Weddings

Creative, contemporary & unique wedding music.

It’s hard to beat the sound of a live acoustic guitar at a wedding ceremony.

It’s intimate and versatile. It’s open and interpretive. It’s poignant and dramatic when you want it to be—yet settles seamlessly in the backdrop when you don’t. It can be contemporary and casual, or traditional and formal. You can dress it down for a cottage wedding, or have it resonate through expansive cathedrals. 

Performing at weddings is one of my favourite things to do. I’ve had the honour of sharing this experience with hundreds of couples over the past 12 years. There’s a creativity with modern events that I absolutely love. Couples today focus on unique expressions of style, and I love connecting that with their audience—all in a creative, contemporary and unexpected way.

Humble beginnings.

My career as a wedding and event guitarist began like most fascinating turns in life… by accident.

My sister was getting married on a beach in Tofino, BC. Challenged by the logistics of a remote beach wedding, they asked if I could play acoustic guitar for their ceremony.

Though honoured by the request, I was nervous at the same time. It was unfamiliar musical territory, and I was unsure if my playing would translate to such a different forum.

But it was my sister… who could say no?

Knowing Sarah and James so well, however, gave me a comfortable place to start. As an original musician, I’ve always placed a high priority on authenticity. To me, music needs to be genuine to three things: the performer, the material, and the audience. This was a truly unique occasion—one where I could really focus on music—connecting a couple I knew well, to an audience I knew well.

When putting together their playlist, I started with one question: if this couple could hire their dream performer, who would it be? Who would be standing off to the side strumming a guitar on the beach? With Sarah and James, they went straight to Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews.

This provided a very different vantage-point through which to view wedding music. There’s such a distinct style, charm and creativity with these artists. It gave such a clear frame for building their sound.

The question then became: how might these artists approach different music for an occasion like this? I tried to imagine Dave Matthews at the wedding. What other songs might he choose? How would he lend his unique style to different songs in this setting?

Needless to say, it was a day I’ll never forget—and unbeknownst to me at the time, a new business was born.

From Tofino to Casa Loma and beyond.

Fast forward 12 years later… and here we are… 500+ events down the road.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with hundreds of incredible couples, at some of the most beautiful, stunning, and unexpected venues across the province.

There’s been everything from rustic-chic barns in Muskoka to the urban charm of the Berkeley Church. The quintessential wine-country experience of Cave Spring Vineyard to Malaparte at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Islands in the Kawarthas to the grandeur of Graydon Hall, Langdon Hall and Casa Loma.

While the story continues to evolve, the approach has remained the same—a commitment to clients, creativity, authenticity, and craftsmanship.

Jump to featured playlist

Authenticity, diversity, creativity and craftsmanship.

Live acoustic guitar drives an event in a way that nothing else can. There’s such a natural charm with the instrument and so many ways to make it highly personal, unique and memorable.

As a musician, there are some primary themes in my work: diversity and creativity in material; and authenticity and craftsmanship in its execution. I’ve always been inspired by great songs and sounds, and staying true to what makes them great. The Tragically Hip or Mumford & Sons don’t sound right without custom tunings. Creative interpretations of Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande fall flat if you don’t really do your homework.

Music that bridges a gap.

Music for a wedding needs to prioritize two things—on equal footing: the client, and the music.

Much like with my sister’s wedding, everything starts with the client. Music for a wedding needs to bridge a gap. It needs to be both reflective of the couple’s individual style, and connect with a diverse audience. Every couple I’ve worked with has always been surprised at the level of creativity with which we’re able to approach this.

One of my favourite parts of the process is finding this unique balance for each couple.

A diverse, creative and contemporary playlist.

There’s a certain sound that just works well for weddings. It covers the spectrum from dreamy and romantic, to happy and upbeat. It nods its head to the past, but is firmly planted in the present.

Having a diverse and creative playlist is a cornerstone of my work. Demographically, a wedding audience varies widely. There’s an art to finding the right markers for each generation. For me, great music is great music no matter what era it’s from—and what drives it is style, craftsmanship and artistry.

Building this list has been no easy task. Over the past decade, I’ve spent countless hours finding the right songs. Not just songs that are popular, but ones that are great works in their own right. Plus, they need to sound great on an acoustic guitar—taking advantage of its warmth, charm, intimacy, expansive depth and unique tunings.

This journey—driven in large part by client requests—has taken me all over the map. As a result, you’ll find a playlist that’s rich, well-rounded and unexpected. You’ll hear not just songs from every end of the spectrum, but GREAT songs from every end of the spectrum.

Jump to playlist download

Concert quality sound.

No discussion of music is complete without talking about sound.

As a musician, I naturally place a high priority on sound. While clients may not be aware of the technical details, they appreciate their impact. Great live sound for an event is clean, clear and not overbearing. There’s a level of art, science and experience required to achieve this kind of impact—especially in some of the unique locations I find myself in.

Gibson and Martin Guitars.

My set-up starts with great instruments—Gibson and Martin acoustic guitars. These are simply the best acoustic instruments made. In extremely intimate settings, the guitars are compelling enough in their own right, and require no amplification.

BOSE amplification. Crystal clear and invisible.

When it comes to amplification, I use a BOSE L1 system. It’s tall, narrow, lightweight and almost invisible. Unlike traditional speakers, sound radiates 180 degrees—allowing it to be placed almost anywhere with minimal physical impact. Working with a wireless transmitter, I have complete flexibility in where I can set-up. This is great for two reasons: 1) I can set-up based on YOUR floor plan, and not the other way around; and 2) It will always sound great.

These features are paramount with creative wedding locations. I’ve had speakers hidden in gardens, lodged in the Muskoka woods, and high on the balcony of the Berkeley Church. Not only does everything look good, but it sounds phenomenal—spacious, expansive, crystal-clear, and never overbearing.

Space and impact.

Over the past 12 years, I’ve had the pleasure of performing at some of the most creative, unique and stunning event locations in Ontario.

Each space, large and small, has not only been a rewarding experience, but also an enriching one. Different settings bring out different shades and hues in music—from the pure physics of sound, to the overall feel of the event. Live music plays a unique role in every situation, and I love the process of working closely with clients, coordinators and physical spaces to provide an exceptional result.

Jump to featured playlist

Fun, seamless and worry-free.

Unless you’re an event planner, most people aren’t used to booking musicians or running big events. There are a lot of moving parts, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

When working with clients my approach is simple: I take care of the details so you can have fun choosing music.

In terms of logistics, I’ll walk you through everything step-by-step. With weddings, there are only a few key planning decisions. From there, everything can easily be managed between myself and the venue.

Building the perfect playlist.

The only way to choose music is to listen to it exactly the way it’s going to be played. Not only is it faster and more efficient, but it’s also incredibly fun.

To this end, I’ve always met with clients—either in-person or via video conference—to make song selections. Once you start hearing your selections played live, everything comes to life, and making decisions is much easier. As we get to know each other through this process, we can explore creative boundaries and build the perfect soundtrack for both you and your guests.

Making easy work of the details.

Whether you’re having a small, backyard event, or working with a large venue, my goal is to make the planning process easy, efficient and worry-free. With just a few basic preparations, we can make fast work of the planning when we meet—walking through everything step-by-step.

From there, all you have to do is enjoy your day.

Jump to featured playlist

Humble beginnings.

My career as a wedding and event guitarist began like most fascinating turns in life… by accident.

My sister was getting married on a beach in Tofino, BC. Challenged by the logistics of a remote beach wedding, they asked if I could play acoustic guitar for their ceremony.

Though honoured by the request, I was nervous at the same time. It was unfamiliar musical territory, and I was unsure if my playing would translate to such a different forum.

But it was my sister… who could say no?

Knowing Sarah and James so well, however, gave me a comfortable place to start. As an original musician, I’ve always placed a high priority on authenticity. To me, music needs to be genuine to three things: the performer, the material, and the audience. This was a truly unique occasion—one where I could really focus on music—connecting a couple I knew well, to an audience I knew well.

When putting together their playlist, I started with one question: if this couple could hire their dream performer, who would it be? Who would be standing off to the side strumming a guitar on the beach? With Sarah and James, they went straight to Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews.

This provided a very different vantage-point through which to view wedding music. There’s such a distinct style, charm and creativity with these artists. It gave such a clear frame for building their sound.

The question then became: how might these artists approach different music for an occasion like this? I tried to imagine Dave Matthews at the wedding. What other songs might he choose? How would he lend his unique style to different songs in this setting?

Needless to say, it was a day I’ll never forget—and unbeknownst to me at the time, a new business was born.

From Tofino to Casa Loma and beyond.

Fast forward 12 years later… and here we are… 500+ events down the road.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with hundreds of incredible couples, at some of the most beautiful, stunning, and unexpected venues across the province.

There’s been everything from rustic-chic barns in Muskoka to the urban charm of the Berkeley Church. The quintessential wine-country experience of Cave Spring Vineyard to Malaparte at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Islands in the Kawarthas to the grandeur of Graydon Hall, Langdon Hall and Casa Loma.

While the story continues to evolve, the approach has remained the same—a commitment to clients, creativity, authenticity, and craftsmanship.

Jump to featured playlist

Authenticity, diversity, creativity and craftsmanship.

Live acoustic guitar drives an event in a way that nothing else can. There’s such a natural charm with the instrument and so many ways to make it highly personal, unique and memorable.

As a musician, there are some primary themes in my work: diversity and creativity in material; and authenticity and craftsmanship in its execution. I’ve always been inspired by great songs and sounds, and staying true to what makes them great. The Tragically Hip or Mumford & Sons don’t sound right without custom tunings. Creative interpretations of Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande fall flat if you don’t really do your homework.

Music that bridges a gap.

Music for a wedding needs to prioritize two things—on equal footing: the client, and the music.

Much like with my sister’s wedding, everything starts with the client. Music for a wedding needs to bridge a gap. It needs to be both reflective of the couple’s individual style, and connect with a diverse audience. Every couple I’ve worked with has always been surprised at the level of creativity with which we’re able to approach this.

One of my favourite parts of the process is finding this unique balance for each couple.

A diverse, creative and contemporary playlist.

There’s a certain sound that just works well for weddings. It covers the spectrum from dreamy and romantic, to happy and upbeat. It nods its head to the past, but is firmly planted in the present.

Having a diverse and creative playlist is a cornerstone of my work. Demographically, a wedding audience varies widely. There’s an art to finding the right markers for each generation. For me, great music is great music no matter what era it’s from—and what drives it is style, craftsmanship and artistry.

Building this list has been no easy task. Over the past decade, I’ve spent countless hours finding the right songs. Not just songs that are popular, but ones that are great works in their own right. Plus, they need to sound great on an acoustic guitar—taking advantage of its warmth, charm, intimacy, expansive depth and unique tunings.

This journey—driven in large part by client requests—has taken me all over the map. As a result, you’ll find a playlist that’s rich, well-rounded and unexpected. You’ll hear not just songs from every end of the spectrum, but GREAT songs from every end of the spectrum.

Jump to featured playlist

Concert quality sound.

No discussion of music is complete without talking about sound.

As a musician, I naturally place a high priority on sound. While clients may not be aware of the technical details, they appreciate their impact. Great live sound for an event is clean, clear and not overbearing. There’s a level of art, science and experience required to achieve this kind of impact—especially in some of the unique locations I find myself in.

Gibson and Martin Guitars.

My set-up starts with great instruments—Gibson and Martin acoustic guitars. These are simply the best acoustic instruments made. In extremely intimate settings, the guitars are compelling enough in their own right, and require no amplification.

BOSE amplification. Crystal clear and invisible.

When it comes to amplification, I use a BOSE L1 system. It’s tall, narrow, lightweight and almost invisible. Unlike traditional speakers, sound radiates 180 degrees—allowing it to be placed almost anywhere with minimal physical impact. Working with a wireless transmitter, I have complete flexibility in where I can set-up. This is great for two reasons: 1) I can set-up based on YOUR floor plan, and not the other way around; and 2) It will always sound great.

These features are paramount with creative wedding locations. I’ve had speakers hidden in gardens, lodged in the Muskoka woods, and high on the balcony of the Berkeley Church. Not only does everything look good, but it sounds phenomenal—spacious, expansive, crystal-clear, and never overbearing.

Space and impact.

Over the past 12 years, I’ve had the pleasure of performing at some of the most creative, unique and stunning event locations in Ontario.

Each space, large and small, has not only been a rewarding experience, but also an enriching one. Different settings bring out different shades and hues in music—from the pure physics of sound, to the overall feel of the event. Live music plays a unique role in every situation, and I love the process of working closely with clients, coordinators and physical spaces to provide an exceptional result.

Jump to featured playlist

Fun, seamless and worry-free entertainment.

Unless you’re an event planner, most people aren’t used to booking musicians or running big events. There are a lot of moving parts, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

When working with clients my approach is simple: I take care of the details so you can have fun choosing music.

In terms of logistics, I’ll walk you through everything step-by-step. With weddings, there are only a few key planning decisions. From there, everything can easily be managed between myself and the venue.

Building the perfect playlist.

The only way to choose music is to listen to it exactly the way it’s going to be played. Not only is it faster and more efficient, but it’s also incredibly fun.

To this end, I’ve always met with clients—either in-person or via video conference—to make song selections. Once you start hearing your selections played live, everything comes to life, and making decisions is much easier. As we get to know each other through this process, we can explore creative boundaries and build the perfect soundtrack for both you and your guests.

Making easy work of the details.

Whether you’re having a small, backyard event, or working with a large venue, my goal is to make the planning process easy, efficient and worry-free. With just a few basic preparations, we can make fast work of the planning when we meet—walking through everything step-by-step.

From there, all you have to do is enjoy your day.

Jump to featured playlist

Music – Playlist, Artists.

There’s a certain sound that just works well for weddings. It covers the spectrum from dreamy and romantic, to happy and upbeat. It nods its head to the past, but is firmly planted in the present.

What’s always drawn clients to my work are unique sounds and artist selections. They’re generally not looking for something typical. I’ve always focused on an artful approach to framing and blending music so that it’s creative, interesting, unexpected and authentic. And of course, doing so in a way that provides a beautiful backdrop for a wedding.

When it comes to specific music selections, there’s no shortage of incredible material to draw from. One of the greatest things about the acoustic guitar is its versatility. It’s the bedrock for so many classic songs both past and present—in so many different genres of music.

On an acoustic guitar, you can go from the Tragically Hip to Justin Bieber; Frank Sinatra to Ed Sheeran; the Beatles to James Bay; Radiohead to Ariana Grande… and it’s seamless.

My current playlist sits at just over 130 songs, and new ones are being added all the time. As the list has evolved over the years, there’s been a stable core of great acoustic guitar songs that are quintessential markers for each generation.

Details.

Making things fun, easy and worry-free.

When working with wedding couples, my number one goal is to make things fun, easy, seamless and worry-free.

Below you’ll find a quick overview of the booking and preparation process, along with answers to the most common questions.

Ensuring the right fit.

Once we connect via e-mail and I get some basic details about your day, I will pass along some pricing information and a complete playlist.

When we’ve established that there’s a good fit, most couples will formally secure their date with a contract and deposit. That said, I’m happy to have an initial consultation via phone/video-conference to answer any questions.

Securing your date—contract and deposit.

To formally secure your date, all that is required is a signed contract and deposit.

The contract is straightforward—clarifying the details of the event, along with basic requirements. The deposit amount is 50% of the final balance and is non-refundable.

First-right-of-refusal: You are also welcome to ask for the first-right-of-refusal for a date. In this instance, we would have a draft contract on file. If another couple wishes to book the date, you would have the first option to formally secure it with a deposit.

Fees, performance-packages and what’s included.

When charging for a wedding, I always do a customized flat fee. No two events are alike, and prices vary with travel and other minor requirements.

As a business, my priority is to provide exceptional service at a reasonable price. An important part of that is keeping things simple—with a firm, fixed quote that includes all travel, sound-equipment and tax.

Ceremony and cocktail-hour performance: The most popular performance package is 2.5 hours. I’ll perform for 30 minutes prior to the ceremony, during the cues for the ceremony, and 90 minutes for cocktails.

Custom song: As part of this fee, I will learn one custom song for a special cue.

Pre-wedding meeting: The fee includes a meeting prior to the wedding where we review details and audition songs live—in-person or via video-conference.

Location changes: Most weddings involve one location change and are not subject to any additional fee.

Ceremony-only performance: Ceremony-only performances are also available, though most couples choose the longer time frame. This package is 1.25 hours. I’ll perform for 30 minutes prior to the ceremony, during the cues for the ceremony, and 15 minutes afterward as guests make their way to the cocktail hour.

Choosing music.

The only way to choose music is to listen to it exactly the way it’s going to be played. Not only is it faster and more efficient, but it’s also incredibly fun.

To this end, I’ve always met with clients—either in-person or via video conference—to make song selections. We’ll do this anywhere from three to six months prior to the wedding date.

Once you start hearing your selections played live, everything comes to life, and making decisions is much easier. As we get to know each other through this process, we can explore creative boundaries and build the perfect soundtrack for both you and your guests.

Making easy work of the details.

Whether you’re having a small, backyard event, or working with a large venue, my goal is to make the planning process fast, easy and efficient. With just a few basic preparations, we can make fast work of the logistics when we meet—walking through everything step-by-step.

I’m also happy to liaise directly with your venue and wedding planner regarding technical requirements.

From there, all you have to do is enjoy your day.

The
Venues.

From Canoe to the Canadian Canoe Museum.

There’s a creativity with modern weddings and events that I absolutely love… especially when it comes to venues.

Locations have varied as much as styles…with everything from rustic-chic barns in Muskoka to the urban charm of the Berkeley Church. The quintessential wine-country experience of Cave Spring Vineyard, to Malaparte at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Islands in the Kawarthas, to the grandeur of Graydon Hall, Langdon Hall and Casa Loma.

The weekend went off without a hitch, and one of the most memorable parts was the amazing set that Jake played for our ceremony and cocktail reception.

Colin & Sasha – London, On, Canada

Thank you so much for helping to make our Wedding Day extremely memorable and absolutely perfect! We really appreciate all of the hard work you put in before and during our wedding to help make our day unforgettable. Thank you for learning to play a song just for us. It was absolutely amazing! The music was beautiful and really helped set the mood for the ceremony and cocktail hour. Many of our guests said that the sound of the acoustic guitar added an elegant final touch to our wedding!

Colleen & Matt

Havelock, ON, Canada

We had Jake perform during our wedding ceremony and cocktail reception. Our guests confirmed that Jake’s involvement our wedding helped convey the style and atmosphere we were going for. We knew Jake would be a hit because we had the pleasure to hear him play in our own living room months earlier. We reflect back on that evening, in the midst of our hectic wedding planning, as such a great way to take a break from our chaos, and look forward to the joy ahead. Jake’s performance of Crash by Dave Matthews Band was so good that it made us change our mind on our most important cue – the Bride’s walk down the aisle. Such a song, and the way it was played so wonderfully, was exactly the kind of unique and love-inspiring feature that we wanted our wedding to be all about, which Jake helped us deliver on.

Lynn & Mack

Toronto, ON, Canada

Thanks so much for making our wedding day extra special.  As both Anthony and I play guitar, we thought that having a guitarist play for our ceremony and cocktail hour would be very fitting and you certainly did not disappoint. We loved how you spun more contemporary music into wedding-appropriate renditions. Special thanks for working so hard on Muse’s “Starlight”, and taking the time to record your work in progress so that we could be a part of the process. We appreciated your genuine interest in making our day turn out how we had in mind, not to mention your professionalism throughout the entire planning process. Thanks again.

Jen & Anthony

Calgary, AB, Canada