*Photo via Marry Me Tampa Bay
Live musicians add a beautiful romantic quality to a wedding ceremony. Whether you are dreaming of walking down the aisle to a string quartet, acoustic guitar, or a harp, you can be assured that a live musician will take this important moment in your life to the next level. Before getting too far ahead, however, it is vital that you find a ceremony musician or group that perfectly suits your needs and style. If you are in the process of booking your ceremony musicians, be sure to ask these important questions to help you find your ideal match.
Are you available for my wedding date?
This is pretty self-explanatory – if they aren’t free, you are going to have to keep looking! Try to get this information during your initial communication so that you aren’t wasting your time on an unavailable performer.
What songs are in your portfolio? Are you able to prepare arrangements I request? Do you play religious songs or hymns?
Many musicians will include a list of songs they can play on their website or by request, as well as video or audio clips of them performing. If there is a song that you want to be played that isn’t on their list, ask if they are able to prepare it. Keep in mind that this may result in extra charges. Additionally, if you want to tie religion into the music, you’ll want to make sure they are able to play the songs you require.
Do you have any song recommendations that work well with my wedding style and venue?
Some musicians will be hands-on in helping you create the performance list, while others prefer the clients to pick what they want. If it’s important to you to get a bit of help curating the list, see if they’ll offer up suggestions to make the performance as successful as possible.
Do you have any requirements for playing at my venue?
If your ceremony will be outdoors, you’ll want to make sure the musicians have all that they need for their comfort and optimal playing. This might mean coverage from the sun, wind, or rain, a hard surface floor, and comfortable chairs without arms. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, they may also need a certain audio system so that they can actually be heard – ask if this is something they provide, or if you’ll need to source it.
What is your dress code?
You don’t want your musicians to come to your black-tie wedding in jeans and flip flops. Ask what they’d be wearing, so that they don’t stick out like a sore thumb. Most musicians will have a go-to wedding outfit, and groups will often coordinate so that their looks complement each other.
Who is the back-up performer if an emergency comes up?
If your musician (or one of the members in the group) falls ill or encounters an emergency on the day of your wedding, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan B person who can fill in. Get some background information on this person to make sure they are up to the same standards.
What is your rate? Are there any additional fees I should be aware of?
It is important to learn their rate so that you know if they are in your budget. Keep in mind that their rate may not be completely all-inclusive, so make sure you establish exactly what it covers. They may have additional fees that might be applicable to your needs, such as overtime rates, additional musician rates, travel costs, or preparation for songs you are requesting that aren’t already in their repertoire. Some musicians might have higher rates that are all-inclusive, while others may have lower rates that only cover the basics. Make sure you aren’t initially scared off by rates on the higher end of the spectrum – they may actually be comparable to other musicians when it comes down to the final total.
When will we need to sign contracts?
If you’ve found a ceremony musician that you are in love with, you’ll want to book them ASAP so that you don’t run the risk of losing them! Once you’ve narrowed down to your top choice or choices, ask how you can get the ball rolling to officially book.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with wedding professionals from Georgia and the Southeast who can help bring your vision to life!