Frequently Asked Question
We recommend booking at least six months in advance, but we will accept bookings with short notice if we are available.
An hour is usually sufficient for a wedding ceremony - it includes about 15 minutes of Prelude music as your guests are arriving and being seated, 30-40 minutes for your Processional, Ceremony, and Recessional, and a few minutes in the end for Postlude as your guests are moving to your cocktail hour. For a church wedding, you may need 1.25 hours if the ceremony is going to be longer than 30-40 minutes.
For a full Mass, you will need to book at least 1.5 hours - about 15-20 minutes of Prelude, Processional for you and your wedding party, a full hour for the Mass, Recessional, and a few minutes for Postlude.
Yes! We frequently play church weddings and full Catholic masses and have much of that music in our repertoire. We will coordinate with your church music director/organist to work out what each of us will play during the service. If we are to accompany a singer/cantor, this will require a rehearsal immediately prior to Prelude for an additional fee. While we are generally able to play all the necessary music for a church service by ourselves, we prefer to work in tandem with the church's organist/pianist/cantor. If you are not planning to use the church musician(s), be aware that some churches will require a "bench fee" – double check with your church to avoid a surprise charge. Also, many churches have restrictions on what music/songs are allowed, so it's important that you ask them well in advance so you don't get your heart set on any music they won't allow.
Prelude: About 15 minutes of music as your guests are arriving and being seated. You may choose about 7 songs (if you're not sure what to pick, please don't hesitate to ask us for suggestions), or feel free to let us choose appropriate music for you.
Processional (wedding party): One or two slower-tempo songs for your wedding party to enter to. One song is usually best, but if your wedding party is especially large, you could choose one song for the family (grandparents, parents, sponsors) and another for the bridesmaids/groomsmen and flower girls/ring bearers.
Processional (bride and/or groom): Music for the bride and/or groom to walk down the aisle to. (slower or medium tempo)
Special music: Music that may be during the unity candle, the giving of roses to family members, or for a moment to listen and reflect. Some couples opt for no additional music during the ceremony.
Recessional: Music as you and your wedding party exit - celebratory and upbeat.
Postlude: One or two joyous selections as your guests exit (time permitting).
We prefer to have all your music selections at least one month prior to your date, but you must have them a minimum of two weeks before to allow us sufficient time to prepare.
Yes, each new song will cost between $30 and $150, depending on the availability of sheet music and whether we need to commission a special arrangement.
Musicians will arrive 30 minutes prior to their scheduled start time. Some musicians will arrive earlier if they require more set-up time (ex: harp, keyboard).
Musicians wear "concert black" clothing. If you would rather we wear something different, please let us know at the time of booking, and we may be able to accommodate you.
Each musician will need one solid chair with no arms and no wheels pre-set in the performance location(s). The musicians will bring their own music stands.
Our instruments and equipment are extremely valuable and are susceptible to damage when exposed to rain, direct sunlight, and temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, for outdoor events, the musicians must be provided a shaded area (tent, canopy, overhang, etc.) on a sunny day and will require an indoor/protected area if the temperature is below 65 degrees or there is any precipitation (even mist or tiny drops). If temperatures are between 55 and 65 degrees, the musicians may still be able to perform if they are provided heaters.
String ensembles are acoustic in nature, but some performance circumstances will benefit from amplification. Amplification for our instruments is available, and we will bring it when needed. Note that we do not have a microphone or amplification for your officiant.
Any travel considerations will be covered in our initial quote to you. If you are validating the parking for your event, we would appreciate it if you would include us.
You will be charged for overtime if your wedding runs over by 10 minutes or more. The musicians will not approach you during a ceremony to ask if they should stay. If your ceremony starts late and is not finished at the contracted time, the musicians will stay as long as they can, and you will be responsible for the overtime that accrues. This is detailed in our contract. If your ceremony will be more than 30-40 minutes long or you think your wedding might start a little late, it's best to contract up front for the extra time.
For events other than weddings, if you would like your musicians to stay longer than the contracted end time, overtime will start immediately after everyone has agreed.
Yes, Ambrosia Ensembles carries an annual general liability insurance policy. We will be happy to provide your venue with a certificate.