With the online presence of everything imaginable under the sun these days, at the push of a finger anybody with a finger can find anything that they desire on the world wide web. The same goes with finding musicians who are willing to play at your wedding. It’s so easy to find starving musicians that will play at wedding ceremonies because, in all honesty, wedding gigs pay well. Now couple the fact that there are a lot of musical folks wanting a gig with the fact that most musicians are available on a Saturday afternoon you now get a whole lotta people who play an instrument to choose from to play your special day. It can get overwhelming trying to choose a live musician or group with everyone promising they can do/play every instrument, every song, in any style at any time. But is that what you really want?
When it comes down to making a choice it is helpful to consider the following:
This is probably the first question to ask…..How many weddings have you played, or how long have you been doing this? Weddings are tricky. The music part is easy, but the timing and coordination is NOT. A smooth wedding ceremony is all about how well timed ALL of the elements are synced, from the wedding official/priest/rabbi/pastor (all of whom have their own style and their own pattern or way of doing things) to the bridal party and bride herself, to the wedding coordinator and finally to the musicians. All of these important roles played by humans have to be fully on the same page, and truthfully humans make stupid mistakes. Truthfully, this type of coordination is not a skill that can be practiced, because playing weddings ceremonies is almost fully intuitive. It also requires a LOT of prior communication.
This might be the next question, because here is where you will find out if the above experience of the musician(s) is memorable, bad or good. The reason why a lot of really skilled musicians simply won’t play at weddings is because weddings are not about the music itself. It sounds odd, but a lot of talented folks have a hard time when the music is not about them. Wedding music is about setting a mood, creating an ambience that fills the cracks and spaces with glorious sounds, and there’s a fine line between a performance and a service. The music is NOT about the performer during a wedding, and it’s imperative that the wedding musician knows that in order to be successful.
Face it. There are tons of people who do music as a sideline, a hobby, an unfulfilled dream. Many of these folks have a day job, and for extra income they play wedding gigs on the side. That might be OK for some folks looking to hire someone on the cheap, but having years of training in the art of performing can really shine through when it comes to the nitty-gritty. Wedding ceremonies often require a bend and flex feel, because timing is key. Folks run late, tech malfunctions, something is forgotten, and all of the sudden the musicians are putting on a mini concert to fill the void while the gathered and sometimes hungry congregation of your family and friends wait for the procession to begin. That awkward, empty space is where chaos can ensue. It’ s wise to inquire about what type of training the musicians have and pay a little more for someone who is skilled and can easily flex with the timing of things going awry so that Aunt Betty doesn’t have a rage of hunger!
4. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER:
Get to know your musician after you have learned a little about their background. Request to spend some time on the phone or ask if you can meet for coffee. The relationship, no matter how new makes for a more personal wedding ceremony. When folks have a little knowledge of one another everyone does better because there’s a rapport. More care and concern goes into the planning and execution of the wedding when the bride and groom are connected to hired musicians. A smooth, flowing ceremony is something that folks “feel” and is like being in a theatre watching a good movie. That feeling is what the music should be helping to try to create. Your ceremony can be and hour of good “flow” or it can be a “I can’t wait to get out of here and get to the party.”
I guess here is why hire the DCD?
When you hire a group like the Dearing Concert Duo you can be sure that they have experienced all of the above situations many times over. The Dearing have been performing for wedding ceremonies since 1998. They both hold Masters Degrees in their respective fields of expertise. Besides performing weddings and concerts, they co direct the music program at Birmingham Unitarian Church in Bloomfield Hills, MI where they pride themselves at crafting a service so that the music interweaves with the spoken word allowing for a deep spiritual experience each Sunday.
– Steven and Abha
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