Encore Blog
Encore > Blog > Wedding Planning > Real Weddings > Kayleigh and James: Quality, Not Quantity!

Kayleigh and James: Quality, Not Quantity!


Real Weddings is a new blog series where we interview real couples who have booked their wedding music through Encore.

The next couple featuring in our Real Weddings series are the happy newlyweds, Kayleigh and James! With just 14 of their nearest and dearest in attendance, their wedding was perfectly intimate and special! And the addition of romantic instrumental love songs soundly perfectly by Encores enchanting harpist, Rachael Gladwin, made it that little bit more magical.

If you’re looking to have a small (and when I say small, I mean small) and beautifully intimate wedding, Kayleigh and James have you covered with the need to knows!

Fact file

  • Number of guests: 14 not including the bride and groom!
  • Budget: £5000 – £10,000
  • Location: Brimington, Chesterfield
  • Wedding themes: small; pandemic; hotel; traditional; intimate; indoor.


  1. The Music
  2. The Suppliers
  3. Becky & Will’s Advice for Couples

Thank you so much for taking the time to share the story of your big day with us, Kayleigh! 

To start off, please introduce yourself and your partner!

“My name is Kayleigh, and my husband’s name is James. James and I met in 2018, we were at a conference in London as we both do the same job, but for different companies! We got to talking and James (a bit unprofessionally) asked for my number! That same Friday we went on our first date!”

He made me laugh, he was really interesting and so kind… we just clicked!

The Music

Ceremony: Live instrumental music performed by Kayleigh’s brother! 


  • Bride entrance/bride and groom exit: Compositions written by Kayleigh’s younger brother

“My brother has always been so good at writing music. He plays all sorts of instruments – he’s really really talented.”

I’m so jealous he got all the talent in the family haha! I think my favourite instrument is the guitar, so I asked if he would write some music for our ceremony and he was so happy to a part of the wedding in that way!

Reception: Pre-recorded with Encore’s harpist Rachael Gladwin playing over dinner

  • First dance: Lover – Taylor Swift
  • Dinner: instrumental love songs as ambience performed by Rachael Gladwin


Encore Singer Rachael Gladwin performing for Kayleigh and James’ wedding dinner. 

We chose the harp to play our dinner because it sounds so beautiful, elegant and sophisticated in a way. We thought it would suit the venue as it was quite oppulent and had a really luxurious vibe about it… the harp fit in really well!


Why book Rachael?

 We booked Rachael Gladwin because we really love harps and thought she was incredibly talented!

Rachael was so lovely and helpful during the booking process and her performance was absolutely incredible. We felt like we were dining in heaven with her beautiful harp music playing in the background!

“We also loved that she played modern songs on the harp and her showreel on Encore’s website was great too!”

See more reviews and performance videos of Rachael here.

Thinking of hiring a harpist for your wedding? Rachael is a great start, she’s incredibly talented with so many song styles under her belt! Listen to more of Rachael Gladwin here.

Why did you choose Encore for your wedding music?

We didn’t have a particular artist in mind, just the instrument we wanted. Encore has a huge range of artists and we could filter our search by what we wanted and which artists were closest to our venue!

Kayleigh and James’ dedicated Encore Booking Specialist for her wedding: Perrine Gouarne

Perrine was on hand to help both musician and customer during the booking process for this event!



Venue – Ringwood Hall Hotel and Spa

“We had stayed here before as a birthday retreat for the groom and loved the building, the staff and the experience so much and we were on the hunt for a venue at the time. We attended their wedding fayre not long after that and secured a date!”

The catering was provided by the venue – their delicious food was part of why we picked this venue! If we had a normal wedding (outside of COVID) they also would have provided us with a DJ.

Decor – Strides Wedding Specialists

“We chose Strides Wedding Specialists as they were recommended by our venue and were nearby. The service we received from the staff at Strides was absolutely amazing and their work was stunning!

They also provided the all of the suits for the groom and groomsmen and also the venue decorations!”

Groomsmen looking dapper suited up by Strides!

Wedding Dress – Chi Chi London

“I wouldn’t say I was initially set out to buy a budget wedding dress, but why spend thousands when you can spend hundreds?!… It was exactly what I wanted, it was meant to be!

Especially if you can’t go to bridal shops and try on dresses because there’s a pandemic!

Photographer and videographer – Howarth Miller Photography and videography

We used Howarth Miller Photography and Videography and they were fantastic!

“They’re a husband and wife team. Not only were they such lovely people who were so reassuring and kind to have around on our wedding day, but they also produced the most beautiful photos and videos for us. We couldn’t have been happier with our choice for our big day!”


Do you have any advice for future couples?

“We initially planned to have about 60 guests, but we had to cut that right down (to 14) – it was really, really hard to decide who we were going to invite and who were going to cut out. The easiest thing to say was just close family members only…”

It ended up being so romantic and amazing! We could talk to everyone and I don’t know… it just had such a different vibe to a big wedding… I loved having a small wedding, It was kind of what I wanted anyway!

“I would say if you could find as many experts as possible to help you out, then definitely do that. Do lots of research and also if you can get people or suppliers that provide lots of services within the same place/company the for sure go for something like that, it makes everything so much easier!”

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Marrying the love of my life with our nearest and dearest present. To be honest, the whole day was magical!


Kunmi Fasanya

Content Intern Kunmi is a recent journalism graduate with 16 years of musical theatre training under her belt. She sings, plays the piano (mediocrely) and still has dreams of becoming a performer.

She specialises in telling the stories of Encore's musicians and customers, particularly weddings.

Looking for musicians?

Encore is the fastest and easiest way to find the perfect musician or band for any occasion.

  • 1 Tell us about your event
  • 2 Relevant musicians are instantly alerted
  • 3 Available performers respond with tailored quotes
Search musicians