experienced violinist
wedding dance

MP3 Music Samples

Trumpet Tune
Air on a G string
Eine Kleine
Con te Partiro
All I Ask of You
Moon River
The Rose

Music for a Michigan Outdoor Wedding
or Beach Ceremony


cello with wedding flowers

The majority of weddings the Great Lakes Chamber Players perform for in Michigan are outdoors. Beautiful locations outside have great appeal, yet also bring some challenges and unpredictable elements. With some advanced planning, an outdoor wedding in Michigan can go smoothly, even if the weather doesn't cooperate.

Have a Clear Backup Plan

If you decide on an outdoor wedding ceremony, you may want to consider having it on the grounds of the venue where you are having the reception. There are many venues that have beautiful grounds that are appropriate for outdoor weddings. In the event of inclement weather, you can have the ceremony in the reception location.

If you have an outdoor wedding in a more remote location, you have a couple of options. Some couples rent a tent and hold the ceremony and reception in the same place. This way, in case of rain, the wedding can continue without having to change locations. Be sure the tent has sides that can be rolled down in case of heavy rain or wind. Another option is having the ceremony outside in one location and the reception at a venue in a nearby town. In case of rain, you can reserve the reception venue as a backup for the ceremony. Be sure to include the backup plan in your invitations with the time of the backup ceremony.

Also, please communicate with your musicians up front the back up plan and the time to avoid any surprises.

Sound Projection

One factor in playing outdoors is sound projection. Unlike a church or fine concert hall, the outdoors has no acoustic supporting the sound of the instruments. As a result, more sound may be necessary to adequately hear the instruments via more instruments or sound reinforcement (amplification).

Generally speaking, for large outdoor weddings, we recommended a string trio (2 violins/cello or violin/viola/cello), string quartet (2 violins/viola/cello), or trumpet with strings to adequately project the sound. If the wedding is small, a duo (violin/cello, flute/cello) will work just fine.

Proper placement of the instruments is also critical. Placing the musicians on or next to a hard surface, such as a patio or against a wall, also helps in sound projection. For a large wedding, raising the musicians up on a platform can also help projection.

For large outdoor weddings, electrical outlets are sometimes necessary for amplification. Be sure to communicate to the musicians if you feel that sound reinforcement is necessary to discuss the possibilities. Some classical musicians have their own sound reinforcement and others do not. In most cases, simply adding one or two more musicians and/or proper placement will solve the problem and the sound will be more appealing.

Protecting the Instruments

To protect stringed instruments from damage, they need to be out of the direct sun in a shaded area. Direct sun tends to fade the varnish of stringed instruments and can also cause cracks and seams to open. If shade is not available, renting an 8 x 8 (for duos/trios) or 10 x 10 (for quartets) foot canopy may be necessary.

Also, to protect against cracks and opening of seams, most stringed instruments should not be in temperatures below 60 degrees F. If you are planning an outdoor wedding in early May or late September, you may want to rent an 8 x 8 or 10 x 10 canopy that has sides that roll down and have portable heaters ready just in case. If it is chilly, just roll down three of the sides of the canopy, point the opening towards the guests, and turn on the heater.

Even in cases where a shaded area is present, it may not be in an optimal placement for sound projection (i.e. too far away from the guests). In this case, you may also want to rent a canopy to have the musicians close to the guests. Canopies are inexpensive to rent and if the sides roll down it can even give the sound something to bounce off of, helping sound projection. Just point the opening of the canopy towards the guests. Also, the sides of the canopy can block the wind, allowing for facilitation of page turns. A word of warning, if the winds are strong canopies can blow away if not well secured!

Don't Forget the Citronella!

This is very easy to overlook! If your wedding is surrounded by trees, consider setting up some citronella candles. This will greatly enhance the comfort of your guests in the event the mosquitoes decide to come out.

Dress Code

The dress code for the Great Lakes Chamber Players is concert attire; black tuxedo for the men and all black for the women.

Please contact the Great Lakes Chamber Players for information on Michigan wedding music.

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