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The Essential Guide To Booking A String Quartet For Your Wedding

Last Updated: 22nd April 2022


The addition of a string quartet to your wedding will undoubtedly bring an air of beauty and sophistication to your big day. A string quartet is certainly one of the most quintessential and traditional musical acts available for hire. Whether you want your entertainment to be Bridgerton-themed or are just after a slice of the magic this type of act can provide, you won’t be disappointed when you book one. If you’re interested in hiring a string quartet for your wedding but aren’t sure where to start, this guide’s for you. We’ve answered the main questions that we get asked about these awesome foursomes so read on to find out more!

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  • What Is A String Quartet?
  • What Music Does A String Quartet Play?
  • When Will They Play?
  • Do I Have To Book All Four Musicians?
  • How Much Does A String Quartet Cost?
  • What Does The Price Include?
  • How Far In Advance Should I Book?
  • When Will They Arrive?
  • How Much Space Does A String Quartet Need?
  • What Do I Need To Provide For Them?
  • Can A String Quartet Play Outside?
  • What Will They Wear?
  • Will A String Quartet Learn A Song For Me?
  • How Do I Book A String Quartet?
  • Is There Anything Else I Need To Know?

  • What Is A String Quartet?

    A string quartet consists of 4 string players. The higher parts in pieces are played by two violins, the middle-range tones by a viola and the bass notes by a cello. The combination of all four of these instruments playing together is one of the most rich and spine-tinglingly beautiful sounds you will ever hear! It’s no surprise that string quartets are an extremely popular choice for wedding ceremonies and drinks receptions.


    What Music Does A String Quartet Play?

    Whether you’re after traditional or modern music, a string quartet is for you. They’ll perform elegant and refined versions of everything from classical pieces by Pachelbel and Mozart to modern tunes by Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran, played as you’ve never heard them before. Most groups will be happy for you to specify if you’d like to hear classical tunes, modern hits or a combination of both.

    If you’d like some ideas and inspiration for music that sounds amazing played by string quartet for you to use on your wedding day, check out our favourite 130 pieces of string quartet music!

    string quartet

    When Will They Play?

    A string quartet is the ideal accompaniment to your wedding ceremony, providing a fairytale walk down the aisle that will last forever in your memory. They’re also a sure-fire way of getting the tears flowing from your guests! They will perform mesmerising music for your guests while you and your partner sign the register and will then play a recessional song as you walk back up the aisle. You could even set the scene for your ceremony and ask them to play while your guests arrive!

    Later in the day, imagine your drinks reception, with guests chatting away with their bubbly and a string quartet playing elegant renditions of your favourite songs or timeless masterpieces in the background. Alternatively, their music is the perfect backdrop to a classy wedding breakfast.


    Do I Have To Book All Four Musicians?

    This entirely depends on the act that you choose. Many of our string quartets are available as duos or trios but not all, so check on their profile before booking. There are a few reasons why booking a duo or trio might be better for you.

    • Firstly, you might not have room for an entire ensemble, in which case, fewer musicians would be more suited to the space you have available.
    • Secondly, with fewer musicians to pay, it will normally work out cheaper to hire a duo or trio. So if you are on a tight budget, this is a great option!

    However, there are also some drawbacks to only hiring part of a string quartet.

    • If you have quite a few people at your wedding, two or three players will struggle to be heard over chattering guests, where as the full force of all four instruments will carry far more easily.
    • Unfortunately, arrangements of music for string quartet are written for all four instruments and you can’t just leave out a part without it feeling like something’s missing. In short, the sound won’t be as full as it was intended to be. The range of music written for string duos and trios isn’t quite as extensive and you might not enjoy this restricted repertoire as much as what is available for string quartet.


    • string duo

      How Much Does A String Quartet Cost?

      The price can vary depending on their level of experience, popularity and proximity to your venue. The average cost of hiring a string quartet is around ยฃ650 – ยฃ1000, with these factors considered.


      What Does The Price Include?

      Most string quartets will perform a one hour set (usually broken up over the course of your ceremony and drinks reception). Others will perform for longer. The way that they provide their quotes depends on the act you choose. Most will have an hourly rate for the amount of time they are onsite, meaning that if you want to have them play at your ceremony and then a few hours after at your wedding breakfast, there will be a charge for the time they need to wait in between. Others will quote for their performance and are happy to spend up to around 4 hours at your wedding. It’s really important to explain your needs when booking so that we can help you find the act that suits you best.


      How Far In Advance Should I Book?

      We would recommend booking your string quartet at least a year in advance. The summer months (between May and September) fill up fast with bookings, so make sure you book plenty of time in advance to avoid disappointment!


      When Will They Arrive?

      This is usually round an hour before they are due to perform. This gives them enough time to set up, get tuned and get changed before they need to perform.

      string quartet standing

      How Much Space Does A String Quartet Need?

      A string quartet needs a minimum space of 3 x 2 metres to perform in. They need to be away from passing guests and staff so they don’t get jostled while they are performing to keep their instruments safe and to ensure there are no hindrances to their incredible performance!


      What Do I Need To Provide For Them?

      An armless chair is required for each musician but they will bring their own music stands and music. Unless you have hired an electric string quartet, no PA system is needed.(If you have, check your contract or contact us to find out if they provide their own PA equipment.) It’s a great idea to provide bottled water and perhaps some snacks like biscuits to keep their energy levels up. A meal isn’t required unless the string quartet are on-site for more than four hours.


      Can A String Quartet Play Outside?

      The short answer is yes – a string quartet can play outside. However, there are certain conditions that mean they won’t be able to. Firstly, shelter from rain and strong sunshine is needed to protect their delicate instruments. Secondly, it is incredibly difficult to play a stringed instrument outside with freezing fingers, so if it’s too cold, the group will need to move inside. Lastly, wind plays havoc with sheet music, so the musicians will also need protection from this. It’s always a great idea to have a plan B in place, in case the weather means its unfeasible for them to play outdoors.

      string quartet on sofa

      What Will They Wear?

      The standard attire for any classical musician is all black, but if they appear to be wearing something else in the pictures on their profile, the likelihood is they will wear something similar to perform in. Most quartets are happy to follow your dress code if you’d like them to wear something specific!


      Will A String Quartet Learn A Song For Me?

      A lot of work goes into learning new arrangements of pieces outside of their repertoire but for a small fee, most string quartets will happily learn a request of your choice, meaning you can walk down the aisle to your dream song!


      How Do I Book A String Quartet?

      Booking couldn’t be easier! Simply browse through our selection of incredible string quartets, choose one that you love and fill in the simple enquiry form on their profile. We’ll get back to you ASAP. Alternatively, give us a ring on 0800 53 000 35 to speak to one of our friendly expert advisers who can help you out with whatever you need!


      Is There Anything Else I Need To Know?

      At Entertainment Nation, we don’t just provide string quartets. If you’re not fully decided yet, why not check out our huge range of top-quality classical musicians instead? For your evening reception, one of our incredible wedding bands could be the icing on the cake for your big day!

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