Your wedding day is the most important and memorable day of your life - you want it to be perfect, and so do we! From the moment you first contact us, we will be happy to guide you through each aspect of the day, from where in a venue to have us play, to music choices. You can take advantage of our free music consultation too, so that you can just relax on the day knowing that we will take care of all the music for you.
A string quartet is the perfect accompaniment to a wedding. Not only is it a group with the most sumptuous sound, it is also one of the more flexible ensembles. We can relocate in minutes during your day, and our large and eclectic repertoire can create a variety of moods; from an elegant and formal selection of Baroque classics for a regal venue, to a more upbeat and laid-back selection of Gershwin and jazz classics. We also have an extensive repertoire of pop songs, so if McCartney and Muse are your thing, we'll have your guests tapping their feet (and often singing along!) in minutes.
After more than 1200 weddings, we have an intimate knowledge of each part of a wedding day. We also have a good working relationship with nearly all of the major venues in the South West, with most of them recommending us! Yet, we still recognise each day is unique - tell us your vision and we'll do the best to create it for you. And, as we don't work on an hourly-rate, if things don't go quite to time on the day, you can be sure that we'll keep entertaining your guests for as long as you need.
When you book us for a Wedding Ceremony, we will be there ready to play from 30 minutes prior to your wedding ceremony, and create the perfect atmosphere with your choice of music. As your guests arrive the string quartet will be a feature of the venue, giving a sense of anticipation without intrusion. Our light classical music in the background can give the occasion the right sense of luxury and grandeur - and help soothe the groom's nerves! We will bring our performance to a close a few minutes before the ceremony begins, with the cue taken from the registrar or vicar for your guests to fall silent, in anticipation of the arrival of the Bridal party.
We will then play your chosen music for the entrance of the Bride and Bridal party. Our extensive experience allows us to time the music perfectly to your arrival at the front of the room, so that you can enjoy every second of your walk down the aisle. We're proud to say we've played in most of the wedding venues in Bristol and Bath, and many in Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. In a church service it is optional to use the organ for the entrance and exit of the Bride.
We can perform any music you choose for the signing of the registers, although in a civil ceremony the music must have no religious connotations (see our advice here). Here you have the choice of using the Quartet as a feature, to entertain your guests whilst you are having photographs taken, or as a relaxing musical backdrop so that your guests can chat happily to each other. Either way, we can help you to choose the perfect music, timed to draw to a close just as you are preparing to leave the ceremony and be presented to your friends and family as the new Mr and Mrs!
If you are having a church ceremony, it is no problem at all for us to accompany your hymns, if you would rather not have the organ. We have unlimited access to church music and hymns, and have never yet turned down a request.
As you exit the room, we will play your chosen music just as soon as you begin your walk down the aisle. The music will continue until all of your assembled guests have left the room and the ceremony has drawn completely to a close.
The Ardeton String Quartet will perform the perfect musical accompaniment to your drinks reception. Here you have the option of using the quartet to provide background music, a gentle accompaniment as your guests mingle, or to place us in a more prominent location. With the latter we can provide a more conventional performance, where we are a focal point for your guests. A talking point and something for them to watch whilst you are having photographs taken or are preparing for the wedding breakfast.
The choice of music is paramount to setting the right mood here, and you can have as much input into our choice of repertoire as you wish. The Ardeton String Quartet have a masterly command of a variety of musical styles, and are very flexible and able musicians. Generally, classical music provides a sumptuous backdrop to a formal drinks reception, whereas light jazz is more engaging for your guests, especially for summer weddings. We can, of course, always use our discretion and combine the two styles.
Music is often an overlooked part of the wedding meal. However, live entertainment can really bring a meal to life and we will always ensure that the volume of our playing does not become obtrusive. Here, we would often begin with a programme of classical music for the receiving line and the start of the meal, bringing a feeling of luxury and formality. We would normally then change to jazz music as the meal reaches its latter stages lightening the mood ready for the speeches. However, a popular option is to use our "Quartet Jukebox" which gives you and your guests full control of the music we play, and leads to lively discussions about who has chosen which song. As well as providing background music, the quartet gradually becomes a focal and talking point for your guests - we have even had impromtu karaoke and dancing from guests! This helps the transition from the formality of the wedding ceremony to the lively evening reception. We would normally draw our performance to a close shortly before the speeches begin.