by Kathie Nicolet
Many brides are overwhelmed by having to make 2,156 decisions in planning their wedding ceremonies and receptions to ensure their absolutely perfect wedding day. What to choose: silver or gold table linens; chicken or salmon; pink roses or delphiniums? Please, allow me to assist you in selecting your wedding musicians.
As a professional Chicago pianist and wedding musician for over 21 years, I have been a significant part of thousands of celebrations that included “behind the scenes” negotiations, phone discussions, music selections, rehearsals, recommendations for additional vendors, etc. Particular brides were searching for only the best, and I’d like to share suggestions in how you can do the same to ensure that your special day be memorable, beautiful, and special.
Relax and trust the wedding professionals to help you by virtue of their expertise. For instance, I have had countless years of experience and witnessed almost every possible scenario imaginable:
- I have seen a bride faint just before saying “I do.”
- Brides who heard the Bridal March and stood frozen in the doorway.
- The ring bearer who had forgotten the ring on the 16th floor of the hotel.
- Ceremonies starting 45 minutes late because Uncle Bob took a wrong turn driving to the church, etc.
Despite the challenges presented, these weddings were absolutely beautiful, with much credit given to professional vendors who knew how to handle them. When selecting your vendors, be sure they can offer you top references and have professional materials to share that represent a quality business. If your phone calls are not handled professionally and promptly, you are wise to go to someone else.
Remember: You are planning one wedding; we help plan thousands!
Many people are looking for value today and may believe that because Aunt Frannie plays the piano, she’d be perfect as your cocktail pianist. Aunt Frannie may know “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” but do you want to hear it 35 times in an hour? Will your guests be disappointed because she doesn’t know how to play anything else? Let Aunt Frannie be a guest. Leave the music to the professional who has a wide repertoire for everyone present. A professional musician is trained to take requests, play polished, professional arrangements, and do it all while smiling and carrying on a conversation without taking her hands off the keys.
All beautiful, elegant wedding ceremonies and receptions will have “live” music; please leave your CD’s in the car. If you are absolutely on the tightest budget, you can hire a solo musician for what two dinner entrees or a lovely floral centerpiece would cost. It’s smart not to “cut corners” with ambience. Music sets the tone for your day: your guests will notice. Keep this thought in mind, as well, for your wedding showers, rehearsal dinners, and post nuptial champagne brunches. A celebration without music is only a meeting.
Ask your friends to share names of local vendors they have dealt with for their special occasions. If you don’t know of anyone, the facility where you are planning your event usually has a list of preferred musicians for wedding ceremonies, receptions, and corporate events that include wonderful people such as bands, orchestras, DJ’s, florists, photographers, caterers, videographers, etc.
Also, consider asking your catering coordinator for their list of professional musicians in your area. This is the best possible resource you can find in that recommended vendors do not pay to be listed. Preferred vendors are specifically recommended for consistent quality service and impeccable reputations.
Anyone can get listed in a phone book or a wedding magazine for a fee. Recommendations will cost you nothing but are tremendously valuable resources. If the facility recommends someone superior who guests are talking about for weeks to come following a wedding, this reflects extremely well upon the vendor and the facility.
Chicago brides planning Catholic wedding ceremonies need to consult with the musical director of their local churches before selecting musicians. It is common practice for the church to require you utilize their “in house” musicians and will not allow you to bring in “outside” vendors. The church often has an “approved” list of musical selections allowed. Be sure to call first.
Congratulations with All My Sincere Good Wishes for a Beautiful Wedding! For those seeking recommendations for Chicago vendors, please contact me, anytime! My personal recommendations are provided as complimentary service for those seeking only the best that Chicago has to offer for your special, successful day!
Kathie Nicolet's Various Professional Credits:
- Chicago Pianist For Beautiful Wedding Ceremonies and Receptions Since 1983
- Preferred Vendor of Mayor Daley’s Office of Special Events
- Chicago Hyatt/Hilton/Marriotts-Ambassador East Hotels (Pump Room/Chicago)
- Von Maur Lead Pianist—St. Charles 2004