Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in the fee? What can I expect from the musicians?
The fee includes all music (up to 1 hour), from the prelude (15-20 minutes before the ceremony as guests are seating) to the postlude (1-2 pieces after the recessional as guests are leaving). This includes music for: 1. seating of mothers/grandmothers, 2. bridal party, 3. bridal processional, 4. any special rites within the ceremony (sand pouring, unity candle lighting, etc.), and 5. the recessional.
The musicians will arrive approximately 30-40 minutes before the ceremony, to set up (only takes 5 minutes), to begin playing prelude music 15-20 minutes before the scheduled ceremony start time. If there is a singer or another musician you've planned for us to collaborate with for the ceremony, the musicians will arrive much sooner, to run through the program, make sure everyone has music, rehearse, and generally confirm that everyone is on the same page.
Will you play outdoors?
Absolutely! We do have some specific requests for outdoor weddings, however--primarily to protect our wooden antique instruments from the elements, and to also ensure that we can perform at the highest level for you.
(Moisture, sunlight, and heat/cold will cause warping/damaging of the wood, requiring thousands of dollars in repairs. In addition, extreme cold will numb and slow our fingers, and extreme humidity will cause our fingers to slip off the fingerboard--both resulting in a less-than stellar performance for your event.)
We ask that for an outdoor event, you provide:
-Protection from direct sunlight, precipitation and ground moisture, and wind
-Adequate heating in extreme cold (below 60 degrees) and cooling in extreme heat (above 90)
We regret our strict adherence to not being able to play unless these conditions are met, and we do not refund payments... Please help us make the music for your event worry-free by having either a backup plan for inclement weather, or providing us with adequate protection!
Can you accompany singers/organists/other musicians?
Yes! We work with singers and other musicians quite often. Please contact us to tell us what you have in mind!
What can you play? Do you perform rock or pops tunes?
One of the things that sets us apart from other wedding ensembles in the area is our musical versatility. Not only do we regularly perform all the standard traditional wedding music, but we also have an extensive catalogue of rock and pop covers, which can be arranged for any sort of ensemble you choose. (Check out our repertoire here.) If you want something in your ceremony that we don't have in our library already, we can easily find, or arrange anything you request, to your liking. The fees for special arrangements are very reasonable ($5-45) and depend on instrumentation, length, and complexity.
Are the musicians I see/hear on this website the same ones who will play at my event?
For the most part, yes. At least one, and usually most (if not all) of the musicians you hear in the recordings will be playing at your event. All musicians who play Harlequin Chamber Music event are either full-time, tenured, professional musicians in the Louisiana Philharmonic, or sub regularly. In addition, all our musicians have played together for years in other chamber music events and concerts, and have years of experience with all sorts of weddings in all seasons and venues.
How will the musicians dress?
The dress code is normally formal concert black (dressy black for ladies; black shirt/trousers, or suit and tie for men). If you have any specific requests, please let us know and we will be happy to accommodate your request!
Do you need to attend the wedding rehearsal?
Usually not. Arriving 30-40 minutes before the ceremony on the day-of is usually enough for our musicians. We have extensive experience in knowing how to time the music to various parts of the ceremony without needing to run through it in a rehearsal. There are a few exceptions, which might include music-heavy Catholic masses, or ceremonies with a lot of coordination between any other musicians. Please contact us with more details if you feel a rehearsal might be necessary, or if you simply feel more comfortable with the musicians at your rehearsal.
Do you need to be amped? Do you have a sound system?
Most of the time, no--amplification isn't necessary, even outdoors. (We turn on our 'outdoor instrument voices.') However, there are certain outdoor venues where it has been difficult to hear anything, including music, due to the acoustics of the space (Jackson Square, parts of City Park, to name a couple.) Also, the more guests there are, the more muffled the sound will become, as it travels to the last rows.
We unfortunately don't own our own sound system (yet), but in these cases, if you would like an amplified sound for the music, we recommend that you talk to your planner/MC/the venue to see if they can provide extra microphones and speakers for us. We've found that at least one microphone for every two musicians seems to work best.
I want to book, what do I do now?
That's great! The first thing to do is click the button below, to fill out the initial contact form. We'll get back to you as soon as possible (usually within 24 hours), though it may take a little longer if we are traveling for work, or if the orchestra is in off-season.
We'll get more information about your wedding/event, and discuss your music budget (if you have one), preference for ensemble, and your musical preferences. Once you've chosen an ensemble, we'll send you a PDF contract which you can fill out and either e-mail as a PDF or mail back, along with a non-refundable deposit to guarantee your date/time, which is 50% of your total fee. The balance will be due about a month before the wedding.