We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about wedding music and our services. As wedding musicians, we run into the same questions and situations quite frequently; this page should help you in your wedding music planning.
What are your rates?
Our rates are higher than a solo pianist or organist would be - you are hiring two musicians. However, they are significantly less than a larger group such as a quartet. Our base rate for a 2015 wedding ceremony package is $500. The quote will depend on distance from our home base, and whether you choose to hire us for any additional services.
Can you play for our cocktail hour?
We certainly can, and we do that quite often. We change up our music to a more bouncy feel, often adding light percussion and/or vocals if desired (still as a duo). We play until the guests are invited for the meal and your DJ or wedding reception band takes over. Having us play for your cocktail hour is a really nice way to transition from ceremony to party.
Can you play for our reception?
We are not a party band by any means, and we advise that you hire a DJ or a larger band for your reception. However we will gladly play some light dinner music during your meal, before the dancing begins.
Then why wouldn't the DJ just play the music for our ceremony as well as for the reception? Well, recorded tracks are certainly an option, but there is nothing more romantic or more personal than live music, played just for you , as you walk down that aisle. Also, changing from romantic live music to party DJ provides an excellent flow to your wedding, giving each part of the day its own unique feel.
Do you charge for overtime?
We like our brides and grooms to relax on their wedding day, and not to have to worry about time ticking by. Therefore what we offer is a package deal, and we will not charge you any overtime at all unless there is a very, very long delay, which is quite uncommon. For a ceremony, we play from 30 minutes before scheduled start time to the end of the recessional, and add a song or two after that. For a cocktail hour we play until the guests are invited to dinner/luncheon. We don't mind playing a little extra here and there, and “it all comes out in the wash”.
My sister wants to sing. Can you play for her?
Yes, we can. It is very special to have people you know participating in your ceremony, and we would be glad to accommodate this. We would be more than happy to accompany singers or other instrumentalists that you may want to participate in your ceremony. The performance during the ceremony is included in the basic wedding rate, however, a charge will apply for a separate rehearsal if it is necessary. Rehearsals to take place in our usual practice location.
Will you play for our wedding rehearsal?
We have found that rehearsal attendance is not usually necessary, if details are communicated accurately to us prior to the wedding day. However, if our calendars allow, and travel distance is not great, one of us would be more than happy to attend if it makes the wedding participants feel more comfortable. An extra charge will apply for rehearsals.
We have a coordinator at our venue. We have an event planner. How do we get you all to be on the same page? And what about our officiant?
We are firm believers in joining efforts with everyone involved so that your wedding runs smoothly and beautifully. We take care of calling the venue and your planner in advance in order to coordinate all the logistics for you. We also call your officiant in order to introduce ourselves and to make sure everything is clear with regards to the music within the ceremony and the words that will be said just prior to the recessional.
We are getting married in a church. Can we have any music we want?
Many churches have special rules concerning music selections. We always call ahead for you to get the guidelines, and if necessary, we call again to clear your selections with the church staff.
Can you play for a wedding that is a Catholic mass?
We have a lot of experience with Catholic weddings. And since we are also vocalists, we can even sing Ave Maria for you, and The Lord's Prayer, and any other hymn that you request.
How about a Jewish wedding?
Daphna is a klezmer violinist and she can sing and play many songs in Hebrew and Yiddish. Bruce is very familiar with Jewish material and even plays the tambourine and the guitar simultaneously for the traditional recessional!
Do you use amplification?
Sometimes. Whether we need to amplify and how much depends on the size of the wedding and on the setting. We are completely self-contained and have various levels of amplification that we can bring, from a very small boost for the guitar only, all the way to concert level amplification.
What will you wear?
We can dress as formally or informally as you like. If you communicate the colors of your wedding and the atmosphere of the building, we will be sure not to clash..
I don't know anything about wedding music. Will you help?
Of course! That is an integral part of our job. We are happy to spend as much time as you need selecting the pieces and planning the music. We can meet in person, talk on the phone or do it all by email, whatever you prefer. We tailor each wedding to your taste and vision, and we use our experience to guide you through the process of finding what you love, while keeping you out of “wedding music trouble”.
My fiance and I know exactly what songs we want, but not all of them are on your list. Can you learn something for us?
Certainly! We love it when brides and grooms point us to a new song. We are happy to learn a song special for you, free of any additional charge, provided that it is suitable for guitar and violin, and that we can find the sheet music (although for some songs sheet music is not necessary).
How much music should I have?
There are many places during and around the wedding ceremony that music can be placed. It is common to have a prelude of around 20 minutes (usually turning into close to 30 as it is uncommon for a wedding to start right on time). The processionals and bride's entrance are almost always accompanied by music. Some other places during the service where music is appropriate: lighting of mother's candle, lighting of unity candle, and Communion. You can select the music, leave it completely up to us, or anywhere in between.
My friend/sister/mother/cat had an awful experience with her wedding music - the quartet stopped playing before she finished walking down the aisle...how can I prevent something like this from happening?
The more variables and complexity in a ceremony, the more potential there is for something to go wrong. However we have a lot of ceremony experience and we are able to communicate well with each other as we play, so we rarely experience situations in which something goes noticeably wrong. Here's how to be sure nothing goes wrong with your wedding music, and especially your processional.
- Choose music with good stopping points. We can help you with this
- Don't stop walking halfway down the aisle (or tell us if you are going to)! We need to be able to time when you will arrive at the front of the room.
- Don't sprint! As nervous as you may be, try to walk slowly so we have time to play more than a few bars of music.
- Place the musicians where they can see what's going on. If we're behind a large column and our view of the aisle is blocked off, it will be difficult to know when to stop playing. Take into account the fact that guests usually stand up for the bride, and we are sitting down.
- If something unusual is planned (such as walking to the front, going up the steps, going around the altar, and walking back down the steps), let us know!
- Make sure all the people involved in the processional know their cues.
- Make sure we are well informed. Who's walking in the processional? In what order?
- We need a few seconds to transition between processional songs (and sometimes to quickly re-tune). Don't be in a hurry to start walking before you get your cue.
- If you change anything at the last minute (such as at the rehearsal), let us know!
We have heard many stories about musicians being particular about the temperature. Are these stories true?
Our instruments are made of delicate wood, and if they get wet or are exposed to direct sun they will be ruined. Therefore we must have shade/shelter. It could be an overhang, trees or an umbrella, but we must have shade and we must not be rained upon.