(Closed) String Quartet Cost

posted 6 years ago in Music
Post # 3
Member
272 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Seems within the ballpark to me. Our string quartet is $500/hour, a duo would have been $250/hour. We are having them play for 2 full hours – 30 minutes before the ceremony, 30 minute ceremony, and 1 hour for cocktail hour.

I was bummed about the price and had hoped to keep the 2-hour cost to around $750, but as a former string player, I REALLY wanted the quartet. It’ll also be the only live music at our wedding. A more well-known quartet would have charged $1250/2 hours, so I knew the $1000 was market rate.

Post # 4
Member
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

One of my bridesmaids plays in a quartet. They charge 400/hr, but she plays with university students (she is a recent grad, now teaching), so that might be why they are cheaper. Definitely contact local universities if they have a music school. They are normally cheaper and just as good, if not better!

Post # 5
Hostess
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Unfortunately, that’s a pretty normal price for a professional string quartet for an hour’s worth of music for your ceremony. We got a discount from a string quartet at a bridal show, so I think ours ended up being $575 with the discount.

Remember that the quartet will be there setting the mood for your guests long before the ceremony starts, so factor that time into the cost too. πŸ™‚

But you’re right — it is a high cost/hour. So I guess the question is — is it worth it if it’s something you have always dreamed of, or would that money be better spent on something else?

Post # 7
Hostess
23602 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@SpartyOn:  I was going to second the suggestion of finding a music school. I am a pianist myself, and wanted a string quartet for my wedding.  A friend of mine is a recently graduated cellist from the SF conservatory and was able to put together a group for me, and they charged us $400 for the 1 hour ceremony. So yes! A little less is possible.

Post # 8
Member
1237 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

It probably depends on where you are – We couldn’t find a decent string quartet for less than $800 until we reached out to the local university. We still ended up paying $675 for about 30 minutes of actual music but we loved it and thought it was worth the splurge. I remember in negotiations though, they mentioned that a string trio can be significantly cheaper and sound just as good.

Post # 9
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Remember you have to account for their drive time, gas, set up, and break down. Also consulting and getting music ready for you. So your hour is really 6 hours. You are paying for their Time And talent. Time is money.

Post # 10
Member
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

In NYC, we received quotes ranging from $700-800 and up for ceremony music only. We ended up paying $940 to have a string quartet play for two hours (1/2 hour while guests entered, 1/2 hour for the ceremony, and 1 hour for cocktail hour).  You can probably get away with a trio if you are having fewer than 100 guests.

Post # 12
Member
2786 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would also talk to them about whether you actually need a quartet or not. We used a trio, which was a good $150 cheaper. I wanted a quartet, but we had a small guest list, and they told me it would be too loud and overpowering to guests, and suggesting using a trio instead. The music sounded exactlly the same πŸ™‚

 

Post # 13
Hostess
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

@mrshollinger:  All of our guests could not stop talking about how much they loved the quartet at our ceremony. They said it was so classy and something they hadn’t seen at other weddings. If it’s that important to you (it was that important to me), I say splurge if you can afford it. πŸ™‚ Or some others have given great advice about to to make the dream more affordable if the price is currently too high.

Post # 14
Hostess
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

@sara_tiara:  The trio is a great suggestion. One of the members of our quartet was actually late to the ceremony (stuck in traffic from an accident on the highway) and just snuck in during the prelude, and no one really noticed. πŸ™‚

Post # 15
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

You’re welcome, its like this with any vendor. You have to count the time put in pre and post wedding. (post with some)

I love the live music at weddings, its not done enough. πŸ™‚ It always blows a DJ away (not saying DJs suck). I hope you do it. The price listed seems very reasonable to me. A couple of weddings I did this summer the live music was AWESOME.

If you get a student or a friendor make a contract always for any service.

Post # 16
Bee
1835 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

I just hired our string quartet last Friday. My grandma is “gifting” us the string quartet for the ceremony, and she said she was OK with paying $600 for 4 musicians, so that’s what I agreed to.

Backstory: here in Houston all of the professional string quartets are expensive; a couple we looked at start at $1000, not including transportation or tips. My future BIL and SIL hired a string quartet of students from a local arts/visual performance high school for their wedding for ~$200 total, and everyone loved them. I was a little nervous to hire high school students so I contacted the music departments of two universities here in Houston asking for contacts for student string quartets. I emailed 4 different students asking them if they were interested in organizing quartets to play at our wedding, and all 4 were interested. I met with one in person, he was a super sweet guy getting his master’s in cello, and so he and 3 of his fellow classmates are going to perform for us. They said they only charge $100/musician/hour ($400 total) but we offered to pay them $600 to include a tip and transportation, since the venue is an hour from their campus. And they are really sweet, broke grad students so my grandma and I wanted to support them.

Long story short… Check out local high schools and colleges/universities! I’m sure you can get a better deal, and you will probably get more flexibility too – these students are learning 3 new (pop) songs to perform at our wedding.

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