2008 Review

Lorraine in original love stories volume 2

We launched Lorraine’s second album which had a collection of original wedding songs written for wedding couples as well as 2 “tribute to parents” original songs. The album has been very well received and we are just about to sell out our 1st run. We will likely launch a re-run and maybe link it up to even more exciting releases.

We also had a wonderful year producing another 20 over original songs and original MTV photomontages. I still think apart from writing songs and singing and emcee-ing, Lorraine has this wonderful eye for taste and beauty. And she really creates simple, romantic, meaningful and touching MTV photomontages.

“Live performance”

2008 was a great year for Wedding Harmony as we set another record year of growth for the company, surpassing the 100 weddings mark.

Our market positioning remains unchanged, and we pay attention to protecting and developing our branding. We think that every wedding couple who spends money on wedding day “live” music should get the best value for their money. To me, only the best will do. I am proud to say we have assembled a stellar cast of musicians and vocalists that work well together, are mutually good friends, and who have impeccable professionalism and ability.

Some friends ask me why don’t I become an agent and take in even more gigs, and some friends also ask me to cater to a more “mass-market” clientel. I always tell them it has never been Wedding Harmony’s philosophy to churn out numbers – because wedding music should not be a numbers game. It is far more important to me that we do 100 top class, solid and musically inspiring weddings than 500 run of the mill, ordinary and mundane weddings. The reason is simple: it is difficult to find so many good musicians to support 500 weddings a year.. Especially when most weddings happen on weekends and auspicious dates! Hence, spreading ourselves too thin will only compromise quality – something that I am very protective about. More importantly, I feel the wedding live music market is in its early phase of growth and couples are still getting accustomed to understanding the fact that there is a certain price to pay to enjoy good music. While some groups may be able to exercise flexibility in pricing so as to “churn out more numbers”, at Wedding Harmony this is not possible. Our musicians and vocalists command a certain rate and it is my responsibility to ensure they are paid their fair professional fees.

Numbers versus quality I always choose quality.

Our repertoire

We are proud of our repertoire. Numbering about 200 over songs, these songs are painstakingly selected to bring out the best mood in weddings. A mixture of Jazz, Pop, Evergreens, Bossanova, Swing, as well as popular Chinese tunes form the bulk of our repertoire. We are also thankful for our couples who have shared with us their individual preferences as some songs have turned out really nice which helps us expand our repertoire in the process.

Again, I am not concerned if I do not have a repertoire of 1000 songs for my couples to choose from. I prefer that we have a strong repertoire consisting of songs that are famous, easily recognizable by the audience, and songs that bring out the best in our music. I see no use in showing a repertoire of 1000 songs when most of it are just there “for show” because some of them are so obscure and esoteric that nobody in the right frame of mind would choose them.

Number of songs versus quality of songs, I always chose quality.

Marketing strategy

We continue to participate as a major partner with Style Weddings, and we also partner certain wedding shows if the opportunity and timing is correct. I like a business style in which we are upfront, honest, sincere with our pricing and packages, and I always make sure we let our couples understand what they are getting for their money. It is also my personal responsibility to ensure our couples get value-added services as much as possible.

Is “live” music on your wedding day really essential?

Well, there are no correct answers to this question. Certainly though, I notice that more and more couples realize that music entertainment is a great way to spice up their weddings. Keeping your guests entertained is something that they will truly appreciate – because many weddings are so dreadfully boring that nobody really enjoys attending them.

Comparing with the thousands of dollars you pay for photos, videos, flowers etc, the cost of “live” music pales in comparison. Photos and videos are for you to keep for a life time which makes it a good investment in a way. However, your guests are unlikely to ever see your photos and videos, and flowers and decorations. Hence their memory of your wedding will likely revolve around how special they felt and how the ambience was. A video montage is 5 minutes long. A photomontage is another 5 minutes. But music entertainment is for a full 90 minutes. So music is not bad an investment at all!

Music has the power to move people, engage people, and touch people’s heart like nothing in this world can.

How should you choose a wedding band?

Choose the best!

Because the cost of music is already so low, there is no reason for you to save and scrimp a few hundred dollars and compromise quality.

Be sure to check out who are the vocalists and musicians on your big day. Are they reputable? Experienced? Or are they someone who can “play a few notes”? Don’t be taken in by smooth talking salesmen who will peddle every one of their musicians as “very good”. Ask specifically about:

  • Who they are
  • What are their track records
  • Are they reliable? Will they pull out from your wedding at the last minute because another event pays them better?
  • Are they well recognized as being good musicians in the professional music scene?
  • Do they do recordings for albums, commercial jingles etc?
  • Do they direct music at big concerts?
  • Do they have experience touring with top bands and top artistes around the region?
  • Have they released albums? Or participated in album productions?

Most importantly, don’t fall for the marketing trap of “many good musicians and singers to choose from”. The fact of the matter is – in the context of wedding “live” music entertainment, there aren’t that many to go around for a start. It is not easy to find vocalists that are versatile and experienced enough to deliver a night of varied repertoire. That explains why sometimes we have to turn away wedding couples when we are “double booked” for a particular date. Because good vocalists who are bi-lingual, look presentable, sound nice, dress nice are not that easy to find.

Remember: you would like a band that can add a touch of class and glamour to your wedding (without being overly attention grabbing), not a mediocre sounding, strange looking make-shift band.

Are full time musicians always better than part-timers?

Absolutely not. There are many outstanding part time musicians. In fact, some full time musicians can be totally hopeless and they run around with hyper-inflated egoes that can be quite irksome.

The question is not about full or part-timing. It is about talent and musicality.

Is there an ugly side to wedding music?

Despite my meticulous selection criteria, many musicians and vocalists still fall short of being the true professional that I expect. Truth is, some have been “attitude problem” kids and poor team players, and I have had no choice but to remove them from my team setup. To me, nobody can be bigger than the organization, and no one is indispensable.

The year ahead

Talk of “live” wedding music being immune to the economic crisis engulfing us is being a little too optimistic. I honestly do not think there is a single industry that will be unaffected. We all will feel the impact in some way or another.

As a wedding couple, I truly understand the importance of managing the finances of a wedding.

We have taken certain measures to contain our costs and we are confident of continuing to provide good value, top quality music entertainment for weddings.

Work will also be under way to produce Lorraine’s 3rd and possibly 4th commercial albums. It is going to be very different from her 1st and 2nd albums, and just thinking of it is making me excited!

The Wedding Harmony brand

Central to what we do has been a concerted, dedicated and meticulously executed plan to develop, market, and grow the Wedding Harmony brand.

Compared to many older establishments in this industry, I am quite pleased with where we are today.

I attribute our success and growth to the talent and abilities of every single one of our team. Without them, they would be no Wedding Harmony. If I had to single out someone without any bias, this person has to be Lorraine. She is well liked by wedding couples; she is warm and approachable; she has just the right balance of IQ, EQ, looks, charm, vocal ability, stage presence, and style to be Wedding Harmony’s biggest ambassador.

Most importantly, Lorraine has a captivating voice. There are many great singers, but there are very few great singers with a nice voice.

When we blend Lorraine’s unique and soothing voice to the depth and warmth of Lizhang’s vocals, or to the versatility and style of Wayne’s singing (plus his awesome violin skills and guitar work), I think we have a really potent combination that will continue to remain relevant to the wedding music industry.

A note of thanks!

To all our musicians and vocalists for their tireless contributions, friendship, sacrifices, and professionalism - Ruth, Colin, Micah, Fabian, Sher Maine, Luke, Mei, Steve, Victor, Joel, Jo, Gilian, Wayne, Lizhang, Phoebee, Edmund, Simon… you guys and gals are the best!!!

To Michael our fearless leader of our sound crew – you are the man with the ears! Thanks for the great sound!

Executive Music Director
Wedding Harmony Pte Ltd

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