Hiring a violinist for your wedding sets the stage for elegant and timeless music to accompany you down the aisle and wow your guests! It also offers your guests an opportunity to experience a style of music they may not have heard and that they will remember for a long time to come.
A wedding violinist isn’t your only option for strings on your wedding day. You could hire a cello, viola, guitar, harp, piano… there are many beautiful options! If you would like to have more than one musician, the violin pairs perfectly with any of these instruments.
1. Google “wedding violinist” in your area. Several options are sure to pop up. If you are in North or South Carolina, or you want us to travel to you, we would love to be your wedding violinist! But, if you are in another location, Google is a good place to start.
2. If you are working with a wedding coordinator or a wedding planner, they can likely recommend a violinist they enjoy working with and who they already know will do a great job.
3. Does the violinist have a website or are they willing to send you videos or audio samples of their playing? This one is important. You want a seasoned performer… Not just someone who has performed for a couple weddings.
Many things happen at weddings. There are distractions, delays, changes at the last minute, and you need a violinist who can look up from their music and be aware of what is going on around them. If your violinist is less seasoned, they may be glued to their music and not aware of what is going on around them, which makes for awkward entrances and less than impressive melodies for your guests to enjoy. It can actually turn into a stressful situation for everyone if they see that the violinist is struggling. When performing, it’s important to communicate a sense of “I’ve got this” which becomes evident to guests. This allows guests to sit back, relax, and enjoy the music instead of feeling like they are sitting through a painful student violin recital where they are not sure the performer is comfortable.
4. Does the wedding violinist have reviews? The reviews don’t have to be on Wedding Wire, The Knot, or another popular website, but you need to be able to see that they have positive reviews and that the reviews seem genuine from actual clients. We have gotten many last-minute phone calls from brides two days before their wedding wanting to hire us instead because their hired violinist is not returning calls and may not show up on their wedding day. There is also the added stress of having already paid that violinist a deposit that they may or may not get back. Working with a violinist with a good reputation is so important just because of the peace of mind it will give you leading up to your wedding day. We actually know several performers who are not allowed to advertise on certain websites anymore because they did not show for events. It does happen, and you really don’t want it to happen to you on one of the most important days of your life. Always hire a professional!
5. Does the violinist have a song list? It’s important that your violinist has some ideas to offer you about what they can play. It doesn’t have to be a comprehensive list, but at least some suggestions of tunes they have played in the past and enjoy performing. Be sure to ask them if they are willing to learn any new music as well, as you may have a specific song in mind that you want to make sure is played. If this song is already in their repertoire then great, but if not they may need to learn it for your wedding.
7. Here are some other questions you may want to ask, depending on your specific situation…
Do they need power nearby? Do they play with a PA or amplification system? Do they ever play with backing tracks? Do they play different styles of music or only classical music? Will there be any additional fees added, such as travel fees, fees for new music, overtime fees, taxes?
Does the violinist require a vendor meal? At what time do they typically arrive? Do they need to talk with your officiant or planner before the wedding day?
Of course, every violinist will do things a little bit differently, and you want to make sure that whoever you hire is someone who fits you and your vision for your wedding music. For example, here at Deans' Duets, if you are getting married in Asheville, and you want mainly classical music, we will prioritize a classical violinist who is also an Asheville violinist. But if you are getting married in Charlotte and want a classical violinist we would probably use one of our Charlotte violinists so that you did not have to pay travel fees from Asheville. That’s just the way that we do things… You want to ask these questions to make sure that the person or group you are hiring works for you.
As another example of how we work, if our Asheville violinist were to get sick on your wedding day, and we would need to bring in a Charlotte violinist, we would not charge that travel fee since it was an emergency situation. We would be able to bring in a violinist from out of town in order to still play your wedding with a fantastic classical violinist, even if an emergency situation were to arise.
These are just a few examples of the culture of Dean's Duets, and how it’s important to ask many questions of the professional you are hiring, so that you feel comfortable and confident that they will do a great job with your wedding music.
We are happy to answer any questions for you and point you in the right direction when searching for your wedding violinist in North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond! Feel free to reach out to us at any time. Happy planning!
April is a professional violinist and the music coordinator for Dean's Duets.