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Booking Information

Engaging our Services

To reserve our services for your event, we require a signed contract and a deposit. The deposit is usually 25% of the total fee. If train tickets are required, the deposit covers the cost of travel. All booking arrangements may be completed by email and eTransfer or cheque in the mail. When we have both signed the contract and the deposit is received, the booking is solid. The remainder may be paid in advance by personal cheque by the date specified in the contract, which is usually 10 business days before the event, or by cash, certified cheque, or money order at the engagement, before musicians begin to play.

Preparation Process

Once our services are reserved, Michelle will assist in choosing wedding ceremony music. If all desired music is already in our repertoire, finalizing the selections can be done until a week before the event. If one or two new pieces/songs are requested that we do not already play, the music should be chosen by three weeks before the event. If many new pieces/songs are requested, please choose your final selections a month or more before the event date. Michelle will write custom music arrangements of requested pieces/songs for the chosen instrumentation. One is included, and others cost extra, as indicated in the price list.

If an ensemble is to play, Michelle will schedule a rehearsal, and will oversee all details involving the music and musicians. Our ensembles always rehearse for every event. This exceeds the industry norm. If any requested music is challenging to play, musicians receive the sheet music before the rehearsal, so they can learn their parts in advance. Our policies and procedures ensure that our clients receive well-prepared wedding music of the highest quality.

Musical Instruments

Generally violinists and cellists provide their own instruments, the venue provides the piano, and acoustic instruments such as a violin or cello do not require amplification. Solo cello is not available outdoors. Other ensembles may be available to play outdoors; if interested, please enquire.

For outdoor events or venues without a piano, Michelle can provide a Roland RD-300SX piano keyboard and a Roland KC-150 amplifier. The engager is to provide a long enough grounded (three-prong) electrical cord to reach the nearest functioning electrical outlet.

Michelle's Roland keyboard

What Happens if a Musician Becomes Unavailable?

Our musicians are chosen for reliability as well as competence. It very rarely happens that a musician becomes unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies. If this were to happen, the musician is responsible to find an appropriate substitute musician. If Michelle is hired to play both cello and piano, the substitute musician would be either a cellist or a pianist, at the client's preference.

What Happens if a Wedding Ceremony Begins Late?

Musicians continue to play pre-ceremony music until the ceremony actually begins. If a ceremony begins late, up to 15 minutes starting and ending late is included. Beyond that, overtime is payable at the regular price for an additional 30 minutes, then every 15 minutes beyond that. If a ceremony begins more than an hour late (which has happened), then if our musicians do not have other commitments after the time of your contract, we will stay and continue to play. If you are not sure how much time your event will require, contracting for a longer time period will ensure that if your ceremony runs late, musicians will have reserved enough time to stay and provide music for your event.

At the Event

Each musician requires an armless chair, adequate lighting to read sheet music, and adequate elbow-room to play an instrument, which is approximately four feet by four feet per musician. If musicians are to play for several hours, nourishment is appreciated. Musicians provide our own music stands.

Musicians playing for a wedding ceremony must be positioned where we can see the procession and ceremony. When playing outdoors, musicians need to be positioned in the shade of a canopy or tree, as the sun can damage instruments. For events longer than one hour in duration, musicians take a short break of approximately 10 minutes each hour, which may be timed to coincide with speeches.