Home | About Us | Our Music | FAQ | References | Bios | Venues | Contact | Links
Timeline List
The Woodvale String Quartet
Frequently Asked Questions


Planning the music for your wedding ceremony or reception. The questions have been catagorized for your convenience.
The links on the left will take you there.
We have a planning timeline checklist available in pdf, as well.


First of all, what is my advantage in hiring The Woodvale String Quartet?

Established in 1986, this string quartet was created for the sole purpose of performing wedding ceremonies, corporate receptions and private parties correctly and properly. We are dedicated to guiding our clients through the vast and sometimes overwhelming world of Classical music. Our music repertoire, consisting of more than 300 pieces, is the most extensive and well-organized in New England, by far, and contains many beautiful unique arrangements for string quartet not found elsewhere. Our in-house arrangers will write string quartet versions of virtually any music, from The Beatles to Andrea Bocelli to George Frideric Handel. After many hundreds of weddings, corporate events and formal receptions, The Woodvale String Quartet's impeccable track record speaks for itself.

Will the musicians on the CD be the same ones performing at my event?

Yes. The members of The Woodvale String Quartet have been playing together since 1986. On rare occasions, due to illness or unavailability, one of our players may be replaced with one who has much experience with us and knows our repertoire very well.

How do the musicians dress?

The musicians dress formal unless otherwise requested: men in tuxedos and women in black, or black and white.

What do you require at the venue?

The quartet requires 4 armless chairs, a space about 8 feet by 8 feet, and if the lighting is low, we require access to an electical source within 10 feet.

Additionally, if we are engaged for 4 hours or longer at your event, we require 4 meals, to be served during one of the quartet's breaks.

Will you play outdoors?

Yes, outdoor settings offer beautiful backdrops. Our only concerns are the safety of the instruments and the ability to provide quality music. It turns out that our instruments are even more fragile than your guests!

A Word About The Instruments

Unfortunately, this means that we must be in full shade, and not under a tree, as they drop sap and other things onto the instruments. There must be no precipitation, and the temperature needs to be at least 65 degrees, so that our fingers work.

Do you perform at receptions as well as wedding ceremonies?

Absolutely! Beautiful string quartet music creates a wonderful atmosphere during cocktail, dinner, and if there is no dance band, the whole of the reception. Our repertoire allows a wide range of musical styles, from 17th-century Baroque to modern show music.

My wedding ceremony and reception are at two different locations. How do you charge for performing in two venues like that?

The quartet charges for the full length of the job, including the time to travel between venues if there are more than one.

Do you charge for travel to a job if it is at only one venue?

Not necessarily. It really depends on the distance to the venue. Let us know where it is and we will compute travel fees if they apply.

- MENU -


Should I have music before my ceremony?

Highly recommended. Providing beautiful music for your guests as they arrive and wait for the event to begin creates a wonderful ambience. We suggest contracting the string quartet to commence prelude music one-half hour to 15 minutes before the start time of the ceremony, whether in a church, synagogue, or hotel.

How do I choose the prelude music? Am I required to select the whole program?

It is not necessary for you to have to choose all the prelude music. If you give us an idea of the type of ambience you wish to create using a few examples, we can use our expertise to select the remainder of the music. For example, you may want to include hymns or have only secular music, a festive upbeat atmosphere or more quiet, pensive one.

- MENU -


How many pieces should I choose for the processional?

- For a Christian or non-denominational wedding, you might have three separate pieces: one for the entrance of the mothers, one for the bridal party, and finally one for the entrance of the bride. This will be determined by the size of the bridal party and the venue. We will help you with this decision during consultation.

- For a Jewish wedding, often there are two pieces: one for the entrance of the rabbi, family elders, groom and his parents, and bridal attendants, and another for the entrance of the bride and her parents. On occasion, the Rabbi or cantor will vocalize through their own entrance, and then the quartet will begin for the rest of the entrances.

How do I choose the music for the processional?

A good place to start is our well-organized "Ceremony" page on this site, containing pieces for Christian, Jewish, and non-denominational ceremonies. And of course, it is our pleasure to help you through this selection process, as well.

How will you know when to start the processional music?

We will need a signal either from a representative at the venue or an usher. We will seek out the pre-arranged person before the ceremony and confirm the plan.

Do we need to know how long the music will be in order to time our entrances to finish with the music?

No, you can leave that up to us. We are very skilled in ending the music at just the right time. We need only know how many people are processing to each piece of music.

- MENU -


Can I have music during my ceremony?

- During a Jewish ceremony, there is generally no music from the string quartet. Often the cantor, if present, will sing here.

- During a Christian ceremony, there is often room for short pieces of music: after readings, during the lighting of the unity candle, presentation of roses to mothers, sign of peace, and of course communion or parts of the Mass. We recommend asking your officiant about these too, as there are certain pieces of music that may not be appropriate.

- MENU -


How many pieces do I choose for the recessional?

In general, there would be one piece performed during the exit of the entire wedding party, and one or two more for the exit of your guests.

I am having a receiving line at the church. Can you perform for that, too?

Yes, we can.

- MENU -


When should we select the music?

Generally you should speak to us at least once before you meet with your officiant so that we may help you formulate questions to ask them about music. Often there are "dos" and "don'ts" regarding certain ceremonies. Following the meeting, we can talk and solidify the program. Our three-page printable timeline checklist has been very helpful to our clients.

If I hire the quartet do I need to use the organist? I'm paying for the organist with the church fee…

There is an advantage in having both the organ and string quartet. Alternating between the two for prelude music is very effective. In addition, there are quite a few musical arrangements that we can play together during prelude, processional, Mass, and recessional, creating a beautiful large orchestral sound. Lastly, people are accustomed to singing the parts of the Mass with organ, so there might be more audience/congregation participation in singing if they are played by the organ/vocalist.

There is a special piece of music I would like performed. Can you do that?

Yes. Even if it is not in our repertiore, or available for string quartet, we will be happy to write an arrangement for the quartet (a fee applies).

Will you perform with guest instrumentalists or singers?

Absolutely. We will be happy to communicate directly with them ahead of time to work out musical details.

Do you need to rehearse with the guest instrumentalist or singer?

Most likely. We can meet earlier at the venue before the festivities. The amount of time needed depends on the music. A fee may apply to rehearsal time.

Do we need to meet in person?

It is not necessary to meet in person. All details can be addressed over the phone.

Will you attend the wedding rehearsal? I'm worried that my wedding party will not be timed to the music.

It is not necessary for us to attend. We are adept in timing the music to the right length. You can leave that to us.

How much time should I contract the string quartet for my ceremony?

The quartet requires two hours for a ceremony. It has been our experience that from prelude to postlude a ceremony can often be that long. Better safe than sorry: the last thing any of us wants is for the quartet to have to leave for their next engagement before the recessional!

- MENU -

© 2001 by Roger Kimball

Home | About Us | Our Music | FAQ | References | Bios | Venues | Contact | Links