(Closed) Hiring ceremony musicians? Worth the expense?

posted 11 years ago in Music
  • poll: Should I hire ceremony musicians?

    Yes. You only get married once - it's totally worth it.

    No. Save your pennies - that money would be better spent elsewhere.

    Just have everyone play the wedding march on kazoos!

  • Post # 17
    2475 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    We had a string trio play for our ceremony and cocktail hour (2 hours total) for $450.  Your price of $400 for 30 minutes is a bit outrageous IMO.  Have you shopped around? 

    Post # 18
    97 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    We were going to do a quartet as well…it was also $400 for an hour.  Ended up hiring our DJ for another $225/hr for guests walking in and then a family friend is playing guitar when we walk down the aisle (for free!).  So if you can get a duet for $275 I think it might be worth it…would your other option be a DJ?  What would their hourly rate be? 

    Post # 20
    210 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    Yeah, the weather thing with the instruments can be a huge issue.  I’m a harpist and I play weddings and I had one close call with rain the past summer.  Wind at a waterside wedding knocked my music stand into my celtic harp once, and I’ve certainly stressed out when horrible humidity starts to make the harp go out of tune mid-song. 

    While I agree their rates are reasonable (for the full sized harp I charge $200 an hour, 1 hr minimum), especially since it’s for multiple musicians, I can see where it becomes a questionable budget item when you’re trying to keep things very low budget. 

    I think you made a good call sticking with just the guitarist.  Although I LOVE the kazoo idea. 

    Post # 21
    69 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I shopped around and found a duo for $250 for ceremony only- violin and cello. I hope it doesn’t sound too thin.  Should I spring for the trio for $350?  Anyone have experience with duo vs trio?

    Post # 22
    1701 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    If your heart is really set on it, I would go with it.  I have a couple things I am struggling with as well.  I have been to more than one wedding where the electricity went out, sound sytem malfuntioned, etc. so the brides walked up the aisle in silence.  It is a huge issue with me to make sure I have music that can funtion regardless!

    For the professional musicians in this thread – I would like to have a string quartet as well.  I can hire senior music students for $100/hour.  However, my ceremony is outside.  How warm does it have to be for the musicians to be outside?

    Post # 23
    2343 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    We paid quite a lot (much more than $400) for our violinist, but it ended up being so worth it! People raved about him and I will always remember it. I think it does give your ceremony that extra formal/traditional touch.

    Post # 24
    3613 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    Our string quartet was $850 for two hours and they were the least expensive among the ones we contacted, so I’d say you’re getting a great deal.

    It’s hard to say in your case since it’s 15% of your budget and that’s a lot…For me walking down the aisle to the music of Bach filling the botanical garden was amazing, it completed my vision. However I don’t think our guests really cared that much, not many people have commented on them except that it was “nice”. So it depends on how important it is to you.

    Post # 25
    3 posts
    • Wedding: May 2004

    View original reply
    @meliss: From the viewpoint of the prefessional musician, our quartet fee was $650 for the first hour and $240 an hour after that. Remember that the “hour” does not start at the appointed time of the ceremony – playing starts anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes prior to the ceremony for the seating of the guests. By the time the actual ceremony ends and the recessional is played it will be at least an hour of the musicians’ time. Then there is travel, setup and breakdown. We did perform as trio and violin and cello duo too. Also, beware that you get what you pay for. Students will be just that. Pros will make for a VERY smooth event.

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