Suggestions for Selecting Your Wedding Musicians

By HonestAnswers, Published Sep 10, 2009

Special to OneWed by Chicago wedding pianist Kathie Nicolet Many brides are overwhelmed by the 2,156 decisions they have to make in planning their wedding ceremonies and receptions. What to choose? Silver or gold table linens? Chicken or salmon? Pink roses or delphiniums? Please allow me to assist you in selecting your wedding musicians… As a professional Chicago pianist and wedding musician for over 25 years, I have been a significant part of thousands of celebrations that included “behind the scenes” negotiations, phone discussions, music selections, rehearsals, recommendations for additional vendors, and more. Some brides were searching for nothing but the best, and I'd like to share suggestions in how you can do the same to ensure that your wedding day is memorable, beautiful, and special. Relax and let the wedding professionals help you with our expertise. We have had countless years of experience and witnessed almost every possible scenario imaginable. I personally have seen a bride faint just before saying “ I do,” a bride who heard the Bridal March and just stood in the doorway, frozen (The ring bearer had forgotten the ring on the 16th floor of the hotel!), ceremonies starting 45 minutes late because Uncle Bob took a wrong turn driving to the church, and almost anything else you can imagine. Despite the challenges presented, these weddings were absolutely beautiful — with much credit given to professional vendors who knew how to handle them! When selecting your vendors, be sure they can offer you top references and have professional materials to share that show a quality business. If your phone calls are not handled professionally and promptly, you are wise to go to someone else. Remember: You are planning one wedding. We help plan thousands! Many people are looking for value today, and may believe that because Aunt Frannie plays the piano, she’d be perfect as your cocktail pianist! Aunt Frannie may know “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” but do you want to hear it 35 times in an hour? Will your guests be disappointed because she doesn’t know how to play anything else? Let Aunt Frannie be a guest. Leave the music to a professional who has a wide enough repertoire to please everyone present. We are trained to take requests and play polished, professional arrangements — and do it all while smiling and carrying on a conversation without taking our hands off the keys! All beautiful, elegant, wedding ceremonies will have live music. Please leave your CDs in the car. If you are absolutely on the tightest budget, you can hire a solo musician for what two dinner entrees or a lovely floral centerpiece would cost you. It’s smart not to cut corners with ambience. Music sets the tone for your day and your guests will notice. Keep this thought in mind for your wedding showers, rehearsal dinners, and post-nuptial champagne brunches as well. A celebration without music is only a meeting. Ask your vendors for vendor recommendations. The facility where you are planning your event will usually have a list of preferred musicians for wedding ceremonies and other events (and may have listings of other wonderful people such as florists, photographers, and caterers). Just ask your catering coordinator for their list of recommended professional musicians. This is one of the best resources you can find in that recommended vendors do not pay to be listed. Preferred vendors are recommended for consistent quality service and impeccable reputations. Anyone can get listed in a phone book or a wedding magazine for a fee. Recommendations cost nothing but are tremendously valuable resources. If the facility recommends someone superior who your guests are talking about for weeks after your wedding, it reflects well on both the vendor and the facility. If we look good, they look good! It’s a good idea to consult with the musical director of your church before selecting musicians for your ceremony. It is common practice for the church to require you to use their in-house musicians and will not allow you to bring in outside vendors. Catholic churches often have an “approved” list of musical selections allowed. Be sure to call first. Congratulations on your special day! If you are seeking recommendations for vendors in the Chicago area, please contact me anytime. My personal recommendations are provided as complimentary service for those seeking only the best that Chicago has to offer for your special, successful day! Kathie Nicolet Chicago pianist for beautiful wedding ceremonies and receptions since 1983 (630) 830-2345

Recent Blogs