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Whenever I hear the violin, I automatically feel peaceful. Violinists can easily create a serene environment once they start gliding the violin bow to and fro. They are perfect for wedding ceremonies and comparatively not a huge added expense, so I recommend hiring one. Here’s how much it typically costs to have a violinist at a wedding.
It will cost between $150 to $500 per hour to have a professional violinist at a wedding. The price can differ depending on the venue, song requests, the violinist’s expertise, and how far they must travel to reach the location of the wedding.
Where can you find the best violinists for your wedding ceremony, and what should you provide the violinist to play beautifully? These questions (and others you might have) will all be answered in this guide! Read on, so you can know exactly what to expect and do when you book a violinist for your wedding day.
If a violinist isn’t in your budget, try this article on how to DJ your own wedding with a spotify playlist.
How Much Do Violinists Charge For A Wedding Ceremony?
Violinists charge by the hour so you can expect to pay them the same amount whether it’s for the ceremony, cocktail hour, or a special song during the reception. According to BandsForHire and WeddingCostHelper, hiring a professional violinist can cost between $150 to $500 per hour. So for a one hour ceremony, you can expect to pay between $150-500 plus tip. Some violinists may add in a travel charge as well.
If you want the greatest violinist to perform at your wedding ceremony, you will need to pay a hefty amount for their services. Professional violinists study and practice for years to perfect their skills, so they know their worth.
The truth is just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the wedding of your dreams. Check out this list of myths that are holding you back from having the wedding of your dreams.
Some of them may have the same level of expertise but quote you a lower or higher price depending on what the going rate is where you live. If you decide to hire a less experienced violinist or student, the price might be lower than average.
Curious if you can afford a musician to play at your wedding?
You can check out my free budget guide if you sign up for my newsletter. It automatically calculates what you should spend where based on your budget and guest count and helps you stay on track. It’s like the fairy godmother of numbers.
How Long Do Violinists Play At Weddings?
You should factor in at least one hour of paid time for your violinist even if they are only playing 1-2 songs. Many musicians have a minimum amount of time you can book them for to account for preparation, travel, and set up time. It needs to be worth their time to come out to your wedding so don’t think you can get away with only paying them for 15 minutes of their time.
Couples can book violinists to play during cocktail hour, the prelude, or the wedding ceremony. It is less common to book a solo violinist for a wedding reception. If you’d like to play similar music during the reception, you should consider hiring a trio, quartet or other orchestral ensemble.
Typically, couples hire a violinist for prelude music, which is when violinists perform as the guest arrive and get seated, and the ceremony. In total, that would be about an hour of music.
Or couples hire a violinist for the cocktail hour to add a festive atmosphere to the party. I hired a professional pianist for my cocktail hour. It really added to the ambiance and for around $200 was a relatively affordable addition compared to the total cost of the wedding.
3 Reasons Why You Should Book A Violinist For Your Wedding
If you are still a bit on the fence about booking a violinist for your wedding ceremony, then maybe a list of reasons why it is a good idea will help you decide.
- Violinists intensify the romantic atmosphere at your wedding ceremony. No matter what song the violinist’s play, it always sounds intimate and graceful.
- Hiring a violinist to play during cocktail hour is a great way to create a light-hearted ambiance while guests mingle, sip on champagne, and enjoy light and simple appetizers. While guests are enjoying cocktail hour, the newly wedded couple are most likely taking photographs. The added entertainment factor will keep them occupied until you return.
- First impressions last! A prelude at a wedding is the time when guests start to arrive and get seated (it usually lasts around 15-30 minutes). A violin performance will set the mood for the wedding, exciting guests for the ceremony and what is to come.
Not convinced? Try this article on other alternatives to a DJ at your wedding.
Where Can I Find A Violinist For My Wedding Ceremony?
You can find a violinist for your wedding ceremony by searching for one near you, local facebook groups, or college bulletin boards. Especially, colleges with highly rated music programs or who specialize in music. You can also ask your local music / instrument shop for a recommendation.
Ensure that you book someone near you or that you are willing to pay extra to get them to your wedding, for example, travel expenses and finding them a place to stay. If you are located in Kentucky, Indiana, or Ohio, I recommend checking out Elegant Violin (www.elegantviolin.com) or Sweet Harmony Music (www.sweetharmonymusic.com) if you are in New Jersey.
Most of these professional violinists have videos of live performances on their websites for potential clients to watch and listen to. They will provide you with a list of well-known songs they can perform, or you can request songs.
Violinists may charge an extra few bucks if they need to learn a new song. But from my research, they have a wide range of melodies and harmonies that you can choose from. And experienced musicians can learn new music quickly.
How to Pick a Violinist for your Wedding
To determine if they are a good fit, listen to any recorded songs or videos they have listed on their website. Or ask them to send a song recording for you to determine if you would want them to play at an important event such as your wedding.
Lesser experienced violinists may not have a fully developed portfolio so asking them to record something will give you a good sense of their ability. They will be ecstatic for the opportunity since they can add it to their portfolio and hopefully book a paying client.
You should also take a look at any reviews they have or call references they’re able to provide.
How Early Should I Book A Violinist For My Wedding Ceremony?
You should start looking for a violinist six to twelve months in advance. Some violinists are willing to assist you on short notice, but only if they are available. Violinists and other musicians must organize and sort their bookings early, especially when the clients want them to learn and perform specific songs.
What Does A Violinist Need On The Day Of My Wedding?
First, make sure the violinists have ample space to perform. Second, ensure the area where they will perform is well-lit, so they can properly read any sheet music they need and can see their instrument.
Lastly, it is polite to set out a table of light refreshments for the violinist. A bottle of water and a granola bar goes a long way at a ceremony to make sure they are well-hydrated and have energy to perform. If they’re performing at the cocktail hour, let them know they can have a drink and make themselves a plate before or after they perform.
If they are performing for an extended period of time, say more than 2 hours, you should supply them with a few breaks in between playing. Have your venue provide them a vendor meal and access to water and bathrooms. Many violinists have specific requests for the amount of breaks they need in their contracts. If not, ask them what would be appropriate so they are comfortable.
6 Of The Best Violin Songs To Play At Your Wedding
Since you can request songs, here is a list of six of my favorite violin songs that you can ask the violinist to play:
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Johann Sebastian Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring is a classical violin wedding song. It has such a romantic and graceful melody. The song is bound to captivate you, your partner, and your guests.
Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet
If you want your wedding ceremony or cocktail hour to have a calming and high-spirited mood, it is the ideal melody. It is well-favored among solo violinists, so maybe it will be on their list of songs they will give you.
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
Made popular in the famous Twilight movie, this song should certainly feature on your wedding song list. The words and the melody are beautiful, but it sounds marvelous when you add the violin. It is a well-favored wedding song and I am almost certain that most violinists know how to play it.
All of Me by John Legend
I was not going to pass up the opportunity of mentioning John Legend! His song “All of Me” never loses its essence, and he wrote it specifically for his beautiful wife. Couples love playing this song at their wedding. Your spouse will be the only one you see when this soft and sweet tune starts. I think it is a great idea to play this song during cocktail hour.
Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley
I believe every wedding song list should include a song by Elvis. The most popular one is “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. The song is so sweet, and asking a violinist to perform it will only enhance the song’s true meaning. Imagine how beautiful it will sound while the guests arrive!
Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
Sheeran has a way with words, and when he released “Thinking Out Loud”, I could not help but melt when I heard the heartfelt lyrics and lovely tune. The violin version of this song is simply powerful. It reminds you and your partner that no matter what happens, your love will remain. Such a powerful song to play for a first dance song and setting it to an acoustic violin version is a nice twist on a song that’s become so popular.
Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of hiring a violinist at your wedding, I hope you’ll consider supporting local musicians and entertaining your guests with live music. It’s a great way to add a special touch to such an important event. And something you’ll remember forever.
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