Advice about music and entertainment for your affair.


Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I get many requests to provide wedding ceremony music on a beach. As romantic an idea that it is –  there are serious environmental problems involved. Quality string instruments (violin,viola,cello) can be easily damaged by  the sand. Even with no wind blowing there are tiny sand particles in the air. This as well as the salt water in the air becomes extremely corrosive to the wood of a string instrument. There is also the problem of the strings going out of tune and the wood swelling  before the ceremony is over due to the moisture in the air. You would not want to hear the strings “tuning up” during the ceremony nor would you want to hear the strings playing “out of tune” by the end of the ceremony. Even worse is having a keyboard play a ceremony on the sand. With all the intricate electronics in an electric keyboard it only takes a small sand particle to freeze up the keyboard and cause major repair problems. Much worse is trying to have a harp perform in the beach – add the problem of moving the harp through sand to the problem of the effect of the sand and moisture on the strings and wood frame of the harp.

I have also received requests for string instruments, harp, flamenco guitar for wedding ceremonies outdoors during November and December. If the temperature is above 60 degrees it can be done. Lower temperatures cause the fingers of the performers to freeze up and swell. No one can predict what the temperature will be several months in advance. In this case a definite PLAN B is needed for an inside location. Any time an outdoor ceremony is arranged a PLAN B has to be in place in case of rain. Strings,  guitar, harp cannot perform in rain or even light drizzle without damaging the instruments. Keyboard adds the problem of electricity – the availability of electricity  at a park etc. and the problem of electric shocks in damp weather.

If a ceremony  is planned at a public venue -for example Central Park in Manhattan – permits must first be obtained from the appropriate authorities. I  get many last minute calls for wedding ceremony music in Central Park only to advise the client they must have a permit from the City for both the ceremony as well as the music. A few years ago a client wanted to propose to his girlfriend at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan to a Mariachi Band. I told him he had to get the appropriate permit. He told me the permit was approved (it never was) and as soon as the Mariachi started playing –  as he was proposing to his fiance – the police asked him for his permit- the music had to stop and a very romantic idea was in ruins.



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