Billesley Manor in Warwickshire | 24th May 2015

This was the second time I’d been booked to play guitar at a wedding at Billesley Manor Hotel in Warwickshire. The first time was in 2013. You can read about it here.

I must admit that it didn’t look great in the morning. The clouds were heavy and it was spitting with rain from the moment I woke up. This continued as I was loading the car and I could only hope that it would brighten up as I headed to Warwickshire.

Fortunately luck was on our side. As I arrived at Billesley Manor the clouds had lifted and taken the rain with them. I didn’t waste any time unloading the car and setting up just in case the bad weather returned.

Billesley Manor Warwickshire

First up was the ceremony. Whilst I was setting up and running through my sound check I met Kelly, the wedding photographer. We had a quick chat about her plan for the day and the shots she had been asked to take. She asked me to pose for a few shots and I duly obliged.

After this she went off to take photographs of the venue and wedding guests prior to the ceremony. I have a lot of respect for wedding photographers as they have to rush around all day and hardly get a moments rest.

After I’d met with Kelly, the bride popped down to double check the songs for the day. We had a brief chat before she headed back upstairs to get ready.

Having set up everything and double checked the playlist for the day I headed outside to take some photographs of the venue.

Billesley Manor Garden
I remember my last visit to Billesley Manor and how I didn’t get chance to explore the gardens properly. With this in mind I made sure this was my first stop. The garden is very well tended and has some interesting features. The gardener obviously prides themselves on their excellent work and attention to detail.

After a quick tour of the venue I returned to my position and awaited the guests arrival. We ended up running pretty late due to a mix up which meant I wasn’t able to play much music prior to the ceremony. As soon as everybody was seated it was time to begin.


For the processional the bride asked me to play ‘All of Me’ by John Legend. This was the first time I’d played this for the processional so I was interested to see how it would work.

For the signing of the register I played ‘Cavatina’, ‘Lagrima’ and ‘Green and Golden’. I was given free choice for the signing of the register so I thought I’d mix it up a bit and add in ‘Cavatina’ as it’s such a beautiful piece of music and was very fitting for the day.

Billesley Manor Ceremony

For the recessional I played ‘Here Comes The Sun’ in a desperate bid to bring the sun out. Low and behold it worked! Well, it was sunny at least. Nothing to do with me though I might add.


The wedding breakfast was definitely one of the most fun dinners I’ve had the pleasure of playing at. The guests provided some great craic. I particularly enjoyed chatting with the father of the bride who was brilliant and has great taste in music.

I got a little mention in his speech, which I thought was really nice.

Billesley Manor Hotel

I also had a bit of fun by letting some of the children step up and strum the guitar. Not wanting to be out done by the kids, one of the adult guests asked if he could play a song. I let him borrow my guitar for a couple of minutes while I took a little break to rest my fingers.

During the course of the wedding breakfast I was asked by one guest to play my “all time favourite song”. I umm’ed and arrr’ed for a while before deciding on ‘Capricho Arabe’ by Francisco Tarrega.

After I’d played the guest asked why I didn’t seem sure about which song was my favourite. I always think it’s a funny thing to have a set favourite. My musical taste and opinion changes so often that it’s impossible to pin down one song as my absolute favourite.

The reason I landed on ‘Capricho Arabe’ over a number of other close contenders is that it holds a certain sentimental significance which makes it a little bit more special to me.

Anyway, congratulations to the bride and groom!  I hope you both had an excellent day and I wish you all the best for the future.

I’ve had a little break this weekend, which is why this post is a bit late! I’m playing twice this coming weekend though so keep a look out for those posts early next week.

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