Meet the Marriage Makers | Dinner Jazz Sax
proudly part of 'The Recommended Collection'
Tell us a little about you, your fab business and what you can offer Brides & Grooms to-be!
I'm Graeme and I specialise in playing music that’s perfect for the ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast, yet has a laid-back feel and is always unobtrusive. So, whether it’s for welcoming guests as they arrive for the ceremony, playing as the bride walks down the aisle or jazzing up the drinks reception and wedding breakfast, the mellow sound of my sax will sumptuously set the tone for the big day.
I’ve been trading as Dinner Jazz Sax since 2012, although I’ve been a professional musician since 1996, and am based in Salisbury. This is a great location as it means I can cover Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire although I am happy to travel further afield - I’ve got a wedding later this year in Luton thanks to Facebook!
Through this time, I’ve played at over 100 weddings and was delighted to win the Wedding Musical Act Of The Year for the South West region in the 2016 Wedding Industry Awards.
Although it’s only me who plays on the gigs, I’ve got quite a team behind me without whom I couldn’t do what I do. There’s Tamsin who sorts my artwork and publicity, Pete who services my sax and keeps it sounding lovely - www.peterbettle.co.uk - and James who works his piano magic on the tracks that I play along to - www.facebook.com/JamesSteadMusic.
What's your favourite thing about weddings?
It's such an honour to be involved in the biggest day of people’s lives and I still get a buzz from knowing that my music is contributing to that magical day couples have been planning for years. I have a lot of contact with my couples in the months leading up to their wedding to ensure that the style of music I play is perfect for them, and this means that when we get to the big day itself, I often feel like I’m playing at the wedding of a friend.
What's hot right now? Are you spotting any trends for 2019/2020?
I’m noticing with couples’ music choices that they are looking for that surprise element either by choosing something modern but giving it a retro twist, or by harking back to the swing / rock’n’roll eras with upbeat tunes that just have a happy feel about them.
What do you offer that others can't? What makes you different and why should couples book you?
My sound is completely different to other sax players out there as it’s just my sax and a piano track rather than full on band tracks that other people use. Although they have their place in the right setting, for me it’s that classic mellow sax and piano sound that works so well as background music and ensures that my music enhances, not overpowers, the celebrations.
My set up also makes me different as I don’t need to plug in to a power source which gives me complete freedom and flexibility with where I can play. So, imagine it’s raining and we’re set up inside but then the sun comes out and all the guests head outside into the garden – rather than play to an empty room, I just pick my speaker up and follow them outside!
There’s also the way that I’ve structured my pricings which is different to other musicians, yet I feel is much better for the couple and the flow of their wedding day. I charge by the segment of the day i.e. the ceremony, the drinks, the wedding breakfast or a combination of the three, rather than by the hour which means that if timings run late, you’re not suddenly left without music because the musician has reached the end of their paid time. With me, if I’m booked for the drinks reception, I’ll play through the whole drinks reception regardless of how long it takes.
Aside from the music, I’m also very meticulous in my planning ahead of a wedding, both with the couples and with their venue, so that we all know in advance what’ll be happening on the day. It goes without saying that I’ll always turn up to a wedding smartly dressed, fully prepared and ready to go!
What five words would you use to describe your business?
Sophisticated, affordable, personal, versatile, experienced.
Finally, what top tips would you like to give our lovely soon-to-be-weds, planning their big day?
Research! Before you book, take the time to get a feel for the different suppliers by talking with them, have an email conversation, check out their social media to make sure that they, and the service that they offer, is what you want for your day. The best place to get the ball rolling is at a wedding show and there’s none better than the Love That Wedding show at Salisbury City Hall on Sunday October 6th. Ahhh, thanks Graeme - click here to find out more!
Let's get sociable, sociable!