F A Q - Beautiful string music for any occasion serving the Chicago area

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Frequently asked questions

Why do rates differ between string ensembles?

The different rates between string groups correspond to the level of experience (years of performing as a group), professionalism, quality, and performance caliber. Our musicians have many years of national and international performing experience as a string group in concert halls, chamber music settings, weddings, and events. The result of our level of performance and professionalism will be more than evident at your event. Beautifulstrings guarantees the highest quality performance for your important event.  

Are the musicians on the website the same performers that will be playing at my event?

Yes. There will be rare occasions when a member(s) may not be available because of illness or unavailability. He/she will be replaced with a substitute of the highest caliber who has experience playing in our ensemble and is very familiar with our ensemble and our music.

What type of string ensemble would you recommend for my event?

The best option of an ensemble for your event depends on the number of guests that will be attending, the size of the room, if it is an indoor or outdoor event, if there is amplification available, and what type of style or music you'd like performed. Please contact us if you'd like to receive more information.

We are on a budget. What do you recommend for my wedding ceremony?

The string duet consisting of a violin and a cello. If the wedding ceremony is outdoors, you may also want to consider amplification for the string duet.

How far in advance should we book your group?

At least one month in advance. Popular dates, especially during summertime, get filled quickly. As soon as you have a firm date for your event, it would be wise to book our group. If we have the date available, we do accept emergency bookings.

When will the ensemble arrive at the venue?

The quartet will arrive approximately 30 minutes before the booked time so that the group can set up and tune the instruments.

How long can we book you for?

You can book us for up to six hours which can include the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner/dance. We will need ten minutes break after each hour of continuous playing. For a reception/dinner that lasts over 3 hours, we require meals to be served during one of our breaks.

How do we book you?

Contact us. After we confirm availability and event details, we will send you a proposal. If you agree to the proposal and would like to book us, we will send you a contract with the details. Return the signed contract along with a deposit fee (1/3 of the total sum) to reserve our musicians for your event. The rest of the payment is due one week before the event.

Do you perform outdoors?

Yes, we do. There are some performance limitations for outdoor events:
We will need shade and protection for our instruments from the direct sun, strong winds, rain, or water fountains. We own expensive instruments and they are susceptible to cracks and damage from elements of weather such as temperatures below 60 and above 90 degrees. If your venue has no protection or shade from direct sun, we can provide a 10’ by 10’ canopy for a small additional fee to set up.

Do you charge extra for travel?

Not if the event is within the Chicago area and near-by suburbs.

Do you need us to provide anything for you at the event?

We will need armless chairs for the number of contracted musicians and 8’ by 8’ of space at the desired location where you want us to perform. If it is an indoor event, then adequate lighting is important. If you would like us to perform with an amplified sound system then we will need AC power. There is a small fee to request amplification for our group. For an outdoor event, we will need l
evel ground, protection from high winds, and let us know if there is an alternate location in case it rains.

What will you wear?

Formal concert black attire unless specified.

Do we need to meet in person to discuss music or other details?

It is not necessary to meet in person because all questions can be addressed over the phone or by e-mail.  However, if you would like to meet for music consultation or to hear musical samples from our group, a fee applies.

Do you perform with other singers or instrumentalists? Do you need to rehearse with them?

Yes, we have performed many times with other players as well as singers. A rehearsal might be necessary for all the musicians to practice the music together. We would need to communicate with the other singers or instrumentalists to discuss musical details. We could meet earlier at the location of the event to rehearse. Depending on how much time and how many pieces are needed to rehearse, a fee may apply.

When should we choose the music for our event?

It is best to discuss this in advance, especially if you would like to request a piece that is not in our library. For ceremony music, you may also want to discuss this with your officiant since some ceremonies might have reservations about certain types of music. Ideally, we would like to have the music program confirmed, especially for a wedding ceremony, at least two weeks before the event in case there are any special requests that need separate arrangements.

We would like to request a special piece for you to perform at our event that is not in your library? Can you accommodate us?

Absolutely. We make arrangements for any type of ensemble. There is a fee to make an arrangement of that special piece for your event.

My wedding ceremony and the cocktail hour/reception are in two different locations. What is your fee in this situation?

We charge for the duration of the contracted time and this includes travel between locations.

Will you attend the wedding rehearsal so we can time the wedding party to the music?

It is not necessary for us to attend the wedding rehearsal.
Having played at hundreds of weddings our ensemble is very experienced at timing the music to the wedding party. It would, however, be very helpful to discuss wedding party logistics such as how many people are in the wedding party, the order (parents, bridesmaids, flower girl, etc.), the approximate distance they will be walking to the altar, and other details. It would also be helpful to assign a representative or event planner to cue us at the start of the processional.

What happens if my wedding ceremony starts or runs late?

If we have to stay 15 minutes past the contracted time then there will be a prorated fee for every half hour of overtime.

For the processional, how many pieces should we choose?

You can choose just one piece for the entire bridal party or you can have different pieces: one for the entrance of the mothers, another for the bridal party and finally one for the bride.

How long do you play for the prelude music?

We perform up to a half an hour of prelude music or approximately when people start arriving at the event.

How do we choose music for the prelude? Should I give you a list of songs to perform?

You can choose selections from our library or it would be easier to give us an idea of the type of ambience you would like to have such as light popular music or upbeat classical music. Perhaps if you give us a few musical titles, we will have an idea of the type of music you prefer for the prelude. You can always let us choose the selections, and we will perform pieces that are popular with audiences.

When should we give you the final amount?

It would be best to send us the final amount at least one week in advance.  Also
make sure that you or your assigned person (best man, for example) will take care of the payment no later than by the end of our performance.

What if we will need to go overtime?

We cannot guarantee our availability after the contract time is up, but please feel free to ask the group coodinator 15 minutes before the end of the performance.

Do you accept tips?

It is not necessary to tip the musicians, but if you loved our performance, we'll gladly accept it.


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