Le Belle Ballantyne (Hotel and Resort)
First wedding back in Charlotte after my usual summer festival stint in Boulder and what a wedding it was! The Ballantyne Hotel and Resort is known for its majestic lawns and elegant hotel, but this outdoor wedding (in August in the south!) took the cake. Because of the high temps outside (like 95 degrees), the couple chose to tent the outdoor area and add an AC unit. So clutch I can't even say. I've never played a wedding outside in the Charlotte August heat and actually needed a sweater! It was so comfortable in there, even with the standing room only 300 person guest list.
I set up a little early, so I saw the florists putting up the final touches on the gorgeous flower chandelier near the top of the aisle and everyone rushing to places. This wedding was a big to-do and the tent was not just a regular pop-up tent. In addition to the air conditioning, there was an installed grey wood laminate floor, 4 huge crystal chandeliers, 3 sets of double doors into the space, and so many flowers everywhere! Easily the most decked-out outdoor wedding I've ever played!
When it came time for the ceremony, everything was perfectly in place and the guests filed in gratefully to the air conditioning :) The ceremony went off without a hitch and their musical selections were on point. They chose:
Seating of the Mothers - Arioso by Bach
Bridal Party - Ave Maria by Schubert
Bridal Procession - Moon River
Recessional - Perfect by Ed Sheeran
I then scooted over to the atrium of the Ballantyne to play for the happy couple's cocktail hour. I do enjoy playing cocktail hours since the thrill of the ceremony has concluded and everyone can start to relax and party!
Somehow though, and other harpists will most certainly back me up, no matter how packed or empty the space is, someone always seems to stand RIGHT IN FRONT of the harp/me. I don't know if it's a security thing, to stand by a big object in an empty-ish space, but come on, dude. Not only does that somewhat hinder my sound production, it also blocks my view of the party, and the party's view of me! I know it looks crowded from the pic below, but there was a massive amount of free space in the middle of the room. So, this is my PSA for the day: If you see a harp at a party, kindly do not stand in front of it! Love, Andrea.