Two months have already passed since our last blog post… dear God! Time flies. April, May and June are the busiest months for event planners in Tuscany (remember that, if you are planning your wedding in Tuscany!) and we hardly have time for anything but… planning, designing, arranging.
One of the things we are asked most often is to help with the search for the perfect musicians for this or that event, so here is some information that our reader might find useful and interesting.
Music is a relevant part of any ceremony. It helps set the tone of the event and create the perfect atmosphere. Having background music for the most important moments of your ceremony, be it a wedding or the renewal of your vows, makes the difference.
Usually, music is allowed both for civil and religious ceremonies, but of course you always need to double check with the celebrant to be sure of what is and what is not allowed. Many town halls will not allow singing, many churches will only allow sacred music and at specific moments of the marriage rite. Some priests insist that the bride and groom make use of the church musicians rather than bringing one or more from outside. Others leave couples free to choose.
It is always important to verify what instruments are already available at the ceremony location. If you have a beautiful organ at your disposal, you might decide to choose an organist rather than an harpist.
Prices vary remarkably according to the number of musicians that you choose to hire and the instruments that they play. Prices usually start at around 200 euros for an organist or a cellist who will play at your ceremony for max. 2 hours. If you go for a duo, then prices go up. The cheapest option is usually to have an organist play. The most expensive is usually a string quartet. To these prices you need to add taxes, which for musical services are 10%.
Whereas ceremony music is quite standard, reception music depends solely on your personal taste. A few things should be kept in mind.
- Most venues will only allow music until midnight, especially if they are surrounded by private homes and/or if there are other guests staying there. If having music later than that is important to you, remember to double check before you commit to the venue.
- Not all genres are suitable for all venues. If you have an indoor wedding you will have to make sure the acoustics in the reception room are suitable for the type of music that you want.
- Not all genres are suitable for all wedding styles. Make sure the music style you choose matches the type of event you are planning or you will have a crowd of puzzled guests.
- If you like very specific or very diverse genres, you will have to compromise. There are no bands, individual singers, or musicians who can span from heavy metal to jazz music. You will have to trust the musicians you choose, and work together with them to find the best solution. Having a list of songs that you really want to hear performed live helps your planner find the most suitable options. Some compromise will be inevitable.
- If you absolutely want some songs to be performed, most musicians will prepare them. However, be aware that, if those songs are not part of their repertoire, you will be charged extra to cover the cost of the preparation. Usually the price for this kind of service is approx. 50 euros per song.
- You will have to provide a meal for your musicians. It doesn’t have to be a wedding meal, but you will be expected to pay for a simple meal for them if they are asked to play for more than 5 hours for you over dinner or lunch.
- Before committing, you need to make sure that your venue meets the technical requirements necessary for the performance that you want.
- Keep in mind that loud music can be annoying during meals when people might want to chat.
- Make sure you know your guests and that there is something for everybody, but never forget that it is your event and your celebration. The music you choose must speak of you.
- Remember that all prices you will be quoted will probably not include 10% VAT. And you will have to pay copyright fees too, which in Italy are handled by the SIAE agency. Fees are usually between 170 and 200 euros. If the musicians handle this for you, there will be an extra fee. Ask the venue if they already have a contract in place with SIAE to get a better deal.
Over the years we have been asked to provide music services of very different kinds. We have a few trusted agencies which we have successfully worked with and which we trust, but we never hesitate to explore more options if none of the solutions they propose suits our clients’ needs. The agencies we have worked with have the advantage of offering Boutique Event’s clients generous discounts.
Prices vary greatly, and usually start at 550 euros for a single musician and singer or a dj. Prices go up if the band is made up of two or more members. Expect to pay around 1500 euros or more for a jazz band or a rock band (5 hours).
Classical music is a more inexpensive option, but not everybody likes to have solely classical music at their events, especially if they want to dance after their reception meal.
The most inexpensive option, of course, is to rent a stereo system (if the venue does not have one of its own) and use your own ipod to play your mp3 playlist. Please remember that you will still have to pay copyright fees (SIAE), since you will be playing music in a public place.
Music for special events
Live music can be a great addition to all events: seminars, birthday parties, baptism and first communion ceremonies, etc.
We can provide musicians for all these events of course, including children’s parties.