FAQ

What sets Diamond Strings apart from other string ensembles?

Melanie has created Diamond Strings to specialise in performing at weddings, carefully considering everything that a bride could want and need from her ceremony musicians!

This includes special features such as stylish presentation with complimentary musician chairs and outdoor umbrella. Diamond Strings also plays with beautiful vintage music stands and black leather music folders, and wear matching designer dresses, cardigans, shoes, coats and scarves.

Another special feature of Diamond Strings is their broad, engaging repertoire, specially tailored to be the perfect accompaniment for your wedding day. Enchanting guests at your ceremony and drinks and canapés with classical favourites through to jazz and contemporary songs by artists such as Vivaldi, Bach, Pachelbel, Michael Bublé, Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Coldplay, Bruno Mars and John Legend.

Diamond Strings is also unique in offering premium quality wireless amplification so that events may have the perfect level of background music as guests celebrate and the sound level rises. This professional, Bose sound equipment reflects an investment of cost and specialist training for the Diamond Strings musicians.

As a professional, registered wedding music business, Diamond Strings is dedicated to creating a reputation for excellent service and stellar performances. The luxury service is perfect for couples who appreciate beautiful violin music, detailed styling, and who would like to be looked after by musicians who will adore performing at their wedding!

I like quick facts, please tell me the price and advantages/disadvantages of each ensemble.

No worries! After all the researching you’ve gone through in planning your wedding, we know you appreciate quick answers.

Solo Violin with backing tracks

1 hour package: $650 / 2 hour package $900

Perfect for a modern, classy, chic wedding ceremony

Advantages:

  • Full sound with just one instrument – performs amplified (with backing tracks of full band arrangements) at the wedding.
  • Can easily cater for a large open space such as in a garden, at a winery or on the deck of a beach side venue as well as a beautiful church.
  • Plays popular music with backing tracks that sound just like your favourite songs, but with the classy twist of the violinist playing the vocal line.
  • Great variety and breadth of contemporary repertoire including lounge jazz style.
  • Classical favourites repertoire performed with recorded piano accompaniment backing.
  • Less expensive than a duo, though still having the special feature of a live musician performing at your wedding.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Smaller classical music repertoire than the Violin Duo, which is only available for a ceremony perfomance.
  • Power point required  – though if there isn’t one at your venue the Diamond Strings’ portable power supply can be hired for an additional $50.
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Violin Duo

1 hour package: $750 / 2 hour package $1,200

Perfect for a romantic, traditional, elegant wedding ceremony.

Advantages:

  • Can play classical music, contemporary music or a mix of both.
  • Fuller sound than the solo violin with gorgeous interplay of harmony and melody lines.
  • Performs acoustically at the wedding ceremony – no power points required.
  • The two violins are naturally quite loud together so do not need amplification for a ceremony and as such are less expensive than the guitar and violin duo.
  • Great for both indoor or outdoor ceremonies. Sounds stunning in a garden, but is also our top pick for a traditional church wedding.
  • Can fit in tight ‘musician quarters’ in a church.
  • A great variety of entertainment style throughout your wedding day. (The duo can create a formal, elegant mood at the ceremony, and then play pure string arrangements of upbeat contemporary songs at your drinks and canapes. )

 

Disadvantages:

  • More expensive than the solo violinist.
  • The songs don’t sound as much like the original artist’s recording (as they do when performed by the solo violin with backing tracks, or by the guitar and violin duo). So it depends if you prefer the pure string arrangements of the Violin Duo or the full band backing sound of the solo violinist performance.
  • May not carry as well as the ensembles that are amplified during a ceremony if your ceremony is in an open air spot near the ocean. (The seaside is often windy which means the sound gets quite literally blown away.) However, if you decided you definitely wanted the violin duo and you’re having a seaside wedding, you could add amplification to your package for an additional $100.
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Guitar & Violin Duo

1 hour package: $850 / 2 hour package $1,200

Perfect for a relaxed, contemporary, stylish wedding ceremony.

Advantages:

  • Performs with amplification to ensure the perfect balance of guitar and violin, as well as then utilising all the cool guitar pedals to create an awesome musical experience.
  • More harmonic support than the Violin Duo and has a more authentic, warmer sound than performing with backing tracks.
  • Can easily cater for a large open space such as in a garden, at a winery or on the deck of a beach side venue as well as in a beautiful church. Sounds lovely in a church, but this is our top pick for a chilled, seaside wedding.
  • Plays contemporary, laid back music for that perfect relaxed, romantic vibe on your wedding day.
  • Musical style is very similiar to the original recording by your favourite artist with the guitarist playing the accompanying chordal patterns. While the addition of the violinist creates a refined romantic instrumental arrangement of these popular tunes – perfect for your wedding day.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Classical music not available.
  • Power point required – though if there isn’t one at your venue the Diamond Strings’ portable power supply can be hired for an additional $50.
  • The amplification required by this duo for ceremonies means that Package 1 is a little more dear than the other ensembles, though Package 2 is the same price as the duo violins.
  • The guitar doesn’t use a wireless pick up (like the violins do) so there will be a couple of leads coming from the guitar and pedal board. We think this adds to the cool, contemporary presentation of this group, though you may prefer the more refined, feminine style of the violinists – it’s up to you!

I love all your ensembles! Do you have any advice on which one would suit my wedding?

Brilliant! You have wonderful taste in music and we like you already!

Each of our string performances would be a beautiful accompaniment to your wedding day, however in choosing we recommend you consider what atmosphere you would like to create, your wedding venue, your preferred musical style and your budget.

Solo Violin with backing tracks

You may wish to consider having a soloist perform with backing tracks if you’re needing to keep costs down as you would only be paying the performance and travel fee of one musician. At the same time, with the amplification and backing tracks this is our most full sounding performance with the full band backing arrangements being played through the speaker.

It’s quite a popular option as well for clients who are keen on having contemporary music sound really similar to the original recordings they love, while still being a beautiful instrumental string rendition. This performance sounds very contemporary and chic.

Having said that, we have just launched in 2016 our new classical repertoire for the solo violinist. A gorgeous song selection of classical favourites is now available for ceremonies with the violinist being accompanied by pianist recordings.

The only issue to consider is just if there is a power point available. If not, Diamond Strings can provide a portable power supply for the amp for a $50 fee.

Violin Duo

The Violin Duo is the original Diamond Strings ensemble which has the most varied repertoire. All the music has been specially arranged for two violins and is beautiful, rich and full in melody and harmony. We have a stunning classical repertoire, but also a very cool contemporary set. This ensemble is stunning with the perfect blend of formality, romance and elegance for a ceremony.

The acoustic violins can perform at the ceremony and have more freedom to tailor the music on the spot to fit the ceremony perfectly. They’re then amplified for the second hour of the 2 hour package to ensure the right level of sound for the drinks and canapes music.

The pure string sound is just as fitting in a beautiful natural environment as in a traditional vintage church, and in both there is the added benefit of not needing a power point.

 

Guitar & Violin Duo

The Guitar & Violin Duo is our hip new ensemble that has a pared back, relaxed, contemporary style. Imagine a blend of Norah Jones, Julia and Angus Stone and Ed Sheeran – all performed as a string instrumental. No classical music from this ensemble except for Canon in D by Pachelbel.

 

This Duo requires amplification to balance the sound of the instruments, to allow the use of guitar pedals, and to ensure the guitar is loud enough. (An acoustic guitar is actually a quiet instrument but because it’s so commonly amplified it’s thought of as a loud instrument!). This will mean we need a power point, or need to bring our portable power supply ($50 extra).

 

The Guitar and Violin sound is very on trend at the moment, and we love performing together and creating that relaxed, informal vibe, while having a totally gorgeous string sound.

Can I see Diamond Strings performing live?

Yes! Diamond Strings performs at many wedding expos and venue open days each year.  These are a great opportunity to see Diamond Strings perform, and to ask questions.

Please contact us to ask about our next performance near you. We would love to meet you! Alternatively, you might like to view our beautiful videos on our website.

Can I ask you to perform a special song not on your repertoire list?

Yes! Diamond Strings offers one complimentary ‘special request’ song as part of your booking. Any additional songs attract a fee of $50 each. (We charge the extra fee as it can  take a whole day to arrange and rehearse a new song.)

If it starts to sprinkle at my wedding, will you leave?

No! If the day looks like it could rain/sprinkle then Diamond Strings will bring along their chic white outdoor umbrella to put up. This will protect the valuable violins from getting water damage.

Is amplification essential?

Amplification is not needed for wedding ceremony performances as the string instruments naturally project a full acoustic sound, and beautifully complement the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of a wedding ceremony. However, amplification is essential for music being performed during drinks and canapés/reception entertainment.

When guests are celebrating and chatting with each other, sound levels naturally increase, particularly indoors. At this point the beautiful background music that has been specially organised goes unheard, unless the musicians are amplified.

To create the perfect background music level, Diamond Strings uses their professional, state-of-the-art Bose, Line Array amplification system that is designed to create an even wash of sound over 100 metres squared. As it is a sophisticated, wireless system, it is very discreet with no messy cables, and you can still enjoy the charm of live violin music whilst hearing it at the perfect background level.

Why don’t other ensembles offer amplification?

Unfortunately, drinks & canapés bookings are often taken by string groups without the ensemble being able to guarantee a suitable level of background music throughout the booking.

Diamond Strings uniquely provides professional amplification because Melanie created Diamond Strings to be a service that authentically meets the needs of her clients. Most string groups are formed from classically trained musicians who aren’t comfortable with amplification equipment, as they do not have the expertise required and/or they don’t wish to spend the time, money and effort needed to provide it.

My wedding is going to be an intimate garden affair with a small number of guests. Do I need amplification?

For some outdoor events  with less than 40 guests you could consider not having amplification, as the guests have more room to spread out and are not raising their voices. This is something to chat with us about at the time of booking so that we may tailor your package and discuss reducing the cost.

Is the Diamond Strings amp battery powered? (My drinks and canapés are being held in the garden straight after the ceremony and there are no power points.)

The Diamond Strings Bose amp is a high grade, professional sound system and as such is not battery powered (and will need a power point). However, for an elegant garden party of more than 40 people Melanie realised  that Diamond Strings would need amplification!

After being unsuccessful in finding a commercially sold portable power supply, Melanie commissioned an electrical engineer to custom design a powerful yet small and silent one for Diamond Strings.

If there are no power points available at your venue, you are welcome to request the amplified solo/duo to perform and they will bring their portable power supply for an additional fee of $50.

Is Diamond Strings a booking agency?

Diamond Strings is a professional wedding music business created by Melanie Cuthbertson, our director and principal violinist. It not a booking agency, nor is it a fixed ensemble. Rather it is made up of a small group of violinists that Melanie has hand-picked to work closely with for their exceptional musicality, stylish presentation, and their complete adoration of weddings. These talented musicians enjoy rehearsing and performing together and have been specially trained by Melanie to consistently present a sparkling Diamond Strings performance.

Do you book more than one wedding per day? Who will be performing at my event?

Diamond Strings is delighted to be able to invite up to two bookings per day. We are able to offer this as we work as a group of talented musicians to book from, and we have two sets of all our elegant styling pieces, and professional sound equipment.

If two weddings are booked on the same day, then those weddings would have two different teams of our Diamond Strings musicians performing at them. Diamond Strings promises an impeccable level of service, and as such there is no rushing from one event to the other.

This means that Melanie is not always available to perform herself, however she will choose an ensemble or soloist of exceptional quality to give a beautiful, entertaining performance at your wedding. Melanie will also oversee every detail of each wedding booking and ensure her musicians are perfectly prepared.

Do we need to arrange a meeting to discuss the wedding music?

No, we are happy to  communicate via phone and email, and have found in our experience that that works well.

If you would like to meet us and hear us play in person we would invite you to attend one of the many wedding expos and open days that we play at each year. Please contact us to ask about our next performance near you. We would love to meet you! Alternatively, you might like to view our beautiful videos on our website.

Can I request a trio or quartet ensemble with a cellist?

Unfortunately we do not offer expanding to trios and quartets. Diamond Strings specialises in duo violin, solo violin, and guitar & violin performance and have over 10 years of experience in this type of ensemble. The Diamond Strings music has been specially arranged by Melanie to perfectly compliment one or two violins. A larger ensemble requires completely new music arrangements.

Additionally, the Diamond Strings director, Melanie has specially rehearsed and trained the select Diamond Strings violinists to have the highest standard of performance, presentation and sound equipment expertise.

It comes down to wanting to offer what we do best! If you’re heart is set on a trio or quartet, we would be happy to refer you to another quality string ensemble of our acquaintance.

Can I request a custom package?

Yes! We have a minimum booking of one hour but after that the other details can be tailored to suit you. We have created our packages to reflect the most popular booking lengths and to avoid making the packages and choices too complicated. However we would be delighted to speak with you about your wedding and help create your perfect Diamond Strings package.

For example, you may choose the ‘Wedding Ceremony Package,’ but want to extend it to 1.25 hours, 1.5 hours or 2 hours as you’re having a full nuptial catholic mass.

Or you may really want the ‘Ceremony + Drinks & Canapes Package,’ but you would like to have more music played prior to your ceremony, and need the total booking to be extended to be 2.5 hours.

Also, some couples really love the idea of two violins playing acoustically at their wedding, though would prefer the lively option of solo violin with backing tracks to be performed at their drinks & canapés.

We  welcome you to contact us and discuss your ideal Diamond Strings package, and request your customised quote.

Can I book Diamond Strings to just come and play a song to walk down the aisle?

Yes! We can definitely come and just play one song.  However, this would still be at our minimum call out price.

Diamond Strings has a minimum booking price of a one hour performance, although we are happy to play for as much or as little as you require during that time. This is because regardless of the amount of time we are actually performing, we have put in the effort to arrive, beautifully presented, at your wedding and to set aside that day for you.

Does Diamond Strings charge for the time and travel between venues for their Ceremony + Drinks & Canapés Package?

No! We generally do not charge for the time and travel between your ceremony and reception venue as we actually need that time to set up our amplification system. In fact, if there were less a one hour break, we would need to set up our amp before your ceremony to make sure the day goes very smoothly and the musicians are picture perfect for you and your guests.

We would only charge for time and travel if it was an unusually long amount. Eg: if travel exceeded 30 minutes drive away and it was over a four hour wait.

Where do you travel to and are there any travel fees?

Diamond Strings is based in the Sutherland Shire, and performs in Greater Sydney, Hunter Valley, Macarthur, Southern Highlands, Illawarra and South Coast NSW.

Travel fees will be charged for venues more than 45 minutes drive from Sutherland, NSW. Travel fees will be quoted at the time of enquiry, and are based on charging $1 per musician, per minute beyond a 90 minute round trip.

For example, a venue that is 1.5 hours drive from Sutherland will attract a fee of $90 per musician.