wedding f.a.q.

that's "frequently asked questions"

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about wedding music and our services. As wedding musicians, we run into the same questions and situations quite frequently; this page should help you in your wedding music planning.

What are your rates?
Our rates are higher than a solo pianist or organist would be - you are hiring two musicians. However, they are significantly less than a larger group such as a quartet. The following are our 2016 rates:
Wedding Ceremony: $500
This includes 20-30 minutes of prelude music, ceremony music, and up to 15 minutes of post-service music.
Catholic Mass Parts: $50
Autumn has been a cantor for Catholic services, and we are able to sing and play mass parts.
Solo Song: $50-100 for most
If you have a special song you would like sung, we can accomodate.
Wedding Rehearsal: $100
We have found that rehearsal attendance is not usually necessary, if details are communicated accurately to us prior to the wedding day. However, if our calendars allow, one of us would be more than happy to attend if it makes the wedding participants feel more comfortable. The more complexities your wedding has, the better it is for us to attend the rehearsal.
Rehearsal with soloist(s): $100/hour for piano only
We would be more than happy to accompany singers or other instrumentalists that you may want to participate in your ceremony. The performance during the ceremony is included in the basic wedding rate, however, a charge will apply for rehearsal if it is necessary. For basic and common music, such as Schubert's Ave Maria, a run-through before the ceremony would be adequate and no charge will apply; however for complex music, or for musicians with little experience working with a pianist, a rehearsal may be necessary.
Receptions: $500 first hour, $250 each additional hour
This rate applies if we are booked for the reception only. If we are hired for the ceremony also, the first hour rate will not apply and each hour of the reception will be $250. Exception: If there is a long period of time between the ceremony start time and reception (4+ hours), the first hour of reception will be at the higher first-hour rate.
Arrangements: $50 and up, depending on the piece
See our arrangements page for details. Pricing is quite variable.
Travel: varies
There will be a $100 charge for travel outside of the five boroughs of New York City.
How much music should I have?
There are many places during and around the wedding ceremony that music can be placed. It is common to have a prelude of around 20 minutes (usually turning into close to 30 as it is uncommon for a wedding to start right on time). A postlude is common, and is usually shorter, though we can play for as long as you like afterwards, if you are greeting guests by row and want music to continue. The processional and bride's entrance are almost always accompanied by music. Some other places during the service where music is appropriate: lighting of mother's candle, lighting of unity candle, and Communion. We can also play special music while nothing else is going on, simply for the enjoyment of the guests. You can select the music, leave it completely up to us, or anywhere in between.
My sister wants to sing. Can you play for her?
Yes, we can. It is very special to have people you know participating in your ceremony, and we would be glad to accommodate this. See the pricing section above for cost information. Eric has many years of accompanying experience, and would be glad to play for that friend or relative you want to have sing or play.
My friend/sister/mother/cat had an awful experience with her wedding music - the quartet stopped playing before she finished walking down the can I prevent something like this from happening?
The more variables and complexity in a ceremony, the more potential there is for something to go wrong. It is easier for a solo organist or pianist to be flexible in the face of the unexpected than two or four people, because s/he can improvise easily. twist is an unlikely group to be thrown off completely, because if nothing else, Eric can continue playing and improvise an ending like a string quartet could not. Here's how to be sure nothing goes wrong with your wedding music, and especially your processional.
  • Choose music with good stopping points. We can help you with this.
  • Don't stop walking halfway down the aisle (or tell us if you are going to)! We need to be able to time when you will arrive at the front of the room.
  • Don't sprint! As nervous as you may be, try to walk slowly so we have time to play more than a few bars of music.
  • Place the musicians where they can see what's going on. If we're behind a large column and our view of the aisle is blocked off, it will be difficult to know when to stop playing.
  • If something unusual is planned (such as walking to the front, going up the steps, going around the altar, and walking back down the steps), let us know!
  • Make sure all the people involved in the processional know their cues. If the music is complex and the pieces change from one part of the procession to the next, it is a good idea for us to attend the rehearsal.
  • Make sure we are well informed. Who's walking in the processional? Is there a runner being put down? When? Are there candles being lit? When and how many? (Make sure you have lit them a couple times and know they will light right away!)
We already have a DJ for our reception, and aren't sure if we want to hire musicians as well. Any thoughts?
It is common for a wedding reception to include a DJ or band and dancing after the food is served. It may seem on the surface an inefficient idea to hire a DJ/band and classical musicians, however, there are some good reasons to do so. Weddings are a gathering of many different types of people, and the age differences are usually great. Because Aunt Maude isn't necessarily going to enjoy gettin' down with Vanilla Ice, it is often a good idea to include music palatable to many ages and tastes. Hourly rates for DJs and musicians are often comparable, so it it does not cost much more to hire both a DJ and a classical ensemble. We have found that, when there will be dance music following eating at the reception, it works well to have twist play as the reception begins and through dinner. The DJ or band can take over the show after dinner is finished and the toasts begin.
What will you wear?
We can dress as formally or informally as you like. If you communicate the colors of your wedding and the atmosphere of the building, we will be sure not to clash.