Are there any additional fees other than the fee for music played (e.g. set up fee, driving fee, etc.?)
Does the group need amplification?
Is there a minimum time requirement?
What happens if the ceremony or event runs over the agreed time?
What will the group be wearing?
Can you attend an actual event where the group is playing? This isnít always possible, but will tell you a lot about how the group really sounds and how they present themselves.
Will the musicians you saw at the Bridal Faire or Bazaar be the people playing for your wedding?
Ask where the group has played.
If you are unsure what kind of music you like, you might buy a classical music wedding CD. Most CDs cover the standard bridal repertoire. Always ask, if a song you really like is in the groups repertoire. If not, the group can probably suggest another song by the same composer or one in the same genre.
Donít be afraid to ask the group for suggestions if you are stumped. Most groups will gladly choose music for you.If you want that ďspecial songĒ that isnít in the groupís play list, give the group at least 2 months to work up an arrangement. Bear in mind that not all songs are available Ė especially if they are on the air now. Also not all pop songs arrange well. Without the lyrics, many songs are very repetitive, making for dull arrangements.
Donít try to have a separate song for every group in your wedding (e.g. family friends, grand parents, groomsmen, etc.) Unless the aisle is very long, you will get only 15 to 30 seconds of each piece making for a very fractured ceremony. Traditionally there is a song for the Mothers, one for the Brideís maids (including ring bearer and flower girl) and one for the Bride.
Donít be afraid to let the group know if there are certain songs/composers you donít like as well. Most groups have plenty of music, so if you are really not fond of Bach or Vivaldi they can avoid programming those composers.
Day of the event
Make sure you know when the balance for your event is due. Some groups prefer to be paid in full ahead of time. Others wish to be paid the day of the event.
If your event involves moving from the ceremony area to another area for cocktails or reception make sure the venue has chairs set up in the second area. This will keep the musicians from having to search for chairs, cutting into their playing time.
If you are having an outdoor event, have a back up plan. Weather in San Diego, especially in the spring is very unpredictable, sunny one day, rainy and windy the next.
Have someone available to cue the group for the start of the ceremony. Some brides hire a coordinator to help the day run smoothly, others recruit a family member or friend. Be sure the person actually speaks to the musicians the day of your wedding to make sure each side knows who is cueing who and when.
It is also a good idea for the minister or officiant to touch base with the group as well to give the group a brief overview of the flow of the ceremony.