Frequently Asked Questions About the Harp at a Wedding or Wedding Reception
1. What experience do you have as a harpist for a wedding or wedding reception?
I have played hundreds of weddings and wedding receptions since playing my first wedding at the age of 12. I have also played at many parties, dinners, graduations, and funerals. In addition to playing at many churches, other wedding venues at which I have played included: outdoors or in the Piper Palm House at Tower Grove Park, the Butterfly House at Faust Park, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Jewel Box at Forest Park, Pere Marquette Park in Illinois, and at private residences. I have even played a wedding and dinner reception on a river cruise. Reception venues have included several of the country clubs in the St. Louis metro area, the Missouri Athletic Club, as well as hotels, such as the Adams Mark and the Ritz Carlton. Again, any place that can accommodate a concert grand harp is fine.
Please visit my bio page for a more complete biography.
2. Where can you play your harp?
My harp and I travel all over! Almost any venue appropriate for a wedding or wedding reception can accommodate a harp. Churches are the typical wedding venue. Other wedding venues at which I have played included: outdoors or in the Piper Palm House at Tower Grove Park, the Butterfly House at Faust Park, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Jewel Box at Forest Park, Pere Marquette Park in Illinois, and at private residences. I have even played a wedding and dinner reception on a river cruise.
Reception venues have included several of the country clubs in the St. Louis metro area, the Missouri Athletic Club, as well as hotels, such as the Adams Mark and the Ritz Carlton. Again, any place that can accommodate a concert grand harp is fine.
3, During what part of the ceremony would the harp music be performed?
If the harp is the only instrument at the wedding, basically (but not limited to), the sections of the ceremony where harp music is played are the following:
Prelude – Relaxing harp music greets people arriving at the wedding. The harp performance will begin about 15 to 20 minutes before the ceremony starts.
Processional – Appropriate musical pieces are chosen for the bridal party entrance.
Lighting of the Unity Candle -A short selection of music is played during the lighting of the unity candle by the bride and groom.
Special Song – An optional special piece of music is selected and played at any point during the formal service. It may be a harp solo or it may be a singer/instrumentalist accompanied by the harp.
Recessional – Immediately after the couple has been announced, joyful harp music begins to escort the bridal party down the aisle.
Postlude – Harp music continues for approximately 15 to 20 minutes after the ceremony as the guests leave.
I have played at weddings when I only played the prelude and postlude. Other weddings I have also played parts of the wedding such as the lighting of the unity candle and communion (at Catholic weddings). At some weddings I am the sole provider of music. Other times I play parts and the organist plays parts. I have also accompanied a vocalist. How much I play depends on your wishes.
4. What types of songs do you have for harp wedding music?
Harp music is very versatile; almost anything is possible! Musical pieces in many styles of music are appropriate for wedding harp music. My harp music repertoire includes classical, pop, new age, Irish & Celtic, sacred songs, Broadway show tunes, movie theme songs, and old-time favorites. I have compiled a list of music that works well as wedding harp music. These are songs that one typically hears at weddings. If you are having a church wedding, I would recommend consulting with the church to find out if there are any restrictions on the music that can be used.
If there is a particular song that is not on the list, visit my repertoire page and if you still don’t see it, please ask!
TYPICAL WEDDING MUSIC:Air on a G String
Ave Maria-Bach & Schubert
Canon in D
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring
Ode to Joy
Sheep May Safely Graze
The Lord’s Prayer
Note: These are just some typical weddings songs, many brides use selections from other genres as well.
5. Is it possible to discuss my harp music wedding plans with you?
As part of my wedding ceremony fee, I include a consultation in my home. During this time we can discuss all the musical needs of your wedding, and you may hear a selection of harp music on my harp. At this time, we can choose all the harp music selections for your wedding. After I have received your signed contract and deposit, we can set up an appointment.
If it is not possible for you to come to my home, a phone consultation is available. Should you wish to hear some harp music, please refer to the Listen section of this website for snippets of typical weddings songs. You are not limited to these selections.
6. Can you play with another instrument?
I have played several weddings and other events with a violinist. We work well together. Should you desire a violinist, I would recommend using her. Should you want me to play with another instrument, it is possible that practice time together would be needed. This extra time is not part of my fee, and there would be an additional charge.
7. For which part of the reception can I have harp music?
Whether the reception is in the morning, afternoon or evening — the harp provides the perfect addition to make your reception a particularly special occasion. I would typically play during the cocktail hour and/or during the meal. The harp provides beautiful background music that is not at all obtrusive to your guests having a conversation.
8. How long during the wedding reception can you perform?
As an experienced harpist, I can perform from 1 to 4 hours at a single event. The usual length is 2-3 hours. After the third hour, the cost per hour doubles because of the strain that length of time puts on the harpist’s back and fingers.
9. Is harp music loud enough for my guests to hear?
Harp music can easily be heard in a crowd of 200 plus people. Harp music carries well outside as well as inside. In most venues, harp music does not need amplification. It is beautiful just as is! Remember, that in cases other than the wedding ceremony, the harp music is background music.
10. What is your fee and how do I book you?
Please send me an email or give me a call and let me know the following:
Your musical needs or questions
The location of your wedding and/or reception
The date of your wedding and/or reception
If a reception, the length of time you wish me to play
The best time and method (email or phone) to contact you
I will get back to you as soon as possible with my availability and fee. Thank you!
11. What type of payment is accepted?
You may make payment by cash or check. I require a 50% deposit to hold the date for you. This is a non-refundable deposit. The balance must be paid before the date of service. Should there not be enough time between booking and date of service, I require the total payment to be made in cash before I play.