- How far out should I book you as my entertainment?
Once you have a confirmed location, date and time, you should then contact Strings Etc. to select the types of entertainment you desire for your event. We can discuss the varying options for groups so you may select the one(s) that fit your style and your budget. Sure, linens and flowers create a look, but it’s the music and entertainment that creates the atmosphere and sets the tone for the entire event. We should be one of your first calls after you secure the date and location.
- I’m having a wedding on the beach. Have you ever played on a beach?
Absolutely! We do, however, recommend that you also use amplification for the wedding vows and the music as there will be outside wind and wave noise. With our exclusive wireless sound system, our musicians can be on the beach with you without fear of cables, cords, etc. Your guests will hear every “I Do!”
- Our favorite song is …. Can you play it?
YES! We create our own arrangements of any style of music, even from your favorite metal band. We are extremely versatile. Many of the wedding sites encourage you to be “tasteful” in your musical selections and to leave the top 40 hits for your reception. We like to challenge that advice. Strings Etc. is the perfect choice if you want to incorporate those songs tastefully into your ceremony as there are no lyrics when the songs are played on acoustic string instruments. You are not required to fit into society norms with the so-called rules for a wedding. It’s your day, and you can make it anything you want!
- Are you available to extend your playing time?
We are often asked to extend our performance times to keep the party going. Your guests have already enjoyed the table linens and lighting; they are not going to stay around simply to keep staring at them. However, they will stay as long as they are entertained. This is why we usually schedule our musicians for extra time outside the contracted terms. We don’t have to end the party just yet!
- Do you play outside?
Yes, but with guidelines. We are performing on expensive, delicate wooden instruments that can be harmed by the elements. Therefore, our musicians cannot perform in direct sunlight. Many times, a large patio umbrella or shade from a building/tree/tent/gazebo will suffice. BE WARY of any string ensemble that says they will perform in direct sunlight as they are probably using the cheapest instruments they can find. These violin-shaped objects usually have a terrible sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, and that can affect the overall tone of your wedding. Also, in the event of inclement weather, our musicians must be under cover since the instruments will NOT work in the rain. Please remember to ask your venue if there is a “rain backup” location. We are in Florida, and the weather is very unpredictable.
- Our wedding is a destination wedding in Central Florida. Where can we find more information about vendors in the area?
Strings Etc. has worked with couples and event planners from around the world to create their dream destination wedding in Central Florida. Since 1992, we have formed professional relationships with other reputable vendors in the area and are happy to recommend florists, venues, photographers, and caterers.
- We are getting married in our church/synagogue/temple. Are we allowed to bring in other non-member musicians?
In most cases, yes. Depending on your church’s policies, Strings Etc. can provide an ensemble that can also include use of your church’s piano or organ. Our musicians are well-versed in the liturgy of several faiths, including Christianity, Catholic, Protestant, Episcopal, Baptist, Southern Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, Mormon, Seventh-Day Adventist, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and others. We respect the guidelines of each faith, and can perform music acceptable to the religious venues.
- We are a gay couple wanting to have a wedding/commitment ceremony in Central Florida. Can you provide our entertainment?
Yes! Strings Etc. has performed for numerous commitment ceremonies and gay weddings. Strings Etc. does not discriminate on any basis.
- What do your musicians wear?
Usually, Strings Etc. musicians wear all black or formal black attire for events. Sometimes we are asked to match the wedding party colors by adding a colored tie, scarf, or flower pinned to a shirt. Many times, we are asked to fit a theme. At a Star Wars Wedding, we wore costumes of Jedi, Storm Trooper, and Imperial Officer. At a Halloween wedding, we wore Goth black with appropriate makeup. At a Lord of the Rings wedding, we were asked to wear Medieval-style fairy gowns with wings. So long as the costuming does not interfere with our playing ability, the options are limitless!
- Unpredictable things can happen. Can you please keep playing?
Yes. With LIVE musicians, we can keep entertaining guests as long as needed to repair a ripped seam, fallen hairstyle, etc. When using a DJ, he has to fade in and out for the wait time, add unwanted songs or loop the same song endlessly, and the music just does not flow properly. With LIVE musicians, we watch what is happening, end songs properly, repeat as needed while varying the style/key/tone, and provide a fanfare just before the bride processes. Live musicians can ADAPT to the situation, and Strings Etc. has the professional experience to make it appear flawless to your guests.
- What forms of payment do you accept?
Once under a written contract, Strings Etc. accepts payment in the form of personal check, company check, cashier’s check, cash, PayPal, and most major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover).
- Do you require a deposit to hold a date?
Yes. Our policy is 25% non-refundable deposit upon contract execution, with the remaining balance due by no later than 14 days prior to the Event. Overtime rates are due immediately at the event. Again, major credit cards are accepted via mobile technology.
- Do you travel?
Yes. If your event is outside the greater Orlando area, there may be an additional travel fee for our ensembles. Please contact us to discuss details.
- Do you perform publicly where I can see you before I book you?
Yes. Our musicians are all professionals and music is our career. We perform at different locations around Florida and throughout the world. Please visit our main page to view our experience, or contact us to find out where you can next see us perform.
- Should I hire a band or a DJ?
I say: why not fuse both? Strings Etc. offers live musicians performing as a band or with a DJ. This gives the excitement and feel of live music, with the variety of a DJ’s catalogue of songs. Wireless instrumentalists can stroll through the crowd playing the latest hot dance tracks while a live drummer provides the beat onstage with the DJ. Is it really exciting if your DJ stays in one place all night? We offer the experience of live performers who can get even the most conservative guests to enjoy the party.
- Do your musicians drink alcohol while performing?
NO! Strings Etc. does not permit any of its performers to consume alcoholic beverages during an event or performance. We do ask our clients to provide a selection of non-alcoholic beverages (especially individually bottled water when performing outside). If the event is a meal event, we request a meal for each musician/technician to be consumed during the agreed-upon breaks. As the entertainers are on-location several hours before and after the conclusion of the event, we are limited as to when and where we can obtain such a meal; therefore, we request it be provided by the client.
- My venue is telling me that if I hire you, you have to carry your own commercial general liability insurance policy. Do you know what this means and do you have it?
Yes – we have it! Many of the most popular venues (Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Resorts, Sea World, Universal Orlando Theme Parks and Resorts, Orange County Convention Center, Orange County Parks and Recreation sites, and many other hotels and resorts) REQUIRE all vendors to have their own insurances in the event of an accident involving a musician or our equipment. Strings Etc. carries its own commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy in the required limits that covers its musicians, technicians, and the venue in case of an accident. Most of the aforementioned venues already have a copy of our insurance certificates on file, but we are happy to provide another upon request. When shopping around for your vendors, always ask if they have their own CGL policies so you are not responsible in the event of an accident.
- Do you have a package that will fit my budget?
Usually the answer is yes as we can offer a solo instrument up to larger ensemble. The question should be: How can I re-arrange my budget to afford live music? Your guests will probably not remember the color or types of your flowers or your linens, but they will remember if they enjoyed themselves. The key to these memories is the entertainment. Beware of price guarantees! The lowest bidder is NOT using the same professionals as the higher bidders. Our experienced professionals do this as a career, not as a hobby. Live music sets the tone and background for the entire event, and the quality of the musicians cannot be compromised to achieve this. Familiar music performed in a background atmosphere capture the attention of the guests as they eagerly await the bride’s arrival and the ceremony. Popular and rock music played on string instruments as part of a rock band will create a buzz amongst the guests and keep the energy high, especially during the reception.
- I found a string group online with a lower price. Will you match it or beat it?
Strings Etc. uses only experienced, professional musicians. Music is our career, not a hobby. We make our living performing music, and have spent many years perfecting our art. Our prices are competitive, but may not be the lowest. You will get what you pay for – high quality, professional musicians with the experience you desire for your event. Many times, the lower priced string ensembles use students and non-professional musicians, and the person you think you are hiring is not even present at your event! You don’t get a “do-over” with your wedding, so why trust your big day to the lowest bidder?
Do you belong to any professional organizations?Yes! All Strings Etc. musicians are members of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM), and are eligible to perform in any venue throughout the world through this affiliation. Strings Etc. is also a member of the Orlando Wedding Guild (OWG) and Central Florida Musicians’ Association (CFMA).