Deciding on a Wedding Orchestra
As soon as the bride says “Yes,” a couple begins to think about their wedding day. Anticipation builds, and a whirlwind of decisions follow. Among the many important considerations is music, since it helps set the tone, pace, and style for the wedding and the reception. Many couples today are deciding on a wedding orchestra for their ceremony, reception, or both. (Think 4-5 musicians, not the entire symphony, unless of course, money is no object!)
Music is literally the beat of the party; it brings people together, reflects your style and personalities as a couple, and determines the atmosphere you want to create. Hire a small orchestra, and you’re sure to bring a higher level of sophistication and elegance to your big day.
First things first. An orchestra (as opposed to a band) is comprised of four instrument groups: woodwind, brass, percussion and strings. Your orchestra will have at least one of each group. Some brides hire one or two of these musicians to cover the ceremony and cocktail hour, with the rest joining later for the reception. It is entirely up to you, and how you envision your day.
Remember that finding the right orchestra may take a little time, so plan accordingly. You’ll want to interview the musicians (or at least the leader) in person, and ask the right questions before booking, so you get the right match for your special day. Here are a few key questions:
Ask about experience. How long have they been performing together, and how many weddings they’ve played.
Ask them to describe their style.
Ask about cost. One website we checked listed the average cost for a 4-hour performance by a live, 5-member orchestra at $2,085. Your cost will depend on your location, the number of musicians, and the length of the performance.
Ask for several references. Preferably not from their relatives or friends.
Ask if you can hear them play at an upcoming event. Recordings may be enhanced and not be truly representative of their live sound.
Other questions that you should consider asking:
- Are you insured?
- Can you play our song, if desired? Do you sing?
- Are there any additional fees such as for travel expenses or for special musical requests?
- Do you have a CD of your music or a video from a prior wedding where you performed?
- How many breaks do you take and for how long?
- Will the orchestra need to be fed? (If so, don’t forget to include them in your head-count to your venue.)
- What if the reception goes longer than scheduled? What is your fee for overtime?
- What are your payment terms? What do you accept?
- When will I receive a written contract?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Is there anything we should know about your service that we haven’t talked about?
- Do you have any questions for me?
If you’re looking for resources to help you locate and book a local orchestra, one online site that helps you search by location is
www.gigmasters.com. Another site,
www.musicmagicproductions.com, provides many helpful hints to plan your wedding music.
Begin your search early, and hire your orchestra as far in advance as possible, as the best ones book up early. Besides creating lasting memories for you and your guests, an orchestra is both captivating and romantic. And since it’s a live performance, you’ll have more musical intensity and guest engagement. When you hire an orchestra, you’ll be sure to make it a wedding that everyone will remember.
Make sure all your wedding details go as smoothly as finding your wedding orchestra when your wedding is covered by WedSafe
wedding insurance. WedSafe provides financial protection and peace-of-mind for all aspects of your wedding, including your orchestra. Get your
no-cost, no-obligation quote today for WedSafe – the wedding insurance chosen by more couples than any other.