FAQ

Frequently asked questions


Services

How do I pick my ceremony music?


To help you choose, we have quite a collection of String Quartet audio samples, as well as String Trio, String Duo, Traditional Violin and Electric Violin audio samples of some of the most popular songs. For a more expansive list, be sure to check out the Repertoire List. A quick online search will show you what music other people choose for their events these days. For example: "classical ceremony songs", or "modern songs for ceremony".




How far in advance should I book musicians?


We highly recommend booking your musicians as soon as you have your venue in place. We like to be prepared, and will perform best if we have all the details in place at least one month before the event. To make sure we are still available, some clients book us 1-2 years in advance.




How many musicians should I hire?


A string quartet is the ultimate, most balanced and well-rounded string ensembles, and it consists of two violins, a viola, and a cello. The sound of the string quartet is usually loud enough for an audience of about 400 guests, depending on the space. A string trio is also a great option and it's usually loud enough for a gathering of 300 people, depending on the space. A string duo is comprised of a violin and a cello and the sound would be fine for an audience of 200 guests. A traditional violin is perfect for a small gathering of about 100 guests. Most indoor spaces will carry the acoustics better than outdoor spaces. If you have a larger group to entertain, and you prefer modern music, an electric violin with tracks might be the perfect choice.




Can you perform at the Cocktail Hour and Reception?


Yes, this is our specialty as live string musicians! And you can also change your ensemble between the ceremony, cocktail hour & reception. For example, you can have a string quartet for the ceremony, and an electric violinist performing with tracks for the cocktail hour and reception.




Who will perform at my wedding?


Sunset Strings works with professional musicians who are classically trained, have graduate degrees in their instrument, and perform in professional orchestras throughout Florida. Our musicians have performed in thousands of weddings and are seasoned professionals. Throughout the entire process, you will communicate directly with Sunset Strings' management team.




Does Sunset Strings have references from past clients?


Yes, we do! We have over 100 five-star reviews! You can read them on our Reviews page, as well as on WeddingWire, TheKnot and Google.




Do I need amplified music or backing tracks?


We can only provide amplification and backing tracks for the Electric Violin package. This package is perfect for modern music (and classical also), regardless of crowd size. We do not provide amplification for the acoustic packages: string quartet, string trio, string duo, or traditional violin. Here are the best suited packages based on crowd size and sound volume:

  • For about 100 guests: all of our packages would be perfect: a traditional violin, an electric violin with tracks, a duo, a trio or a quartet.
  • For about 200 guests: an electric violin with tracks, a duo, a trio or a quartet.
  • For about 300 guests: an electric violin, a trio or a quartet.
  • For about 400 guests: an electric violin or quartet.
  • For 500+ guests: an electric violin.
If you have a guest list larger than 400, you might consider amplification, or hire a larger group of musicians. For special occasions, we can provide a small string orchestra, or a full orchestra. Please contact us for details.




Can the musicians perform outdoors?


Yes! Our string ensembles can perform indoors or outdoors. However, they cannot perform in rain of any kind, even a very light rain, as this would ruin their instruments. We also request that musicians be located in a shaded area if possible to protect their instruments from direct sunlight.




Can musicians perform on the beach?


Yes! Our musicians love performing at beautiful beach weddings. Again, they cannot perform in rain, and prefer to be protected from direct sunlight during the middle of the day.




What will musicians wear?


Here in Florida is very hot outside! For indoor events, you can choose between a black tie tuxedo, or suit and tie. For outdoor events, musicians will typically wear an elegant all black attire. For casual events, we can wear khaki pants and a white polo shirt.




Does Sunset Strings carry liability insurance?


Yes, ​Sunset Strings is fully licensed and insured. If your venue requires vendors to carry liability insurance, we’re all set.




Will the musician attend the wedding rehearsal?


Generally no, this is quite rare. We’ll discuss your wedding details with you prior and use this to plan the music. The musician’s job is to make sure that the music fits whatever happens during the ceremony, you do not need to time your walk to match a song. If you do ask the musician(s) to attend a rehearsal, this would be charged at our regular hourly rate.




How do I book Sunset Strings for my wedding?


To save your date, we ask for a nonrefundable 25% retainer and a signed contract.




How long should the ceremony music be?


We usually book musicians for one hour. The first 30 minutes are reserved for Prelude Music. This is the part of the ceremony when guests arrive and are being seated at the ceremony site. The following 30 minutes are the actual Ceremony. Some traditional ceremonies may last longer than that. We typically play one song for the Wedding Party entrance. This is the part of the ceremony when the family (grandparents, parents, siblings, children), as well as the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle. Sometimes there is one or more flower girls walking right before the Bride. This is our cue to switch songs to the Bride Entrance. At this point the officiant takes over, and we usually don't play any music while they talk, as this might make it difficult for people to understand the words. Sometimes, during the ceremony there might be a sand ceremony, a candle ceremony, or a similar union ceremony for which we sometimes play a soft, meditative song. At the end of the ceremony, usually after the kiss, or after the couple is being announced for the first time as a married couple, we will play something joyful and upbeat, to celebrate the fresh couple!




Can you perform at the Ceremony?


Yes, this is our specialty as live string musicians!




What is your best contact information?


We prefer written word to get better organized. Please email us at music@sunsetstrings.com and we'll be happy to answer your questions and help you out.




Can I call you?


We encourage clients to email us at music@sunsetstrings.com. We are quick to reply, and we can get better organized when we write stuff down. If you need to text or call, here is our cell-phone: (727) 210-5775. Email might be faster :)




I don't have a date yet, can I still book your services?


We would suggest waiting until you have a venue reserved on a specific date, and then book your musicians. Your quote will be based on the date and location of your event.




Do you charge by the hour or by the number of songs you play?


We charge by the hour. The minimum amount of time is one hour, with 15 minute increments after the first hour. The time begins when the musician begins to perform, and the hours are consecutive. If there is a gap between events, this time is included in the musician's performance time. For example, if there is a 1-hour ceremony, a 30-minute gap between the ceremony and cocktail hour, then a 60-minute cocktail hour, the total performance time is 2.5 hours. Time spent traveling from one location to another does not stop, pause, or extend the total consecutive hours. For performance times of longer than 2 hours, a 10-minute break will typically be taken per hour. Musicians will do their best to plan the break(s) around the event's itinerary (for example, during speeches or a transition period).




Can I hire a quartet for the Ceremony and an electric violin for the Cocktails?


Of course! You can change your ensemble between the ceremony, cocktail hour & reception. For example, you can have a string quartet for the ceremony, and an electric violinist performing with tracks for the cocktail hour and reception.




Can I add more time after booking?


Yes, you can add more time for your special event (prelude, ceremony, cocktail hour or reception). Our musicians sometimes run on a very tight schedule, so we'll have to confirm that the change in time is possible. We like to prepare ahead of time, and we'll ask you to sign and confirm a new agreement, preferably one month before the event.




Can I ask my musicians to play overtime?


Due to musicians' schedules, it is not always possible to provide additional performance time. We encourage our clients to book the extra time in advance. Sometimes our musicians play 3 or 4 events per day and might not be able to accomodate the extra time if you ask at the last minute. If you know your guests tend to be late, or you are not sure if the ceremony or entire event will take longer than expected, please book extra time. We run on a tight schedule and book musicians far in advance.




I booked musicians for 4 hours, but I only need them for 3 hours. Can I change that?


Usually, yes, as long as we make the change more than one month prior to the event. If we are within one month before the event, we won't be able to reimburse you for the extra time, we would only be able to add extra time if needed.




I booked 4 musicians, but I would like only 3. Can I change that?


Usually, yes, as long as we make the change more than one month prior to the event. If we are within one month before the event, we won't be able to reimburse you.




I'm ready to book. What's the next step?


The first step is signing a proposal and contract. At that time, we would need a 25% retainer to reserve your event. The first payment (25% of the total cost) is a non-refundable retainer. This 25% retainer is not refundable in any circumstance. Until the retainer is received, the Agreement is not valid.




I'm planning my event in a restaurant. Do you play at restaurants?


Usually, yes, but you would have to check with your venue if they allow us to perform for your event. It is the responsibility of the Client to verify that the Vendor's services do not conflict with any policies or rules of the event's venue. No refunds will be issued as a result of the Vendor's inability to perform services due to conflict with the venue. For example, the venue informs the Vendor's musician that amplification, or certain song styles are not allowed, and there is inadequate time to make changes.




Do you have any restrictions related to weather?


Your musicians perform on valuable wood instruments that cannot be exposed to rain or moisture or extreme temperatures. In the event that the Client does not provide adequate shelter from rain or extreme weather, including temperatures of 60 degrees or below, the Vendor will be unable to perform, and no refund will be made. The decision of whether the shelter provided is adequate belongs to the musician. In the event that the musician is unable to perform due to weather and no suitable back-up location is provided, no refund will be issued.




What do I need to provide musicians?


We usually bring all the equipment, however, we would need one armless chair per musician at each location in which the musician will perform. For special services, such as the electric violin, we would need access to an electric outlet. We would also need access to the venue one hour prior to the performance start time for the set-up.




Can you work with my venue?


Usually, yes, we are very accomodating with any venue. We are happy to provide insurance paperwork if your venue requests it. It is your responsibility to verify that Sunset Strings services do not conflict with any policies or rules of the event's venue. No refunds will be issued as a result of Sunset Strings' inability to perform services due to conflict with the venue. For example, the venue informs Sunset Strings musicians that amplification, or certain song styles are not allowed, and there is inadequate time to make changes.





Cost & Payment

How much do you charge for a wedding?


Contact us for a brochure with our packages and pricing.




When is the remaining balance due?


The balance is due 1 month prior to the wedding. If the wedding is booked less than 1 month away, then the entire payment would be due upon booking.




Can you accomodate monthly payments?


Yes, we can. If your event is more than one month away, please ask us about our 0% interest payment plan with monthly auto-pay.




Can I sign up for auto-pay?


Yes, you can. If your event is more than one month away, please ask us about our 0% interest payment plan with monthly auto-pay.Ask us about our payment plans.




I'm working with a tight budget. How do I get the best value on your services?


We are a seasonal business in Florida, so the peak months are September through May. Also, the peak days are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. If your event is outside those days, we might be able to give you a discount. Ask us for an out-of-season special.




Do you ever offer any discounts or special deals?


We sure do. We occasionally run special offers to encourage and reward clients to prepare early.




What payment methods do you work with?


Payments can be made online through HoneyBook, PayPal, Venmo or by check. If by check, the check must be received and processed by the appropriate due dates. Honeybook is our prefered method. It keeps track of our correspondence and payments. You can choose manual, or automatic payments. We can also do monthly payments. Other payment methods: Paypal: music@sunsetstrings.com Venmo: music@sunsetstrings.com Check: Sunset Strings - 901 34th Ave N 7681, Saint Petersburg, FL 33734




Can someone else make a payment for me?


Absolutely! We can accept payments from third-party payers, for example one of your family members, friend or a wedding planner. However, you as the client are ultimately responsible for all terms and conditions of our Agreement, including costs and payments, regardless of who makes each payment. For example, if your family member, friend or planner pays the non-refundable retainer, the retainer remains non-refundable to the third-party payer, or you, in any situation, and you remain responsible for the remaining balance even if the third-party payer later refuses to pay. Regardless of whether a third-party payer makes the payments, you have the final say on any decisions or requests related to the music performance. If a third-party payer makes a request, we as the vendor will assume they are authorized by you, the client, unless we hear otherwise from you. We will not be liable for any requests or changes made by a third-party, if we reasonably believed they acted with your permission.




Can I make a payment on the day of the event?


Nope. The balance is due one month prior. In the event that you do not pay the balance, we will not perform any of the Services listed in our agreement. We do not accept payments on the event date and will not attend an event without full payment in advance.




What if my event gets delayed? Can I pay for overtime?


We sometimes have multiple events scheduled during the same day, and our musicians might not be able to stay longer than the initial time booked. We advise you to book more time if you think the event might get delayed, or if your guests have a tendency of being late. If your event gets delayed and your musicians can stay longer, please pay them the overtime fee before they play.





Cancellation & Rescheduling

What happens if my event is canceled. Can I get a refund?


If you cancel our services for any reason, the 25% retainer is non-refundable, and the remaining balance is not refundable if the cancellation occurs one month or less away from the event date. This applies regardless of the reason for your cancellation, including but not limited to event cancellation, weather, Acts of God, pandemic, illness, financial considerations such as job loss, Venue cancellation, failure of the event to occur, or other. We perform the vast majority of the work associated with an event well in advance of the event date, and the remaining balance constitutes liquidated damages. If the cancellation occurs more than one month away from the event date, the 25% retainer remains non-refundable, but the remaining balance will no longer be due, and if the balance was already paid in advance, the balance would be refunded minus any costs we incurred. Any cost incurred by Sunset Strings is non-refundable. This includes sheet music arrangements, sheet music purchases, equipment rental, and other administrative costs already incurred by Sunset Strings for this event.




What happens if my event needs to be rescheduled?


If you postpone or reschedule the event date, we will make the best efforts to accommodate the new date. In any event, the 25% deposit remains non-refundable.




What happens if I don't pay the balance in full?


The balance is due one month prior. In the event that you do not pay the balance, we will not perform any of the services listed in the agreement. Sunset Strings does not accept payments on the event date and will not attend an event without full payment in advance.





Repertoire and Song Requests

What type of music do you play?


Our musicians are classically trained, so we naturally enjoy playing the classics, such as Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart. However, our ears are tuned to the radio, and we also love playing jazz, pop, rock, and the latest modern hits.




Can I request a song?


Of course! For the wedding processional and recessional, you can select any song from our Repertoire. If your favorite song is not in our repertoire already, please email us as we can typically accommodate your request, sometimes for an additional fee depending on the difficulty of finding, or composing an arrangement of the song.




What songs do you play for a classical wedding ceremony?


Here is a typical classical ceremony song list:

  • Prelude music (30 minutes): Beautiful, popular classical music
  • Wedding Party Entrance Song: Air by Bach
  • Bride Entrance Song: Canon by Pachelbel
  • Unity Ceremony Song (Optional): Meditation by Massenet
  • Exit Song: Wedding March by Mendelssohn
Musicians will perform prelude music when your guests arrive at the Ceremony site. Then, they will perform processionals for parents, bridal party, flower girls, and ring bearer. Then, they will play the bride’s entrance song. Some couples choose to have music for a unity candle lighting, or a sand ceremony. Finally, musicians will play recessional music at the end, as the bride and groom exit.




What songs do you recommend for a classical music ceremony?


Based on our experience, people love the following timeless classical songs: 1. Wedding Party Entrance: "Air" by Bach 2. Bride Entrance: "Canon" by Pachelbel 3. Candle or Sand Ceremony: "Meditation" by Massenet 4. Exit: "Wedding March" by Mendelssohn OR 1. Wedding Party Entrance: "Trumpet Voluntary" by Clarke 2. Bride Entrance: "Bridal Chorus" by Wagner ("Here Comes the Bride") 3. Candle or Sand Ceremony: "Arioso" by Bach 4. Exit: "Hornpipe" by Handel Of course, you can mix and match, and choose Your favorite music.




What songs do you recommend for Couple's First Dance?


Here are some songs which will sound great with strings: "All of Me" by John Legend; "At Last" by Etta James; "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri; "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley; "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran. Of course you can request your own special songs. You can check our Repertoire List to see if we already have your special song in our repertoire, or you can order a special arrangement of your favorite song.




What songs do you recommend for Father and Bride's First Dance?


Here are some songs which will sound great with strings: "My Girl" by Temptations; "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong; "You've Got a Friend In Me" by Randy Newman; "Unforgettable" by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole; "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Iz




What songs do you recommend for Mother and Groom's First Dance?


Here are some songs which will sound great with strings: "You'll Be In My Heart" by Phil Collins; "The Prayer" by Andrea Bocelli; "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith; "Because You Loved Me" by Céline Dion; "Always On My Mind" by Michael Bublé




Should I choose the Prelude songs, or can you do that?


Prelude music is usually in the background, as people find their seat at the ceremony site. We recommend you to choose your favorite Genre of music, such as classical, jazz, love songs, or modern pop-rock, and allow musicians to read the crowd and choose songs based on how well the crowd responds, and also how well the song works with the ensemble you chose. We would love to play your favorite songs, and we certainly encourage song requests, as this is one way we expand our ever-evolving music books.




Can I choose Cocktail Hour songs?


Cocktail Hour music is usually in the background, as people mingle and enjoy eachother's company. We recommend you to choose your favorite Genre of music, and allow musicians to read the crowd and choose upbeat songs based on how well the crowd responds, and also how well the song works with the ensemble you chose. We would love to play your favorites songs, and we certainly encourage song requests, as this is one way we expand our ever-evolving music books.




Can I choose Reception Party songs?


Reception music is usually in the background, as people serve food and enjoy eachother's company. We recommend you to choose your favorite Genre of music, and allow musicians to read the crowd and choose songs based on how well the crowd responds, and also how well the song works with the ensemble you chose. We would love to play your favorites songs, and we certainly encourage song requests, as this is one way we expand our ever-evolving music books.




How many songs will you play during cocktail hour?


The average song length is 3 minutes, so we would play about 20 songs per hour. However, we charge by the time spent on-site and not by the number of songs we play.




I have a special hip-hop song in mind. Can you guys play it?


In general, hip-hop songs are difficult to transpose to string instruments, because the vocal line is mostly spoken rather than sung, however, we have arranged hip-hop songs in the past and we are willing to work with you and accomodate your special requests.




What songs do you play for a modern wedding ceremony?


Here is a typical modern ceremony song list:

  • Prelude music (30 minutes): Beautiful, popular modern music
  • Wedding Party Entrance Song: Can't Help Falling In Love With You - Elvis
  • Bride Entrance Song: A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
  • Unity Ceremony Song (Optional): Perfect by Ed Sheeran
  • Exit Song: I'm Yours by Jason Mraz
Musicians will perform prelude music when your guests arrive at the Ceremony site. Then, they will perform processionals for parents, bridal party, flower girls, and ring bearer. Then, they will play the bride’s entrance song. Some couples choose to have music for a unity candle lighting, or a sand ceremony. Finally, musicians will play recessional music at the end, as the bride and groom exit.




I hate this particular song, or genre. Can I request not to have it played, please?


Of course. We love playing songs our clients enjoy, and we will defintely make sure certain songs, or genres will not be played, upon request.