The music you choose for your wedding is a reflection of yourself. It will set the scene, create the atmosphere, and highlight the joy and solemnity of the day, and remain in your memories forever. Not only is the style of music you choose important, but also the instruments you choose and musicians you select! Finding the right fit of all three factors may seem like a daunting task.
When selecting musicians, the first thing you will need to consider if what instrumentation is right for you. You will need to think about the size of the room where your ceremony will take place, how many people will be attending, as well as what your venue will allow (some churches require that you use their musicians while others will not allow any non-sacred music to be played). The musicians should be willing and able to discuss your needs and provide some ensemble options for you to choose from.
Start calling musicians as soon as possible after you’ve decided on the type of music. Musicians who play for weddings are booked 12-18 months in advance and may not be available for your date and time if you wait to call. When you call a musician, have your date, time and place ready for them. They will also want to know if you plan on having your ceremony indoors or outdoors. If your ceremony will be outdoors, you will need to verify that the musicians will agree to play outdoors. Some musicians choose not to perform outdoors, or to charge an additional fee due to the ware and tear on their instrument from the elements. When you are gathering price quotes, be sure to confirm with the musician that there are no hidden fees in addition to the price they are quoting you.
Once you’ve gathered all the information you need, make an educated decision on who to hire. A good rule to go by is figuring out what is in your budget for music and hiring the highest quality musician you can for that amount even if it means possibly cutting back the length of time they will be playing. This is a once in a lifetime event that will remain in your heart and mind throughout your lifetime, you should feel you chose the highest quality your budget could allow. Beware that the level of a musician is not evident by their price quote, you may want to ask what experience they have and if they could provide any references.
After you’ve made your decision, be sure to call this musician back immediately as they receive many inquiries and may not be available for your date if you wait to call and reserve their services. Most musicians will only reserve the date and time when a contract and deposit has been received. Relying on a phone conversation is not a safe route and I highly discourage anyone from taking someone’s ‘word’ as reliable. Your agreement should be in writing and include all the details necessary for the music at your event.
Closer to your wedding date, you should get in contact with your musicians to confirm all of the details and ask any remaining questions. Be sure to clarify any payment issues so that you do not have to worry about such things on your big day.
Music compromises approximately 70% of the average wedding ceremony. Be sure that you put as much effort into finding the right music for your wedding as finding the right dress or flowers.
Marguerite is a highly respected and trustworthy Wedding Harpist in Chicago, IL and webmaster of www.mlwharp.com