Your Wedding Timeline

Prelude + Ceremony Music

Our musicians typically play a 30-minute prelude for the wedding ceremony itself. So a ceremony that is scheduled to begin at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, will typically have prelude music beginning at 4:30.  Prelude music is very important, and is intended to welcome arriving guests and to create a magical atmosphere, one that sets the tone for the ceremony. We usually play more traditional music here, and do so for the sake of contrast, which will be further explained in a moment. Assuming you have quality Classically Trained Musicians, your guests may as well benefit from hearing some more traditional classical selections. Moms, grands and some of your older guests will likely recognize these melodies, some of which may evoke memories of past weddings, years ago, when many of these traditional selections were even more common. Younger guests who may not have had much exposure to classical music, will have a front row seat, and will very likely appreciate this up-close experience, too.

And to explain how traditional selections provide contrast, imagine the surprise when we add a Pop Cover among the selections. Suppose you walk in to Here Comes the Sun, to All of Me by John Legend, or Can’t Help Falling in Love. You may even create contrast among classical pieces, or keep the classical music until the recessional, saving the surprise until the cocktail hour.

As for entrance selections, we’ll obviously need certain details worked out in advance, such as the processional music you want to accompany certain individuals, escorted pairs, or groups as they enter. Your plan may be for the Groom and Officiant to walk to the front, followed by 2 escorted Mothers, 4 Bridesmaids individually, 1 Ring Bearer, 2 Flower Girls together, followed by the Bride. Don’t stress! There’s an order to all of this, and we know it well.

Once you determine the order of the procession, from there we can advise you on how many selections need to be made, and which music may be most appropriate for each entrance. The recessional will be carefully selected for the married couple’s exit down the aisle, followed by the wedding party and any mothers / close family. This typically concludes most wedding ceremonies. Upon booking with us, you’ll receive our recommendations, as well as a custom form that allows for you to submit everything we’ll need. We typically ask that selections be determined no later than a month prior to your wedding date, so usually, there’s time.

With the number of ceremonies our musicians sit through, we know everything there is to know about the Best Audio Setup. We provide microphone rentals and a sound tech who will make sure your officiant and any readers are heard. This is especially important for the many outdoor weddings in the Charleston area. Oftentimes, DJs and bands will offer these services with little experience and improper equipment.

Cocktail Hour Music

The Cocktail Hour is the best time for one of our string ensembles to show off its Range of Repertoire. It is always a cost-effective option since our musicians are already onsite, and relocate rather easily too. Reserving this additional hour also adds the occasional flexibility with regards to timing, just in case the ceremony cannot start exactly on time. Ceremony delays can happen, for one reason or another, and having musicians scheduled for a couple of hours allows for much more flexibility.

Our performance for cocktails is designed to be upbeat and fun. We also want to surprise your guests with repertoire that is unique and memorable. The cocktail hour is when our ensembles can become as eclectic as you desire. We’ll play anything from Elvis and Sinatra, to Mozart and even pop covers of Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, or even the Game of Thrones theme song, if that’s your thing! Our aim is not to play simple music that blends in to the background. Your guests should be able to spread out and talk, but our music will also turn heads on occasion!

Dinner Music

During dinner, we typically like to create a softer and more refined atmosphere than that of the cocktail hour. Dinner is an obvious choice for having a string duet, trio, quartet, or even a slightly amplified soloist for smaller weddings. Let us help you decide. Which is the Best Ensemble or Artist to Choose?

Again, we can relocate rather easily and play more classical and light jazz covers during dinner service. Music should be easy to listen to, a little calmer, while guests enjoy their meal and chat. An added touch is to have our ensemble play first dances. This can be an extremely memorable and intimate experience.

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Andrew Mille
Andrew Mille

Andrew is a classically trained cellist and manages Charleston Entertainment. He is a South Carolina native of Franco/American heritage, married to Arlene Marie Felipe. When not performing and coordinating events, Andrew also runs Charleston Social F.C., a pickup soccer club that plays daily.