Wedding Music FAQ:
How long should the quartet play? Our fee is based on 90 minutes of service, beginning with when we start playing, including all ceremony time, and ending with when we play our last note. Music generally begins as people start to arriveapproximately 20-30 minutes before the ceremony. You may also want the quartet to play as people leave. Depending on how you decide to dismiss people from their seats and how many guests you have, this could take anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Our standard wedding includes 30 minutes of prelude music, a 30-45 minute ceremony, then 15 minutes of postlude music. If you are planning a full mass or hour-long ceremony, but would like to keep your time within 90 minutes, we suggest a 20 minute prelude, 60 minute ceremony, and 10 minute postlude.
How can I incorporate the quartet into my wedding ceremony? There are several traditional moments in weddings which can include music: 1.) Prelude (as people enter), 2.) Seating of the mothers, 3.) Bridesmaids Procession, 4.) Bridal Procession, 5.) Unity Candle Lighting, 6.) Communion, 7.) Special Music or Prayer, 8.) Recession, 9.) Postlude (as people leave). You may also have your own unique moments in the wedding for which you would like the quartet to play. You may have music during all or just some of these different parts of the ceremony. You can either allow the quartet to choose the music, or make the musical selections yourself.
My favorite piece is Mozart's Jupiter Symphony. Can the quartet play this for my bridal procession? We certainly will make every attempt to honor our clients' special requests. If the piece is not in our library, we can try to track down a string quartet arrangement . It may be necessary for us to arrange your favorite tune for string quartet if an arrangement does not already exist. (Please check above for our rates.) However, because we are limited to the instrumentation of a string quartet, some pieces just cannot be arranged for us. Also, some very beautiful pieces unfortunately don't work well as processionsthe piece may have particularly long cadences that do not allow us to come to a stop in the music without sounding abrupt and "cut off". We will let you know if your request won't work.
Can the quartet attend my dress rehearsal? We have found that attending the dress rehearsal is unnecessary. As long as things are well communicated prior to the ceremony, and you inform us of any changes that occurred at the rehearsal, the wedding music should go smoothly. However, if you strongly feel you want the quartet to attend the dress rehearsal, we will try to do so if our calendars are not already booked. Another option is to have just one member of CSQ attend the rehearsal. In this case, the person attending will usually not play music, but will be there as a consultant.
I have a vocalist performing at my wedding. Can the quartet accompany her? We often collaborate with vocalists or other musicians on commonly performed wedding music, such as Ave Maria, or The Lord's Prayer, and enjoy doing so! However, much depends on the music selected. The piece must be something that has been arranged for quartet, or can easily be arranged for four instruments. Even if the piece is already in our library, it may be necessary for us to make a new arrangement if the singer's voice requires us to play the piece in a different "key". Also, an added rehearsal will be necessary. For commonly performed, simpler pieces, the rehearsal can usually be done immediately before the wedding at no added cost. If you are choosing multiple pieces for us to perform together, if the pieces are very difficult or are unfamiliar to us, or if we will be performing with an amateur who needs more practice time with us, we may require an extra rehearsal for which there will be a fee (see our rates above).
The quartet at my cousin's wedding fell apart right in the middle of her bridal processional. We still don't know what happened, because the rest of the time they were fantastic. How can we be sure something like this won't happen at our wedding? The string quartet's unique and beautiful sound can help make your grand entrance elegant and memorable. However, it can be a little tricky having 4 people try to coordinate music with a bridal procession. The advantage of the lone organist is that (s)he can improvise on a whim if the bride walks down the aisle a little faster or slower than expected, or stops to hug her great aunt halfway down the aisle. This is not as easy with four musicians. The added problem of not being able to SEE the bride through an entire STANDING congregation makes processions still more difficult for quartets. However, there are several things you can do to help avoid any problems: