How to Create a Memorable Wedding with Live Musicians

Ashburn, United States

Average cost for a Wedding Musician
ranges from

$550 - $900

The average cost for a wedding band is $720. Hiring a wedding band to play on your big day, you will likely spend between $550 and $900. The price of band entertainment can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). View our local wedding bands or get free estimates from pros near you.

How to Create a Memorable Wedding with Live Musicians

Millions of people ask Openmusicevents for cost estimates every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, then we share those prices with you.

There is something about live music that you cannot replicate with anything recorded. Guests will rave for days about how elegant the wedding was.

Live music brings so much beauty to a wedding. String quartets, for example, are elegant and romantic. String musicians can perform anything from Vivaldi to Bruno Mars.

The intense quality of string music allows guests to enjoy the music and converse at once.

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Before looking for your caterer: know what your budget is, how many guests you’d like to invite, and what your overall vision is for the meal. This will save you and the caterers you interview a lot of time.

Find your Musicians

Look for vendors who take their work seriously. Professional music training is always a good sign. If music is their full-time career, they probably take their craft seriously.

A part-time musician with no formal training is more of a gamble.

Look for good reviews on their online platforms. Check out one of their live shows and listen to a recording.

Serious musicians will probably be taking part in performance groups. Professional musicians will take part in community events for performers.

Ask your string quartet if they are willing to help you plan your wedding playlist before your big day. If they work weddings, they probably have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.

Make sure you can collaborate on music planning with apps like Spotify or SoundShare.

The Instruments

String quartets are proven to suit weddings beautifully. They sound exquisite. But there are more options.  

Before you set out to interview musicians, you need to know a few things:

  • Your budget
  • The venue
  • The number of guests
  • The space available
  • The type of music you want

Solo Violin

If your wedding is more intimate with a few guests outdoors or in a small chapel, you can consider a Solo Violin. Solo Violins are awesome for traditional weddings.

A Violin and a Piano

A keyboard can do this if there is no piano. This is a winning duo that works in all kinds of locations. It works beautifully.

A Violin & an Organ

Violins work beautifully with organs. This combination is the obvious choice for church weddings. 

Some churches provide an organist when you book your wedding with them. But you can always work with your organist and a violinist for an extra elegant touch.

A Violin & a Bass

Combining violin and bass gives you greater versatility of musical expression. You can get pop music and jazz sounds as well as classical music. The sound is more fun as well.

A Violin & a Cello

Putting together the violin and the cello allows you to oscillate between modern and classical tunes.

Two Violins

With two violins, you can have classical music. The harmony is beautiful and performers only need very little space. Two violins fit snugly into smaller weddings.

A Violin and a Guitar

This combination works well for rustic weddings. If you want more of a folk sound with the ability to perform songs of different genres, you want a violin and a guitar.

String Trio

A string trio is a combination of two violins and a cello. A trio doesn’t take up much space. But they sound classical. They can perform renditions of modern pop songs, too. The sound is much richer than any duo.

Quintet

Quintets use five instruments. It usually comprises of a piano or a bass with a string quartet. The sound is much fuller.

Chamber Orchestra

This is more of a mini-orchestra. It is more expensive but totally worth it. Go for it if you can afford it and your venue is roomy enough.

Use them for classical music. Most can play current songs, too.

Trumpet or Voice

Including a vocalist or trumpet with your string set makes the performance even better. The trumpet can tastefully herald the march down the aisle.

Vocalists can accompany most of these combinations. Trios, quartets, and violin duos all benefit from the addition of a vocalist.

When to have a String Quartet Play

String musicians are amazing for wedding ceremonies and receptions too.

String musicians can perform the whole day. Depending on your budget, you can hire them alone or alongside a band.

They will do a good job regardless.

String quartets can play at:

  • The Ceremony – Musicians perform to accompany the arrival of guests, the wedding party marching, recession, and postludes. There is also the unity ceremony and signing of the marriage license.
  • Cocktail hour – Musical performances as guests mingle.
  • Reception – Music as guests eat and converse.
  • Dances – Music for the first dance of the couple, bride-father of the bride dance, anniversary dance, etc.
  • Musicians don’t perform at wedding rehearsals unless the wedding budget allows for it.

Caring for your Musicians

String musicians are a wonderful addition to an outdoor wedding. But they do need protection. Use a tent or a canopy to keep them safe from the elements.

There should be a place for them to shelter in case of rain.

How to Pick the Right Music for your Ceremony?

If hiring professional string musicians, you want to discuss your song selection with the lead musician.

Prepare to discuss your taste in music and the mood you want at your wedding, your preferred genres, and the specific songs you want. Go through their library of songs as you discuss ideas.

Listen to music as a couple as you plan your wedding playlist together. List the songs you like.

Here are search terms you can use:

  • Classical wedding music
  • Popular wedding music
  • Folk wedding songs
  • Religious wedding music
  • Romantic wedding songs
  • Traditional wedding songs
  • Modern wedding music
  • Sacred wedding songs, and
  • Jazz wedding music

YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes are all decent apps for this. Look out for songs you like individually and as a couple, songs that mean something to your family, and songs that honor someone special to you.

You can always leave all the music planning to your string musicians. If they are skilled at weddings, they know what works or doesn’t work.

Looking for a wedding band near you?

Now that you have an idea of the price range, let's find the right caterer for you.

Enjoy the Journey

The pressure of planning the biggest day of your life can get to you. You want to enjoy the whole process.

To avoid this, you want to avoid doing things at the last minute. Create a tentative wedding playlist in place one month before the big day.

Doing this early gives everyone enough time to prepare and finalize. Use email or any music collaboration tool. 

Your soundtrack should be perfect by the wedding day if you follow good advice.

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