request.

It is important that you let us know about this before the wedding so that we can pass on the message to our pianist.

Also, if your friend is a guest at your wedding, then it is likely that they will have been eating and drinking. To protect our instruments, we insist that your friend must wash their hands before playing the piano – sticky piano keys are never a good thing!!

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Can your wedding pianist play outside in the summer?

In the summer, we often provide wedding pianists to play outside for the drinks reception. It is really lovely to hear the sound of live piano music drifting through the courtyards and across the gardens at your wedding venue.

You should consider that our pianist will need a safe supply of electricity, and they should ideally be playing in a spot that is sheltered from the wind.

Our musician will check the Met Office weather forecast on the day of the wedding and if they feel that it is likely to start raining, then they will set up the piano inside with speakers positioned so that you can still hear the piano music outside.

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Will the wedding pianist need to take any breaks?

All of our musicians regularly play the piano for extended periods of time without any breaks.

Our professional wedding pianists are more than happy to play without any breaks – unless, of course, they need to answer the call of nature!!

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What will the pianist wear when they play at my wedding?

You can be sure that our wedding pianists will be dressed smartly for your wedding. The male pianists will wear suits and the female pianists will wear dresses.

For more formal occasions, we are more than happy for you to request that our musicians wear black tie, ballgowns or alternatively dress in a more relaxed way as required.

For themed weddings, we will ask our pianist to make every effort to fit in with the theme. We have supplied pianists for masquerade balls, medieval weddings and tudor weddings in the past.

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What happens if our musician I booked gets stuck in traffic or is ill on the day of my wedding?

When one of our musicians is taken ill on the morning of a wedding, they are instructed to call us immediately.

We then put in place our “crisis recovery plan”.

This gives us time to call one of our other musicians and prepare them with all the information they need to play at the wedding instead.

All of the music requests, venue details and logistics of the day are kept at our head office and we can email these over to the replacement musician.

We then send over all the appropriate information to our allocated pianist and the day is saved!

In the unlikely event that none of our musicians are available to stand in at the last minute, we would look to book a musician of a similar or greater standard from another agency and we would incur any additional costs.

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Do I need to feed the pianist during the wedding reception?

This is a very good question – and I recommend that you should ask the same question to your photographer, videographer, toastmaster, magician, etc.

For all weddings, we ask you to provide our pianists with soft drinks. In most situations, the pianist is able to ask a passing waiter for a glass of water and this is more than adequate.

If you book a pianist to play for the ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast (over 5 hours of continuous piano playing), or if the pianist is booked to play for the ceremony and wedding breakfast and is unable to leave to eat a meal in-between, we will then ask you to provide the pianist with a main course or a plate of sandwiches.

Our pianist will eat this when they have finished playing for your wedding – at the end of the wedding breakfast (during the speeches).

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Are the electrical pianos PAT tested?

All of our digital pianos and electrical equipment is PAT tested yearly and we are happy to email proof of PAT testing to your venue if they require this information.

Our PAT testing is done by Chris at CB Sound Video Light Ltd.

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How many speakers does a pianist need?

It depends on the size of the room. We have seen and heard other wedding pianists playing for large weddings with only one set of speakers. The result is the people next to the wedding pianist are deafened by the volume of the piano and the people at the other side of the room cannot hear the piano at all.

In large rooms we can keep a consistent volume across the whole room by setting up multiple sets of speakers across the room, so that everyone can hear the pianist at a suitable volume.

Please call us and we will give you advice on the requirements for your specific venue.

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How much space will your wedding pianist need for their keyboard?

We have never yet had a problem fitting a wedding pianist and their piano into a wedding venue.

A wedding pianist can fit comfortably between the back row of chairs and the rear wall in the ceremony room at the Reid Rooms.

The width of the digital pianos that we use is between 130-150cm and the depth from the front of the piano to the back of the piano stool is between 90-100cm.

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Can we choose the pianist we have for our wedding?

When you book with us we always like to get an idea for the kinds of music you and your partner enjoy listening to. From this we will then choose who will be the pianist most suited to your chosen styles of music. The great thing about booking with PianoDJ is that we have pianists with varied backgrounds who all have particular strengths, so we will always pick the most suitable person for your big day.

You will be able to watch your pianist on the videos that you can find on our piano recordings page, to give you an idea of their style and what they look like!

If you have seen one of our pianists playing at a friend or family members wedding or a wedding fair and you like them to play at your wedding, if they are available we will provisionally book them for your wedding day.

Although we try not to move pianists once they have been allocated, this is sometimes unavoidable. This can be the case when we receive your music requests and if we think that another pianist would be more suited to play the songs that you have chosen. We only do this if absolutely necessary and we give you as much notice as we can, so that it does not come as a big surprise on your big day!

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We are having a church ceremony, can you play a keyboard or organ in church?

Our pianists often play during for church ceremonies and we are able to offer several options to ensure that you are offered the best choice for your requirements.

The first is that your pianist will bring their keyboard into the church and play this during the service, as they would at any venue.

Alternatively your church may have an organist that you must use for certain parts of the ceremony, such as the hymns. In this case your pianist will play your procession music, as well as the songs for the signing of the register and the recession song and the church's organist will play the hymns.

Alternatively you may want your pianist to play the organ for your entire service, we are able to offer pianists that have specific organ training, so there really is an option for every eventuality.

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Are you able to accommodate themed weddings?

We certainly are! We often get requests to play at weddings where the theme of the day and the music match, such as musicals, Disney or jazz to name but a few. As a company that do not have a set list of songs that our couples must choose from, we are able to offer you complete flexibility and freedom when choosing your song requests. Each of our pianists have built up an impressive repertoire and have hundreds of songs from every imaginable genre that they can compile to offer you the perfect playlist for your day and theme.

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Can my guests request songs from the pianist on the day?

Of course, you and your guests are encouraged to ask the pianist for requests during the day. If the pianist has the song, they will be more than happy to play this for your or your guests.

It is a great way to interact with the pianist on the day and appreciate the versatility of what they can do. It also really impresses your guests when they can have a song that is special to them played with no prior warning! The pianists themselves also love to receive requests on the day.

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How long will it take the pianist to set up?

The pianist will always arrive one hour before they are due to begin playing, so that they have the time needed to set up, park, be shown the areas they will be performing in (if it is a new venue) and sound check before you or your guests arrive.

If the pianist is using their own keyboard/s for the wedding, then this can be set up within 10 minutes per location.

If you have hired one of our digital baby grand pianos, this will be delivered to your venue on the morning of your wedding and set up by 2 of our piano movers. The legs of the piano are removable, making it easier to transport the piano into venues. Once the piano is in the venue, it can be completely up and ready to play within 20 minutes.

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Why have a wedding pianist for your civil ceremony?

Your wedding ceremony is the single most important part of your wedding day. It is during the wedding ceremony that you will become a married couple and it is at this moment that your life together truly begins.

In a mixed-sex couple it is traditional for the bride and groom to spend the night before the wedding and the morning of their wedding apart from each other – to be joined together again when the bride walks down the aisle at the start of the wedding ceremony.

Setting the Mood for Your Guests

All of your wedding guests will be really keen to arrive in plenty of time for your wedding ceremony. This is a really exciting moment for them as well and you can be sure that they will arrive at your wedding venue ahead of time. It is quite normal for guests to start arriving up to 30 minutes (and sometimes even an hour) before the start of the wedding ceremony. During this time, it is traditional for the bride to be adding the final touches to her hair and make up or driving to the venue and the groom is likely to be making the final arrangements at the venue. These can include sorting pinning on button holes, trying to remember how to tie a cravat, running over final plans with the venue staff and speaking to the registrars.

This means that your guests will largely be left unattended to make themselves at home somewhere at the venue. Most venues do not serve any alcoholic drinks before the start of the ceremony (due to licensing rules) and you will want to avoid leaving your friends and family with nothing to do. You can hire a wedding pianist to play romantic background music as your guests arrive. Music is used by the best directors in films and movies to create an atmosphere and set the mood for the story that is about to unfold and at your wedding you can do the same. In fact, you can do this even better, as live music is countless times more emotional and romantic than a CD/mp3 soundtrack.

You want to set the mood for your guests so that when they arrive at your wedding venue after a long drive, they feel relaxed and well looked after. Live piano music will help them forget about the queues on the motorway, it will make them smile and it will focus their attention on your wedding so that they can really start to get excited about your wedding ceremony.

Impatience, Nerves and Excitement

I meet a lot of grooms at wedding fairs, showcases, exhibitions and weddings around the country and in the 10-15mins before the start of their wedding ceremony you see all sorts of different emotions start to kick in. I can remember from my own wedding day that I was extremely impatient for the wedding ceremony to get started. I kept looking at my watch and checking the time. It felt as if time was standing still!!

The other two key emotions that you see are nerves and excitement. I have met grooms who are so nervous about standing in front of their friends and family for their wedding ceremony, or grooms who get suddenly really nervous about the enormity of the event. They will stand rooted to the spot, pale as anything – it reminds me of the first day at secondary school feeling!! On the other end of the spectrum, you see extreme levels of excitement, pacing around, gibbering chatter and sometimes even tears of joy and last minute sobs / hugs with the best man.

The top and bottom of it is that the 10-15mins before the wedding ceremony are probably going to be one of the most intense experiences of your life so far.

This is where a wedding pianist will really help you out. It can be so calming to have your favourite pieces of music played on the piano as you wait for the wedding ceremony to begin. You can hand pick all of the songs that you find relaxing and send these over to the pianist to learn so that on the day of your wedding you stand the best chance of making it to the start of your wedding ceremony in one piece. I know that it really helped me on my wedding day.

The Most Magical of Entrances

The entrance of the bride is a moment that most women have been dreaming of for years and years and years. It is one true fairytale moment of a lifetime and it is the most magical moment of the whole wedding day. This is the moment where your fiancé, all of your friends and family will see you for the very first time in your wedding dress. WOW – what a moment.

After years of planning, this is what you have been waiting for. A mind blowing wonderful dress, new shoes, beautiful flowers, stunning hair, perfect make up and hours of preparation. This moment has to be perfect.

If your wedding was a piece of cinema, then the director would save the best piece of music for this moment. This is your chance to make an unforgettable impression on your fiancé, to create a memory that you both will cherish for the rest of your lives and you deserve to have your favourite piece of music in the world played on the piano by an incredible wedding pianist. Piano music can set an atmosphere in a handful of carefully played notes and it will heighten the experience of your wedding entrance (and probably make a few people cry with happiness).

Other Key Moments for Music in the Wedding Ceremony

After your wedding entrance, the formalities of your wedding ceremony begin - the marriage service, the ring ceremony, the readings, your promises and your wedding vows. At the end of these formalities you will officially be married!

The celebrations don’t begin straight away, however, as you have to fill out all of the legal paperwork and sign the marriage register. This admin process usually takes 5-10 minutes (depending on how long it takes your photographer to stage all of the photos) and during this time, your guests are left seated with nothing to do. They have to sit and wait until you have finished signing the register.

If you choose not to have any live music during this time then it can really kill the atmosphere as your guests sit in silence with a few occasional whispers. One of the great things about a wedding pianist is that the volume of the piano music can be controlled by the musician so that it is at a perfect level to accompany this part of the ceremony. Your guests will feel less awkward chatting over the top of gentle background music and it gives them something to enjoy during the admin period of your wedding ceremony. You can pick two of your favourite songs and the pianist will learn a wedding piano remix version especially for your wedding day.

As soon as the legal paperwork is complete, your wedding ceremony will draw to a close. The final moment of your wedding ceremony is when you walk back down the aisle – this time together as a married couple. You are now married, all the nerves will be gone and they will be replaced with the best feeling of happiness…ever!!

This is where the celebrations start and you should pick a really upbeat song that is going to lift your spirits even further. Let the party begin!!!

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Why have a wedding pianist for your drinks reception?

The drinks reception is the start of your wedding day celebrations and during this time you will be kept busy by your photographer taking your wedding photos, you will have short conversations with all of your guests who will be dying to wish you congratulations and with any luck you will get to enjoy some lovely champagne and canapés.

Church weddings

If you are getting married at a church then it is likely that you will have a short photo shoot in the churchyard before you head over to your reception venue. If the weather is behaving itself then it can be really nice to use the backdrop of a beautiful church for your group photos. When these photos are coming to an end, your wedding guests will start to make their way over to your wedding reception venue. It is traditional for your wedding guests to arrive at your wedding venue before you so that they can give you a really special welcome when you arrive. Top tip: ask your driver (whether family member or professional chauffeur) to have a drink ready for you for the drive so that you can both have a romantic toast on the way over!

Your wedding guests will arrive at your reception venue in dribs and drabs, gradually congregating in the area that you have chosen for your drinks reception. One of the common mistakes that couples make for this part of the day is that they forget that their guests will be standing around waiting and doing literally nothing for about 20 mins. The venue will often not serve food and drinks until you arrive and this means that your guests are left unattended and with nothing to do. You don't want your guests to have a bad first impression of your wedding venue and be quiet and subdued - you want them to arrive, be wowed and for a buzz of excitement to be created ready for your grand arrival.

Imagine if your guests arrive at your venue and they find a wedding pianist playing really cool, upbeat arrangements of catchy songs or if they arrive and find a pianist playing stylish and sophisticated cocktail jazz or if they arrive and find a piano player performing romantic classical piano music. You can craft the perfect impression of your wedding venue and set the exact style and mood that you want to create for your guests with a pianist. For example, for a festival themed wedding the pianist could be playing wedding piano remixed of indie and alternative festival anthems or for a wedding in a grand country house the pianist could be playing Gatsby themed swing songs.

Civil ceremonies

If you are having a civil ceremony then it is likely that you will have chosen a wedding venue that allows you to have your wedding ceremony and wedding reception at the same location. Many hotels, country houses, wedding barns and restaurants now have an area of the venue in which you can get married. This means that at the end of your ceremony, you and your guests will already be at your reception venue and the drinks reception will start as soon as the ceremony is finished. In light of this, you want to make sure that your wedding pianist has two professional keyboards so that they can have one set up for your ceremony and another set up for your drinks reception. This means that the pianist can move from the ceremony area to the drinks reception area without any delay and can start entertaining your guests without an awkward 15 minute gap while the keyboard is moved.

Spring and Summer drinks reception

In the spring and the summer, it is likely that you are planning to have your drinks reception outside. The UK has a reputation for throwing the best summer garden parties and this is recognised across the world as a stylish, fun and quintessentially British activity with picnic style food, refreshing drinks, games and live music. There is nothing better than standing in a beautiful garden and sharing a couple of hours in the sun with family and friends. It is really lovely touch to add live music to your outside drinks reception and there is nothing better than the sound of piano music drifting across the lawns and gardens and (weather permitting) pianists absolutely love playing outside for drinks receptions. Professional keyboards are such flexible instruments because they can be connected to discrete external speakers that spread the sound of the piano music around the garden. This means that everybody can hear the music but it is at background level so that all of your guests can chat over the top.

It is likely that you will be involved in a lot of different photos during your drinks reception. Traditionally, wedding photos taken during the drinks reception include lots of different group shots with photos of you in combination with different sets of your guests (brides family, grooms family, each set of parents, siblings, friends, work friends, relatives, stags, hens, etc).

These photos are still popular, but one of the current trends in wedding photography is now moving to a photo shoot style of photos. Your photographer will take you both away from your guests and you will visit 4-5 different locations at your venue to get some really beautiful and stylised photos of you as a married couple. Form chatting with photographers, I understand that they focus on these styles of photos because they were finding that after the wedding, most couples were picking these type of photos for their wedding album and not the groups shots. The downside of this is that it means that you will be taken away from your guests for a considerable amount of your drinks reception. This means that you will not personally be able to entertain them and do the rounds. Many couples choose to book live music and arrange activities for their drinks reception to keep their guests entertained during the wedding photos. Piano music is the favourite live music choice for couples who booking music for their drinks reception and it can be combined with other elements such as garden games, a magician, a charactaturist, archery, a treasure hunt, canapés, a video guestbook, cocktail waiters, an ice cream cart, street performers, bouncy castle, vintage funfair stalls and many other lovely ideas.

Another trend in wedding photography is reportage photography where the photographer takes natural photos of you and your guests having a good time and enjoying yourselves. If you prefer this style of photography then you need to do a bit of forward planning to make sure that you and your guests are going to have a good time. You need to think about interesting things for your guests to do (so that there is something for your photographer to take photos of) and you want to make sure that everybody has a smile on their faces! You will treasure your wedding photos for ever so it is worth putting in the effort now to capture a really happy moment. Live music can make people laugh and cry and feel happy or sad. Live music had the most amazing qualities and it has been proven to have incredible emotional effects on humans. A talented wedding pianist will react to guests in the same way as a professional DJ does on the dance floor. The pianist will see what people are enjoying and they will focus on playing music that will make people smile. For a drinks reception, it is really easy for your guests to interact with your pianist and make requests. You will often find guests having a little dance to the piano music. You will see feet tapping, conversations starting and the atmosphere will be fantastic.

Autumn, Winter and bad weather drinks reception

For weddings in the early autumn, British weather is too unpredictable to know whether you will be outside in the sun or inside in the rain for your drinks reception. If you hire a wedding pianist to play for your drinks reception then you already have a contingency plan for bad weather. After a couple of pieces of upbeat piano music, your guests will soon forget about the bad weather and the mood will be lifted. There is nothing worse than rushing inside when the rain starts and standing in a silent room in a soggy jacket or wedding dress. A wedding pianist will work really hard to transform the mood. They will have lots of tricks up their sleeves and you will find that the chatter and conversation starts up again really quickly and that it moves away from moaning about the bad weather to more exciting and fun topics - such as your wedding!

In a way, for autumn and winter weddings, you almost need to do a bit more work to make up for the fact that there are not huge gardens to enjoy and interesting spaces for children to explore. You are more limited to the types of entertainment that you can choose and you need something that compliments the indoor space and makes your drinks reception even better. There is something really nice about being in a warm room in the winter. It is cosy, intimate and a great environment to catch up with family members. The focus of an indoor reception is more on conversations and enjoying the pleasure of each other's company. Live music provides a really good ice breaker for guests who do not know each other that well and a wedding pianist can play such a variety of music that appeals to a whole range of people that there is going to be something for everybody to enjoy. Music is known for triggering memories and when this happens, it often starts a conversation. For smaller spaces, a wedding pianist can control the volume of the keyboard / piano to create the perfect balance so that everybody can hear the piano music yet it does not become too loud or intrusive in any way. For festive weddings, an indoor drinks reception can be the perfect place for Christmas music on the piano. Nothing beats festive favourites being played live on a piano next to a roaring fire.

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Why have a wedding pianist for your wedding breakfast?

After your wedding ceremony and drinks reception - a good two hours of standing up and a whirlwind of activity - you will finally get to sit down and take everything in when you take your seats for the wedding breakfast. The wedding breakfast is the main banquet meal of your wedding reception. It is called a wedding breakfast because it is your first meal together as a married couple. I can remember from my own wedding, when I sat down next to my wife and everything started to sink in. I can remember looking around at my guests and thinking how happy I felt and how lucky I was to be surrounded by such amazing people.

This is the time that you can really sit back and enjoy yourself. You are going to be served a menu of your favourite food that you have both handpicked especially for your wedding day and inbetween courses there is nothing better than sitting back and enjoying some of your favourite songs in the world being played on a piano. Piano music is the epitome of style and romance and all of the best hotels and restaurants have a live pianist playing in their premier bars and restaurants. Your wedding day deserves the best and it is little extra touches like a wedding pianist that help to transform a meal with friends into an occasion worthy of your wedding day. Top tip: I went to a friends wedding and they had booked a string quartet to play for their wedding breakfast. The string quartet played for half an hour and then took a 15 minute break. Their break coincided with the gap in-between courses of the dinner and we were all sat in silence waiting for the next course to be served and for the string quartet to return. A wedding pianist can play for 2-3 hours without a break, although you should expect a short 5 minute break if a call of nature is required!

As a special treat for your friends and family you can arrange for the wedding pianist to play a selection of their favourite songs. In the run up to your wedding, you could do a little bit of detective work and find out what song your parents / best friends / favourite family members had for their wedding as they walked down the aisle or for their first dance. You can then ask the pianist to prepare these songs and play them during the wedding breakfast. As the meal progresses, you will hear murmurs of excitement from around the room as your guests recognise their favourite song being played. This is a really subtle trick that works really well to heighten the experience of the music and the meal for your guests.

If you are a music lover, then perhaps you have a music theme for your wedding. It is quite common for music lovers to name the tables on their table plan as different songs/bands/musicians. Another common theme for table names is films / movies / Disney. If you are going for a musical theme then it follows quite naturally to have a wedding pianist to play for your wedding breakfast. To cement the theme, you could ask your pianist to learn one piece of music that reflects each table name.

It is quite a fun idea to include done some of ice breaker on your table. You will have a group of 10 people sitting together for 2-3 hours and even good friends might need something to liven up the conversation after a while. You can buy packs of ice breaker cards which have interesting questions that guests can ask each other or fun games that you can play. These can be a really nice touch. A recent trend is to have a quiz running throughout the meal with a (alcoholic) prize for the winning table. Our wedding pianists regularly get asked to provide some specific music for the music round of the quiz...and it can be quite fun for one of your ushers to have the job of organising this so that you can both take part in the quiz as well.

Towards the end of the meal it will start to dawn on certain people that they are about to stand up and give a speech in front of all of your guests. This can be a nervous moment at the best of times - especially for the best man who has the tough job of playing a comedian for the day. Ask your wedding pianist to play some more relaxing and calming music towards the end of the meal just to help settle the last minute jitters of the speech makers. On one occasion we were asked to prepare a special piano accompaniment for the groom who sang his whole speech. That was a really amazing experience and it was such a beautiful and emotional moment.

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Why have a wedding pianist for your turnaround period?

Not all weddings have a turnaround period, so this might not apply to you. At some venues, the evening reception and the dancing happens in the same location as the wedding breakfast. For example, Gaynes park and Down hall. At the end of the meal you will all be asked to leave the main reception room and move to an ante room for 45mins to an hour. During this time, the venue will clear away some of the tables, tidy the room, unveil the dance floor and the DJ will arrive to set up ready for the evening party.

Depending on your wedding venue, this can be a really successful part of the evening or it can be a bit of a disaster. Essentially, you want to avoid the feeling that you are being turfed out of the room into a holding area. It is your wedding day and every single part of the day should be really special and have an important role.

I personally think that a well mastered turnaround period can actually set up the evening party for an incredible night.

Try and imagine the experience of eating a three or four course banquet and then sitting through 30-60 minutes of speeches. You are absolutely going to want to stretch your legs and stand up. You will have been sitting down and relaxed into a comfortable and perhaps sleepy state of mind. The best thing that you can do is get all of your guests onto their feet and arrange for something to get them out of this lull. You should make sure that the room that you go to for the turnaround has an assortment of drinks (including teas and coffees), that there is minimal seating so they your guests don't get into a sitting down state of mind and that there is something exciting going on to put energy back into your guests. A wedding pianist is a great option for the turnaround period. You should ask your pianist to play an upbeat set of music - almost a warm up set - to get everybody in the mood for the DJ when you go back into the other room for your evening party. This is where you want the pianist to be showing off and showboating with exciting music that will really put an oomph into the atmosphere. This is the hardest spot for a musician as they really have to pull out all of the stops to inject a huge amount of energy into their playing. Only a really talented wedding pianist will be able to achieve the desired effect here.

The other thing to consider is that you might have evening guests arriving during the turnaround period and these guests will certainly have some catching up to do in terms of merriness and being in the mood for dancing and a great party. The turnaround period will also be their first impression of the venue and of your wedding day and you will really want to make them feel welcome and part of the group during this time so that everybody gels together ready for a great time later in the evening. You can combine a wedding pianist with some other really fun activities such as a video guestbook, table tennis, table football, wine tasting, fire breathers, casino tables, giant Jenga, beer pong (or other drinking games) etc. The trick is to get everybody having fun and in a really good mood. Start to break down inhibitions so that everybody gets into the partying spirit. Top tip: just before returning to the main room for the evening party make sure that everybody has a drink in their hands. This means that after the first dance there won't be a rush of guests to the bar leaving an empty dance floor and instead, people will crack on with the dancing straight away.

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RATING: 98.7%

from 318 wedding pianist reviews.

Wedding Pianist Testimonials

You need to be completely confident that your wedding pianist is going to be absolutely brilliant. They need to be an incredible musician, extremely reliable and have a good backup plan for emergencies.

Here are a selection of testimonials from the 318 couples that have written a review about the wedding pianist they booked from PianoDJ.


Sarah and Chris Lack

We would like to say a huge Thank You to James and William for providing excellent entertainment at our wedding. James was our pianist during our wedding breakfast, and the music and tone of music was perfect for what we were looking for, a relaxing feel. He is a very talented pianist. We had many compliments for his music during the meal.
And the enertainmenet in the evening with both James and William was great! The up-lights gave a great atmosphere to our venue and the music was to what we wanted- a bit of everything! We especially enjoyed the last dance where we had to speed hug everyone goodbye! A perfect end to a perfect day! Thank you guys for helping us make our day special! Sarah & Chris

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Jo & Mark

We just wanted to say a huge thank you to Tim for making our drinks reception soo much fun! We have had lots of feedback from guests saying how good he was and being impressed at all the songs he knew! Tim played all of our requests (we gave him 8) with a smile and a laugh and picked the perfect songs to work around them.
A pianist in the grounds of our venue was the perfect addition to our party and we’re sure it made the champagne taste better!
Thanks again,
Jo & Mark

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Ruth Shelley

We had PianoDJ at our wedding on 2nd October at Hylands House and were so happy and impressed with them. The piano was flawless including the few random requests that were thrown in on the day, “Dambusters” and “Harry Potter” anyone? And in the evening, we heard nothing but compliments about the music and the DJ. Thank you so much!

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Kerry & Rich Love

The music played by Nina at our ceremony was amazing all our guests loved it. I would recommend pianodj to anyone. Thanks again, your services from start to finish were very professional.

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Mrs. Susan Cole

I would just like to take this opportunity to say thank you so very much to the hugely talented James Hughes for playing the piano during our marriage Wedding Breakfast and then in the evening being D. J for us on 18th January 2013 at the County Hotel, Chelmsford. He played for my son Kip and daughter in law Lorraines Wedding in February 2011, and he made it really special for them, so we knew it would be perfect ! James was at the venue setting up before the ceremony and my husband Graham and I were able to spend time getting to know him, he put our minds at rest straight away ! We had chosen many pieces of music that we loved, and wanted our guests to share in listening during the meal. James also added many other popular tunes that everyone knew, his played flowed really well and all thoroughly enjoyed ! In the evening James provided a disco for us. WE were asked prior to the day all our favourite artists and styles of music. Being in our 50’s and 60’s most of the music we requested was 60’s and 70’s era, plus up to date tracks of today’s popular music. James was a lovely bright and friendly character and Graham and I will be grateful for his services to us for the rest of our lives ! Thank you James, hope to see you again very soon, we will certainly have no hesitation in recommending you to all our friends for any celebratory occasion !

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Kellie & Daniel cleary

Thank you so much to PianoDJ for playing such a special part in our wedding day. I cannot recommend the company enough for there there helpfulness and professionalism in helping us choose songs for our big day. If you want your day to be extra special please use this company they were worth every penny 🙂

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Laura

Piano DJ provided us with a pianist for our wedding at Hylands House in July 2012. Lee turned up before expected and played beautifully and provided a lovely atmosphere at the venue and played what had been asked. I’d highly recommend them.

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Denise and Colin Cook

We had nina playing the piano during our drinks reception and wedding meal which was perfect, the choice of music was right for the time of the day nina also accopanied 1 of my guests singing she was excellent and supportive.The disco was also excellent with good choices of songs especially as we did not have a requested playlist i would highly reccommend james with many thanks denise and colin cook.

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Paul & Sarah Collins

Our pianist Jamie was excellent, his piano skills were superb and provided us with fantastic background music throughout the ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast. Everyone commented on how good he was. Thank you so much, really helped make it the perfect day.

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keith chatfield

Hi PianoDJ we were really pleased with your service for the whole day at the reid rooms, the piano during the meal was a great hit and the DJ really got the place rocking. we had many guests comenting how good it all was so thanks very much it was a great day.

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Donna Miller

Brilliant Pianist and DJ, recommended to two friends for their weddings and both have booked – say no more!!! thanks again James

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Elinor Dolan (Fahy now!!)

Wow! What an amazing service provided by PianoDJ.co.uk for our wedding! Everything went without a hitch and the atmosphere was perfect. Tim played beautifully during the ceremony, with an especially brilliant rendering of my favourite Widor at the end, and then created the perfect background for our drinks reception and wedding breakfast. James and Will set up for the evening almost without us noticing and then treated us to a great selection of everybody’s favourites. The dancefloor was full all night and some of our guests were made very happy when their requests were played. We can’t thank you all enough for your hard work, professionalism and friendly helpfulness. You really made the day special for Declan and me – thanks!

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Rebekah Simmonds

Thank you to our wonderful Pianist, Michael who did a terrific job at our wedding reception. The Jazz music he played added to the relaxed and cheerful atmosphere we were hoping for. It was such a special day and every one of our guests enjoyed themselves tremendously!

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Denis Parsons

(Not a wedding, but a car club 10th anniversary lunch.) Nina tinkling in the background was much appreciated by all. She got the volume about right and her selection of music suited the gathering perfectly. She played for the full allocation of time and more and was a vital part of the whole ambience. Would recommend without hesitation.

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Helen & Stephen Hicks

We booked the drum and piano duo during the drinks and canapes. This was brilliant and loads of the guests commented that they loved the funky music. James and Tim tailored this to our request of some old classics and newer indie numbers which had had everyone in a great mood.

Tim played the piano whilst we ate which set a lovely mood. It did not feel intrusive and was perfect background music.

We also had the disco which again was tailored to our taste in music. James made every effort to really help us out by taking any stress out of the day music wise, guiding us as to the best time for the first dance etc.
The set-up was seamless and seemed to happen without us even realising!
Talking to other friends who are planning their weddings, we got all of the above at a great price too!

A big thank-you to James and Tim for being so professional, helpful and making our special day just perfect!! xx

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Louise Brant

Ben played so beautifully at our wedding during the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. All the guests commented on the quality of his playing, he has such an amazing talent. The tone and volume was perfect during the wedding breakfast and created such a lovely atmosphere. If you are trying to decide whether or not to book then I would 100 per cent recommend you to do so.

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Jo Simmonett

Cannot recommend James and his pianist Tim highly enough…..Tim played a beautiful selection of songs during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast at our recent wedding at Gaynes Park; numerous compliments from many of our guests – my mum especially was very impressed! James hit exactly the right spot for the evening do, he played all my requested tracks and the dance floor was never empty. Fab service, efficient invoicing and admin. Don’t hesitate, just book!!

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Paula and Philip

All in all a fantastic service, proffesionally run, with talented musisians that listened to what we wanted and were flexible in their approach. The music played during the ceremony and whilst dining was just beautiful. The evening music was well chosen and worked really well for us and our guests. Thanks again – you were fantastic and I would highly recommend your services that were well priced.

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Mr & Mrs Madle

Thank you Tim for playing at our wedding everyone commented and enjoyed your music, it gave the day a special feel. Thanks again
Ian & Emma

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Mel and Dave

The music gave people who didn’t know each other that well something to talk about and it created a relaxed and romantic atmosphere.

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Find out more about PianoDJ

We have a growing library with more than 50 videos of our wedding pianists playing a whole range of music from DnB to Metal to Chart Hits to Indie and you can watch our cool wedding piano instrumental covers on our wedding pianist video page.

You can also listen to our popular wedding pianist recordings page with over 300 piano instrumental recordings.