It’s one of our most frequently asked questions........
“Which ensemble is best?”
There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this one! Yes - the string quartet is the classic wedding ensemble. Two violins, a viola, and a cello. It's the quintessential wedding ensemble. And yes - if you want classic traditional elegance - the string quartet is the way to go. But - there are many other wonderful options! Since we’re on the subject of the string quartet, let’s start there…..
The String Quartet
Four instruments is a lot of volume - usually enough volume for 200+ guests at an outdoor ceremony (if it’s not windy).
It’s a beautiful aesthetic. Four string instruments set up in that classic configuration that we recognize from so many wedding movies. It’s pretty!
Another advantage to the string quartet is that lots of music is arranged for string quartet. So, if you’re wanting some new modern music, you have the best chance of finding it for a string quartet.
*Our string quartet performing at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.
The string quartet is versatile. Guests swoon when they hear Canon in D on string quartet for the bridal entrance. And they cheer when the ensemble surprises the crowd with an exciting rendition of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” for the recessional. It can be classical and modern… all at the same wedding!
The one drawback: budget. Four musicians can put some clients over budget. If so, check out these other options…..
The String Trio
*A photo of our string trio at Pinehurst Resort, in Pinehurst, NC
The string trio is basically a string quartet without the viola…. two violins and a cello. Still decent volume and still beautiful. And a little more budget-friendly than a quartet.
There are slightly fewer modern songs arranged for trio, so if you’re into modern day music, ask about the song list for the trio before booking! Still lots of modern options here though.
We find that the trio pulls off the same elegance as the quartet without the price tag, so if you want to cut corners a little but still convince your guests that you splurged for strings - the string trio is a great option!
But what if 3 or 4 instruments is out of my budget but I still want top 40 music?
If you want to stick to two musicians but still play some killer covers of pop songs, I recommend pairing a violin with an accompanying instrument! The violin is a melody instrument which plays the vocals. If you pair it with a guitar, a piano, or a harp, then you still have all the melody and the accompaniment. That's all you need to pull off pop music successfully (well... as long as you have two really skilled players who have a lot of experience playing modern music on strings! Pop music is generally not easy to pull off on strings, so make sure you hear video samples first and hire professionals).
Here’s an example of a violin and guitar duet playing "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles:
This is a video from a wedding we played at The Farm at Brusharbor. It’s plenty of sound! The violin pulls off the melody. The guitar fills in everything else.
What if you want a little more depth of sound? You can add a violin or cello to make it a trio! Here’s an example of that:
April is a violinist and music coordinator for Dean's Duets.