The Art of Music: Choosing Wisely for Your Wedding Day
By Trish Fritz, President
FritzPro Music, Inc.
You have probably read at least several articles giving advice on all aspects of hiring musicians for your wedding day. You have heard that you should ask questions about experience, get references, and insist on a contract. These are all imperative when doing business with vendors in any field, and you should certainly do your research to ensure that you’re dealing with professionals. Once you’ve found several professional companies to consider, however, where do you go from there?
How do you find that “perfect” music coordinator?
What questions should you ask?
These are the most compelling questions when considering contracting musicians for such an important day. We will assume that you have been successful in finding several companies who could provide beautiful music for your ceremony, reception or both and do so in a professional manner. We’re going to go beyond the basics and delve into finding the one coordinator who can provide that “special something” that takes your wedding from being “very nice” to “exactly what you’ve always dreamed it might be”.
How do you know who is the right one?
Have a chat. You would be amazed at what you can learn in casual conversation. You are going to be working together for six months to a year and it’s extremely important that you feel a personal connection. You want to find someone who is able to share in your excitement and understand you well enough to be able to bring your wedding dreams to life.
What questions should you ask?
After talking with me, what suggestions do you have?
- The “right” music coordinator will be able to envision your wedding day and have suggestions that will enhance your dream, rather than impose someone else’s idea of what “should be” on you.
- The music coordinator should also propose unique ways to personalize the music, either with instrumentation that reflects your personal experience or custom arrangements of music significant to you and your family.
What level of involvement will you be willing to have with me, both during the planning process and at the wedding?
- Your music coordinator should be willing to offer whatever level of involvement that is comfortable for you, whether you want to just have one telephone conversation during the entire process or you’re more inclined to confer as each decision is being made.
- You also want to make sure that your music coordinator is not in a hurry when dealing with you. You should feel as though you’re the only important item on that day’s agenda whether you’re at a personal meeting or on the telephone. Never work with anyone who makes you feel rushed or insignificant.
- In large part, your musicians “drive” the ceremony and reception, so if you have need of extra assistance the day of the wedding, whether it is because your mistress of ceremonies is nervous or there are other unforeseen circumstances, they should be happy to do whatever is necessary to ensure an effortless wedding day for you.
What sort of versatility do you offer?
- If you aren’t sure what groups would serve your vision for the perfect wedding day best, look for a coordinator who offers custom-designed music, rather than just a specific group.
What is custom designed music?
- Custom designed music allows you to have a choice in what instrumentation you have for your ceremony, cocktail reception and reception.
- You also often have a larger choice in repertoire from which to choose.
- The best of all is to find one group that can provide beautiful classical music for your ceremony, light jazz for your cocktail hour, and then, with a few additional people, convert to a larger party band to help you and your guests dance the night away.
What is the advantage?
- One point of contact for the entire event means that your vision will be carried seamlessly throughout the day.
- One point of contact also means less work for you because you will attend fewer meetings, make fewer telephone calls, and deal with only one contract.
- In general, you can also save some money by hiring one group for the entire day rather than separate groups for each part of the event.
In the end, you need to feel comfortable working with your music coordinator, and if you spend just a bit of time, you can separate the ones who will just do a good job for you from the one who will “go the extra mile” to ensure that you have the wedding day of your dreams.