I have heard from so many brides and mothers of brides in the last few days. Congratulations if you are planning a wedding. I am so thankful that many of you are inquiring about my services. Many of you just have questions and I am happy to answer them! I thought I would address a few of the most common ones in my blog. Remember, the best way to get an answer is to ask me!!!
Can you Hear me NOW?
If you are having an outdoor ceremony and you hire a harpist to play, it’s possible the harp might require amplification as the sound of the great outdoors and wind will drown out the instrument. In fact, this could even be the case for a string quartet. Most musicians know the venues and their own limitations. I have a sound system to use but in most cases, I am prepared for every outdoor location! I am a strong player with a full size concert harp.
Ask the Venue coordinator what the acoustic limitations of the venue are and consider a sound system for the harpist to apply a microphone to her performance. These are things to consider no matter if you’re on a beach, a mountaintop, near a waterfall, in Indianapolis or in a large church
The Church has Rules
I have blogged about this before but it bears repeating: If you’re having a Church Wedding Ceremony, remember, even if you’re a Member, it’s not just Your Church. There are almost always rules regarding music when it comes to churches and synagogues. Many locations require you to use their musician or pianist/organist. Some churches will not allow ANY secular music, meaning you’ve got to throw that strings version of Chris Brown’s Forever out the door and stick to traditional pieces like Pachelbel’s Cannon in D, or Bach’s Air on a G String, or Ave Maria by Franz Schubert! Before you assume, you should ask about any music restrictions at the church. I have lots of music in my repertoire and I promise we can find the right music for the ceremony and can move other pieces to the reception where they can be enjoyed.
Don’t be Afraid to Take charge of the Music
Whether you have hired me, another solo musician, quartet, band or DJ for the reception, you have options! Make sure to tell the entertainment what you do and DO NOT want to hear. You don’t have to pre-program every last second of the music (ceremony or reception), but you shouldn’t just let your musician make all the decisions unless you are completely confident in their style. I like to have the guidance of the Bride and Groom because we play songs that say something about you as a couple, your personal music tastes are important! At the same time, maybe there’s a song you hate or that has painful memories associated with it, make sure to ask that the song is NOT Played. There are many musical moments in your life you may not want to remember. Beyond that, obviously you should trust the pro to play great music but don’t be afraid to step in and ask the band or DJ to play more of your style of music if that’s the feel you want your wedding to have and the entertainer is straying too far from it.
Don’t Blow your guests eardrums!
DJs and Bands LOVE loud music, maybe you do as well. But, it’s not a good idea to blow the speakers out at your wedding. Granted, as the night goes on and the dancing is really cranking, the music should be louder, but make sure you have a word with your entertainment beforehand to keep the music at a tolerable level as the evening progresses. This is what makes harp music a great choice for your ceremony. It is peaceful and a more controlled volume for your ceremony. I do a sound check with someone from the venue before I start to play so that each and every guest is welcomed by harp music. I also check with the coordinator before the bride walks down the aisle so we are sure that her arrival and processional is the most beautiful!
Don’t get stuck on one genre of music
Remember my famous line: the music is what stays with you!!! You will be somewhere and hear the music from your wedding and it should matter to you! It should bring tears to your eyes or at least warm your heart. If your venue doesn’t have any restrictions and your parents are letting you make the decisions, then we can and should use the music to help personalize your wedding. You love 80′s new wave, country or you are a Hip-Hop connoisseur, Great! You wouldn’t let your DJ only play one style of music at the reception so don’t play that music all night at your wedding. It might be what you love but you won’t hear half of the wedding music as it happens before you walk down the aisle. Let’s choose a great variety of things to make the prelude more of a mini concert to welcome your guests and set the tone of the ceremony. Contemporary music can still be appropriate for your wedding and venue. Too much of a good thing is never good. A great musician will be able to incorporate your music taste and still provide some variety. We want everyone to enjoy themselves! In general the rule for Music Entertainers is, play a great mix, everyone has fun!
Do you Need to Practice?
I rarely come to ceremony rehearsals. Usually it is because I am already booked but another reason is that I don’t need to and you shouldn’t have to pay for something you don’t need. I have already spoken with you, and most likely the celebrant and/or coordinator so I know what is going to happen. My pricing includes my hour at least an hour before the ceremony to touch base with the people in charge to be sure that I understand exactly what is going to happen and review the program. For an additional fee, and if it helps your peace of mind, then I can attend the rehearsal and go through the music however please check with your venue and coordinator to be sure that this is alright with them.