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Tips for Hiring Ceremony Musicians

The musicians you choose for your wedding ceremony can have a huge impact on how the big day is remembered — by both you and your spouse…and your guests. Before you sign on the dotted line, keep in mind these tips designed to help make sure that the musicians you choose are a perfect fit.

Consider the theme or style of your wedding for help in selecting the type of musician you’d like to have play.

Romantic? How about a harp. Classic? Maybe a string quartet. Traditional? Perhaps an organist. A little bit country? Try a 12-string guitar.

Consider the size of your guest list and venue.

A smaller space and number of attendees might require a more intimate musical setting — just a piano player or harpist.

Check with the contact person at your venue.

Many venues, particularly churches, have rules about the type of music that’s allowed. Also, some venues may have a list of ceremony musicians from which to choose.

Check in with your spouse-to-be.

It’ll be more memorable for both of you if you make the selection together, and you might be surprised to find out that your fiancé/fiancée has some specific ideas about the music for the wedding.

Ask potential musicians for references.

Experienced wedding musicians will have a long list of happy couples who can vouch for their talent and professionalism.

Preview a performance.

Ask to attend an upcoming event at which your potential musicians are performing.

Get a contract.

If you’re hiring professional musicians to play, be sure to get a written contract for their services. Be prepared to put down a deposit, and ask about their protocol for future touch-base meetings and selecting the music.

Hire musicians who can multi-task.

Do you want instrumental and vocal music? Select an instrumentalist who can play all the parts of the ceremony, including accompanying the vocalist. This will help cut down on the budget and the number of people involved. On a super-tight budget? Hire a piano or guitar player who also sings.

Trust your gut.

He may be a virtuoso violinist, but if something about the guy you’re considering doesn’t seem quite right, move on to your next choice.