A “No Regrets” Wedding – Every Brides Goal

Every bride has the goal of hiring the best vendors for a reasonable price for their wedding day. Like any service industry, there can be great wedding ceremony musicians and then those that are not so great. We recently received a sad email from a bride that chose to hire another group for her ceremony.

“I just wanted to let your group know that I was WRONG. I should have hired YOU for my wedding… Instead, I hired *****, because they were a preferred vendor of my wedding planner. I was wrong! The string quartet was NOT paying attention to ANY of cues that my wedding planner was giving them. One of my ushers told me that part of my bridal party walked down the aisle to NO music. When my husband kissed me they were suppose to start playing, but they didn’t start until we were halfway back down the aisle. AND one of the members of the quartet was TEXTING during the whole ceremony!!! I know your group would have NEVER been that unprofessional. I don’t plan on getting married again, but if I ever need a string quartet I will be sure to call you first.”

This experience illuminates the need to research your potential vendor beyond the friendly recommendation. But how do you do that and what do you look for? Here are some tips for assessing wedding ceremony musicians before you make your final decision.

1. Find a Group That Maintains Consistent Members
Some agents put together groups of musicians for events. If the “A” list is already booked, you may get the “second string” and not the musicians you think you hired. The ensemble and professionalism of a group that rehearses and performs together on a regular basis will always be superior to a “pick up” group thrown together for the job. Look for groups that post pictures on their web site. Those that utilize groups of recruited musicians avoid including their pictures up for fear of comparison.

2. The Importance of the Vendor Contract
A String Quartet has been working in the wedding and event business for a reasonable length of time and in a professional manner will have a contract that both you and they sign. Make sure that you understand the details of the contractual agreement such as length of playing time, breaks for the musicians, additional travel expenses, and non-refundable deposits.

3. Ask For a Repertoire List
If the group is rehearsing and performing regularly, they should have a standard set of literature from which they draw. Ask for their repertoire list before you sign the contract so that you are assured that they have the music you want available for your event. If you have a special request that is not in the quartet’s standard repertoire, is the group able to arrange the music? Keep in mind that arranging music requires many hours of work. Depending on the piece, there may be an additional charge.

4. Hire a String Quartet Instead of a Smaller Ensemble
Unlike other small ensembles, string quartets have the largest repertoire to choose from and produce a rich and full sound. The missing part(s) do make a HUGE difference, with the smaller ensemble sounding thinner. The music of a duet or trio generates a diminished volume which will have difficulty filling a large hall. The performance lacks the lush sound people have come to expect.

Hopefully, with a little time invested, you will be assured of having musicians at your wedding that will meet if not exceed your expectations. On your special day, your attention can be on the beauty and sentiment of the ceremony and not distracted by a group that views your special day as just another job.

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Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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