Q: Does the size and location of the venue matter?
A: Yes and yes. If you're having a large wedding in the middle of the woods, that can be a double challenge for your musicians. Keep in mind that when you're outside your acoustics (how sound is transmitted in a space) are typically poor. If you have a venue where there is no electricity, such as a beach or a pier over a river, there is the potential for a lot of the music to be lost. It doesn't matter how technically trained your musician is, he or she simply cannot fight bad acoustics. Also, if you have a very large wedding, it can be difficult to fill the room with one or two musicians. You may need a full sized band for live music if you have a large wedding and a large space to fill.
Q: How many musicians do I need?
A: This ties in with the previous question. The number of musicians needed has many factors involved, including the size of your wedding and the feel that you're looking for. A solo violin is very..."solo". It would be the equivalent of having a vocal soloist to usher in the bride. Having two musicians automatically gives a little bit more energy to your wedding, unless you plan on having an organist. In that case, an organ can provide all the energy you need based solely on the nature and drama of the instrument. For your reception, if you're wanting uptempo dancing, you'd most likely want to go with a DJ or full band. Two musicians or a solo guitarist is lovely ambiance for a cocktail hour, but it will most likely be unable to provide a dance feel for a reception.
Q: What type of instrumentalists should I hire?
A: A lot of this is based on personal preference. Some brides have always dreamed of a dramatic entrance with a pipe organ. Other brides prefer the romantic classical feel of two violins. If you are having a traditional Catholic mass where there is a lot more singing involved, you may want an organist/pianist and a vocalist. Take into consideration your venue, the size of the guest list, and the feel you're going for. Interview multiple musicians of varying styles before you make a final decision.
Q: How soon should I hire my wedding musicians?
A: In our experience, couples typically contact us 6-12 months prior to their wedding date. Obviously, the longer you wait, the greater the risk that your date will be taken. There are also high volume months that may fill faster. For example, if you're having a summer wedding, your date may be more difficult to secure than a winter wedding.
Q: What are the limitations of what my musicians can play?
A: There are limitations among even the best musicians. If you want a dance party feel with endless song options, go with a DJ. Two violins will not be able to handle an EDM beat. On the opposite end, if you want an intimate classical feel, going with a DJ will be overkill. Live music will beat out a "synthetic orchestra" every time if you're looking for intimacy. Look again at the feel you're going for during your ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception and talk to multiple musicians about what they can or cannot provide. They will help guide you to the right choice.
We hope this answered some of those burning musical questions! If you have any additional questions that were not covered in this blog, feel free to contact Alejandro and Brienne at firstname.lastname@example.org.