Cello and Piano Duo Wedding Ceremony Music in Beaver Creek


Photos courtesy of Irving Photography

In June, my cello and piano duo played for a beautiful wedding ceremony at Beaver Creek Chapel. The bride made romantic music selections and a couple of her special requests included “Hymn by the O’Neill Brothers” and “For the Love of a Princess” from Braveheart. Beaver Creek Chapel is a wonderful acoustical space for live music and they also have a quality piano onsite, a perfect complement to the elegant classical music, love songs and hymns that the bride chose for her ceremony.


Prelude Music:
Hymn (O’Neill Brothers), Arioso (Bach), Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke), Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach), Laudate Dominum (Mozart), A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)

Processional Music:
For the Love of a Princess from Braveheart ~ Seating of the Parents
The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall ~ Wedding Party Processional
The Swan (Saint-Seans) ~ Bridal Processional
Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Redeemer ~ Unity Candle
Simple Gifts ~ Recessional

Wedding Ceremony Vendors
Wedding Planner ~ Party Girl Events
Photographer ~ Irving Photography
Wedding Ceremony Music ~ Christen Stephens (Flute and Cello Duo)
Venue ~ The Chapel at Beaver Creek
Officiant ~ Tim Wilbanks




Nine Helpful Wedding Music Tips

Photo Courtesy of Kern Photo

Live music is the soundtrack for your wedding day and it beautifies and enhances the aural and visual atmosphere of your wedding. Chances are that hiring a musician isn’t something that you normally do and perhaps this is your first time. You may not know what questions to ask music professionals, or where to even begin. That’s why I wrote the following checklist as a great place to start.

Instruments:
Choose instruments that reflect your personality and style. What sound and visual appearance will help to bring your vision to life? Is your wedding more casual or is it classic? Is it romantic or a lively celebration? What instruments will sound best playing your song selections? To decide what ensemble best fits your event, share the answers to these questions with your music professional and he or she can help guide you. You can also listen to music samples of a variety of different ensembles online. I offer many different ensembles featuring the flute, strings, piano, harp, and guitar, and I also have music samples for each. One of my groups is sure to be a perfect fit for your style, and if for some reason I don’t have what you’re looking for, I will gladly make recommendations for other musicians using my connections in the music world.

Number of Musicians:
Consider the size of your space and the number of guests that will be attending your ceremony. In general, plan to have at minimum one musician per 50 guests. It’s also a good idea to hire more musicians, such as a quartet, for large outdoor spaces. A duo that includes an amplified harp, guitar or piano can also fill a space with sound as effectively as a quartet. More isn’t necessarily better however. For small weddings in an intimate space, an acoustic soloist or duo is a great choice. Also consider your budget. The number of musicians that you hire is usually the single most important factor in determining the price of your live music.

Repertoire and Song Selection:
Can your music professional play the songs and styles of music that you want? Do you want to honor any family or cultural traditions with your wedding music? If a song that you want to have played is not included in the musician’s repertoire, ask them if they take special requests and if there will be an arranging fee. Each of my ensembles has an extensive repertoire and I’m also a professional music arranger which means that I regularly make special music arrangements for my clients at a reasonable price.

Amplification:
Most instruments are very resonant and their sound carries quite well, even in outdoor spaces. For larger events or in settings with lots of ambient noise, make sure that your music professional can provide quality amplification if needed. Some wedding venues don’t allow amplification, so don’t rely on having it until you’ve inquired first. I have both a battery powered amplification system and a high quality plug-in amplification system that I regularly use for our performances when needed.

Hire Experienced Music Professionals:
Your music professional should be an experienced wedding musician who is able to guide you through the music selection process. They should know what questions to ask be and able to foresee potential problems so that the music on your wedding day will run smoothly, and they should always present themselves professionally. Make sure that they are well trained, regularly performing musicians who are able to give you confidence in their musical abilities. I have over twenty years of experience performing music for weddings and I’m also lucky to love running the other aspects of my business as well.

Know What Your Musicians Expect
Ask your music professional what their policy is for environmental conditions including rain, temperature extremes and requirements for shade. Often the venue or musicians will provide these items, sometimes for an additional cost. Ask in advance what they expect you to provide for them at the performance. Some instruments are extremely vulnerable to weather and sunlight and others are more hardy. I will play solo flute in adverse weather conditions but I don’t ask string players to join me! Most likely your guests won’t want to be outside if the weather conditions are bad either. I request natural or tent shade for stringed instruments (violin, viola, cello) during hot weather and sometimes, one armless chair for each musician.

Extra Costs:
When you’re hiring musicians to play for your wedding, be aware that there may be extra costs in addition to their basic fee. Make sure that you know what services are included in their basic fee, and what services are available at an extra cost. Extra costs can include fees for travel, musician tent rental, amplification, special music arrangements, additional microphones, and moving equipment between the ceremony and cocktail locations. I don’t like surprises and I’m sure that you don’t either, so my music quotes includes a list of the services that your quoted price covers, and also a list of optional add-ons and how much each one costs.

Consultation:
Ask your music professional if they will meet with you so that you can talk about your wedding with them in person and hear them play. I provide a complimentary consultation either before or after you book. Or, if you don’t have time to have a consultation, you can use my Wedding Music Planner.

Contract:
It is important to work with musicians who provides a contract so that expectations for both the musicians and client are clearly defined in advance. A contract also shows that the musicians are professional, reliable, regularly performing musicians. I always provide a contract so that expectations on both sides are clear.

Contact:
Do you have specific questions about your wedding music? Are you looking for a wedding musician? I’d love to hear from you!

Contact Me >

Flute Quartet Wedding Ceremony Music at the Chapel at Beaver Creek

Photos Courtesy of Preston Utley Photography
On a Saturday in mid-December, our flute quartet (flute, violin, viola, cello) left Denver and headed up to Beaver Creek, Colorado to play for a holiday wedding ceremony. A blizzard was forecast to hit the Colorado mountains that evening and we left very early and were prepared to face the worst. When we left Denver it was sunny and in the 50’s but the weather quickly became worse as we drove further into the mountains. We drove for five hours over dark and icy roads thought the blizzard. Accidents and stranded vehicles were everywhere but I drove carefully and we enjoyed each other’s company inside our cozy car.

We arrived safely at the Chapel at Beaver Creek and it was such a welcoming sight after our long drive. Colored lights and greenery were everywhere and the sanctuary was bright, warm and charmingly decorated for the season. As we waited to play, we enjoyed listening to prelude music played by Michael Lancaster on the bagpipes. To conclude the prelude, our quartet played “All I Want is You” by U2.

Prelude Music:
Michael Lancaster on bagpipes
All I Want is You (U2) by Christen Stephens flute quartet

Wedding Ceremony Music:
The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall ~ Wedding Party
Reign of Love (Coldplay) ~ Bride’s Processional
Glasgow City Police Pipers by Michael Lancaster – Recessional

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Wedding Planner ~ Meg Stepanek of Gemini Event Planning
Ceremony Quartet ~ Christen Stephens – Flute Quartet
Ceremony Bagpiper ~ Michael Lancaster
Photographer ~ Preston Utley
Videographer ~ Kyle Hodge

Make your wedding magical and hire my Flute Quartet










Flute Trio Wedding Ceremony Music at Vail Interfaith Chapel

Recently, our flute trio (flute, viola, cello) played classical and contemporary wedding ceremony music at Vail Interfaith Chapel in Vail, Colorado. We always love playing at Vail Chapel because of the beautiful acoustics that carry our sound throughout the sanctuary. Our very busy bride had a high stress job, so after a short consultation, I put together a music set list for her prelude and worked with her day-of coordinator for the details. I mixed classical and contemporary music and chose songs based on the bride’s musical preference. The ceremony was emotional and joyful and the couple had the support of a lot of friends and family. After we played the recessional, a bagpiper played outside and led everyone to the reception site. We left the Vail Chapel to a gorgeous autumn day.

Experience the Joy of Live Music for your Wedding >

Sample Prelude Music:
Allegro from Spring (Vivaldi), Ode to Joy (Beethoven), The Wedding Song (Peter, Paul, and Mary), Make You Feel My Love (Adele), Salzburger Menuette (Mozart),

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)~ Seating of the Families
Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach) ~ Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Flower Girl, Ringbearer
Canon in D ~ Bride
Trumpet Voluntary ~ Recessional

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue – Vail Interfaith Chapel, Vail, Colorado
Wedding Coordinator – Steps and Stones
Photographer – Maheux Studios Photography
Videographer – Larisa Graham Videography
Florist – Petals and Pours
Musicians – Christen Stephens (Flute Trio)

Flute and Cello Duo Wedding Ceremony Music at Beaver Creek Chapel

This mid-September mountain wedding ceremony came complete with gorgeous autumn-yellow aspens framing a charming stone chapel, accompanied by ringing church bells and beautiful flute and cello music. I might have stepped into a Norman Rockwell drawing, or it might just be another day at my job. For the prelude, our flute and cello duo played a list of contemporary music specially selected by the bride. The bride chose traditional wedding ceremony music for her processional. During the ceremony, we played Largo from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons while the bride and groom lit the unity candle and then signed the marriage certificate. Our music echoed beautifully in this open church building.

All photos with a watermark are courtesy of Rachel Olsen Photography.

Ceremony Music:
Mothers light unity candle ~ Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
Groom, Pastor, Bridesmaids and Groomsmen ~ Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
Bride ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Unity Candle and Marriage Certificate ~ Largo from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
Recessional and Postlude ~ La Rejouissance, Bourree, and Hornpipe from Handel’s Water Music

Sample Wedding Prelude Music:
Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis), Wildflowers (Tom Petty), I Want to Hold Your Hand (Beatles), The Wedding from Legends of the Fall, Can You Feel the Love Tonight (Elton John), Over the Rainbow

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue – The Chapel at Beaver Creek
Photographer – Rachel Olsen Photography
Musicians – Christen Stephens, Flute and Cello Duo



Music Ideas for a Small Wedding Ceremony

When planning a small wedding ceremony, it’s important that the music you choose will reflect the intimate feel of the gathering of your closest family and friends. A soloist is perfect for a very small wedding ceremony, and a duo or trio works well with a slightly larger ceremony. A general rule of thumb is to hire at least one musician per 50 guests.

If you are having a very small wedding ceremony, you may want to hire a soloist. My specialty is the flute, and I often play solo flute for wedding ceremonies and cocktail hours. Solo flute, along with other single-note instruments, sounds great playing classical music but can also play any genre of music as long as the songs have a distinct melody. The sweet and rich sound of solo flute carries well and is easily heard outdoors, but is especially full and resonant in indoor spaces such as inside a church sanctuary. When I play solo flute for wedding ceremonies, I will often play classical music for the ceremony and then transition to more contemporary and jazz selections for the cocktail hour or reception.

If you are planning to invite more than 50 guests or if the guests will be spread apart over a large area outdoors, I recommend hiring a duo or trio. Both our flute and violin duo and our flute and cello duo give a personal and intimate feel to a small wedding ceremony and have a fuller sound than a soloist. Both of these duos sound wonderful with classical music but many contemporary songs can also be arranged to be performed by these duos.

If you want to hear mostly contemporary music at your wedding, a flute and guitar duo is the perfect choice. This duo retains a feeling of simplicity both visually and tonally, but has the most full sound of the three duos because the guitar can play several notes at once. This duo is very versatile and sounds great playing classical, popular, rock and jazz music. We often amplify this ensemble so that the guitar can be heard well.

A trio is also a great option for a small wedding ceremony. Trios sound much fuller than duos, but still provide an intimate feel. Take a look at the flute trio that we offer.

Whatever music you choose for your small wedding ceremony, the most important thing is to be true to yourself and your vision. If you don’t know what ensemble to choose, communicate your thoughts to your local wedding music professional and they will help you choose the perfect ensemble to meet your needs.

Photos Courtesy of Grace Combs Photography

Flute and Piano Duo at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon

This summer, our flute and piano duo enjoyed playing for this beautiful wedding ceremony at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon, Colorado. This bride loves sunshine and has a sunny personality to match, so she chose the appropriate “Sunshine on my Shoulders” to walk down the aisle to.

The church was situated on a hill overlooking a panoramic mountain view, and the weather was perfect and sunny. The piano in the church sanctuary was a very fine instrument with an amazing sound that we enjoyed. The bride told her family and friends that there would be music and everyone was so excited to hear the music that they all arrived 45 minutes before the ceremony, so we began our prelude early and gave them a little concert of hymns and sacred songs.

Selected Prelude Music:
Sunshine in My Soul, One Eagle’s Wings, Great is Thy Faithfulness, How Great Thou Art, Your Grace Still Amazes Me, All Creatures of Our God and King, As the Deer

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Processional ~ Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Bride ~ Sunshine on my Shoulders (John Denver)
Unity Candle ~ Be Thou my Vision
Recessional ~ Wedding March (Mendelssohn)

Vendors:
Photographer: Studio Kiva – Thank you for the photo of me playing the flute and the photos of the dancing bride!
Musicians: ChristenStephens.comFlute and Piano Duo

If you are planning a wedding in Colorado, go to my weddings page to learn more about hiring one of our flute or string ensembles to play beautiful music for your wedding ceremony and cocktail hour.



Flute and String Quartet Wedding Music at St. Thomas More Church and Castle Cliff Estates



This weekend I played flute for a gorgeous Catholic wedding ceremony and reception. Our flute and string quartet played Irish, classical, and sacred music for the prelude to this wedding ceremony, which was held at St. Thomas More church in Centennial. The church was modern, but very elegant with vibrant stained glass windows, and lovely wood and stone work. The ceremony was not a full mass, but there was a short sermon and a number of lovely Biblical readings.

After the ceremony, we drove to Castle Cliff Estates where we played classical and Irish music for the reception. Castle Cliff Estates had an elegant classic feel with large windows overlooking the vibrant gardens and water feature in the back. The bride’s choice of flowers and decorations, our musical accompaniment, and a roaring fire in the fireplace perfectly complimented our opulent surroundings and cheered up the cold and rainy day.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Family Processional ~ Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (JS Bach)
Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Bridal Processional ~ Bridal Chorus (Wagner)
Unity Candle: Winter from the Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
Recessional ~ Wedding March from Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mendelssohn)

Selected Reception Music:
An Irish Blessing (traditional), Last Rose of Summer (traditional), Psalm 19 (Marcello), selections from Water Music Suite (Handel), Palladio


Flute and String Quartet Wedding Ceremony Music at Vail Chapel and Sonnenalp Resort

I just enjoyed a wonderful music-filled weekend highlighted by playing wedding ceremony and cocktail hour music for a wedding in Vail. It was a gorgeous day for a wedding! Our performance began at Vail Interfaith Chapel where our quartet played a half hour as the guests arrived, and then for the wedding ceremony. After that we moved across the street to the elegant Sonnenalp Resort where we played popular and rock music for the cocktail hour. I played this wedding with the Ribbons and Strings Ensemble (notice the ribbons on our instruments!)

Wedding Ceremony Music:

Processional Music ~ Speed of Sound (Coldplay)

Bridal Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)

During the Ceremony ~ (Everything I do) I Do It For You from Robin Hood

Recessional Music ~ I’m Yours (Mraz)

Selected Cocktail Hour Music ~
Clocks (Coldplay), It’s a Wonderful World, Blackbird (Beatles), Tango from Scent of a Woman, All You Need is Love (Beatles)

 

Flute and Guitar Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt

Recently I had the pleasure of playing the flute for a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony and reception. I loved the music selections which included a combination of classical, traditional Hebrew, Latin, and Spanish songs. The wedding was held in the Pinnacle Club, the top rooms in the Denver Hyatt. From
there we had a sweeping view of downtown Denver.

We played prelude music as the guests arrived, and then as each couple walked down the aisle for the processional, everyone clapped for them. The wedding ceremony was more like a celebration and family and friends were encouraged to cheer on and support the bride and groom and affirm the words spoken by the rabbi during the service. The ceremony was complete with blessings and readings in Hebrew, and ended with the traditional smashing of the wine glass as the guests shouted “Mazle Tov!. Everyone sang “Siman Tov” along with our musical accompaniment for the recessional.


Wedding Ceremony Music:
Selected Prelude Music ~ Cinema Paradiso, I Will (Beatles), Meditation from Thais (Massenet), Bittersweet Symphony (the Verve), Brighter than Sunshine (Aqualung)
Processional Music ~ Erev Shel Shosanim
Bridal Processional ~ Can’t Help Falling in Love
Recessional – Siman Tov then Mazel Tov

Reception Music included music from Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Vianne Sets Up Shop from Chocolat.

Wedding Vendors:
Venue: The Pinnacle Club at the Grand Hyatt, Denver
Photographer: WD Yeager Photography shooting for Broxton Art
Musicians: Colorado Wedding Musicians – Christen Stephens, flute and Kevin Garry, guitar