Sophisticates of String Quartet

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Wedding FAQs

Wedding FAQs

Q: Our wedding and reception are in two different locations with some time in between. Can you play for both? Do you charge extra?

A: We can play for your ceremony and reception. Please contact us with specifics about location and timing. Normally, it is no problem for us to depart at the end of the ceremony and arrive at the reception site before guests so that we can start playing for your cocktail hour. The charge depends on the distance between the locations and the total time commitment from our arrival one hour before the prelude music to our departure after we play at your reception.

Q: Will you come to our rehearsal?

A: We have extensive experience performing at weddings. We do not typically attend wedding rehearsals. Please contact us if you have a special request that might make it necessary for us to attend your rehearsal.

Q: How does the quartet know where to set up for a wedding ceremony?

A: We need a 10 foot by 10 foot square, flat area, and for a ceremony it is ideal if the area has a good view of the end of the aisle where the processionals start. If you have a place in mind for us to set up you can describe it to us in advance or leave four armless chairs in the area to indicate where we should set up. If you do not have a place in mind we will survey the possibilities on the day when we arrive and choose a suitable location. If it is not possible for us to set up in a space with a clear view of the end of the aisle where the processionals begin, we will speak with your wedding coordinator or someone you have chosen to give us a cue. We always arrive early on the day of your event so that we have time to sort out any logistical issues.

Q: How many pieces do I have to choose for my wedding ceremony?

A: Usually you choose a few pieces, maybe just the processional(s) and recessional, and we choose the rest. Or, you can leave it all up to us. We have many years of experience planning music for weddings. If you feel comfortable planning the whole playlist, we'll be happy to help you and make suggestions. Take a look at our Guide to Wedding Ceremony Music for some detailed information and suggestions.

Q: How many pieces will you play for my ceremony?

A: We typically play about 30 minutes of prelude music before the ceremony, which is about 10 pieces. We typically play at least one piece for the processional and one for the recessional. If you like, we can play pieces during your ceremony, too. We play postlude music until your guests have exited or typically up to 30 minutes, or 10 pieces. Please see our Guide to Wedding Ceremony Music for more information.

Q: How many processional pieces should I choose?

A: Our Guide to Wedding Ceremony Music discusses this in detail. The short answer is that it depends on your preference. You may want to consider the length of the aisle and the number of people walking down the aisle, including grandparents and parents if they are participating in the processional. We can play one long piece like Pachelbel's Canon in D or Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (among others) for everyone in the processional, or we can play separate pieces for the parents and grandparents, wedding party, and bride, however you would like it divided up. Some people like to have a slight pause and a change to a fanfare-like piece such as Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary as an audio cue that highlights the bride's entrance. If you have questions or need advice, please let us know. We are happy to discuss various options with you.

Q: How will the quartet know when to start the various pieces of the ceremony?

A: We have extensive experience performing at weddings. We arrive an hour before your ceremony so that we have time to discuss any last minute details that have not been worked out in advance. If you have a wedding coordinator, he or she can give us visual cues (such as a raised hand) to indicate when the processionals should start. We will discuss with you in advance the number of people in your wedding party and who we should look for at the start of the wedding party processional. If you have incidental music, meditation music, or hymns we will discuss the timing of those with your officiant. We will also discuss the officiant's last words before your recessional so that we know when to start your recessional. If you have chosen a piece for a specific part of your ceremony such as a candle lighting we will discuss a cue with your officiant.

Q: What happens at the end of the processional? Does the music just stop?

A: We have many years of experience at ending the music naturally at the perfect time. We will ask you how many people are being seated or walking down the aisle for each piece on the information sheet for your ceremony. Do not worry if the music continues for a minute after you arrive at the altar. We always find a nice way to conclude the processional, and an extra minute of music gives your photographer ample time to snap photos and your guests a chance to admire the scene before the ceremony begins.

Q: How long do you play after the recessional?

A: We usually play during your receiving line, if you have one, or until most of your guests have exited the ceremony area. This usually takes less than 30 minutes after the recessional.

Q: I would like to have you play a piece that is not in your repertoire list. Is that possible?

A: Yes. Not everything that we play is on our online repertoire list, so check with us and you may find we already have the piece you want. Otherwise, please let us know at least 30 days in advance (as early as possible is best) about the piece you would like to hear. If a quartet version is not available we have connections with composers and arrangers who can create a quartet version specially for your event. Please understand that sheet music may not have been published for the song you want to hear. A custom arrangement from piano sheet music typically takes between 4 and 10 hours to write, and one or more rehearsals for the quartet to learn. An additional charge may apply. Please contact us for details.

Q: We have selected a hymn that we would like played so our guests can sing during our ceremony. Can you provide the accompaniment? Does it cost extra?

A: We can provide the accompaniment or play along with a pianist, organist, cantor, etc. If a four part version of the hymn is available it is usually easy for us to adapt it for the quartet. If your hymnal does not have four parts we can play the one or two that are provided or we may be able to make an arrangement. It may cost extra if we have to make an arrangement, but that is not usually a problem with hymns. Please contact us.

Q: What happens if the wedding does not start on time?

A: We understand that things don't always go as planned. We will do everything that we can, within reason, to keep your guests entertained with music while they wait. We always plan extra prelude music for this very reason. If the delay is longer than 30 minutes we may need a short break. We try not to schedule anything right after a wedding because of the possibility of delay, but if the delay is more than an hour we may have to shorten the postlude or reception playlist to allow us to keep other engagements. Because of obligations to other clients, we may not be able to stay longer than the end time specified on your contract. If you are concerned about a late start, let us know and book us for extra time - we will plan to play the whole time and it will not matter if the ceremony starts exactly on time.