Hiring a String Quartet for Your Wedding Ceremony Only – On the whole, quite a large proportion of wedding string quartets have a ‘minimum booking period’ of at least 2 hours, particularly for peak Saturdays over the summer months. This is because in the top wedding string quartets, all four musicians will not only be in demand for the quartet itself, but will often have offers of orchestral or recording work elsewhere. To play in the quartet for just the duration of a ceremony (although it might seem like only one hour) will result in each player having to turn down that whole day of work. Often evening concerts will have an afternoon rehearsal on the day, so in order to take on any playing engagement, musicians need to earn an equivalent fee to make it viable.
If a client really only wants music for a wedding ceremony, they should bear in mind that a string quartet can be used in quite a variety of ways throughout the wedding proceedings, to really enhance the day.
Firstly, many couples opt to have the string quartet playing for up to half an hour before the ceremony to create a lovely atmosphere of relaxing music as guests arrive and are seated. Well chosen music can perfectly set the tone or atmosphere of the day – whether it’s serene, uplifting, celebratory or elegant, the musicians will be able to suggest pieces of music that will work well for the feeling you are aiming to create.
For the ceremony itself, usually the quartet will provide The Bridal Entrance Music, Signing the Register Music, accompany any Hymns for String Quartet and provide the Bridal Exit Music. After that, as guests spill out of the ceremony rooms or pictures are taken, again the musicians can provide background pieces to keep everyone entertained – ideally moving outside to the area where people are congregating – and by switching to upbeat, celebratory music it can create a real talking point among the guests.
By including pre-ceremony music and considering background music during photographs, many couples realise that they need the group for longer than just the ceremony itself and a two hour booking is more appropriate anyway. The average cost of hiring a wedding string quartet does vary depending on quality of playing, experience and size of repertoire, but whichever group are hired for the wedding making the most of their presence will clearly provide the best value.