Whether you're planning your Florida wedding by yourself, or with the assistance of a wedding planner with a great track record, there will most certainly be some questions regarding music. Please take a moment to look over our general wedding music guide, if you haven't already...and also utilize this list of frequently asked questions. They've been broken up into categories that cover the most frequently asked questions for the ceremony music, cocktail hour music, and the reception music. Of course, if you don't find what you need, we're more than happy to answer any questions that you might have regarding the entertainment for your special day. Just use our handy contact page, or simply give us a call.
My ceremony is probably only 20 minutes long...why does everyone seem to charge for an hour?
There are a few things to address here. First, the setup and breakdown time and effort would be the same for 20 minute wedding and an hour long wedding. It's very similar to a "service call" in other industries. For example, there would be a base charge for a plumber to come to your house, whether he's simply clearing a clogged drain, or spending half of the day re-routing pipes.
The second thing, and more important, is that 20 minute weddings are extremely rare. My typical wedding ceremony, over the last 10+ years, is usually 50-75 minutes. Buses with guests run late...people run late...officiants run late...weather causes problems...the list goes on. I've found that planning for 60 minutes works really well. Anyhow, you'll most likely want 10-20 minutes of prelude music for your guests, before the actual processional starts.
Third, I prefer not to run into overtime issues. It can get costly for the you the client, and can create headaches for the ceremony musicians, particularly if they have other commitments that follow your wedding. So, it seems that 60 minutes is something that works for everyone. And, of course, we understand that some ceremonies will be longer than 60 minutes. That's fine, and we would be happy to accommodate you and keep excess costs to a minimum!
What kind of music is being used for ceremonies these days?
My brides ask this wedding question quite a bit, and there is certainly no simple answer. These days, it is not uncommon to see the traditional classical selections that have been used for decades, and sometimes centuries (Wagner, Mendelssohn, etc.). Brides and grooms also choose older popular tunes that their parents love, and they themselves grew up listening to as kids. They choose new pop tunes that are huge hits. If we're talking Jewish weddings, they sometimes do traditional Jewish selections...sometimes not. Frequently, the ceremony is a mix of old and new songs at the same time. There really are no steadfast rules. It's your day, and it's probably entirely up to you. Our focus here at David Turner Music is to work with you and create a great ceremony. If I feel that something may not work (too many changes of music during the processional, wrong instruments for the song, etc.), I'll give you my opinion. The final decision, however, will be yours! Hope that helps!
What type of music can you play at my ceremony?
Traditional classical, light classical, jazz, new and old pop, traditional Jewish, and more. We also consider special requests. Occasionally, we may need to charge a few bucks for a special request that requires a special sheet music arrangement. Remember...the sheet music for that new pop song that just came out last month may not be available for string quartet, or flute and violin. We will do our best to keep any additional arranging fees to a minimum, while providing a great musical experience for your guests!
How many songs will I need for the ceremony?
I usually ask for two or three songs for the wedding party walking the aisle (depending on how many of them there are), one song for the bridal march, and one or two songs to be played at the end (recessional music). You may need another song or two during the ceremony, if you've planned a unity candle lighting, unity sand pouring, or other special wedding ceremony moment.
Do you provide a microphone/speaker for the officiant?
We can frequently provide a mic and speaker for your officiant (based on availability) at a reasonable price. Wedding venues can sometimes charge quite a bit for this service ($200-$300 is not uncommon), so we'd be happy to try and reduce your costs a little. And, we certainly want your ceremony to be heard by your guests, so please don't forget this crucial part of your wedding planning!
My ceremony is outdoors...how does that affect things?
Well...truth is, it will probably increase the price just a little. If we're talking about Florida weddings, we've got to admit that it can get pretty warm, and pretty humid. In addition to being hard on the musicians (who might be out in the sun for a lot longer than you and your guests on your special day), Florida weather is pretty tough on musical instruments and electronics. And there's always the dreaded prospect of rain, which we'll discuss in a moment. Again, as is always our policy, we'll use common sense and try to keep your costs down, while maintaining a reasonable environment for the musicians/DJ involved.
My ceremony is out on the beach...how does that affect things?
Similar to the previous question, you will probably incur an additional upfront charge. Beach weddings add another difficult element (salt spray) for musical instruments and electronics to deal with. We'll do our best to work with you, though. Also, we will need to consider any power requirements. Is there electricity out on the beach? How far away is the nearest power outlet? These are just a couple of questions that we'll be asking.
What is your rain policy?
Quite simply, musicians and DJs cannot be asked to perform when there is a reasonable imminent risk of rain. DTM requires payment for a wedding ceremony, rain or shine. Additionally,the musician/DJ makes the call at the wedding site. For that reason, we definitely recommend you have a reasonable rain backup plan in place, and make the call as early as possible, to avoid ceremony delays and overtime charges.
Will people be able to hear the ceremony music?
Acoustic music without amplification is frequently sufficient for ceremonies that are indoors. After all, people aren't usually too rowdy at a wedding ceremony...LOL. It may be enough for an outdoor ceremony as well. However, I usually recommend amplification for beach weddings, and places where the ceremony environment may be windy and noisy.
Can you come to our wedding rehearsal?
This comes up quite a bit, and as much as I'd love to say "yes," it's just not possible without some additional form of compensation, and much advance planning. It effectively doubles the time of the job for the entertainers, and would interfere with other jobs and commitments that they might have. However, that doesn't mean that we're just throwing everything together on the day of the wedding. First of all, we have an absolute "ton" of wedding experience. Second, we get all of the relevant information from you long before the big day, and put together our "game plan." Thirdly, we will arrive early at your wedding venue, making sure that there won't be any last minute surprises or unanswered questions.
Cocktail Hour FAQ
What type of music do you play for wedding cocktail hours?
We like to keep things simple for you. Since you're already spending a lot of time and resources on the ceremony and reception, we like to call our cocktail hours the "no brainer" portion of the plan. Unless otherwise specified, we will play a great mix of classic old and new songs that your guests will enjoy. If you've selected a sax cocktail, that means traditional jazz, newer jazz and fusion, traditional popular music, and some newer popular music from the last few decades. If you've selected a classical music group, you'll get traditional classical music, some of the more popular "light classical" favorites, and even some pop music mixed in.
Do you recommend a PA system/amplification for the cocktail hour?
Cocktail hours can get pretty noisy. We always try to set up in a central location where we'll be heard. While it is rare for a classical group to use amplification, we may be able to arrange it for a fee. Saxophone cocktail hours (utilizing background tracks) will always utilize at least a small PA, included in the charge. Depending on your choice of music and musicians, we may occasionally recommend additional sound reinforcement. We will let you know if we feel it is critical, and what the charge would be...up front.
Do you do themed cocktail hours?
Yes, we can sometimes do that, depending on the request. If you have a themed wedding, we will do our best to fit into your concept, and provide great music for your guests!
Wedding Reception FAQ
Do you have special stage/power requirements?
Nothing too crazy here. For most receptions, we just need adequate space for the entertainment you've chosen. We'll let you know, and work with your planner/venue in advance, but this is rarely an issue with the smaller groups and DJ service that we offer. In the power department, two separate 15-amp circuits (standard outlets) is usually plenty. If you have a huge wedding, and we are bringing a very large PA, we may need more. However, this is extremely rare.
Do you do lighting?
While we don't focus on lighting, our DJ service includes a combination wash/effects lighting bar that will provide colors and patterns for the stage area, as well as the dancing area. If you would like uplights throughout the room, we can do that for a reasonable charge as well. Beyond that, you would want to speak directly with your wedding planner, wedding venue, or look into a sound and/or lighting company.
Can/do you interact with our guests?
If you choose the "Live Music" DJ option, David can stroll while playing saxophone during the dinner set. This is a nice touch, adding an element of live music that isn't typically seen with your average "wedding DJ."