I just stumbled upon a local string group that I’d really like to book. But I’m having a hard time justifying $400 for less than 30 minutes of music (15-20 mins pre-ceremony and music during the short ceremony).
We do not have a huge budget ($6000) but if I wanted to hire them I could, money isn’t so much the issue as I don’t know if it’s really necessary. Would I like to have them? Yes because I love strings at weddings. But we were planning on having acoustic guitar by my FI’s Brother-In-Law so it’s not like we’d be music-less, I’m sure it would still be nice.
I voted for “yes”, but I take it back, because I voted before reading your post. Based on your budget and the fact that you already have a great alternative option, I’d say skip the string group. Why don’t you ask your FI’s Brother-In-Law to learn the songs you are hoping the string group to play. Classical guitar can be great.
We paid $300 for a string duet, and that included travel fees and 75 mins of playing time. It was a girl that had just started her own company, so she was relatively inexpensive, and I found her on CL.
Our budget was about $25K, so for us, $300 was totally doable and it was an easy decision!
We had a violin duet group and I loved it – it was the best of both worlds – the ceremony musicians and less cost (by about 1/2) that the string quartet. I would ask the group if they do duets – a lot of groups are very versatile (soloists, duets, trios and quartets etc).
I love strings, but I also love acoustic guitar! So I can sympathize with the tough choice. But, if you can have acoustic guitar that you will be happy with for free, I’d say to go with it! It will be free, awesome, and a little more unique! A friend had his friend play acoustic guitar during his ceremony, and I thought it was wonderful!
I was really worried about having only 2 strings but I ended up really loving it! I would highly recommend it if you want strings at your wedding. It helps that violins can play more than one note at a time.
I voted no – but just because I am having nothing but last minute problems with my pianist who is paid in full and refuses to play the music provided to him three weeks ago. If I had to do it over I would have saved that expense, put the money in other areas, and used a family friend or the PA system.
That said, can I offer some advice? If you decide to go through with it ask them if you can get it in writing the songs they agree to play. . . . just my 2 cents :).
I’d have to say as a string musician myself, that I understand why they’re asking for so much… you have to think about a few things with strings:
-To be able to play professionally takes YEARS of training. I played the violin for 10 years, and didn’t reach profesh-level until about year 7 or 8. So that’s pretty much the same amount of training doctors and lawyers must have before THEY can practice professionally.
-$400 for a string quartet means $100 per person, and that includes travel, warm-up time, and hauling instruments that are VERY sensitive to heat, cold, light, wind, etc.
But I definitely agree with some of the posters that “less is more” with strings! Instead of 2 violins, a viola, and a cello… you can get pretty much the same effect with one violin and a cello. Viola is a beautiful instrument, but violin and cello combined can reach EVERY note a viola plays. And yes, strings instruments can play more than one note at a time.
Hope that helps!! 🙂
p.s. I’m having a violin and acoustic guitar duet at my September wedding… can’t wait!
Of course I did just stumble upon this, and I freaking teared up already (if I don’t cry at my wedding it’ll be a miracle) – it might be swaying me back to our guitarist (he’s a professional musician so I’m sure it would be good).
Then again if I could get a whole band THIS would somehow be worked into my wedding – haha!