My price for a local prelude and ceremony for solo harp is $400, which includes 30 minutes of prelude music before the ceremony, a customized set list for the ceremony, and a brief postlude. Cocktail hour is an additional $95. Prelude and ceremony for harp and violin duo is $700, with $150 extra for cocktail hour. I give discounts for Sunday weddings, and I charge extra for venues that are further than an hour drive from my house. Every date and venue is different, and I sometimes run temporary sales or discounts for slow months, so it never hurts to submit your informationfor a custom price quote.
Can you play outdoors? Will the harp be loud enough?
Yes I can play outdoors! Absolutely the harp will be heard! Most of the weddings that I play are outdoors and I always do a soundcheck before the prelude to make sure that the harp can be heard from the farthest corner of the ceremony site- 95% of the time the harp is plenty loud on its own for prelude and ceremony, even outdoors. When I do need a little extra boost of sound, I simply plug into my PA and turn up the volume a couple of clicks.
Even for boisterous cocktail hours and receptions, I have never had a complaint about the music being loud enough. I use a high-quality PA that provides me with up to 112 decibels of extra sound.
What kind of equipment do you use?
I play on a full-sized concert grand Lyon & Healy Style 30 pedal harp. This is a top-of-the-line professional classical instrument that was handpicked for its full, robust sound. The concert grand pedal harp has an advantage over petite pedal harps and lever harps in its range of sound and ability to play complicated, advanced music. I do sometimes perform on my lever harp when a venue is only accessible by stairs, but I will always discuss this in advance. I use a JBL Eon One PA to plug my harps into to give them a little extra (or a lot extra) boost of volume. This harp is electric-acoustic, meaning in sounds just as good unplugged as it does plugged.
What are the advantages of harp?
The harp can do things that few other instruments can do – it can completely carry a prelude, ceremony, and reception as a solo instrument. A solo violin or cello can only play a melody line, so it will sound a little bit lonely on its own. The harp can play the melody, the accompaniment, the harmonies, and the rhythm, so it sounds much fuller and multi-dimensional as a solo instrument. Because of this versatility, we are also capable of playing many different genres (traditional, classical, rock, pop, R&B).
Another advantage of the harp is that it has a commanding visual presence, so it looks great at the ceremony and in photos. It is also very calming and and entertaining to watch the harp being played.
What are the advantages of live music vs a DJ?
A live musician sets the ambiance for your event - it immediately puts a magical buzz in the air, it makes you feel "in the moment", it creates an atmosphere of romance and connectedness and good energy. Studies even show that seeing live music reduces cortisol levels and stress. Approaching a ceremony site to find live musicians is not just the wow factor that kicks off your evening, it will help you and your guests relax, open up, and fully tune in to your once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
A live musician adds a unique, personal touch to your wedding. The songs that you hear won't be the radio versions that everyone has heard a million times - each song I play will be uniquely yours. The instrumental versions of your favorite songs will be universally appealing and timeless.
A live musician can adjust the timing of your processional so that we have exactly the right amount of music to land you at the front of the aisle. Having the music perfectly timed for when you arrive at the head of the aisle will truly feel like a dream!
Should I choose solo harp or harp and violin?
It depends on your sound preference and budget! Solo harp sounds full and rich on its own, but violin definitely adds even more color, texture, and dimension that complements the harp perfectly. The violin's vibrato also adds a very romantic sound to the ensemble.
How does harp and violin duo compare to string trio or string quartet?
My harp and violin duo, Mirror Duo, consists of myself and my long-time partner Ryan Gregory. Ryan Gregory is a professional violinist and violist in his own right, with a Master’s Degree in performance and a position in the prestigious Atlanta Opera. We rehearse together very frequently, which gives us a high-quality, cohesive, consistent sound. Most string ensembles rehearse together just once before your wedding - we are able to rehearse together as many times as needed to make it perfect.
The harp and violin duo has the romantic singing quality that a string trio or quartet has, but with the additional texture and color of the harp.
Another advantage of our harp and violin duo is the huge playlist you will have access to: Ryan is also a professional arranger and can put together a special request for harp and violin for an additional fee.
What are some important terms to know for my wedding music?
Prelude: 25-35 minutes of music before the ceremony begins. This sets a romantic, fun, ambient atmosphere for your guests as they arrive, pick their seats, and mingle.
Processional: This song or songs will play as the officiant, family, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower children, ring-bearers, groom, and bride walk up to the front.
Interlude: This is an optional song that may by played during a sand ceremony, knot tying, or communion during the ceremony.
Recessional: This song will play after the officiant presents you as a married couple for the very first time and you walk back down the aisle, followed by your wedding party and finally the officiant. After the recessional, guests usually exit to a new location for cocktail hour or reception.
Cocktail Hour: This is the 45 minutes- hour immediately after the ceremony and before the reception when guests have drinks and hors d'oeuvres. During this time, the newly married couple can take photos with their family and wedding party.
Reception: This is part of the wedding where lunch or dinner is served, followed by dancing.
How many songs do I need to choose for my ceremony?
Typically, I suggest that couples choose: -two different musical selections for the wedding party processional- one for the seating of the grandparents/ parents, and one for the procession of the wedding party (just one selection will suffice if your wedding party is small) -one musical selection for the bridal processional and / or groom processional -(optional) one music selection for the lighting of a unity candle/ pouring of sand / god's knot / prayer during the ceremony -one musical selection for the recessional for the couple's exit down the aisle
For the prelude before the ceremony, I will play about 30 minutes of light classical and romantic pop songs while the guests are being seated. Please let me know if you have genres or artists that you prefer!
Tips: Follow your gut- choose songs that speak to you. Most of the repertoire listed on my site can be arranged and played in duo with violin I take special requests! Additional fee might apply depending on availability of sheet music and difficulty of music.
If you get stuck or feel overwhelmed with choosing your songs, I have a survey that you can take to help us narrow down your taste and style.
Are there any restrictions on where or when the harp can play?
The harp is about 6 ft tall, 100 lbs, and a bit cumbersome to move, so there are a few considerations for set up. I can pull the harp up and down a few steps with care, but it is nearly impossible to drag it up or down a full staircase without risking damage to myself or the instrument, so the ceremony site must be accessible by ramp or elevator. Once it is in place, the harp needs a flat foundation to sit on for the performance. Grass, gravel, or pavement are all fine as long as there is no steep incline.
I also have some weather and temperature restrictions when playing outdoors during summer and winter months- I request a shaded spot when playing outside in the summer (I can bring my own mini canopy for shade if your venue cannot provide one) and I find it very difficult to play when it is below 50 degrees in the winter because my fingers get cold and stiff. Although I am flexible on almost every other point, playing in the rain is a hard no, as it will irreparably destroy my instrument. Because of the rain restriction, I do require that clients have a back-up location in case of rain, whether it is a waterproof tent or indoor location.
If you have any questions or doubts about your venue, please don't hesitate to ask!
Why do you charge the prices you charge?
Compared to a solo violinist, the wedding harpist is usually a little more expensive because it is much more difficult for us to move our instruments, and the wear and tear of moving our instruments means more expensive maintenance and repair work over time.
My price is very comparable to other vendors including DJ's, Photographers, and wedding coordinators. Even if I don’t spend as many hours on site, I am spending many hours behind the scenes practicing for your big day. It is also important to remember that it has taken me thousands of hours to develop the skills to be able to play the harp at a high level, and well over $100,000 of investment in education, instruments, equipment, and sheet music over the years. Performing live is also very grueling work- it requires consistent physical and mental training, and intense focus and attention to detail.
My price also reflects the sacrifice and dedication of devoting myself full time to harp - I do not have other part time jobs except for teaching harp and performing, and I am not being financially supported. There are some musicians who are able to charge less because they do not rely on music as their full time profession. I would not be able to offer my extensive repertoire and high quality of service if I was playing harp as a side hustle.
According to recent Wedding Wire surveys, the average amount of money spent on ceremony music in Atlanta GA is $500, with most couples spending between $356-$738, so you ca rest assured that whether you book solo harp or harp and violin duo, you are well within the "normal" ranges.
Do you play LGBTQ+ weddings?
Absolutely I do! I am absolutely honored and thrilled to help you celebrate your love.
How far in advance should I book you?
I would recommend booking at least 6-9 months in advance, but I accept bookings up to 12 months in advance. Saturdays in September-November and April-June usually book up about 10-12 months in advance, so definitely reach out earlier rather than later. If you want to guarantee first in line for a date more than 12 months in advance, let me know and I can schedule an e-mail to be sent 12 months before your date so we can begin the booking process as early as possible. I require a 20% deposit to save the date.