Wedding String Duo – Getting Your Musicians To Fit Your Venue
By vaughan • 1st September 2015 • Posted in: Wedding String Quartet Useful Info
Our wedding string duo plays for many weddings as far afield as Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex. All of these counties contain many venues ideally suited to a duo, often with ceremony rooms that can easily accommodate the two musicians at the front or back. Such rooms would struggle to house a string quartet for a wedding and would either have to fit them into an adjacent room or divide the group in half, with a pair of musicians each side of the ‘aisle’. I remember turning up (as half of a duo) to one particular venue (who will remain nameless…) and being told that we were required to perform in the minstrels’ gallery during the ceremony itself. When we had ascended the flight of stairs and entered the gallery, my first thought was ‘only pixies could fit into this space’. The lady stared blankly at me and uttered the immortal words ‘…we normally fit five in here!’. My pixie thoughts were confirmed. Our solution was to play standing up, leaving the door open and hoping our bows didn’t collide with anything. It was just the scenario where a string quartet would have been a little stuck and may have had to either play halfway down the flight of stairs or sit on each others shoulders in the manner of a circus troupe!
Another factor is how mobile or portable will your wedding musicians be? Many weddings we play at involve moving from one venue to another as well as moving from one location to another within the same venue. The two musicians can generally acheive this with greater ease than the four. For a more detailed look at this question, by all means have a read of the article ‘Wedding String Quartet – Moving Between Venues‘.
When booking a string quartet for your wedding, the other consideration is whether they will be overpowering in terms of volume. Occasionally there are situations when the four musicians do seem like overkill in an intimate setting and although musicians are trained to be sympathetic to their surroundings, this is greatly affected by the dimensions and acoustics of the ceremony room, as well as the number of guests present. The string duo, whether it be a violin and viola or violin and cello, can often give couples the option of flexibility, so they can make last minute decisions about whether to have us playing at the front or back of the ceremony room, without us getting in the way.
Similar situations often crop up during wedding breakfasts. Often, with the best will in the world, venues overlook the existence of the musicians and tables are laid out without appreciating the space needed to accommodate four instruments, chairs and stands (not to mention those awkward, pointed bows going backwards and forwards, often at the height of the midriff!). Here, the string duo can find a corner in the room without proving a hindrance to waiters and waitresses with the carefully prepared food.
A final note: the string duo is also an excellent option for keeping your budget and costs down…
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