Carol Shaw Jewellery

I know most people that read my blog are brides to be so I just want to share an Irish supplier with you all.  Check out Carol Shaw Jewellery for your bridal jewellery and for bridesmaids, mother of the bride and guests!

I “met” Carol a few years ago on and having seen some of her pieces on her website I asked her if she could make something unique for me that I could wear when singing at weddings. You can see what she designed on the video just below this post or on my Facebook page at SiobhanOliverSoprano I told Carol the type of thing I was looking for and wanted something with a music theme – she came up with a few ideas and ordered in some silver music note beads for me and teamed them up with black Swarovski Crystals. What’s great is nobody else has the same thing and it was so reasonably priced! My mum, aunt and friends have also bought from Carol and everyone has been delighted with the service, speed and quality that Carol provides. She’s a lovely lady and its great to support one of our own. I live in Cork and Carol is in Dublin – we organised everything over e mail so check out her website at for some beautiful pieces for your big day

Reflection Poems

I know many of you are always on the look out for some nice reflection poems for your ceremony. I’ve kept the links to a few threads on WeddingsOnline and they have loads of lovely ideas that hopefully you’ll find useful

Reflection Poems 1

Reflection Poems 2

Reflection Poems 3

Thanks to all the WOLlies for posting their favourite reflections.

Little Wedding Crechers

I’ve been singing at weddings for almost 4 years now and have come across some great suppliers along the way. So I’m going to post links to some of them here over the next few weeks

Many couples face the dilemma of whether to have children at their wedding or not. It can be the cause of many a family argument!  Little Wedding Crechers may be the answer to this problem. Patricia and her team of well trained and highly skilled staff will make each of your little guests feel like they are the centre of attention while you relax and enjoy your day. Check out the website for packages, costs and testimonials.

But it’s only an hours work!

I’ve seen this so many times on weddingsonline that I thought I’d try to explain why (for most musicians anyway) it’s not just an hours work!

I meet all my couples in the church initially for an hours consultation so that they can hear me singing various different pieces before they decide to book me. It’s the only way to do things – I strongly advise anyone to hear their musicians live…studio recordings can camouflage many faults! Then I usually meet them again, at least once, for an hour or two until they have chosen all their music but if they want to meet me more than that I’m happy to do that as well. Then I have to schedule rehearsal time with the accompanist and learn any new pieces.

I arrive at every wedding an hour before the ceremony is due to start to warm up my voice and have a quick run through again with the accompanist. More often than not the bride is late, the ceremony lasts for approx an hour and a half – so we’re usually in the church for 3 hours (often longer!). This excludes travel time to and from the ceremony location – I’ve often left the house at 10am and returned after 5pm

There are also many costs involved in doing this as a profession – I can’t just show up and hope for the best! Some church organs are totally out of tune so I bought a weighted keyboard which is basically a portable piano. On its own it’s of no use so I also had to buy an amplifier for it. Again some churches have really poor acoustics so a decent microphone was needed. They all have to be insured against theft or damage.

I also have travel costs, tax, insurance, advertising, sheet music for myself and any accompanists – all of these costs have gone up while I have kept my price the same.

Another huge cost factor for a professional singer is voice lessons. If you want a teacher that knows what they’re doing you have to pay for it! I’ve been studying voice for 6 years and will be going on to study a Masters in voice soon. Obviously you can get someone to sing that doesn’t have any training but I doubt you would expect to pay the same price as you would for a trained singer. I certainly didn’t charge the same when I started out and had very little training or experience.

I also have to curtail my social life! Who wants a hung-over, husky voiced classical singer arriving at their wedding! I’ve heard of it happening! If I have a wedding coming up it means no socialising for me for the few days leading up to the wedding  That’s the choice I make but I also hope it shows that not all musicians give the same service.

So apart from the hour or two that the couple sees me at the church, there’s a lot more time and expense involved that they don’t see. They are also paying for my expertise and should be comfortable in the knowledge that I know what I’m doing. I will show up…I won’t cancel at the last minute and leave them high and dry (which I’ve also heard happening far too often) and if there is ever any kind of emergency I have dependable, quality singers that I can call on to take my place.

Having said all of the above, of course some people don’t want to spend that kind of money on ceremony music and that’s their prerogative – there are various standards of singer and various prices to match!

Siobhan Oliver
Church Music Expert at

Ceremony Music Special Offer

It’s hard to believe I’ve been on now for almost 4 years! To thank all the WOLlies for their continued support I’m offering a 10% discount on my services for any new 2010 bookings made before the end of February. Just mention that you’re a WOLlie in your e mail. I work either with piano or piano and flute.

I have had the privilege of counting renowned Irish sopranos Cara O’Sullivan and Mary Hegarty among my voice coaches for the past few years. I like to meet people in the church so that you can have a listen in the proper environment so if you’d like to arrange to come and hear me sing sometime just drop me an email to siobhanoliver@