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Hiring a Musician

Live music sets the stage: Live music adds to the ceremony and can be as soft or dramatic as you choose. Throughout the following pages, you will find a variety of musicians to select from: individual pianists, harpists, trumpeters, string quartets, and brass quartets - just about any combination you want. Most musicians are very affordable and will accommodate your requests.

Be creative with your selection of musicians and songs: You'll enjoy selecting music with special meaning for you and your groom. If you can't decide what you want, talk with some of the musicians, listen to their demo tapes, and view their song lists. Musicians are usually very helpful and will gladly offer ideas and suggestions to make your wedding special and meaningful.

Approve your ceremony music selections with clergy: Make sure your clergyman is aware of your music selections. Ask whether there are any restrictions on music. Some ministers insist on approving all the music prior to the ceremony. Your favorite love song may seem offensive to the clergy; neither you nor your musicians will enjoy any last-minute confrontations.

Be sure to find out about the musicians' requirements: They may need to set up and warm up before the event begins. Make sure the ceremony or event site is open at least one to two hours before. A music rehearsal may conflict with your photographs, but the solution is to plan ahead and inform the musicians and the photographer of each other's needs.

Amplification equipment: Help the musicians coordinate any necessary amplification equipment. Find out ahead of time if the church or hall has a PA system. If so, ask whether the church will permit you to use the system for your wedding. Find out whether it is compatible with the musicians' equipment (many churches have older systems with incompatible microphones).

Plan how to start the ceremony music: Prelude music is a nice touch as the guests are being escorted into the church. To start the processional music, have someone signal the musicians at the appropriate time. Setting a specific time doesn't always work because guests may still be coming in, or delays may get in the way of starting the ceremony on time. One way to handle this is to have your clergyman signal the musicians to start the processional music after a nod from the father of the bride. Also provide your priest, judge, or pastor and the musicians with a cue sheet. The officiant can unknowingly cut off your well-planned music.

Hire for both ceremony and reception: Most musicians can perform at both the ceremony and reception. Ask your musician if he can do both; some individual musicians can add other instruments on to make a trio or quartet.

10 Questions to ask your Band or Musicians:

  1. How many wedding have you performed at? Do you have references?
  2. How much time do you need to set up?
  3. How many people are in your group?
  4. Do you handle requests?
  5. Do you take breaks?
  6. Have you played at my venue?
  7. Do you bring your own equipment? If so, what?
  8. Do you have insurance?
  9. Can I hear a demo and will the players on the demo be performing at my wedding?
  10. What do you wear?