Should we send you the minute/second mark in the pieces we’d like to hear? Do we need to time the selections and the number of people walking? Will this piece be too long as bridal processional?
Our musicians are trained to time the processionals/entrances based on the length of the aisle, speed of the party members walking, and other factors. The planner’s often provide cues for these pieces as well, which is so helpful!
As you select your songs for the ceremony, do not stress then length of the song. Not only will the ensemble be sure to end at the appropriate time, but they will ensure that the recognizable parts of the songs you love are performed! That’s what we do best.
Pre-Recorded vs Live Music
What are the benefits of having live music vs recorded?
The best part of having a live ensemble is their ability to adapt to each situation (however unexpected)! Softer, louder, slower, faster, long pause, short pause… the ability to adjust the music quickly is particularly helpful through the ceremony. Weddings, events, and life in general often come with surprises, and hiring musicians able to go with the flow will keep things running smoothly.
How do you come up with your pricing/quotes?
There are so many things that go into our pricing decisions. We hire the most professional, full-time musicians in our service regions, and they have put A LOT of time and money into their craft. Founder/Cellist Megan has pursued music since grade school so has experience first-hand with the high costs associated with classical music/training. Our continued education, training, instrument purchases, materials, high-quality sheet music and arrangements, practice time, event insurance, travel, and time are all factors that we’ve considered as we continue to update our pricing. We love our clients, and love our musician team. In order to provide the highest level of talent for your event, we have a base rate that must be met for the musicians to hold the date and reserve their time exclusively for your special event.
Do you take special requests?
Yes! We’re happy to learn any piece you’d like and take special requests all the time. However, we do charge an extra $25 per requested song outside of our repertoire list/setlists (if there is existing sheet music that we’re able to use).
If existing sheet must is not available, we will quote to arrange/compose the piece for you. This quote will be based on the amount of time it will take to arrange, the number of parts we must write, the size of the ensemble, and the difficulty of the piece.
Why are you so particular about weather and rain plans?
We’re not divas, but our instruments can be.
The heat, rain, extreme cold etc can be damaging to the instruments (and our fingers!). We require shade when performing outdoors (no direct sunlight), and if the temperature is too low, we require a heat source. Our contract specifies what we need to ensure that the performance is not effected by “the elements”. We strongly advise a rain plan (this could be a tent, as long as the wind isn't blowing the rain onto the musician/instruments). If you’ve got questions or concerns, please reach out to us!
Is gratuity included in the invoice/pricing? Should we tip the musicians?
We highly encourage our clients to consider paying their musician/ensemble gratuity. They put an exceptional amount of time into the pieces they perform for you, and it really makes them feel great at the end of the day. The musicians like cash the day-of, but if you’d like to mail a check we will be sure that the tip reaches the musician team. Typically, this is somewhere around $40-50 per musician, but there’s no set amount or expectation.
Who specifically will be performing for my event? Do we need to select specific instrumentalists/people?
Our instrumentalists all perform the same repertoire based on our setlists. As we have continued to expand, the Carolina Music Planner vision is to provide consistent, reliable, and beautiful performances no matter who is performing! The musician team has been hand picked because they are able to perform our music selections interchangeably, and they are accustomed to performing with one another. We like to think of it as having back-up plan after back-up plan. In the event that one of our team members becomes ill or another emergency situation, we will have alternate performers and options available to you for no additional charge.
How many songs should we select for the ceremony? Do we need to select/hand pick each piece for prelude and cocktail hour?
At the time we contract, we email you a beautifully simple questionnaire to assist as you select songs for your ceremony. Typically, we ask that you choose (1) of our pre-existing setlists for the prelude music set, music from our existing repertoire/setlists for the ceremony, and if applicable, (1-2) of our setlists for the cocktail hour set. We have created the setlists based on genre, popular requests, and pieces that seem to be requested time and time again. The musicians are familiar with them, and we build in more than they’ll need so that they can personalize the sets a bit based on the lists you love. Of course, if there are any pieces within the lists that you absolutely want to hear, we will be sure to let them know!
Regarding how many selections you’ll need for the ceremony, typically less is more. When each party walking has their own piece, it can be a bit choppy, and you often hear a small clip of each piece opposed to the entire song. We recommend something like this:
Mothers/Grandparents and other special guests- 1 piece
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen/Flower Girl/Ringbearer (if applicable)- 1 piece
Bridal Processional- 1 piece
Recessional- an upbeat, fun piece after the kiss!
We are ensured via Hiscox, and can easily provide our venues/planners with a copy of our policy.