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2022 Handbook

We look forward to having you perform with us. Please review our company policies and guidelines thoroughly. 

Etiquette

Ariana Strings LLC is an award-winning wedding music company and a leader in our field. We are committed to providing extraordinary performances for weddings and events. We are dramatically different from all other ensembles because we are friendly, fun, and have the experience and chops to make our job look easy. 

 

We are an industry leader because of our emphasis on customer service and professionalism. Each couple carefully chooses their vendor team, so it is our honor to be included in their wedding day. From the moment you step on site, you are part of a team that has the power to determine whether or not our couple’s wedding day is a success. 

 

A Connecticut wedding can cost anywhere between $45,000 - $125,000: These are high stakes, once-in-a-lifetime events and clients are often, understandably, stressed. Many times, the other vendors are overwhelmed by other pressing priorities. Please be patient, kind, and proactive to help make the day go smoothly. Lend a helping hand and advocate for our couple, as they are our top priority. 

 

From the moment we arrive, our behavior on site is subject to outside opinion and real repercussions. I pay for online storefronts where we showcase reviews and win awards for glowing 5-star reviews. I always call the couple, the venue, and the wedding planner for feedback. If I receive disparaging feedback about a player, their future engagements are subject to cancellation. 

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Mission Statement

For Our Couples

It is our mission to provide a high quality, musical experience for all couples by bringing the concert stage to your wedding day. It is our core belief that all loving couples deserve to have musicians that are committed to excellence and who are dedicated to making their wedding dreams a reality. 

For the Artists

It is our mission to support classical musicians by providing quality work that serves as a creative outlet which values and respects their time, talents, and commitment to their craft; and to provide an abundance of fulfilling work so they are able to continue to build a flourishing career in the arts industry.

For All

We believe all people deserve love and beautiful music. We do not accept or perpetrate discrimination and harassment of any type with regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws. 

Attire

Aim to match the formality of the event: When you put your instrument down, it should look like you are attending the wedding as a guest. This is not the stuffy symphony environment, so feel free to style with trendy and fun pieces - anything that you'd be excited to wear to a formal event.

 

I always collect photos and, in some instances, photographers have been kind enough to take our headshots after the ceremony. Dress to impress. 

 

Attire is listed in each gig sheet, but those are guidelines based on temperature. Couples may inform me that the event is black tie or another theme, in which case I will update you in the confirmation. 

 

Use your best judgement: If we're performing at a wedding venue (like The Wadsworth Mansion or Aria), that's decidedly dressier than a backyard, beach, or park. You can always text/email me to ask. I'm happy to hear from you! 

 

 

Under 75 degrees or indoors: Formal concert black. 

 

For the gentlemen:

  • a black/dark grey suit paired with a black shirt/sweater or neutral-colored shirt. If wearing a shirt, pair it with with a black tie

  • a tuxedo

  • Black shoes with black dress socks. 

 

For the ladies:

  • A floor-length dress 

  • A long jumpsuit

  • Long dress trousers or or floor-length skirt paired with a dressy top Regarding sleeves: Wear the sleeves that flatter you best.

  • Blazers are good

  • Black heels, wedges, or dress flats. There is no black sock or hosiery requirement like in symphonies* 

 

 

75 degrees - 85 degrees, outdoors: Summer concert black. 

 

For the gentlemen:

  • a black or dark grey suit / paired with a black or neutral-colored shirt or black sweater / a black tie. Suit Jacket optional, if it's too warm out.

  • a tuxedo

  • a black long- or 3/4-sleeve shirt with black tie and black trousers 

  • Black shoes with black dress socks.

 

For the ladies: 

  • Long dress trousers or or floor-length skirt paired with a dressy top 

  • A long or ankle-cropped formal jumpsuit

  • Blazers are good

  • Regarding sleeves: Wear what flatters you best. Sleeveless is fine! 

  • Long dress trousers or a mid-length skirt paired with a dressy top 

  • Open toed dress sandals and wedges are totally fine. 

 

85 degrees and up: Heat wave concert black. 

 

For the gentlemen:
A black or white 3/4 button up shirt with black trousers and black shoes. 

 

For the ladies: Black cocktail attire

  • If you're standing to perform (like a violin soloist), a midi or high-low skirt/dress is fine. If you're seated to perform, just make sure it falls below the knee while seated.

  • A long or cropped formal jumpsuit

  • Regarding sleeves: Wear what flatters you best. Sleeveless is fine. 

  • Open toed dress sandals and wedges are totally fine. 

 

Hair, Makeup, Sunglasses, & Accessories

 

Hair tends to fly with the wind, so make sure you're comfortable and able to perform well. Feel free to wear sparkly hair clips, headbands, big dressy buns, etc. Jewelry is always welcomed. 

 

For sunglasses, I recommend going dressier than casual Aviators or Ray Bans. Polarized sunglasses can sometimes obscure the iPad screen/display. 

Equipment

Bring your instrument as well as… 

  • Music stand (Solid-backed only. No wire stands. I recommend Peak, which comes with a carrying case.)  
  • Back-up equipment and tools for your instrument (ex: extra strings, peg dope)

  • Sheet music clips. No clothes pins that protrude from the sides of the stand.†9  - Recommended.

  • A battery-powered stand light (Only needed for indoor events where we read from books, not iPads.)

 

I have an outdoor cello which you are welcome to use for AS gigs. If I am not on site at the event, plan to pick it up and return it to my home within 24 hours of the event. 

I highly recommend you invest in an outdoor instrument for our events. I have great connections for nice instruments, so reach out anytime. 

 

Before the Wedding

Read the gig email and pay careful attention to…

 

  • Call Time (Please be set up by call time, not arriving at this time)

  • Dress Code

  • Music Selections

    • If music is provided, please look it over and practice as needed. 

    • If there is a tune you don't know, please listen to it on YouTube or Spotify.

  • Leave plenty of time for travel, accounting for holidays, beach/construction traffic, etc. 

  • Make sure you have your instrument and equipment. (See above) 

At the Wedding

Many times, we will arrive and our promised setup (chairs, tents, etc.) has been forgotten. I contact a lot of people to ensure this setup is taken care of, but I can’t guarantee that others will remember. Please be patient and kind. Ariana Strings has a reputation for building strong relationships with other vendors, so step up and help however you can. 

Support your team members. Lend a helping hand by distributing music, gig sheets, setting up chairs/stands, and storing away belongings. 

If you have not met a substitute musician before, please be discrete about introductions. 

We may be background music, but people pay close attention to us. We are a novelty! Mind the level of your voice and keep all chit-chat positive. 

Please pay attention during the ceremony, especially if you are up front. We're often photographed and in the couple's gallery. (See below) 

Call times are always at least 30 minutes before the gig. Please be in your seat and set up at call time. This time is for us to plan and rehearse before the guests arrive. 

If storage is not provided, find a place for cases that cannot be seen by attendees and/or picked up in photos. No cases on the grass behind you; purses, water bottles, and equipment should be hidden under your chair. (Below is an extreme example. We discovered, last year, that photographers will often take photos of us during our warm up. So, be fully set up before you begin rehearsal.) 

Silence your cell phone and keep it hidden from view. Photographers love taking photos of our sheet music, so make sure your phone isn’t visible on your stand. 

When playing both ceremony and cocktail hour, transition quickly to start playing at the cocktail hour site. We start the party and are often the start of the cocktail hour clock. 

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Overtime Policy

Some of our contracts have the old overtime policy, while others have accounted for an overall longer booking time. Please leave a 15-minute buffer for our events to go over, in any case. If you have a hard stop, please inform Ariana upon accepting the event. 

If an event goes into overtime, just smile and keep going. The client will be billed accordingly. 

Food & Drink

You may have water or soft drinks from the bar, but no alcohol. 

Do not take any passed appetizers or food during the performance UNLESS explicitly invited by the banquet manager, wedding planner, or client 

When guests have all moved from cocktail hour to dinner, you may help yourself to leftover cocktail hour food ONLY IF invited by the banquet manager, wedding planner, or client. 

Lead Players

Arrive 15+ minutes earlier to set up for the ensemble and find the event contact to go over information.

Make sure you have all music set up and ready.

Monitor your phone (on silent), as you are the main point of contact.

Take photos and videos to share for Ariana Strings' social media. 

Check in with the coordinator after the performance and, if it is a new venue/vendor to us, please give them our card. 

Congratulate the couple and thank them for letting us be a part of their wedding day. 

Wrong Notes

Please do not beat yourself up for a wrong note! Do your best, bring your own interpretation to the music, and have a good time. This is our creative outlet and should be fun. We’re the ones who start the party: If we’re having fun, the guests will be too. 

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Weather & Safety Procedures

The client has signed a health and safety agreement, noting that they will not carry weapons/firearms, expose us to severe illness, or ask us to do anything illegal or unsafe. We have the right to end service coverage if this policy is violated. In case of violation, politely and discretely step away from the area and call Ariana immediately. 

Some couples (and their planners) choose to risk our weather policy and put us in the uncomfortable situation of having to remind them on the day. If this occurs and I am on site, I will advocate for us. If anyone has questions, be polite and direct them to me - They don't realize how important this is to musicians. 

If you are the lead player, call me before addressing the situation with anyone else. We will go over setup, the forecast, and what options we can offer the couple. 

Temperature: We perform outdoors from 58-60 to 90-95 degrees. (Our contracts have changed over the years, so that accounts for the ranges.) 

 

Rain: A tent or umbrella large enough to cover the ensemble must be provided, otherwise we need to move indoors. Rainy days are stressful for our couples, so be respectful and sensitive when this occurs. 

Sun: If the temperature is above 80 degrees, natural shade or a tent must be provided. 

If the temperature is below 59 or 95+, the ensemble has the contractual right to move indoors or to a temperature-controlled location in order to perform.

Thank you for your attention and cooperation. If you have any questions, please email ArianaStringsCT@gmail.com