Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why Shoalhaven Strings?
Shoalhaven Strings has been providing quality string music for events in the Shoalhaven, Illawarra and Southern Highlands since 2012, and we are familiar with the organisational process and musical expectations of musical performance at weddings and other functions.
We employ classically trained and seasoned musicians, guaranteeing quality of performance at every event. We offer a variety of ensembles, and amplification is available for most events to ensure that our music is always audible.
Our broad range of musical genres (classical, contemporary, movie themes and jazz) provides our clients with a wide range to suit most musical tastes. We work closely with our clients to provide music that is tailored to the event, and we also accommodate for special requests.
Let us add a touch of elegance and class to your upcoming event!
Q. Do you have a music package for weddings ceremonies, and what does this include?
Yes. Our primary service is the performance at wedding ceremonies, and our Wedding Ceremony Package is designed to meet the needs of your happy occasion. Please refer to our ‘packages’ page on our website for more information.
Q. Are you available for hire for events other than weddings?
Yes. Shoalhaven Strings is also available for hire to play music at birthday celebrations, high teas, engagements, anniversaries, cocktail parties, christenings, naming days, private and corporate events, and memorial services. Our General Events Package requires a minimum booking duration of 2 hours. Have a chat to us regarding our discounted rates for longer musical engagements.
Q. What are the fees of your music packages?
Please contact us for a tailored quote for your next event.
Q. Can you provide a customised package?
Yes. Our minimum booking duration is 1.5 hours for wedding ceremonies and 2 hours for all other events, and additional time can be add to our packages on request. Please contact us if you would like a customised package, or to discuss the possibility of discounted rates for longer musical engagements.
Q. Are you able to play just one song during our wedding ceremony?
Yes. We are happy to come and play for just one song at your wedding ceremony. However, our fee would still be charged based on our minimum booking duration. This is to cover the costs of communicating with you regarding your wedding requirements, coordinating musicians and music, musical and personal preparation time, travel time, and preparation time at your wedding venue prior to actual performance.
Q. If there is a break between our wedding ceremony and reception and we wanted you to play at both, how will this time be charged?
A non-performance fee of $30 per musician per hour (charged in 30 minute lots) is charged for any time between sets (eg ceremony and reception). Although we would not be required to play during this period, we are still engaged by you and are unable to perform at other events due to this engagement. This gap fee will cover any travel between venues and additional set up time.
Q. How is travel charged in your fees?
Shoalhaven Strings provide an individual quote for each event which includes any travel fees. The first hour of travel calculated from Nowra (the most central location for our musicians) is included in our basic fee. Additional travel fees are charged for travel time in addition to this initial first hour at a rate of $30 per musician per hour (charged in 30 minute lots).
For example, if a venue is located in Wollongong and is located 1 hour north of Nowra, this will require a total of 2 hours travel per musician to attend the event. The first hour of travel is included in the basic fee, however the second hour is charged at $30 per musician.
Q. How do we confirm our booking?
Once we have confirmed our availability for your event date and you have approved our quote, a non-refundable deposit is required within 48 hours to secure your booking. Our director, April, will contact you with an invoice and deposit details.
Q. Which ensemble would be best for our event?
The ensemble that best suits your musical needs! We have provided a brief description of what is offered for each ensemble, a photo/video of what they look like, and audio/video samples of what they sound like on our ‘ensembles’ page of our website. This page is great to compare the various ensembles that we offer.
Still unsure? Have a chat to our director, April, for some helpful advice.
Q. Do you offer String Quartet or String Trio?
Unfortunately we do not offer a String Quartet or String Trio, however we would be happy to refer you to another quality string ensemble that does.
Q. Will the venue require a piano to book the Piano Duo?
No. We are happy to perform on a quality acoustic piano, however where one is not available we provide a full-size, weighted keyed digital piano and amplification. As our amplification system is not portable, a power point is required to be located within 20 metres of where the musicians will be playing.
Q. Will amplification be required at our event?
Amplification is not needed at most venues for the String Duo, Guitar Trio and Guitar Duo. However, some outdoor venues may require amplification depending on the number of guests, weather conditions, and reflective surfaces. Some wedding ceremony locations are unsuitable for our equipment eg beaches.
Amplification is required for the Piano Duo, and is highly recommended for the String Duo particularly if you are interested in increasing the complexity and richness of sound through looper technology.
We provide all electric instruments, amplification equipment and cables required. As our amplification system is not portable, a power point is required to be located within 20 metres of where the musicians will be playing.
Q. What songs do we need to choose for our wedding ceremony?
Four songs are required to be chosen for the wedding ceremony – one for the processional, two for the signing of the register, and one for the recessional. These key ceremony songs can be chosen from our existing song lists or as special requests. Our song lists are available on our website or we can provide directly to you on request.
Not sure what songs to choose? Have a chat to our experienced Director – April Hudson – and she can assist you in tailoring music to suit your special day.
Pre-ceremony and post-ceremony music can including ‘classical’, ‘contemporary’ or a mixture of both styles from our existing song lists. If you love a variety of songs from our song lists, we are happy to be provided with this list and we will include them in our performance where possible.
Q. Do you take special requests?
Yes. If you have your heart set on a song outside of our existing song list, we are more than happy to accommodate for pre-arranged requests. A fee of $30 per song is applicable and up to 2 requested songs can be included in your wedding ceremony. This fee is required to cover the cost of purchasing, arrangement and rehearsing the new song. Let us know how we can accommodate the personalisation of your wedding ceremony!
Q. When do we need to lock in final song choices for our wedding ceremony?
All key wedding ceremony songs are required to be confirmed at least one month from your wedding date.
Q. Will we require a formal face-to-face meeting to discuss our wedding ceremony details?
No, we are happy to work with you via phone and email to confirm all your wedding ceremony details. However, if you would like to meet in person prior to your wedding, we are happy to facilitate.
Q. Are we able to hear a recording of a specific song?
Our website has a range of recordings for you to listen to. However, due to the effort required to record, edit and publish audio material, we are not able to record every song in our song lists. We recommend researching the song on Youtube for a similar instrumental ensemble to hear how this song could sound.
If you would like to hear a recording of a song that we don’t have on our website, a fee of $100 per song is required.
Q. Can I hear you perform live?
Yes. Shoalhaven Strings performs at wedding expos, venue open days, and at restaurants and cafes. Please contact us to for our next performance, or refer to our home page on our website for more details. Otherwise, our website includes a number of videos of Shoalhaven Strings performing live that you can watch.
Q. What do you require at the venue for performance?
Shoalhaven Strings requires chairs without arms to be provided at the wedding venue. If we are required to play at more than one location, please ensure that chairs are provided at each separate location.
Due to the sensitivity of our instruments to the elements, please consider seating us in the shade or under a structure. Protection from direct sunlight, wind and rain is important for our instruments and to ensure the best musical performance.
If amplification is required or desired, a power point is required to be located within 20 metres of where the musicians will be playing.
Q. How long before the agreed playing time will your musicians arrive?
Our musicians will arrive about 30 minutes prior to the agreed start time. This additional time will be used to set up stands and amplification equipment (if required), tune our instruments, complete a sound check, and discuss visual or verbal cues with the Minister/Celebrant for the wedding ceremony (if applicable).
Q. What will your musicians wear to our event?
Our musicians wear smart black attire to all our events, unless requested otherwise.
Q. How will your musicians know when to start and stop playing during our wedding ceremony?
Our musicians have a wealth of performance experience which includes an average of 100 wedding performances per musician. We have a great understanding of the most common verbal and visual cues that indicate when to start and stop playing. In addition, we also take the time to discuss visual or verbal cues with the Minister/Celebrant prior to the start of the wedding ceremony.
Q. If our wedding ceremony runs over the agreed duration, will there be an additional fee?
We understand that things don’t always run according to plan! If this happens, we will send you an invoice for $25 per musician per 15 minutes to cover the additional time required.
Q. What if it rains during our wedding ceremony?
If it starts to rain at any time during your wedding ceremony, our musicians will move to a sheltered location and continue playing. Please always consider a wet weather option, and communicate this with us if there is a possibility of rain on your wedding day.