Cara had never sung in front of anyone before until the moment she performed on her WEDDING DAY! But it gets better. As if the debut of her voice on her wedding day in front of their combined family and friends wasn’t enough, she decided to one-up herself and sing an original song she had written about their love story. Was this just an insane overreach or a truly momentous act of courage, inspired by love? And more to the point, was she able to pull it off?
Alanna from Coach Music Academy captures the romance-inspired tale...
Firstly, tell us a little about your love story and how it eventuated to you writing a personal song about it?
‘Leigh and I have been together forever (17 years on our wedding day) and throughout that time he’s always been the more romantic one. So I wanted to do something special as a surprise for him on our special day and thought singing a song would be perfect. I originally thought I would perform a cover, but with Alanna’s help and support, I realised writing and performing an original wasn’t impossible!’
What was your biggest challenge in the lead up to singing at your wedding (other than the flower arrangements)?
‘Haha the flowers weren’t stressful at all! The main stressors were the song and the weather! I was really, really nervous given I hadn’t been having lessons for that long and would be singing in front of my closest friends and family. I was so worried about making a fool of myself. The biggest challenge was making myself believe I could do it, and do it well. There were tears and lots of pep talks required. Ultimately what helped what the few people who knew what I was planning all saying the same thing, ‘It doesn’t matter how well you sing it, it matters that you’re doing this. That you’re singing a song you wrote as a gift to Leigh’. That helped a lot.’
You started singing lessons 8 months before your wedding. Did you always imagine you would sing on your big day?
‘No, I never thought I would sing at my wedding! I started lessons just so I could feel comfortable and confident singing along with my guitar, but when we got engaged I knew I wanted to perform something as a surprise present for Leigh.’
Can you describe the feeling in that moment (in detail), singing for your husband, for the first time, in front of all your family and friends?
You know I actually can’t really remember the exact feelings. The whole day went so fast and some bits are such a blur. I remember being really nervous before hand hiding in that front room with Alanna and then thinking, ‘Oh well you’ve gotta do it, so get up there and stop stressing’. Then I remember part way through thinking, ‘Oh god I’m actually doing this’ and then momentarily thinking ‘Am I on pitch?’ 😂
After it was done, I was proud of myself. Especially when I saw the effect it had on Leigh and my mum. I was also very glad that Leigh was standing a bit separate to the other guests so I could pretend they weren’t there!
What are the top three lessons you learnt from the whole experience?
‘Top three lessons I’ve learned:
1. Relax. You’ll feel better and sing better. Close your eyes if that helps!!
2. You are your own harshest critic. No one will hear the missed notes you hear or notice you didn’t breath right! 😆
3. Don’t overthink it. Kinda similar to #1 but trust that you’ve put in the work and that your coach would tell you if you actually weren’t ready to perform!!’
Do you now have more confidence in yourself and your passion for singing now?
‘My confidence has definitely increased. I’m not as nervous singing in front of people now. Passion probably hasn’t changed much, but my lessons and practice are more fun now without the pressure and nerves!!
And I guess I just want to say that none of this would have been possible without Alanna. My first lesson with Alanna I could barely look her in the eyes to sing in front of her. I was that nervous and it didn’t help that I knew her through a mutual friend. It took me so long to feel I was singing ‘properly’ in front of her. She was so patient and never made me feel embarrassed. And seriously, she deserves a medal for all the pep talks, support and encouragement she gave me in the lead up to my wedding. And then for her to come along and accompany me on guitar and to quietly sing next to me so I felt more confident getting my pitch right.....I’m not sure I would’ve gone through with it without her coming along and supporting me. So thank you Alanna!!’
Alanna is one of Australia’s premier vocal coaches with Coach Music Academy. If you’re interested in singing and/or learning music for your special day or just like Cara to try it out, Coach Music Academy has centres across Melbourne with friendly, industry-experienced teachers ready to work with you and your goals.