Confessions of a Wedding Harpist - Josephine Lee

Mayfair To Minoru

Mayfair Golf Course in Richmond! I really like that golf course. It has this beautiful little island with the most perfect lawn surrounded by pretty flowery shrubs and a little grassy pathway that leads up to the island. How does it get better than that?

It was P&M's wedding this Sunday morning and, of course lovely weather. The sun was just a tad too relentless on me, but I got a wicked tan on one arm. Wedding Commissioner Kelly Ip did his usual wonderful job. I really enjoy his bi-lingual ceremonies and how he announces various parts of the processional / wedding party, so all the guests know who's coming down the aisle. I think he's the only Wedding Commissioner that has a white tux.

Later that day, there was another wedding at Minoru Chapel where the parents and some family members of the Bride and Groom sang some hymns. They were so nervous about doing a good job. One of the most musical weddings I've been to as there was not only the harp, but parental choir, opera singer, and pianist! They were very sweet and enjoyed the hymns I played in the prelude.

Little bunnies were sleeping behind the Chapel in the shade. I know the bunnies are bad for the rose shrubs and plants etc, but I can't help that I'm completely charmed by their soft bunnyness. I think they installed a hawk and a baby hawk to naturally cull the area, which, I have to admit, is completely overrun with rabbits. However, I've met so many people who make it their daily routine to walk down to Minoru Park and feed the bunnies. The rabbits bring so much joy to people; I would hate to see them disappear from the park. I took a picture of some Canadian geese... look he's standing on the other one’s back!

UBC Cecil Greens

What a day! I don't know why this Saturday was so busy; there were only 3 weddings but it sure kept me going. I'm just happy my husband came along to help me with moving the harp.

The morning started off quite early at Cecil Greens, and it was only my second wedding at that venue this summer. There's no denying that Cecil Greens at UBC is one of the most gorgeous venues in Vancouver - if you manage to book it. J&T were such a sweet couple when I met them for the consultation and they were both really beautiful - should have been in a magazine. I was situated at the first level above the grass, which made for a pretty picture. I was pleased to hear that the music traveled through the lawn quite nicely and everyone heard the music they choose. During the ceremony I snuck in a few pictures from my iPhone (see below).

The rest of the day was sunny and gorgeous. As I left the last wedding at Queen Elizabeth Pavilion, Rev. Kevan Dobsin and his wife Wanda were taking pictures with a large wedding party of about 140 people or so. They were all posed by the fountain as I rolled on by with my harp and Rev. Dobsin shouted out, "Everyone, Say 'Bye Josephine!" and all 140 people said "Bye Josephine!" I couldn't have ordered a better way to finish a wedding day.

Music For The Richmond Hospital Foundation

What a hectic weekend this has been! It started off quite quietly on a Thursday as I played for the Richmond Hospital Foundation's Annual Garden Party.

Unfortunately, it had rained in the morning causing the party to move indoors. The turnout was great and I met some fantastic listeners! As this event wasn't a wedding, I was having lots of fun playing some jazz / big band standards with tunes like Begin the Beguine, L-O-V-E, Stardust, etc., and to my glee, a couple of charismatic old-time big band players were some of the guests and talked to me for a while about their time in the Big Bands.

I had a wonderful time and of course, it was great to play for the Richmond Hospital Foundation who recently reached their goal and bought Richmond Hospital a brand-new, top of the line, MRI machine.

Music At The Museum

The Museum of Vancouver or Planetarium as I'm used to calling it, is the big white structure with the Planetarium inside and the big steely crab outside. It's a newish Wedding Venue and I'm playing there 3 times this summer!

A&D are one of the most lovey dovey couples I've met this year! They really are so sweet on each other and look like the perfect match. I was so pleased they selected me as their harpist for their big day. The wedding venue was actually facing the pond towards the west-side. Outdoors, there is a crescent-shape surrounded by flowers and shurbs, looking out to a beautiful pond and beautiful Vancouver shoreline beyond that. It really is a nice little venue, with an awesome view - I think it's ideal for a small wedding party (30-40 people).

A&D looked picture perfect and they had a Russian Orthodox / Jewish ceremony which turned out very romantic and sentimental. The music selection was a lot of fun as they choose La Vie En Rose and Sway for various parts of the ceremony. These songs were sentimental to both of them as they were taking ballroom dancing together. I snuck a couple pictures as they posed by my harp. I also met a great photography couple. Their company is called Hyperfocus and they took amazing photos - excellent work.

Wedding Frenzy

I am so pleased how everything turned out today! I think this is the most well organized and busy day this summer. I had 5 weddings booked, with the perfect amount of time between each one to move the harp etc. Of course, I couldn't have done it without my husband moving everything for me - best roadie in the world! The first 4 weddings went beautifully and I had some fun requests like Taylor Swifts, "Love Story" and "River Flows in You" by Yiruma (Bride was a huge Twilight fan). They sounded gorgeous on the harp so I've now added "River Flows in You" to my music section (have a listen if you don't know it, it's very pretty - it's under the Prelude section).

So, last wedding rolls around and I'm pleased as pie that everything was great and I just felt like playing the harp all day long - could have even played more! This last wedding was G&D's big day and held at the UBC Boathouse, which sounds like it would be at UBC, but is in Richmond, just off in the water of River Road. It's where the Rowing team practises from and also houses a wonderful floating banquet facility. It's bright, modern, and I think quite fun for guests to see a venue they wouldn't have seen normally. G&D had their ceremony right by the water and my harp was placed on a balcony looking down. The sound the harp was checked and carried nicely to the guests. With the sun setting, and the breeze from the water coming in, I just felt so relaxed and all the guests seemed to be having lots of fun.