What is your most memorable wedding?
Wow, there's been so many great weddings over the years! We recently provided the Swingin' Times to a wedding held at the RAC in London and the couple were just so lovely to work with it was just a huge pleasure to be a part of their special day. On another wedding in Kent our InHouse DJ Collective was booked to perform at a really funky couple's wedding and the bride just got stuck in on the dance floor for the whole evening. Everyone just fed off her energy and got involved - it really was a great party vibe and fantastic evening!
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
professional, fun, funky, stylish, experienced (ha, modest I know!!)
What about your business are you most proud of?
I get an immense buzz from the whole process really. It's great taking a client right from the initial enquiry and recommendations stage, through to the end performance. As I'm a professional saxophonist I'm involved right the way through the process on a huge number of our bookings. It's fantastic being there with a couple right the way through so that everything goes flawlessly on the big day and it's amazing reading the thank you emails, card and letters that we get afterwards. It's great to know that we helped make their special day as perfect as it could possibly be!
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Allow more time than you think! Weddings often run late meaning that your evening party gets shorter (especially if the venue has a strict finishing time). Think about whether you've added enough time for speeches (they take longer than you think) and of course group wedding photos.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
I love it when couples provide small gifts for their guests. That's a really lovely touch as way of thanks to all those who came.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
Basically a couple will usually get in touch with an enquiry for either music for dancing or background music (or sometimes both!). Some couples have a definite idea of what they are after and some need more guidance looking for recommendations from me, both are absolutely fine! We then discuss the logistics (timings, location etc.) and I'll provide a free quote. If they are happy to proceed and book then I'll draw up a contract so that it's clear what is expected of the act and the client has security and reassurance that all will go to plan on the day. Quite often closer to the time I will touch base with the venue in case they need any documentation from us (Public Liability Insurance, Risk Assessments, PAT Certificates etc.) and I'll be in regular contact with the couple on the run up to their big day to make sure everything is still as previously discussed and so I can make tweaks to the schedule if need be!
What makes a romantic first dance?
There is always a song that means a lot to the both of you and it doesn't have to be a ballad to be romantic if it has a pull for both of you. Of course we can make recommendations for you but obviously we don't know your history as well as you do so think about going down those lines. If you aren't confident dancers then think about getting guests invited to the dance floor after about 2 mins to take the pressure off!
What is your number one floor-filler?
There are so many, but for our swing/jazz dance band the Swingin' Times it's "Johnny B Goode" and for our excellent pop/party band the Greatest Hips it's Katy Perry's "California Gurls" (Yes, everyone seems to love that live!) or the James Brown classic "I Got You/I Feel Good". An amazing closer is "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers!!
Which band from the past would you most like to have been part of?
Well, I am a saxophonist and my true love is jazz (it's just so addictively creative as a music form) and so any band with the legendary Miles Davis or John Coltrane would have been pretty awesome. Pop wise, I love Jamiroquai and David Bowie (RIP) too!!
What is the soundtrack to your life?
How can you ever answer this question?! Live takes us in so many different directions so I honestly haven't got a clue how to answer. Classical, Jazz, Latin, Pop, Dance music - it all plays a huge in my life as a professional musician and director of Nathan Hassall Music!!