Embellished Vows and Very First Dance

It felt great to be a part of Patty and Brian’s wedding celebration.  They chose Diane Martinson as vocalist for the ceremony (with myself on piano) and our Jazz Trio for the reception.  Both took place in the Fireside Room of the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

The Ceremony

The wedding party consisted of the bride and groom, three flower girls, and a ring bearer.  For the processional and bridal entrance they chose Canon in D.  The young ring bearer was very poised escorting each of the flower girls separately.  Then I brought up the music, playing the grandest section of the piece, for the bridal entrance.

+Diane Martinson and
Rev. Derek Kiewatt

For the solo between readings they chose the Apache Wedding Blessing.  Diane and I wrote the music to this well-known blessing.  You can hear the intent behind the words when she sings it.  You can find a recording of it on Spotify or iTunes.

During the vows the groom, Brian, added words like “really” and “always” to what he was asked to repeat.  It was a nice touch, and I also appreciated that Rev. Derek Kiewatt acknowledged that he “liked the embellishment” during the ceremony.  It was obvious that he enjoys officiating and I found him personable and easy to work with.

The ceremony recessional was Purcel’s Trumpet Tune.  The wedding party left to receive guests outside the room before returning for cocktails and dinner.  Between the ceremony and reception we moved our portable piano and sound PA next to the dance floor for the jazz trio dinner and dance music.

The Reception

The reception band was Diane on vocals, myself on piano, and Kevin Teachout on drums.  We started off with light dinner music, and continued on to more upbeat dance music after dinner.  Patty chose “All For Love” by Bryan Adams as a special request for the first dance.  We arranged the song for the trio, and I must say that our rendition went over well.  Later in the evening Patty told us that this was actually the first time they had ever danced together.  They were out dancing for other songs with other couples joining in, as well as the kids having fun throughout the evening.

As we were packing up one guest said to us “Thank you, your music was wonderful.  It was a heart-felt performance, very professional.”  It gives me a sense of purpose to add an emotional element to the celebration, and it’s always a treat to perform with both Diane and Kevin.

Wedding Ceremony Vocals / Richfield, MN

It was so fun singing with Rachel Kurtz at a recent wedding ceremony in Richfield. She has a powerful, wonderful voice, and she was a joy to chat with too.

Vocalists Rachel Kurtz and Diane Martinson

Review from the Bride

“Diane and JJ sang and played at our wedding last night and they were FABULOUS!!! They were so easy to work with and made the evening even more special. We would recommend them to anyone doing a wedding or other event. Thank you!!!” – Kerstin and Lisa

Vocalist Diane Martinson with pianist JJ Saecker

Vocalist Diane Martinson with pianist JJ Saecker

Minneapolis Wedding Ceremony Soloist / Pianist / Strings

I’m really looking forward to singing at Matt and Jen’s wedding ceremony in Minneapolis. I’m performing a mix of classical and contemporary love songs in a church setting, accompanied by my musicians.

Thank you to the string trio – Karen Moon, Teresa Campbell, & Andrea French and pianist JJ Saecker for your wonderful accompaniment on my songs and your beautiful instrumental music!!  Here’s a rehearsal shot of us.String Trio, Vocalist, Pianist Ceremony Musicians


Wedding Ceremony Vocalist / Pianist – St. Paul, MN

Pianist - JJ Saecker / Ceremony Vocalist - Diane Martinson

Pianist – JJ Saecker / Ceremony Vocalist – Diane Martinson

We enjoyed providing the music for Emily & John’s wedding at the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul. The acoustics in this tall, open, multi-floor hall made singing and playing live music in there a joy.

Emily and John picked out special request music for their processional.  I have a solo arrangement of The Prayer that they chose for one of their solos.  I’ve included a sample.  It was a beautiful ceremony for such a nice couple.


“Hi Diane!, I wanted to pass along an emphatic Thank you! to you and J.J. We were so thankful for your time and music performance and couldn’t have been happier with how everything turned out. We received so many compliments … Thanks again for your help in song selection and working with that new song – it was one of the most special moments of the ceremony. We have nothing but rave reviews for you. Thanks again!” – Emily and John

Unity Song for Sand Ceremony

In this picture I’m singing a song (with JJ as piano accompanist) during the couple’s unity sand ceremony, taking place at The Landmark Center in St. Paul, MN.  I have gotten the chance to sing for several different types of unity ceremonies.  It’s fun to see all the new and different formats that couples are choosing and the music fits so well during the rituals.  I have several examples of different unity rituals on my Wedding Ceremony Music Pinterest page including sand, flower ceremonies, candle making, hand fasting knots, and more.
Unity Ceremony Singer
In this case they chose The Prayer which I have arranged as a solo with piano accompaniment.  I also sang You Raise Me Up as a vocal prelude, which is really fun to sing in this room with such high ceilings and big sound.

Candid shot of JJ I took during our set up

Candid shot of JJ I took during our set up

From JJ: The Landmark Center provided the grand piano and sound system for the wedding ceremony in their main cortile.  I loved hearing Diane’s heartfelt vocals and the sound of the grand piano in this room’s acoustics.

Brian and Jamie’s Wedding

The Varsity Theater is a vivid setting for a wedding. They had a wonderful sound system for us to use.  We performed the ceremony music, then J.J. played solo piano during cocktail hour and dinner reception.

It was great to receive their card: “Dear Diane & J.J., Thank you so much for providing the music for our wedding night. We had lots of compliments from our guests. The music was an important part of the evening for us, and you both were wonderful”. Brian & Jamie



Vocal Solo Ceremony Music at the Minnesota History Center, St. Paul

Minnesota History Center – St. Paul, MN

Minnesota History Center wedding ceremonyThe ceremony music is usually performed in the “Capitol Concourse”. For ceremonies we usually set up in the very back, or sometimes the side area. The picture is from my view in the back when I had a chance to take a quick picture. I just love singing here with the sound acoustics from the high ceilings in this venue.

The video is a short sample of the song The Rose, which we performed that day from the back of the Capitol Concourse. At this wedding ceremony I was the vocalist, accompanied by J.J. Saecker on piano and our string trio.

We have also provided the reception music here where we turned the sound system around to face the cocktail level for solo piano or jazz duo music.  Another time we had preset cocktail / dinner musicians ready to go down a floor to start right after the ceremony.