Why choose two harpists over one for your wedding music?
As two sisters, who have grown up learning to play the harp to a professional level, we believe that with all our experience and knowledge we are best placed to share with you why two harps can bring that extra special romantic experience to your big day.
Music can play such an important role in your wedding day with harpists remaining a popular option for both your ceremony, drinks reception and during your wedding breakfast as couples often want more classical music, but with a modern twist for the first part of their special day.
Does booking one harpist save you money?
There is no industry set fee for a harpist to play at your wedding and fees tend to vary depending on several factors, such as:
- when you would like to book the harpist to play from and until
- whether you want them to play for your Wedding Ceremony, the Drinks Reception only
- if you want to include playing throughout your Wedding Breakfast
- do you want them to work later and perform for your First Dance?
- Where your venue is located
- If there is a change of venue, for example we start at your church and then move onto your venue.
Whether you book a solo artist or two harpists, the most important piece of advice is to know what you are getting for the fee you’re paying.
What are the pros of booking two harpists for your wedding?
There are many benefits of booking two harpists (a duo) instead of just one harpist. These include:
- the main benefit being the quality and depth of sound
- some music is written for two musical instruments
- making your experience doubly memorable as the joint sound will not only be charming but also set your event apart!
- your guests will remember seeing two harps up close
- everyone will feel the emotion and the atmosphere evoked by watching and listening to professional musicians.
What happens if you book 2 of harps for your wedding?
2 of Harps will be delighted to not only provide you with a personal service, from the time you book, but also right up to after your wedding day. This ensures that your wedding harp music on your big day and any harp music on your treasured wedding videos are perfect.
It’s so important to know what you can expect when booking your harpist, such as what music they will play or if there is a meeting beforehand. 2 of Harps offer you a one-to-one meeting, to:
- really get to know you both
- understand what music you like and why
- discuss your music arrangements for your wedding day
- help you select a style of music for your tailored playlist.
Why should we book 2 of harps?
2 of Harps are the only harp and vocal duo in the world – with two harps and two voices. This means that yours and your guests experience is truly unique, a one of a kind music act for your wedding day.
What better way than to entertain your guests with live singing accompanied by the mellow tones of the magical harps?
Seeing two traditional harps at your wedding, are aesthetically pleasing to the eye and make a stunning backdrop for your ceremony. However, if your space is small or you want a less imposing instrument, we offer practical alternatives.
2 of Harps can perform with different sizes of harps, both large and small, giving us the flexibility to move throughout the day and change location. As a result we can move sets quickly and efficiently, because we aren’t held back by the impracticalities of a full-sized pedal (orchestra) harp. Because there are two harpists, it means that one harpist can continue to play during the move to your next location.
Adel said, “Karina and I have harps that can also be amplified; these are perfect for your wedding ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast. This ensures that we can be heard by all your guests and not just the guests sitting nearest us. This is great for larger venues and for bigger groups of guests. Two harps are perfect for weddings which are happy, celebratory, and as a result, at times noisy occasions! Having two harps means that the music is loud enough to be heard by everyone, even if you’re looking for relaxing, contemporary classical background music”.
Karina added, “Harps that are amplified have the benefit of being heard easier outdoors. For example, we have performed at venues with surround sound, where we have been able to plug into your venue’s sound system, (videographers love this). This can be great during the reception, when guests are enjoying their drinks, both in and outside the venue but the live music can be heard near the harpists and through speakers. This also works well when guests are called away for photos as this means you the couple will still be able to hear the music you have chosen”.
Will two harps take up more space?
You may have seen a huge harp on TV or YouTube, and if you have a small intimate venue, of course this could cause you some concern. However, finding enough space has never been an issue for 2 of Harps, we can play in the smallest of spaces. With the two especially made Lever Harps (which are smaller than harps you usually see played in orchestras) you can rest asured there will be enough space for us. The Lever Harps not only save space but are easily transportable. They are also suitable for venues with tricky staircases that other harpists would struggle to ascend and descend.
Adel said, “In fact we have moved our harps up and down some impressive staircases, ranging in size and height, including a 77 stone spiral stairs at the impressive, immaculate and stunning Borthwick Castle, in Scotland https://www.borthwickcastle.com/, we couldn’t believe how amazing this place was having travelled up from the Kent coast!”
Karina continued, “We have a range of hand–crafted Lever harps including their 27 string Mark Norris harps http://www.norrisharps.com/choices-content/levers that are perfect for compact spaces. Adel and I can stand up with these harps, so we don’t even need space for chairs! We have attended some International weddings with these harps, because they have handmade flight cases and are small and so relatively easy to travel with”.
What difference does it make having two harps, to the sound of the music?
If you haven’t considered a harp duo for your wedding, this is the perfect time.
Two harps offer you so much more. You can compare the difference if you imagine a singer without an instrument and a singer with an instrument. Two musicians playing at the same time provides you with a richer, fuller sound, because there are more layers to the music, than a soloist can achieve. It means that the melody line, or tune, is easier to pick out and recognise for your guests.
Adel added, “We often hear guests singing along to popular songs and harp covers during the drinks reception or after the wedding breakfast. Sometimes we even hear guests playing ‘guess the tune’ which always leads to further requests.”
Karina continued, “We love to chat and interact with your wedding guests. It’s fantastic when they ask us questions about the harps. They often ask us if the harps are different from each other, for example, if one plays the bass. It’s wonderful that they have such an interest in the instrument and what we do. We know we strike the right note and leave a positive lasting impression on your guests!”
Having two harps enhances the depth and texture of the sound. Not only do you have everything one harpist would usually play, but an added extra layer of sound which complements the other harp, creating an intense and magical feeling of harmony.
What if you have your heart set on a piece of music that is a song?
2 of Harps also sing as a duo, whilst playing the harps, for your wedding so you can choose whether you have just instrumental music or vocals perhaps during your drink’s reception?
If you have a favourite song, but can’t decide whether to have the original song or and instrumental version, why not have something arranged specially for you by 2 of Harps? You could even have your favourite song played on the two harps and sung in harmony for walking down the aisle.
If you’re looking for music that isn’t just classical for your big day, popular covers on two harps sound perfect. Because there are two harps rather than one, Adel and Karina can experiment to produce an authentically sounding instrumental cover, not always easily achieved with a single instrument.
If you’re a more traditional bride and for example Pachelbel’s Canon https://youtu.be/JNbe34V1nog is your dream piece of music for your entrance, then two harps are perfect. A ‘canon’ is a piece originally written for two instruments, with the main line echoed by a second line, often in forms of variation, creating two lines of blended sound, which entwine together. To achieve this effect on one harp is really is impossible, and thus only two harps can play a truly authentic Pachelbel’s Canon, or also popularly known as ‘Canon in D’.
What do our clients say about 2 of Harps?
Here are some kind words:
“The girls are amazing, so talented and friendly. Patiently helped us to choose all of our music before the wedding, we had so much fun choosing the music at their beautiful house, they gave us so many surprises. All of our guests enjoyed their music so much on the day. Thank you very much for making our day perfect!”
– Cher Bai
What type of music can be played on the harp?
There is no specific type of music that can be played on the harp because, (especially during the recent years), harpists have begun expanding their repertoire. This means that some harpists, like other established musicians and bands have developed their own unique sound.
At 2 of Harps we play a wide variety of genres, including covers of songs you may not have thought possible, but have always dreamt of having at your wedding. These range from contemporary classical pieces, popular music from the top charts, favourite romantic ballads, Disney and Theatre songs. Adel and Karina also play Blues, Jazz, Motown and Reggae songs, for those looking at something alternative and contemporary for their wedding day.
Did you also know the harp is a wonderful acoustic instrument to accompany the voice. 2 of Harps are the only two harp and two voice duo in the world! Their beautiful harmonies, over the underlying tone of the two harps can bring something completely new and unique to your wedding day and will really wow your wedding guests.
Can I ask the harpist to learn a particular song for my wedding?
At 2 of Harps we understand it is important to capture memories on your wedding day with music and words that are special to you. Yes, Adel and Karina can learn other music which is not already in their repertoire (which consists of over six hundred pieces).
Whether it’s a song that celebrates you as a couple with your family, or something that reminds you of when you first met and perhaps even your proposal. Maybe it’s a new song that you’ve heard which you would love to walk down the aisle to, we will ensure your music is perfect for those meaningful moments, all we need is a little time – time to meet and understand why the musical piece is important to you, time to practice and time to perfect – we usually ask for around four weeks.
Can I book a harpist for my church wedding?
The sound of an organ at your church wedding service can be very traditional and being honest it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. As a consequence, some couples choose not to have the church organ for their wedding ceremony. Because of this, 2 of Harps offer to lead the Hymns, both singing and playing for you and your guests. This makes for a less formal service and blends perfectly with your other chosen music.
As an aside but whilst on hymns, did you know if you are getting married at a venue, it’s important to make you aware that the venue’s license does not enable you to include traditional hymns during your civil wedding ceremony. However, an excerpt of a piece of music selected by you is a beautiful and alternative way to capture words, either instead of, or in addition to a reading.
Can I have a harpist at an alternative wedding?
Yes, you can have harps playing at an alternative wedding. Because 2 of Harps can play the harp not only in an utterly romantic, manor but they have also had them designed to create a modern looking and sounding instrument, that can fit into any type of wedding. Whether this is a historical castle, a traditional country barn, boutique wedding hotel, fairground boho themed wedding or an outdoor festival wedding, their harps can either bring something truly elegant, or a little ‘quirky’ to your alternative day.
Will the size of the harp make a difference to my wedding day?
The harp is known for being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. With the stunning instrument coming in many different shapes and sizes, many people believe smaller harps can mean less and a poorer quality of sound, however this is a myth. 2 of Harps have different types of harp because it enables them to have the flexibility to choose what kind of sound they want to achieve when they perform, as not all harps sound the same, but also if you prefer the look of a larger, more traditional, or smaller harp we will work with you to get the best look and sound on your wedding day.
2 of harps have two larger 36 string harps called ‘Eos’, which is Welsh for Nightingale, and two smaller 27 string harps, made by the renown harp maker Mark Norris (to read more about the amazing Mark http://www.norrisharps.com)
All four of our harps can also be amplified through speakers, this makes them very versatile instruments to have for your wedding day. 2 of Harps can provide indoor and outdoor amplification for your wedding, which means the sound of the harps carries, and because the harps are small and easy to move they can be played (weather permitting) wherever you and your wedding guests may be.
Is the harp for me on my wedding day?
A common question asked that we hear a lot at 2 of harps is, ‘Is the harp for me on my wedding day?’ At 2 of Harps’ we always answer; “Many people we speak to (and some who we have played for) have never even thought of a harp, or a harpist for their wedding or special event and those who have, often have a misconception of what a harpist is really like. Some associate the harp with orchestras, angels, or Disney and fairytales! As modern-day harpists, we want to offer you something completely different – an alternative way of experiencing live music from a romantic and classical instrument, yet still being able to enjoy contemporary, pop, rock, jazz and other brilliant genres on your wedding day”.
Adel continued, “There is something so exciting, when we see people recognise the music we are playing. It always makes us smile when wedding guests sing along to songs during the signing of the registrar, during the drinks and canapes reception or wedding breakfast!
One of the most important things for both of us, as musicians, is to make the harp accessible to everyone. Our repertoire is broad, so there is music for all ages and tastes”
Karina added “We are always happy, when our clients are happy. It is such a pleasure to receive exceptional reviews and testimonials after performing at weddings, events and concert.”
“Massive thanks to the girls for a brilliant performance throughout our wedding at Swarling Manor in March. The music was perfect and the fact you performed for so long was amazing. 2 of Harps were so accommodating in learning specific songs for the wedding which was amazing. Cannot recommend highly enough x
Dominic Comins” http://www.swarlingmanor.com/
Duo Means Two, or Does It?
The inspiration for this blog came to me when I sat thinking about Karina, my sister, and how we have always done everything together.
Ever since we were little, we would take on new challenges, try new things and go on adventures – together. So, when we both had an interest in music, it only made sense for both of us, to learn and perform together.
Later, ‘2 of Harps’ was born.
At the young age of 12 and 16, we didn’t realise the potential our young ‘duo’ had. We played because we loved music, the sheer joy we had from it and the happiness we saw it brought others.
Soon, we realised we both wanted to make music our jobs and invested time and money into expanding our small family business. We didn’t realise we would face obstacles, but all the experiences, both negative and positive helped us grow as people and musicians.
After years of performing, rehearsing, composing, working, collaborating and sharing ideas together, we knew we were much more than just a duo. It may have started with playing two harps together, but as we began introducing our voices and other instruments, we realised we were a team…
Two sisters. Two harps. Two voices.
Writing Music – Our Story
Written by Adel
The first time I realised I wanted to write music, was after my Grade 1 Harp Exam. Although I am only 22, this was many years ago now, when I was living in Scotland.
I remember the exam day as clearly as if it were today. I was doing both my Grades 1 and 2 one after another, very unusual and nerve wracking for me! I had chosen my favourite pieces to play and was well prepared thanks to my fantastic teacher Helen MacLeod. The exams were taking place during the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, it was busy, so there were several people helping out. After noting down my tunes, Ellie, one of the helpers said, ‘ You do realise the examiner is Wendy Stewart?’ My chest felt tighter – I’d picked two pieces to play written by her! Eeeek! I had no time to panic, just gather my thoughts and go into the room where I would meet Wendy, the person who first inspired me to write music.
Sisters of the Harp
On the way back home, I thought about the stories I could create through my music, just like Wendy had. Shortly after that, I found myself with my own manuscript book, sitting at the harp wondering how and where to start. That wasn’t the problem however. After some false starts and bad attempts, I finally completed my first piece called Pebbles which would later feature on one of our 2 of Harps albums ‘Sorelle di Harpa’ [sisters of the harp]. The problem I found with writing, was stopping. I could sit for hours at the harp. If it wasn’t for my parents reminding me it was lunchtime, I would forget to eat and drink.
It was not until a couple of years after I first began writing music, that I began collaborating with my sister in writing songs. Eight songs and an album later [Moving On], we discovered that when we worked together, we were unstoppable. It allowed us to explore ideas, be more creative and bounce off each other.
Now, several years later and with more understanding of the music we want to create, we are working to produce an album which showcases our story and musical journey.
If you loved reading about our music and would like to download one of our albums, click here.
Breaking [it] Down
So many things to think about when you’re heading out for a gig. You’ve loaded up your vehicle. You’ve left plenty of time to get to the venue…
The engine won’t start!
It’s normal to panic, but there are steps you can take as a musician to avoid it.
We had finished playing at a wedding and packed our car, ready to go home. Except we couldn’t… Our car wouldn’t start! But there was no need to panic. With great business insurance and breakdown cover, we called the RAC and were able to drive home [although later than planned..!].
You’re in Safe Hands!
The RAC fixed the problem, and even if the car had to be taken away, we could have:
- been driven to another venue [if we had another performance], then back home, with all our equipment
- given a replacement vehicle, until ours was fixed
- driven to any immediately upcoming performances
We’ve Got it Covered – Have you?
- Is your vehicle covered for business use? You may need to double check this and update your insurance.
- Breakdown cover. It’s best to be safe than sorry. Look at the best cover, not the best price. Always speak with an expert first. Things you might want to consider include: do they provide alternative travel to and from the venue? What about a vehicle replacement if yours is being fixed. You’ll need this, especially if you have performances booked for the following day.
- No musician wants to miss a gig. Be organised. Have you registered with the Musicians’ Union? Have a look at the benefits – it’s worth the money and takes little of your time. If you’re not an MU Member, you’re missing out! Sign up, Like and Follow them online.
A Girl Should Be Two Things, Classy and Fabulous
At 2 of Harps we believe that looking the best for any event is important, that’s why, we have been redesigning our image and developing our style.
‘Your Hair is Your Crown’
Life can be hectic and stressful. Your hair is the last thing you think about and before you know it, it’s time to head out of the door to perform… Not any more! Thanks to Gillian Smissen, our hair stylist who has adapted hairstyles for us that are quick and easy, we are never left with a ‘bad hair day’ look.
‘Makeup Magnifies the Beauty That Already Exists’
Musicians don’t always look flawless, they don’t wear makeup whilst writing lyrics for their songs, or whilst in the recording studio. Our makeup artist Gillian Smissen [https://www.gilliansmissen.com/]works with our skin to find the best products and create effortless looks for photoshoots, events and performances on stage. It’s all about creating the perfect balance to match the overall look. We love working with someone so talented!
‘Fashions Fade, Style is Eternal’ – Yves Saint Laurent
We have been developing our individual style, so that we stay comfortable, but still look and feel great! We have chosen to pair up fashionable and modern dresses with Converse shoes. It’s all about the colours and the cut of the dress to make us look elegant yet allowing us to move around with ease. Why Converse shoes? [https://www.converse.com/uk]They are comfortable, they look fantastic and they come in gorgeous colours and textiles, from glittery pink, to sequined silver and hessian gold.
Our style showcases us as people, it helps others see our characters – young, fun, elegant and with a passion for fashion!
Dressed to Impress
Thanks to the Golden Valley Cleaners, our dresses always look the best. A personal service, leaving us feeling fantastic for all our performances and events.
Golden Valley Cleaners at 125 Enbrook Valley, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 3NE. Tel. 01303 221748
Our Charity of the Year 2019!
Photographs by @howlingbasset Photography – performing at the Hythe Imperial Hotel for a Summer Wedding July 2018
Keeping Up to Date
At the musicians agency in Tenerife ‘Artistas de Tenerife’ planning and organising our Tour 2019!
Like and Follow
Wedding Harp Music
Browse our repertoire
Wedding harp music – https://2ofharps.com/musicrepertoire/musicforyourday/
Professional Harpists based in Kent
Thank you to everyone who came to support us at our concert and afternoon tea today (08/09/17), raising money for the Community First Responders.
Adel and Karina received Awards at the National Art Award Presentation Evening at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in South Kensington, London on Monday 17th October.
Karina won Gold in the Child Music Category and Adel was presented with Silver in the Youth Music Age Group for their music compositions.
Adel and Karina would like to thank everyone who attended their ‘Concert and Afternoon Tea’ on the 14th September at St Mary’s Bay Village Hall to help fundraise for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.
Adel and Karina performed for a Private Sponsors Party of Art for Youth London, Mall Galleries SW1 London.
2nd July 2016
Adel and Karina playing harps, flute and singing at Saltwood – Sandgate Centre for Dance, a night of Celtic Capers – we also had the opportunity to fundraise for our Charity of the Year 2016 – The Kent Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance!
2 of Harps’ Charity of the Year 2016
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance
“The charity exists to relieve sick and injured people in South East England and surrounding areas by providing a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) and Air Ambulance Service for the benefit of the community.
The Kent Air Ambulance Trust, a registered charity, was established in 1989, to provide an air ambulance service for the people of Kent. 2005 saw the introduction of doctors on board and, in 2007, the Trust expanded its service and launched a second helicopter to cover the counties of Surrey and Sussex.”
To find out more about this charity’s work please visit https://www.kssairambulance.org.uk/
Help 2 of Harps Raise Money to Save Lives
To make a donation please contact 2 of Harps, or you could attend one of their fundraising concerts or events – 07795 511355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
June 19, 2015
Seven exceptional volunteers were honoured for their dedication to improving the lives of local young people at The Duke of Gloucester’s Volunteer Award ceremony, held at the Coca-Cola London Eye last week.
Innovative Volunteering – Adel and Karina Wilson
Adel and Karina Wilson have been volunteering for five years. Both sisters run mini harp workshops for vulnerable children and adults in their local community in Kent, providing others with the opportunity to play a harp and listen to music. They also lead highland dancing workshops.
Bristol A-level student Levi Hodge was announced as the Volunteer of the Year for his role in providing positive activities to young people facing adversity. Levi also won the Leadership category for his outstanding contribution to a regional youth forum that has successfully brought local young people together with the police, councillors and MP’s to address anti-social behaviour.
Levi commented: “I can’t believe I’ve won! This is amazing. Volunteering has helped me turned my life around and given me a positive outlook for my future. I’d never be going to university without the support of Youth Moves and I’m so grateful to them for nominating me.”
Levi says his life could have been very different if his youth club hadn’t engaged him in volunteering at a time when he was getting into trouble with the police and at risk of being excluded from school.
Six other lucky winners who were chosen out of 13,500 volunteers in Ambition’s national network of youth clubs and community projects, also received a prestigious HRH Duke of Gloucester Volunteer Award
Enterprise – Claire Kelly
Claire co-facilitates the Youth Forum at the New Horizons Youth Centre in Kings Cross, which gives young people a voice on how the centre is managed. In 2014 Claire set up a social enterprise market stall called ‘Crepe Up’.
Fundraising – John Shallcross
John is a successful local business man who has led Nortumberland Club for Young People’s Corporate Fundraising Programme for last 30 years. He has raised over £1,000,000 for the organisation, and has established a number of successful partnerships and sponsorship opportunities.
Healthy Lifestyles – Matthew Thorne
For the last two and a half years Matthew has volunteered twice a week after school. He runs the ‘Fit to Run’ project and the ‘Happy’ video project in Poole for young adults with learning disabilities, and provides weekly activities for 9-12 year olds including cooking, games and trips out.
Social Action Project – Young Advisors NE Lincolnshire
The Young Advisors started a youth campaign in February 2012 to improve access and accessibility to public transport. As a result of their campaign, Stagecoach agreed to introduce a cheaper ‘Holidayrider’ for young people as a trial in the school holidays, and bus usage in the area increased by 60%. The campaign has been a huge success and continues to this day, enabling thousands of young people and families to access positive activities.
Helen Marshall, Chief Executive of Ambition commented: “Volunteering is a fantastic way for young people to gain transferable skills and life experience, making a positive difference not only to themselves but also to their local community. All of our winners should feel very proud of their achievements and I’m delighted that we could celebrate with them.”
All winners received a cash prize. Levi will attend Ambition’s prestigious 90th anniversary Gala Dinner at Kensington Palace on 7 July 2015 to receive his award from HRH The Duke of Gloucester.
The Duke of Gloucester’s Volunteer Awards launched in January 2015 to celebrate the 90thanniversary of Ambition. Prince Richard, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, has been Ambition’s president since 1974 following in the footsteps of his father, Prince Henry, who became President of the charity in 1926.
Here you can listen to music recorded by 2 of Harps. Follows 2 of Harps on SoundCloud and be the first to know when new music is released!