Brides, if you are planning your weddings and haven't yet found your Birmingham wedding ceremony musicians, and you love great music, we're here to introduce you to Susie Shortt, better known as Susie the Wedding Fiddler. Susie has been playing the violin almost all her life, and since she started playing at Birmingham weddings about ten years ago, you could say that Susie the Wedding Fiddler has become a quite a name in the wedding industry.
We wanted to know more about Susie and her craft, and more importantly, we wanted you to know more about her, so please enjoy this short Q&A with one of the most talented ceremony musicians in Birmingham, Susie the Wedding Fiddler!
How did your get your start on the violin?
I started at age 4.
Ten years ago, I had life changing events that made me re-evaluate my life. I asked myself, "what makes Susie happy?" I was performing weddings back then, but as a hobby. After I overcame my illness, layoff, and divorce, etc., I decided to invest my 401K earnings into a full-time career as "Susie the Wedding Fiddler" and created my own business.
What kind of music is your specialty?
I love bluegrass/old-timey gospel/blues/jazz.
Where did your love for those styles come from?
As I studied classical, I always loved bluegrass and gospel, [and from] listening to Elvis gospel records growing up.
What are some of your favorite songs to play on the fiddle for Birmingham weddings?
"Summertime," "At Last," "Ashokan Farwell," "The Ludlows," "Butterfly Waltz," "Cannon in D," and "Arioso."
What's the best thing about Birmingham weddings?
There are so many great venues. From B'Ham Botantical Gardens, The Sonnet House, Weddings at the Willows; The Rucker House; historical homes; Vulcan....the list goes on and on and on.
What are some wedding trends you're loving right now?
Sunday and weekday weddings. A lot of venues, due to the economy, are giving brides discounts if they have their wedding on an alternative day such as Sunday or midweek. The traditional day is Saturday but I am seeing a lot of afternoon, morning, and evening affairs. The "it" color this year is Tiffany Blue. Burlap, mason jars, and country-cottage-chic is in. Popular songs from movies are a trend. Brides want to have a violinist play "A Thousand Years" or selections from Disney's Frozen. I always have to keep up with the latest song. That is what I love about what I do. Most any song can be transcribed to violin. I try to capture the original artist and play it as the original but have it interpret on the violin. For example, "At Last." When you close your eyes you can hear Etta's voice but it's singing through my instrument. I had one client say to me, "Susie, you make that fiddle 'sing.'" My job was complete. What I love to do is, I try to cater to each couples individual music style. Try to make it personal and special. I get so many compliments as guests come up to me and say, "You are truly beautiful." "Your music spoke to me." I had a guest come up to me recently and I was playing in Tennessee outside the Smoky Mountains and she said "Susie, you made me cry. It was like the mountains were speaking through your music." Again, I did my job. I thank God every day to do what I do. It's not a job, it's a gift and a calling. I get lost in my work every day. I am so blessed to meet wonderful people and beautiful venues and vendors each and every weekend.
Name one thing we may be surprised to learn about you.
I love to read about civil war history and travel to reenactments.
Brides, if you're interesting in booking Susie for your upcoming Birmingham weddings, act fast! She books one to three years in advance! (Don't say you're surprised! We told you she was the best!)
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