Phyllis Mauney: Have harp, will travelPhyllis Mauney: retired Marine, career musician and, most likely, the Lowcountry resident who has played harp for the higher number of presidents.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps E-9 gunnery sergeant Phyllis Mauney has never fired a weapon, but she wields a mean harp.

The 57-year-old Bluffton resident, who moved to the area in 2005, joined the Corps in 1978 after auditioning for “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band. After years with the Marines and performing with symphonies, she’s now a freelance harpist. But she doesn’t carry her harp around in a hip holster; it’s a 75-pound, 46-string load that she delivers and sets up by her diminutive self. “It fits nicely into my van, but sometimes I call on a friend to help,” she says.

Music is a huge part of the wedding festivities. It is important to understand what you and your fiancé want, and what your guests enjoy. If you plan to marry in a church, be sure to speak with the minister and have him involved in planning the music for your ceremony.

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