A while back — quite a while actually — when Mr. K and I were getting married, we were looking for wedding services that were low cost, high quality, and quick/easy to do business with. We were in somewhat of a hurry. Despite my future brother-in-law’s sniggers and innuendo, we were simply trying to get the wedding together to coincide with my future in-laws’ visit from afar, not slap together a shotgun wedding. We had one month to arrange everything. Most of our plans went pretty smoothly, but I was having a hard time putting a check mark next to “wedding cake.” With about 2 weeks to go, I was getting frantic. A friend said, “Why don’t you just go to Borracchini’s?” Why indeed. First of all, Borracchini’s was a large enough operation that they would not be all booked up on such short notice. Their prices were far lower than the boutique bakeries I had been considering. And most importantly, when I questioned other acquaintances I heard resounding sounds of “Yum!” from everyone who knew of them. Borracchini’s sounded perfect. I was not so different from most brides in that I had dreams and fantasies about every detail of my big day. The cake? It would be a mocha-vanilla swirl with coconut frosting and fudge-chocolate piping at the edges. Don’t ask me why. Then along came Reality: Borracchini’s didn’t have that. And no, they wouldn’t make it. Today, their website indicates 8 available cake flavors. Back then I think it was 5. “Can’t they just run over to the store and get different ingredients? No? Why? WHY?” Well, it turns out that the reason why was irrelevant. Those were the terms of their business model and I was perfectly free to shop elsewhere. In true free market fashion, I could accept their low price, their delicious but limited-choice-flavor cake, their reliable quality, and the peace of mind to know they could take my very late notice order, or I could walk away and keep searching. Fast forward two weeks: the cake was amazing. Even all these years later I remember how light and moist it was, with the perfect level of sweetness. In fact I have to stop thinking of it right now or I will devote myself to becoming a diabetic by living on nothing but Borracchini cake, for however short that life may be.
I have become a bit like Borracchini’s. I am pretty sure I charge less than other harpists in the Puget Sound area, but I believe my quality and experience is worth every penny, just as Borracchini’s was for us. But I am mostly like Borracchini’s in that I have a certain repertoire, like a menu of flavors, and have become less and less willing to “go cook something else” like I did earlier in my career. This is hard to say without sounding rude, so let me first assure you that if I am the right harpist for you, your happiness on wedding day will be supremely important to me. But… I won’t bake you an Owl City, a Taylor Swift, or a Beyonce if it isn’t already in my cupboard. Put more plainly, as much as I’d like to (really!), I don’t offer “special requests.” The menu here at Chez HarpMyDay changes and evolves, and I hope that it will always include a satisfying array of choices for my wedding clients. Part of my free consultation includes playing my harp for prospective couples by phone or in person, giving a taste of what I can play. Although I do not offer special requests, there are plenty of harpists who do. I will do my best to hook you up with one if that is what you need. They will charge more than I do and you will very likely be fine with that. But for those who find me on the internet, like my pricing, but want what I don’t offer — I am sorry. I must wish you well and send you to another musician. Sometimes that is the best way to show you that your happiness on wedding day really is supremely important to me.