Generally violinists, cellists, flautists and drummers provide their own instruments, the venue provides the piano, and acoustic instruments such as a cello do not require amplification.
For outdoor events or venues without a piano, Michelle can provide a piano keyboard (specifications) with amplifier (specifications). The engager is to provide a long enough grounded (three-prong) electrical cord to reach the nearest functioning electrical outlet.
To reserve our services for your event, we require a signed contract and a deposit, to be paid by personal cheque or eTransfer. The deposit varies between approximately 25% and 33%. If train tickets are required, the deposit covers the travel arrangements. All booking arrangements may be completed by email and mail. The remainder may be paid in advance by personal cheque by the date specified in the contract, or by cash, certified cheque or money order at the engagement.
Once our services are reserved, Michelle will assist in choosing wedding ceremony music, and will write custom music arrangements, if any. If an ensemble is to play, she will schedule a rehearsal, and will oversee all details involving the music and musicians. Our ensembles always rehearse for each event. If music to be played is difficult or unfamiliar, 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.
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 as a soloist to play both cello and piano, the substitute musician would be either a cellist or a pianist, at the client's preference.
At the Event
Each musician requires an armless chair, adequate lighting to read sheet music, and adequate elbow-room to play an instrument (approximately 4 feet by 4 feet per musician). Musicians provide their 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. The remainder of the fee is payable at the event before musicians begin to play. If musicians are to play for several hours, nourishment is appreciated. For events longer than one hour in duration, musicians take a short break each hour, which may be timed to coincide with speeches.
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. It has happened that a ceremony began more than an hour late. In that case, musicians stay and continue to play if they do not have other commitments after the time of your contract. If you are in doubt as to 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.