Post # 1
I’m having a ceremony with 40 people in a garden and tossing up between a PA system with recorded music or a solo harpist.
The PA system is only 100au dollars to hire, but someone has to transport it and make sure its working in the day and also take charge of the music. AND my main concern is that recorded music might be not realll go with a garden setting…?
The harpist is 350au dollars. I have heard her before and she is beautiful. But the sounds might get lost in an open garden venue and because it is expensive I won’t be able to have microphones for the priest and us when we do the vows.
Another concern is thattif it rains she will take up valuable space under the backup gazebo we plan to use. The gazebo already has a PA system there and would allow more of my guests to remain dry – it’s not a very big gazebo.
Post # 2
My initial gut reaction was to go with the harpist, bar none, however when I read your post, I reconsidered.
As long as you have the harpist seated close enough to the guests, I wouldn’t worry about the sound.
However, I do worry about not being able to have microphones for you or the priests. Ultimately I think guests being able to hear your ceremony is more important than the music you walk down the aisle to. There are no more affordable options for microphones?
As for the gazebo issue, what will happen to guests? Would they need to stand instead of sit? Would seating be a bit tighter, or would it be impossible? If it would be impossible, I would say, unfortunately to go with the PA system.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think the PA system is a bad choice at all, I just think live music is so lovely. But as long as the music you choose is appropriate for a garden setting, having it played over a PA will not be an issue whatsoever.
Post # 3
I had a harpist at my wedding and it was amazing.
Post # 4
andygirl : Hi Andy, that’s awesome. Did your harpist use a sound amplifier? What kind of songs did they play?
Post # 5
I think a harpist would add a lot to the ambience of your event and nothing beats live music for a ceremony. I am a musician myself and have played garden weddings with a harpist. I don’t think the sound will be lost in a garden. However, if you don’t have room for her in case of rain that is definitely a problem.
Post # 6
shadows9x : Our options were if we wanted to play music at our venue we needed to buy and load an ipod and then have someone be in charge of the music for the ceremony. I didn’t want anyone to have to deal with the stress and worry of this so we have gone for a harpist which actually worked out cheaper. I feel so chill knowing she will show up, do her thing and none of my family / guest / bridal party will have to worry about mucking up the music!
Post # 7
shadows9x : I don’t think she had an amplifier… I didn’t think to ask her before and the day of everything was just a blur. I loved having the harp music though – it was so romantic. I had a very small wedding (just 20 people) – we were in a loggia (had a roof and open walls with arches). I think with 40 people, they would have heard everything fine but it’s a bit different than open air since 2 sides had walls.
These are the songs we had. My husband loves Leonard Cohen.. I thought Hallelujha may not be exactly right to use in a wedding, but it played before I got there 🙂 I cut an pasted it from an email, so hopefully it shows up ok
WHILE GUESTS ARE WAITING: Halleluja, Air on the G string
BRIDE ENTRANCE SONG: Cannon in D
EXCHANGE OF THE RINGS: Ave Maria Schubert
RECESSIONAL: Wedding March Mendelssohn
Post # 8
We had a harpist at our garden wedding and I would 1000% recommend. It was just perfect for the setting.
Depending on your venue, I probably wouldn’t worry too much about an amplifier for 40 guests. If you had a larger wedding then maybe (we had 100 in total and ours was completely fine without).
Post # 9
As a musician (who has done a lot of weddings) I’d 100% say go with the live music. I’ve been to a lot of weddings with recorded music but I’d never remember the music. I just think that if you can afford it, live musicians add a lot in personalizing. But of course, I’m biased. 😉
Post # 10
Also a musician who plays at wedding here. One thing that I have noticed when attending weddings with recorded music is that people often talk over it. That won’t happen for your entrance obviously, but it will during the signing of the registry. If you have a live musician people will be a lot less likely to start talking and ruin the flow of the ceremony
Post # 11
IMO live music really elevates a ceremony, makes it feel more elegant. We had a harpist, 2 violins, & a cello and they were amazing. It is absolutely worth the $250 extra dollars.
Post # 12
I am usually in favor of live over recorded music, but I think not having mics for the priest and vows means people wont be able to hear the part of the day that is the whole point. I don’t think not having the harp amplified would be an issue, but hearing the talking without amplification outside may be hard. So that would sway my vote to the option that allows the priest and vows to be heard better.
Post # 13
shadows9x : I splurged on a cello/violin duet for my wedding, and I am so happy I did! It was worth every penny!