September 14, 2013: We just wanted to thank you for the beautiful music played at our wedding. The string quartet added that extra special romance that we wished for. Everyone loved you and had nothing but compliments! It was a perfect wedding! Loved every second! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! M & J L.
Most Commonly Asked Questions
How can I contract the musicians?
Very easy! Filling out the contract and appropriate deposit as mentioned on the contract will reserve your date an time. You can scan, fax or mail it to me. I’ll sign and return a copy of the contract with acknowledgment of receipt of the deposit, once received. Let me know that the contract is on its way and I’ll reserve the date for you. We accept checks, Visa and MasterCard for your convenience.
Do you carry commercial liability insurance?
Yes, we carry commercial liability insurance. Few musicians have this pricy policy. We carry it for you because more and more venues are requiring it and you’ll be asked to show proof later.
What is your experience in weddings and special event performances?
We’ve performed over 5,000 weddings and special events. We have sharp eyes for possible difficulties ahead that help us to avoid problems. It’s why you would want professionals with a great deal of experience for your most special event.
Where is your travel area?
The Greater San Francisco Bay Area, including Napa, Sonoma, the Peninsula, Silicon Valley, also Yosemite, Santa Cruz, Carmel and Monterey. Let me know if you need us outside these areas.
What is the cost?
Please send me an email or call with your date, time, location and venue name and I’ll give you quick pricing for our various combinations. If I don’t get back quickly then it’s because I didn’t get your email or call so please do both if you don’t get a timely reply.
How much time will I need?
If it’s a ceremony you’re planning then figure you’ll want approx. 30 minutes of music for your guests arriving and then for their seating. Most ceremonies start late, some very late no matter how tight the plans were. Catholic or other very long ceremonies, and any ceremony with other musicians participating usually mean that the ceremony is longer than normal and so two hours should be reserved. We do all types of events so if you need help concerning the amount of time you need then I’m here to help!
What are the differences between a solo, duo, trio, quartet?
Please visit our options page.
How far in advance do you book?
We accept bookings as far as 18 months in advance.
How many musicians will I need?
Any of our combinations work for most outside events. Just be sure we’re not too far from the ceremony or guests. Whether you have a solo, duo, trio or quartet for your outside event would depend on your preference. I have a page that discusses the difference among solo, duo, trio and quartet. It’s when you get inside with a lot of people having a very good time that you want to think about having more musicians. A good rule of thumb would be to have at least a string duo for a roomful of approximately seventy guests or more and maybe a string trio when you have around 150 or more inside guests. You still might be fine with a string trio for more than 150 guests but be sure to place us more centralized. This way everyone can enjoy the music. We’re occasionally asked if a string trio or quartet would be overbearing for a smaller party of guests or smaller location. Definitely not. We are non-amplified and control our volume as is appropriate to the situation.
What is the musicians’ attire?
Concert black, same as for symphony attire.
What is the difference in sound between a solo, duo, trio & quartet?
Please view our options page.
Can the musicians accompany a singer or instrumentalist?
We have a wonderful singer we enjoy working with. She has a beautiful operatic voice but can also sing popular music. We have a lot of experience working with both professional and non-professional singers and instrumentalists. Let me know the specifics and I can let you know the requirements, such as rehearsal time, to be considered and the fee for our singer as well.
Can the musicians perform a special request?
Usually yes. Let me know what you have in mind and I will let you know the additional time and cost that would be involved.
Do the musicians have experience in Catholic, Jewish, Mexican, etc. weddings?
We’ve often been told by the residing priest or officiant that we could probably perform their service for them, as much as they see us! We’ve done hundreds of each of these categories and dozens of other denominations and ethnicities as well.
Do the musicians perform outside?
Certainly. We have requirements as mentioned on the contract to cover conditions such as extreme cold and rain. Our instruments need protection from direct sunlight, which can be easily accomplished by a shady tree that does not drop anything that could damage our instruments or nearby structure that provides shade. Luckily, performing in the greater Bay Area finds extreme weather uncommon. We would think that in extreme conditions that not only are musicians taken in consideration but our clients’ relatives and guests comfort and safety as well. Please check with me as to the situation you’ll have and I can let you know quickly enough if there would be any special arrangements needed.
What are the musicians’ requirements?
Parking! It’s so important for us to have access to decent parking so we can set-up easily and be ready for our designated start time. I cover extreme weather conditions in number 14 above. We would need chairs at the location(s) where we will be performing, armless, whenever possible and straight seats (austere is good for our backs!) once again over the choice of those plastic bucket types if possible. Arrangements made for either vendor plates or access to the buffet are often greatly appreciated for lengthy events of three hours or more but never demanded and to be accessed during a regular break time that works for all. Non-alcoholic drinks that are free to the guests are also greatly appreciated.
Can the musicians relocate?
What if a musician suddenly needs a replacement?
Once we know we have an engagement then we are totally dedicated to the time and date. I have access to fine replacements within my group of colleagues if an emergency arises.
Have you ever canceled an engagement?
No. We won’t cancel on you. Quite the contrary every year we often get called for last minute cancellations from both professional (not so professional actually…) and family/friend commitments.
How do you handle breaks?
Our contract says that we would take breaks after approximately forty-five minutes of continuous performing which is a standard for the safety of musicians. While we reserve this guideline as needed, it is nice to know that if we’re left on our own to pace the music needs then we often give you more time than is a required standard. Remember also that the slight break(s) is part of the performance. When the music starts again it’s an added excitement and is indigenous to a live performance.
Are the musicians amplified?
We are non-amplified. We do not mind if anyone wants to amplify us for personal reasons.
Are there any other expenses?
There are no hidden fees or extra travel fees. There are no taxes because we provide a service which is non-taxable.
Are there discounts for weekdays?
Unlike a venue, which is already ‘there’, we have even more than the usual invested time you won’t see because we have to leave much earlier to assure a safe arrival, and of course that extra 30 minutes buffer we make a personal goal for our arrival time. So we don’t discount our performances but are still are very happy to perform for your weekday special event or wedding.
What time will your musicians arrive?
We do not charge for our set-up time unless we are designated a specific time to be set-up. Our typical arrival and set-up is thirty minutes prior, which is our personal goal. Adequate parking helps us to begin promptly for our scheduled time. Please let me know if your venue is a difficult parking situation.