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Mar 23, 2020

Today’s PODCAST will cover working with ceremony musicians. Anytime you have the opportunity and financial resources to hire quality musicians, do it! Don’t get me wrong, recorded music works well but there’s an excitement and resonance that accompanies the sound of music wafting through the air played live, right in front of you.

Tip Number 1:  When hiring musicians make sure it shows on the contract if they are playing the prelude music. The prelude music typically begins 30-45 minutes before the ceremony begins while guests are ushered to their seats. This point is crucial because most brides only think that you need 1hour for music and that’s not necessarily the case.  Allow me to break it down. During the processional, which is the entrance of the grandparents, parents, officiant and wedding party, you’ll need one song played while they walk down the aisle. A second song can be chosen as the bridesmaids and groomsmen are making their way down unless you decide to use the same song used earlier in the processional. Then, a third song for YOUR bridal entrance. Let’s not forget if you decide to have additional songs for the unity ceremony or a song before the pronouncement. But wait, there’s more. Musicians will need to play the recessional song as the wedding party exits the ceremony. As guests are leaving their seats you will need postlude music which is played until the last guest exits so this can be 5 minutes to 20 minutes of music and musicians are paid by the hour.

Tip Number 2: Communicate clearly with your musicians the exact  location, time, and size of your event. This becomes extremely helpful if your venue has multiple spaces for ceremonies.

Tip Number 3: Wedding musicians customarily have a list of songs for you to listen to online and they definitely should have a list of songs they can send you for consideration. I had a consultation with a violinist once over the phone with the bride. During the call the bride asked if he knew a particular song, I can’t remember the title. But he said wait a minute let me play a piece of it for you right now. Within seconds we had a mini concert performed over the phone. It was absolutely a treat for our ears and needless to say he was hired!

Tip Number 4: If you have a special song request not listed in their suite of music usually, they’ll download the sheet music, learn the song and charge an additional fee.

Tip Number 5: Also, on the contract it should indicate what instruments will be used. For example, if you want a duo that consists of a violin and cello it should reflect that on the contract.

Tip Number 6: Whenever musicians are playing an outdoor event they need and should be set up in a shaded area or under a tent. Their contracts will also stipulate what weather conditions in which they will not play.

Tip Number 7:Musicians usually wear black clothing to events. However, some of them are open to wearing your choice of outfit. For instance, instead of men wearing suits they may wear a dress pant and shirt without a tie. Just discuss wardrobe preferences during your consultation.

Tip Number 8: As the musicians are setting up for your ceremony, they’ll want to know who is going to give them the cue to begin music. If you have a wedding planner or coordinator then they will check in with each other and discuss cues. For outdoor weddings I have a retractable five-foot-long white flag, otherwise know as my wedding wand that I wave discretely away from guests but in full view of the musicians when it is time to begin each piece.

Tip Number 9: Find a reputable company that’s professional, a website to listen to their music and one who provides you with a contract.

Tip Number 10:Have fun selecting the music for your ceremony and work closely with the musician regarding your preferences.

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