The Wedding Supplier Interviews
Wedding Fairs are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic so I thought it would be a great idea to run a series of interviews with fellow wedding suppliers. This will give a brilliant insight into how they work and what they can offer to brides and grooms, planning a wedding from their sofas, during these difficult times.
So far I have interviewed a number of folks, who have all been very kind to give their thoughts to help couples during these difficult times.
Right, here goes. Let’s introduce you to my first victim! HAHAHAHAHAHA
Fiona Hosford, who i’ve know for at least 18 years and have worked alongside on many weddings and other events. She’s very funny, immensely talented, a consummate professional and so down to earth its unreal! She’s become a good friend: everyone loves Fiona!
Hi Fiona, hope your well and safe.
Peter: Please can you tell me a little about your background and how you started your business?
Fiona: Played piano, violin and singing and started the Harp aged 6 – harp became my main instrument and over the past twenty years, I’ve experienced a huge genre of venues and clientele too, by playing the Harp in the UK and abroad. I’ve not gone down the ‘normal route’ of musical education though – having obtained both a Brunel Art Degree and also an LRSM in Harp Performance.
Peter: What does your business offer?
Fiona: A professional yet friendly, tailor-made ‘musical package’ for you, your event and your guests. From an intimate dinner through to a large wedding or corporate function.
Peter: OK; What sets you a part from your competitors? Why should couples book you in particular?
Fiona: Apart from my years of experience and being able to blend into whatever venue or genre of event, I make sure that communication with the client is dealt with in a professional manner, whilst keeping an air of approachability to it.
Specific musical requests are learnt (if appropriate on the harp that is!) and over the years, clientele have liked my interactive and friendly manner.
Peter: Where are you based and what areas do you work in? i.e. towns/ counties etc
Fiona: I’m based in the Eastbourne area, covering East and West Sussex, Kent, Surrey, Hampshire, London and the surrounding counties.
Peter: Yes i have worked with you as far away as Kilworth House in Leicestershire, so i know how much in demand you are for your skils!
Peter: Do you have any particular wedding story that stands out? Please share it here if you can.
Fiona: I played for a musical celebrity’s wedding, as he’d heard me playing and wanted to book me!
The wedding was filled with every genre of famous person there and I got to meet quite a few of them, who kindly came up to me to have a listen whilst I was playing.
At the end of the wedding, I got bombarded by the Paparazzi upon my leaving the venue, as they hadn’t been allowed to set foot anywhere near. Why they thought I’d be anyone famous is beyond me, as I was driving an old battered Ford Mondeo Estate car at the time!
Peter: Do you have any exciting new offerings in the pipeline for 2021 and beyond i.e. new products/services etc
Fiona: Apart from offering a personalised service, whereby I play one of my beautiful Harps at their wedding/occasion, I sometimes suggest myself playing alongside another professional musician (ie, pianist, guitarist etc)
Peter: Please offer a tip or piece of advice for brides and grooms considering booking the service you offer. i.e. what to look out for,/questions to ask/things to avoid etc
Fiona: Always check with the musician you book that they have a valid/current PLI Certificate and speak with them on the phone, as you can really gauge how they’re going to ‘click’ with not just you but your guests at your wedding.
There’s quite a few ‘divas’ out there that don’t think that the usual rules of venues or clients needs applies to them.
Make sure if it’s an outside wedding that there is adequate help and cover for the musician and their instrument – as in my case, Harps are very expensive to maintain, let alone repair – myself though – I try to be as accommodating as possible.
A musician also has to become an entertainer at times and not only must professionalism and flexibility be key but also a musician like myself, who finds the clients happiness and needs met paramount, along with a good smattering of upbeat humour along the way ☺
If you have any questions for Fiona, please feel to contact her directly or you can ask me to find out for you. The links to Fi’s various online portals are listed below.
+44 (0) 7590 983418
East Sussex Wedding Photographer Peter Prior has developed an international reputation for an exciting and unobtrusive approach to covering the wedding day.
Peter shoots a blend of contemporary, reportage, documentary and fine art wedding photography, and his work has been described as having a "certain timeless elegance".