String Quartet Wedding: Cost To Play For One Hour – Like many professional groups who earn their living from playing at weddings and functions, the Manor House String Quartet do have a minimum booking period that we have to charge for, regardless of how long we are required to play – in our case this is for two hours of playing. In the same way that it’s not usually possible to hire a wedding venue for only one hour, or a professional photographer just to take photographs for 10 minutes outside the church, once a string quartet have taken on even a short booking in the middle of the afternoon, it then means that they will have to devote the entire afternoon to it, as there is only a slim chance of another wedding booking on that day which will fit around the timings. In essence, most weddings take place in the afternoon, so unless we’re able to play for a wedding in the morning or evening, it’ll virtually always mean the group cannot take on any other work that day. Here is a video of our group performing the beautiful ‘Panis Angelicus’ by Cesar Franck:
We often receive enquiries asking us just to play Pachelbel ‘Canon’ for the bridal entrance and then leave, or from people who would just like 15 minutes of music before the ceremony and these clients are often surprised that we have to still charge for a 2 hour booking. For four busy professional musicians to turn up and play even for 20 minutes means that’s likely to be the only work they’ll do that day, so it’s just not viable to earn significantly less than we would with our orchestral work, shows or recording jobs.
Happily, most people do require a string quartet for the pre-ceremony, ceremony itself, photographs, drinks reception and/or wedding breakfast so it’s easy enough to get good value from 2 or 3 hours worth of string quartet or string duo by using music throughout the day. If you’d like more information on this and many other questions, do take a look at our FAQs page.