Parts of a wedding, musically

  • The Prelude is light, background music that is played while guests arrive and are being seated. This can be classical, popular, or a mix of both. It's customary for 15 - 30 minutes of prelude music immediately before the ceremony, as your guests are being seated.

  • The Processional is the music played for the wedding party as they walk down the aisle. Typically, there will be one or two selections for the parents and grandparents, bridesmaids and groomsmen, and one selection for the bride.

  • There's often music for parts of the ceremony itself, like a unity candle or sand ceremony. This can be more complex for Catholic Masses, or traditional Jewish weddings.

  • The Recessional is played once the couple is announced and as they are leaving. This can be classical or popular, and music usually lasts until all guests have exited.

  • Cocktail Hour. This can be Pop, Jazz, Classical, or a mix of all three, and is usually more upbeat.

  • Dinner music. Usually Jazz or Classical, and often more subdued.


How does the planning process work?

Planning a wedding can be intimidating, but planning the music should be fun!  We consult with you every step of the way and are always available by phone and e-mail.

Most couples book between 6 and 12 months ahead of time.  We recommend booking as early possible, as dates can fill up quickly.

Once we have a date confirmed, we'll start by picking out or narrowing down music selections for the ceremony itself.  If you're not sure where to start, we'll make suggestions once we chat briefly on the phone to find out more about the overall feel you are envisioning.  Our music library is very large, but if you have something in mind that we don't have already, we'll add it to our library at no cost to you.  For songs where no arrangements exist, many couples have commissioned us for custom arrangements of a song that is special to them.  This is done at reasonable rates and overall cost depends on how complex the song is.

We will then touch base a few weeks before hand to confirm music selections and to gather any other information we'll need for timing the ceremony.  Finally, on the day of, we'll work directly with your event planner, officiant, future mother in law, or anyone else you choose to make sure the music integrates flawlessly.


Does the ensemble need amplification?

The answer is, it depends. Generally, for ceremonies, amplification is ideal, but not necessary. We will always recommend amplification for ceremonies with more than 150 guests in attendance, settings with background ambiance like waves, moving water, or where the ensemble cannot play close enough to the ceremony site due to weather or shade requirements.

For cocktail hours, we recommend amplification for any setting with more than 50 guests in attendance. In many instances, the volume of the celebration during cocktail hour can reach or exceed a noisy bar, and amplification is essential to help the music be heard above the crowd.

Our equipment is highly specialized and extremely low profile (no large mics or mic stands, no large speakers on poles, etc.) We also do not have traditional power requirements, which allows us to provide amplification where it would otherwise be unavailable.


Can you provide a sound system for the officiant?

Yes. Our highly specialized equipment is suited perfectly for settings where your guests may otherwise have to strain to hear the officiant or text of your ceremony. Some advantages of using our sound services include:

  • The lowest profile systems available (you may not even realize it’s there!)

  • No traditional power requirements. We can provide full sound support, even if the venue does not have power available for your ceremony site.

  • The expertise to minimize and eliminate feedback, hissing, humming, or issues often associated with officiant sound that can take away from the ceremony itself.

We’re happy to provide this service a la carte, but can offer significant discounts when you book an ensemble with us as well. Our clients have told us that we are often far most cost effective than their DJs and venues that do not include this service standard.


Do you attend rehearsals?

This is usually not necessary - we have performed at countless weddings and are skilled at timing the music just right.  We only recommend having us attend your rehearsal if cost isn't an object, or if you are interested in having us provide entertainment for your rehearsal dinner or reception.


What's the difference in sound between a String Quartet, String Trio and String Duo?

Depending on whether the venue is indoors or outdoors, the number of guests and song selections, one ensemble may work better than another.  In general, a String Quartet (2 violins, viola and cello) gives the fullest, most complex sound and has the largest repertoire available, including Pop and Jazz.  A String Trio (2 violins and cello) is similar, but more sparse.  Some popular pieces are only arranged for quartet, so a trio is slightly more limited for choice of music.  A duo is more suited for ceremony and background music, and is limited to only classical music -- think "classy dinner hour".


Will you perform outdoors?

Absolutely!  There are a couple of requirements, however, to protect our instruments:  Full shade, shelter from any precipitation and temperatures between 60 - 90 degrees.


Which musicians will be playing?

Our core "family" of musicians is the same that you see and hear on our website.  All consultation and planning is handled personally by Michael and Matthew. The ensemble will always be lead by one of our expert musicians who you hear in our recordings.  Rest assured that unlike some groups, we never play with amateurs or students.  When you hire an ensemble from Two Rivers Chamber Music for your wedding or event, you will always be in good musical hands.


What will the musicians wear? 

Typically, men will be in a black tux and ladies in formal black.  However, we're flexible and can work to match whatever look and feel you have in mind.  We're always looking for excuses to add fun bow ties to the collection!