Unforgettable snowy Wedding in the Yorkshire Dales: SouthWestBand at The Tithe Barn, Bolton Abbey
Remember those couple of snow days we had here in the UK at the start of March?! Well a freak blast of snow 'Can't Stop' (see later video) SouthWestBand! We were out performing at a superb wedding in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales. The wedding was held at the stunning Tithe Barn Bolton Abbey, one of our favourite venues in the area and one we have performed at countless times since its opening. Our band, SouthWestBand, had the privilege of providing the music for the special occasion for Henry and Charly, and it was a memorable day that we had such fun being part of.
Even though it was heading into mid-March a couple of days of freak weather meant that the ground was covered six inches deep with fresh snow. It made for a slightly more treacherous drive into the Dales but we had packed gloves, scarves, a shovel and set off in plenty of time to account for complications. When we arrived the beauty of the surroundings made it all worth it.
After a quick set up in the main hall we warmed up the guests with some acoustic music before the ceremony, a slightly longer set than normal as the bride Charly was fashionably late (blame the snow!) Once we had the final key ingredient to the wedding the bride and her bridesmaids walked down the aisle to the classic Britpop tune of 'Bittersweet Symphony' by the Verve, a moment that brought a tear to everyone's eyes.
After the ceremony and a brief break for some beautiful snowy snaps outside in the courtyard it was time for the wedding breakfast reception. The newlyweds bossed their entrance to the sound of 'Can't Stop' by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, an incredible moment as all their guests waved their napkins in the air as the couple rocked their way back in to the room.
It was then time for the wedding breakfast, and what a feast it was. As a wedding band we often arrive later on in the evening post dinner/speeches so we don't often see the wedding breakfast. The Tithe Barn is special in that the amazing kitchen is on show to the whole wedding through glass doors (usually right behind where we would set up one an evening). For this wedding however we arrived at midday to be part of the entire day so we got to see both the preparation of the wedding breakfast through the glass doors and the fantastic looking feast as it was served to all the guests.
While the wedding guests tucked into their meal we picked up the acoustic guitars and hit them with another set of acoustic singalong classics. 'Wagon Wheel', 'Ring of Fire', 'Sweet Caroline' and 'Cant Take My Eyes Off You' to name a few. Even during dinner the guests were singing along and some got up and danced at their tables, we knew we were in for a great night later once the rest of the band had arrived.
Dinner and acoustic music over it was time for the speeches. First up was Charly's Dad with his Father of the Bride speech, hilarious and heart-warming in equal measure, a great opening speech. Next up was the groom Henry and he delivered a fantastic toast. Some incredible stories about the couple, belly laughs and tears aplenty. Finally and true to form the best man speech was hilarious. Henry was the punchline of many of the hilarious jokes but took it like a champ and it was clear that he was a truly great friend to many and well loved by all his guests.
After all the speeches were finished there was a short break while when set up the full band at the other end of the room. Henry and Charly had opted for the full four-piece rock band for the evening with drums, bass, keys and guitar. Tonight with the upgraded SouthWestBand lighting package for extra wow factor - extra lights, lasers, and even flames!
When it came time for the first dance, the happy couple chose Coldplay's 'Sky Full of Stars', and it was a beautiful moment that we were honoured to be a part of. We started with a stripped back romantic intro for beautiful photos and Henry and Charly to have a moment together then kicked in with the full band to amp up the track and get the party started. We love an upbeat first dance to start the party with a bang and this was an excellent choice by Henry and Charly.
After a great first set the guests were in their element and well up for a party. One of the main highlights included an elderly couple hitting the dance floor and busting out the 'Zombie Routine' to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' - it was a sight to behold!
After another rocking live band set to the awesome crowd it was time for a surprise. We had heard that the groom Henry was a big fan of a certain UK Garage anthem 'Do You Really Like it' by DJ Pied Piper. We were told by his friends that he knew every single word to the iconic rap so naturally we had to test it. Henry gladly got up on the mic and it turns out, he really does know every word!
So, there you have it, folks - an incredible wedding that was an absolute joy to be the soundtrack to . If you're ever in the Yorkshire Dales and looking for a stunning venue, make sure you check out Tithe Barn Bolton Abbey. And if you're in need of some amazing music, you know who to call - SouthWestBand!
All the best to Henry and Charly in their life together