Anyone for a slice of cake?

This is the month for wedding fairs, so why bother going (except to get free slices of cake!)?

Last week I attended a Wedding Fair at Loseley Park, Near Guildford in Surrey. This is not only to advertise myself, but to help to set the scene for prospective couples with ideas for their own weddings. It’s interesting when you talk to couples about how many of them have been to a wedding fair before; some have been every weekend since they have got engaged, whilst others have come just because they have booked their wedding at Loseley Park and have come to see what it’s like. This baffles me! I’m an addict of ‘Location, Location, Location’ on Channel 4, and anyone else who watches the programme will know that Phil and Kirsty almost cry when their clients say that they have only viewed houses online. Wedding venues are the same. The average cost of a wedding in the UK is now the same as a house deposit, so why not go and check out what you are booking before you sign on the dotted line? We all know how different places and people appear in real life than their online personas, so it is so important that you make sure that you choose the right people and places for one of the most important days of your life. Wedding fairs at venues are fabulous ways to get to see not only your favourite venues, but also is a chance to meet suppliers that you wouldn’t have come across otherwise and give you new ideas. Most wedding fairs are free to attend, and so apart from your time, it doesn’t cost anything for a few hours of entertainment. You can be stunned by a magician, serenaded by a harpist (of course!) and above all else, eat more samples of free wedding cake that you can manage!

Getting ready for the year ahead!

Happy New Year!

As we start a new year, the harps need to be in tip top condition ready for this 2017’s busy schedule. As they are quite technical machines (albeit quite pretty ones), this can be likened to servicing your car. I cannot do this on my own, but instead book a visit from…. The Harp Doctor!

Nicola Veal Wedding HarpistBilly (aka The Harp Doctor) arrives (has a coffee) empties his tool boxes and then tips the harps upside down to look up inside them.

What most people don’t realise is that all concert harps (the big ones) have seven foot pedals, each with three positions. These pedals when moved into the different positions activate a mechanism that goes up the front (pillar) of the harp and moves little pins at the top of the strings.



Nicola Veal Wedding HarpistThese pins then in turn shorten or lengthen the note. This means that every string on a harp can play three different notes! Yes! Three! This means that on my harps you can actually make (quickly does some maths…) 141 different notes. This is very important because the more different notes that we can play, the more different tunes we can play, especially more modern music.


Nicola Veal Wedding HarpistWhat the Harp Doctor does first is to check that the pedals and pins are all connected just right. Then he makes sure that all of the strings are sounding nice, and that in all of the mechanism is moving smoothly, with no bangs or buzzes. This sounds pretty simple, but it does in fact take anything up to about 3 hours per harp! This is absolutely necessary to make sure that the Babies (I know, big babies!) are sounding perfect for all of the exciting playing coming up this year.



Nicola Veal Wedding Harpist

All finished and ready to go… Can you spot the difference?