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Important Info

Dear Wedding Planner,

 

We are so excited to work with you! Here is everything you need to know about planning and working with us. Please review each section carefully and reach out if you have any questions. 

Musically yours,

Ariana 

Song Selections

How to choose your music

About 2 months prior to the wedding, I will send questionnaires (usually 2, maybe 3) to gather your wedding day information and song selections. Please have your couple submit them by 5 weeks prior to your wedding. I need plenty of time to make sure we rehearse all requests, have the music ready, and coordinate with you.

If your couple would like a more personalized experience where I perform, they're always welcome to add on a Performance Consultation to their package. Then, can either meet online or at my studio in Southington, where I'll help you choose music. This service is billed separately and usually takes about 45 minutes. If you referred me to the couple, I will gladly waive this fee as a thank-you! 

Ceremony Information

What we need to make sure your wedding is perfect

I will send you a questionnaire to gather your couple's wedding day information, including the processional order and how many people are walking in each processional. We are literally counting the number of people walking down, so please don't worry about listing names, relationships, or wedding titles (except in the case of the ring bearer/flower girl). Remember, the wedding party is full of people we have never met before, so we don't know who is who! Presenting information like this will help: "7 couples are walking down the aisle together," or "We have 8 attendants walking single-file, then the ring bearer."  If there's a trio or single person walking after couples, you can note that as well. 

Once you have submitted information to us, please do not change it. We carefully plan and time your music according to the information that you've provided. When you write that the 4-year old flower girl is walking last, we will stop the music when she gets to the top of the aisle. If she walks in the middle of the processional, we will stop the music too early and there will be an awkward silence before we realize what has happened! We want to avoid disasters like stop-starts and awkward silences at all costs, so this is why we ask. 

 

Each ensemble plans well in advance and coordinates with your ceremony vendors, creating specific materials about cues for the officiant, venue coordinator, and wedding planner. While we try our best to be flexible, if you leave us a message the day before the wedding, it might not be enough time for us get in touch with everyone involved. 

 

If you need to make a change:

- A week prior: Please email Ariana and copy all ceremony vendors. Some officiants work by phone only, but we are unfortunately unable to ensure success if we're playing phone tag with such short notice. 

- Under a week prior: Please email us and print out the details. Make sure we get this print-out when we arrive on site.

Setup Requirements

Storage

Each ensemble brings a TON of equipment for your wedding day. To avoid our cases, personal belongings, and backup equipment making an unwelcome appearance in photos, please arrange to have a separate storage area or closet ready for us upon our arrival. Many venues have space for this, but they need to know in advance. 

Layout

For outdoor ceremonies, remember that we need to have a clear view of the aisle, the person cueing the ensemble, and the officiant. Please remember that we are seated when we perform. Any visual obstructions will hinder our performance. For example, if you set up ensemble behind a line of bridal attendants, we will lose sight as the attendants file in. 

 

We read off of iPads (usually), so we may need to change the angle of our ensemble depending on the lighting (if there's a glare on the screen).

 

For safety reasons, please keep us away from walkways, thorough-fares, the bar, anywhere that guests will congregate, making sure to leave plenty of space. A guest who innocently tries to sneak in between us and another guest can knock into our instruments and cause irreparable damage. A stage is always recommended.

Arrival

We arrive approximately 1-2 hours prior to the ceremony. 

Weather

Please review our weather policy (below), as this has information about tents, shade, and back-up performance areas.

Here are the requirements for each ensemble and service offering. Please make sure these items are ready upon our arrival (up to 2 hours prior to the ceremony), to avoid any delays. When we arrive, we have a lot to set up, so having in place makes all the difference! 

String quartet

Space requirements 8' x 8'

Number of armless, straight-backed chairs: 4

Electricity requirements: None

String quartet + Singer

Space requirements 8' x 12'

Number of armless, straight-backed chairs: 5

Electricity requirements: 1 power outlet, for backup 

String trio

Space requirements  8' x 6'

Number of armless, straight-backed chairs: 3

Electricity requirements: None

Acoustic duet (violin duet, violin/cello duet, violin/viola duet)

Space requirements  6' x 4'

Number of armless, straight-backed chairs: 2

Electricity requirements: None

Violin & Guitar Duet

Space requirements  8' x 6'

Number of armless, straight-backed chairs: 2

Electricity requirements: 1 power outlet, for backup 

Ceremony Sound

*This service requires a flat, solid, and dry surface for the microphone(s), microphone stand(s), cords, and speaker system. If the ground is wet, slippery, or muddy, we cannot safely provide this service. 

Electricity requirements: 1 power outlet, for backup. If the back-up power source is far away, please write to Ariana and indicate the extension cord length that we will need OR provide an extension cord for us. 

What we need to make sure your wedding is perfect

Cues

This is how we make it look easy! 

If you are cueing the musicians, please introduce yourself to us PRIOR to prelude music to avoid interrupting the music that our couple has planned. The best time to meet us is 15 minutes prior to prelude music start. Please tell us where you'll be standing and how you'll get our attention.

 

We will perform continuous prelude music even if a ceremony is running late. If it's running more than 10 minutes behind, please update us, so we can plan accordingly. We'll try to pick songs that fit within the timeframe, so it's all seamless. 

Our ensemble will provide a ceremony cue card like this (below). Follow the instructions exactly. Giving a thumbs up and waiting for our response/music is key, especially over long distances. (Many people will wave their arms, instead, but this could be read as "Stop!" or "Watch out!" A head nod is hard to see over long distances and also can be misread. The thumbs up is old school, but exactly what works.) 

We will continue performing Prelude music until we see you get in your position. 

🚨 Please do not just start sending people down the aisle without cueing us! We will not be ready, it will sound and look bad, and be awkward all-around. Your patience and assistance is KEY for making sure our couple has a wonderful ceremony. Thank you! 

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Weather

Beautiful music, no matter the forecast. 

We want you to receive the highest quality performance from our classically-trained professional musicians. Stringed instruments are very fragile and susceptible to irreparable damage from temperature fluctuations, humidity changes, and precipitation. If your event is held in conditions that are unsafe for the instruments, the ensemble will not be able to perform. For the protection of the players' livelihoods, we are unable to make exceptions to this policy. 

 

The ensemble is unable to perform in temperatures under 60 degrees or above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If conditions are such that the ensemble players determine that it is dangerous to take out their instruments, the ensemble will not perform until such conditions are remedied. In this event, the contracted start and end times remain in effect. 

If you plan to have an outdoor event and we are unable to be outside with you, we can provide amplification and perform from an indoor location. This will keep our instruments safe and still provide your music. It is an additional cost and subject to availability, so please inquire with Ariana at least 72 hours prior to your wedding to add on this option. 

For outdoor performances, it is the responsibility of the couple to provide the ensemble’s protection from the elements and inclement weather as follows:

In case of rain, a tent or umbrella large enough to cover the ensemble must be provided to protect each member of the ensemble. If the protection provided is not adequate, the ensemble will not perform. 

If the temperature is over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, significant natural shade or a tent which covers the entire ensemble and their instruments must be provided. 

If the temperature is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the heat and/or humidity is affecting the instruments, the ensemble must be moved indoors to a temperature-controlled location in order to perform. 

If the temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the ensemble must be moved indoors to a temperature-controlled location in order to perform. 

If the couple opts for an outdoor event without providing protection from the elements,  the ensemble will not be able to perform. There are no refunds in this case. Please see our amplification options (bolded above) to see how we can help accommodate you. 

Changes

We'll bend over backwards

Sometimes (especially since the pandemic), couples need to change the time of their event or even the location. Please remember that we are not a full-day vendor (like photographers, for example) and so we perform for multiple weddings per day. We need to leave plenty of time for travel (and traffic) and to be fair to all our couples. If your plans need to change, please contact Ariana immediately so we can accommodate you. We do our best to help, but please note that only the event details listed on your contract are officially covered.

Food & Drink

Don't mind if I do!

Please provide water for your ensemble, especially if it's a hot summer day. We greatly appreciate it. 

Often, caterers and venue coordinators will invite us to have a bite (after the guests have left the cocktail hour). We will not eat during our performance, but will have water on hand.

 

We don't need a vendor meal for ceremony & cocktail hour bookings. For longer bookings (like ceremony through dinner), vendor meals are most appreciated.