A string quartet is what many people imagine when they picture wedding songs performed live at a ceremony. Maybe it dates back to all of the movies where the string quartet is frantically playing the Wedding March while the bride and groom run into some sort of problem that is thwarting their efforts to tie the knot. Maybe it’s the fact that kings and queens would hire court musicians to perform for their special events back in the day when Kings and Queens did that sort of thing. Whatever the reason for the string quartet’s prevalence in pop culture, there are some really great reasons to bring this gorgeous musical ensemble to your Oregon wedding!
String Quartets Look Really Gorgeous!
So much better than the speakers and chords associated with recorded music. Also better than a keyboard. Am I biased? Maybe but seriously . . . violins and cellos are amazingly beautiful, hand-crafted pieces of artwork in their own right.
String Quartets Create a Rich and Full Sound.
If you’re having an outdoor wedding in Oregon with live music you want to make sure that people can hear the ensemble playing all of your favorite wedding music!
Nobody Does Traditional Wedding Songs Like Canon in D Better
Sorry bagpiper but pieces like Canon in D and Vivaldi’s Spring are just begging for 2 Violins, a Viola and Cello. It’s classic, elegant and totally fitting for Oregon’s natural beauty.
Pop Music and Contemporary Music Arranged for String Quartet is Awesome!
Over the past 13 years of performing for weddings, we’ve amassed an insanely large collection of contemporary wedding songs arranged for our beloved string quartet. Check it out on our Repertoirepage. . . you won’t find a larger or more diverse list in the state of Oregon! You are definitely going to find something you love on this list for your wedding but if not, no worries: we include 2 custom new song arrangements with every wedding music reservation!
String Quartets are Rare, Special and Definitely Worth the Splurge at a Wedding
So there’s a longstanding discussion in my marriage about the point of flowers. My husband (who is awesome don’t get me wrong) doesn’t really get why buying something that’s already dead (aka a beautiful bouquet of roses) is a good idea–it’s already dead. It won’t last he says. But for me, I love the beauty of the roses while they are vibrant. It makes me feel special to have something like this in my home even though they won’t last forever. Same with a string quartet at your wedding–sure, it’s not going to “last” forever like your pictures but it is still definitely worth the splurge if it makes you feel special, celebrated and that this day is something that is truly memorable!
My Top Ten Favorite String Quartet Love Songs
A Thousand Years from Twilight
First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes
All of Me by John Legend/Lindsey Stirling
Canon in D by Pachelbel– an oldie but a goody!
Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N Roses
Falling Slowly from Once
The Kiss from Last of the Mohicans
Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli
Want to talk wedding music? Please drop us a line! We are all about personal connection and helping you find the right ensemble and the right musical style for your wedding day!
Yesterday was a cooker but we had a great time playing at the Resort at the Mountain. This beautiful couple gave us a lot of liberty in our musical selections, we knew that the general vibe they wanted was classical music for prelude and pop and bluegrass for the cocktail hour. I opted to enlist our string trio with guitar and was greatly aided by the musical talents of Erin Green (viola), Dylan Rieck (cello) and Nate Macy (guitar).
This type of ensemble is probably my favorite to write for because of the wide range of styles it can accommodate. I love to write string harmonies and it’s great working with Erin and Dylan because they can also improvise and add their own touches to the music. BTW, Dylan is new to the Pacific Northwest–we just shipped him in from that great musical mecca Austin! He’s a lovely player and wonderful person. And you should check out his site: www.dylanrieck.com.
Wendy Goodwin, owner of Effesenden Music breaks down live ceremony music offering suggestions for how to go about selecting your wedding music. This installment includes musical segments of Canon in D (Pachelbel Canon) and Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring: two of the best choices for couples seeking traditional, elegant classical music for their ceremony.
This past weekend we had the privilege of performing for a gorgeous wedding in Calistoga, CA. We put together this little trailer to give a visual on the trio and what goes into preparing to play. I recorded audio of our music as well and will share that soon.
Effesenden string players travel all over the West Coast (and beyond!) to perform for weddings, concerts and events. Last summer our string quartet traveled to Hawaii to perform for a breathtaking wedding at the Haiku Mill on the island of Maui. We were thrilled to learn that the wedding is currently featured on Martha Stewart Weddings.
The music we prepared was a fun mix of contemporary and classical music. We wrote six new arrangements of songs meaningful to Caitlin & Loren ranging from AC/DC to Bach along with selections from our current repertoire. Because we love to empower our brides and grooms to have music that is meaningful to them, we include special requests in every reservation. This means that we also have an ever expanding repertoire list~ future couples benefit from the musical selections of our previous clients. You can check out our complete current repertoire here.
You might think that the idea of a string quartet traveling to perform for a wedding is a bit unusual but musicians travel all the time to perform, audition and attend festivals. Since so few other wedding ensembles focus on customized music the way we do, our music is in demand beyond the confines of our Pacific Northwest home.
We’ll leave you today with a live recording from Caitlin & Loren’s wedding: I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night by KISS. This was performed during the couple’s chic cocktail hour. We were sheltered from the tropical rains that happened to show up that day by a HUGE mango tree.
This summer Effesenden Music has enjoyed playing weddings in Napa and Hawaii in addition to events throughout the state of Oregon. We offer a unique service with our focus on Customized Live Strings and we are happy to take this labor of love wherever it will be appreciated. I already do a lot of touring as a performing artist so why not travel to play for weddings too?
By keeping Effesenden’s Repertoire ever changing, the combination of instruments in flux and the destinations exciting, our team of musicians is enthusiastic and we never become complacent about our role in weddings because… well, we care and we challenge ourselves to give our best.
The logistics of hiring Effesenden Music to travel for your wedding are really not as formidable as they might seem. While there may be some practical expenses involved, we typically offset those by offering additional value to our clients: including services for free that normally come at a cost such as additional song arrangements, rehearsal attendance or extra performance time. When you hold up the end product that you receive by working with Effesenden and compare that with the fees that a local group might charge you for the same suite of services, you might actually even be getting a deal–and you almost certainly are when you factor in the level of quality, experience and passion that are a proven track record with our company.
Effesenden Music is well known for our emphasis on playing music that reflects our brides and grooms own unique style. Rather than applying a “one size fits all approach,” every single wedding we play has it’s own unique musical plan. We love arranging popular music for our musicians to perform but we also have great respect for the timeless beauty of traditional wedding pieces such as Canon in D, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring and more and enjoy presenting authentic, quality renditions of these great Classical works.
This blog post features samples from two weddings we played during the summer of 2011. On a related note, click the link below if you’d like to see a list of our current songs for classical string trio and quartet.
The second wedding was an indoor ceremony at the beloved Old Church in Southwest Portland, Oregon featuring our string trio. I especially enjoyed this wedding because there were a number of Romantic period and slightly lesser known Classical works along with some more traditional Baroque.
Many of our brides and grooms who are planning to use strings look for guidance on whether to opt for string trio or quartet. The difference is that the quartet includes 2 violins, viola and cello whereas the trio is either violin, viola and cello or 2 violins and cello. The quartet has greater richness and a slightly larger repertoire but the two ensembles are very similar in what they offer.
For comparison, I’ve included a recording of our string trio playing an excerpt from Canon in D.
If you’re like most couples, you’re probably making a lot of decisions like this in the planning—“Option A offers just a little bit more but Option B is really nice and saves a bit on the cost.” My best advice is to work with an ensemble whose music you can tell is high quality and then choose the length of reservation and ensemble size based on your budget. Maybe you could get an 8-piece band of amateur string players for the same price as a high quality string quartet but quantity doesn’t mean better!
The “class” in Classical music has at least in part to do with the timeless nature of the style. The same music that might have serenaded Napoleon or Louis the XIV entering a lush grand ballroom lends equal elegance to a 21st century bride walking down the aisle of a romantic garden setting. That said, if there is one thing I would recommend to a bride in how to choose her ceremony music it’s that the music has got to be meaningful to her personally!
There are certain songs that have become traditional selections-such as Canon in D or the Wedding March but brides should not be limited to these… there are so many colors and moods within the Classical genre. There is so much classical music in fact that it can be overwhelming to know where to look. The following is a list of processional and recessional ideas broken down by different moods.
There are hundreds if not thousands of video clips on Youtube with some of the world’s greatest orchestras and performers playing these pieces. Just copy the title into a Youtube search for an easy way to get familiar with a particular melody.
What are you walking down the aisle to? I would love to hear how you are using music to reflect your unique style as a couple!
ETHEREAL, DREAMY PROCESSIONALS 1. Claire de Lune (Debussy) 2. Entr’acte to Act III from Carmen (Bizet) 3. Girl with the Flaxen Hair (Debussy) 4. Meditation from Thais (Massanet) 5. Nocturne from String Quartet No. 2 (Borodin) 6. O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi (Puccini) 7. Pavane Pour une infante defunte (Ravel) 8. Reverie (Debussy) 9. Sheherazade (Theme from Part 3) Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov 10. Sleeping Beauty’s Pavane (Ravel) 11. The Swan from Carnival of the Animals (Saint-Saens) 12. Theme from New World Symphony 2nd Movement (Dvorak) 13. Theme from Polovetzian Dance from Prince Igor (Borodin) 14. Symphony No 5 2nd Movement theme (Tchaikovsky) 15. Theme from Lakme (Flower Duet) (Delibes) 16. Theme from Romeo & Juliet Ballet (Tchaikovsky)
TRADITIONAL PROCESSIONALS (in order of popularity) 1. Canon in D “Pachelbel’s Canon” (Pachelbel) 2. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin “Here Comes the Bride” (Wagner) 3. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke) 4. Spring from the Four Seasons—Allegro 1 (Vivaldi) 5. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach) 6. Trumpet Tune (Purcell) 7. Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach) 8. Wachet Auf (Bach)
STATELY ELEGANT PROCESSIONAL 1. Air from Water Music (Handel) 2. Air on the G String (Bach) 3. Airioso (Bach) 4. Appalachian Spring “Simple Gifts” Theme (Copland) 5. Andante Cantabile from String Quartet No. 1 Op 11 (Tchaikovsky) 6. Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart) 7. Bist Du Bei Mir (Bach) 8. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin “Here Comes the Bride” (Wagner) 9. Canon in D (Pachelbel) 10. Evening Prayer from Hansel and Gretel (Umperdinck) 11. Finlandia Theme (Sibelius) 12. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach) 13. Jupiter Choral Theme from The Planets (Holst) 14. Lascia Chio PIanga from Rinaldo (Handel) 15. Pictures at an Exhibition Promenade (Musorgsky) 16. Trumpet Tune (Purcell) 17. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
RECESSIONALS 1. 1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky) 2. Brandenburg Concerto No 3 Mvmt 1 (Bach) 3. Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Vivaldi) 4. Hallelujah Chorus (Handel) 5. Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel) 6. Hopak (Mussorgsky) 7. Kiss Waltz (Strauss) 8. March from the Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky) 9. Minuet (Boccherini) 10. Ode to Joy (Beethoven) 11. Peter and the Wolf Opening Theme (Prokofiev) 12. Spring from the Four Seasons—Allegro movement 1 (Vivaldi) 13. Spring from the Four Seasons—Allegro movement 3 (Vivaldi) 14. Sonata for Violin and Piano 4th Movement Theme (Franck) 15. Wedding March from Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mendelssohn)
I am a native Oregonian. So native that my grandparents lived on a Century Farm in the Willamette Valley. Before that, some of my grandmother’s relatives came over on a covered wagon! There were roughly 300 guests at my own wedding because how could I not invite the community who nurtured me and helped me be the person I am today?
Whether you are a native Oregonian planning your hometown wedding or you’ve been drawn to our beautiful state by the mountains, the ocean, the coffee and the wine, you should know that there is one troupe of musicians who will fearlessly travel to just about anywhere to make the audio match the visual: check out our video as proof!