Peak season for weddings starts in June and wedding ceremony locations in WA State are abundant. Having lived in Seattle for 15 years, I have many favorite locations to play wedding ceremony music. I also planned my own wedding here in 2008. As a wedding harpist, I have a solid tool kit for how to work as a wedding musician. My opinions on wedding ceremony music and wedding reception music come from nearly 20 years of experience.
Although my first (humble!) opinion would be to consider harp music for your ceremony, harp may not be what you are looking for. I know and play with a diverse and talented community of musicians in Seattle. I’d like to recommend some other wedding musicians to you in this article. If you are looking for quality wedding ceremony music or wedding reception music, this article highlights my favorite Seattle musicians for your day!
Wedding Ceremony Music and Wedding Reception Music Recommendations
1) Vocal Band, The Lonely Coast – Friends (Valerie Holt & Anne Mathews) perform sublime close-harmony duets. They sing lullabies, folk and traditional music from Europe and the Americas. They have been blending voices for over a decade and it shows! If you want singing at your wedding that is heartfelt and unique, The Lonely Coast will be one of your most memorable investments. In addition to many private events, they have sung on public stages in the King County Library System, outdoor festivals and beyond.
2) Pianist, Josh Rawlings – This co-owner of J&J Music is a highly talented pianist and good friend. He and I have played harp & piano duets at The Sorrento Hotel and Overlake Country Club to name a few venues. Josh has toured with Alan Stone and is an Earshot Golden Ear Award recipient. If that was not enough, he received a Grammy for playing on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “the Heist.”
3) Trumpeter, Jason Parker – The other half of J&J Music, Jason is an excellent jazz player and band leader. I’ve known Jason through the Seattle music community for several years, and he’s always wearing a smile. He is the band leader of The Jason Parker Quartet, which has recently won “Best Wedding Bands” in KING 5’s “Best Of Western Washington” poll in 2015, and was nominated in 2013 and 2014 at #3. See the many testimonials he and his ensemble has received playing for people’s wedding day.
4) Cover Band, The Nines – My friend Shane Peck is the drummer for The Nines. He is an exceptional musician! For a few years, we played in a band together called Pretty Abandoned. Currently, Shane plays in several bands; his main wedding band is The Nines. The Nines are the 2015 WINNER “Best Reception Band” in Seattle Bride Magazine. This band puts on great public and private shows. On their website, they share a tremendously diverse songlist, a FAQ page, and past client reviews.
5) Cellist, Maria Scherer Wilson – Maria and I have a harp & cello duo. We have played for many weddings together in the Seattle area. Additionally, we regularly work together on other improvisational, experimental and chamber performances, such as Ahamefule Oluo’s comedy/musical show, Now I’m Fine. Maria has also worked with artists such as Florence Henderson, Jody Watley, Eyvind Kang, Jherek Bischoff, and Cat Power and she plays in other chamber combinations for weddings.
6) Guitarist, Julian Catford, has performed in Mallorca, Spain, Scotland, Tahiti, and Mexico. He has accompanied Rosemary Clooney and Cab Calloway! As one of Seattle’s top guitarists, his specializes in playing classical, Spanish, Brazilian, gypsy jazz and swing and flamenco music. I met Julian while working at the Musicians Association of Seattle where we are both members, and we’ve both participated as vendors for many years at the Seattle Wedding Show. Julian is recipient of the Wedding Wire Couples Choice Award in 2014.
About the author:
Harpist Monica Schley is a classically-trained musician, specializing in new music, chamber, improvisation, avant-garde, jazz and rock. She has collaborated as a composer and performer for several multi-media public shows and has worked with artists such as Butch Morris, Ahamefule J. Oluo, Jherek Bischoff, Secret Chiefs 3, Eyvand Kang, Christina Vantzou, Hey Marsailles, and Kanye West. Currently, she composes, sings and performs in her modern chamber pop trio, The Daphnes and is a Certified Clinical Musician, playing harp in hospitals and hospice. Her poetry has appeared over a dozen literary magazines and her chapbook “Black Eden: Nocturnes” (Pudding House Press) was published in 2010. She is a contributing writer at Pyragraph.com. She has received support from the Espy Foundation. Monica has played for over 350 weddings.