Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of music do you play?

Our classical musicians perform 95% classical music. We have several arrangements of popular tunes and movie themes. Please click to the Suggested Wedding Music Repertoire [link] to find out about our selections. We offer jazz and swing groups as well.

Should I have a quintet, quartet, trio or duo?

For an intimate ceremony in a small chapel we recommend a duo or trio. At an outdoor wedding the sound of a duo might not carry as well as a quartet or quintet. To read more about how to select the right group click here.[link]

Can any of your groups play the Wedding March or Canon by Pachelbel?

Yes, most of the wedding repertoire is possible to perform with any instrumental combinations. However, original string quartet pieces (e.g. Haydn, Mozart quartets) can not be performed by a trio or duo.

How much do you charge?

Since we are offering so many different kinds of ensembles, we need to know some details about your wedding music plans. Please fill out the Pricing Info / Demo CD Request Form in the Contact Us [link] section of our site.

Can we see you perform?

We will be happy to let you know where and when the Columbine String Quartet or any other group is planning to have a concert. Unfortunately we can not invite you for somebody else's wedding unless it is held at the Sunrise Amphitheater in Boulder. That is a beautiful open space and you often see hikers stop by.

How far advance can I reserve the date?

The earlier the better. We book any time. Some people leave the entertainment for the last to take care of. That could be stressful for both the bride and musicians. Safe to sign the contract 6 month to a year before the wedding. Please keep in mind that Saturday is the most popular wedding day. Very likely that you will find facilities and vendors more available on Fridays, Sundays and weekdays. If your wedding is just a few weeks away, call us, we might be available on your date.

How long have you been in the business?

Since 1986.

Do you have a contract?

Yes, we do.

Do we meet with you to talk about our music selection for our wedding?

Not usually. It works very well to discuss music questions over the phone. We need to get your final decision about the music selection 4 weeks before your event.

Where are you located?

Our office is in Lafayette, Colorado. Our groups are from the Boulder-Denver area.

Can you help me with the music selection?

Absolutely. Please call us and Georgina will be happy to talk to you. You can also click on the Suggested Wedding Music Repertoire [link] to see examples of our suggestions. If you'd like to receive a demo CD please fill out the Pricing Info / Demo CD Request Form in the Contact Us [link] section of our site.

Is it necessary to have the group play at our rehearsal?

No. Our musicians are very experienced playing wedding ceremonies. Discussing the details on the phone usually takes care of most of the plans. Should there be any last minute changes, our musicians arrive early to set up and get the necessary information from the minister or the wedding coordinator concerning cues.

Will the musicians on the demo CD be the same that will play at my wedding?

Not necessarily. We have several groups, we work with over 100 musicians all the time. All of our musicians have performed with each other before and they are absolutely professionals who have great experience performing at weddings and other special occasions.

My wedding will be outdoors. How do I make the musicians happy?

In order to keep the promised playing quality and protect our valuable instruments we need a shaded, dry, flat area to set up. In case of inclement weather allow the group to move to an indoor location. Inclement weather is defined as temperature less than 65 F, very windy conditions or any amount of precipitation. Cold air or excessive heat can be very damaging to the wood. Please keep in mind that in the summer time in Colorado afternoons are usually rainy and it could easily snow in May or in September.

What do I need to know about travel charges?

Our musicians don't charge travel fees in Boulder or Denver. Please click on Travel Info [link] to find out areas and wedding sites we charge travel fee for. For price info regarding travel fees please fill out the Pricing Info/Demo CD Request Form in the Contact Us [link] section of our site. The travel fee pays for the musicians' gas and their time spent in the car.

How much time shall I leave for the prelude music before the ceremony?

For a gathering of 100 or less we recommend 15 minutes of prelude music. If the number of guests exceeds 100 than plan on 20-30 minutes of prelude music.

When do you take breaks?

After each hour of playing we take a break of 10-15 minutes. If we have a long engagement (3 hours or more) with you and we are offered to have a meal, then we take 20-25 minutes to eat.

What do your musicians wear on a special event?

On our contract we give you three options to choose from:
- Tux (men), black & white (women)
- Tux (men), evening dress (women)
- Suit & tie (men), nice dress (women)

What if one of your players is ill or cannot make it on the day of my wedding?

If that happens we will do our best to replace that person immediately. However we can not guarantee that we can find a sub in such short notice. The rest of the group will perform the requested music if possible. The fee for the missing player will be refunded.

Do you work with wedding coordinators/event consultants or music director of a church?

Yes. Communication is the key to a well organized wedding. I.e., music for a Catholic Mass must be carefully coordinated in consultation with the priest or music director. Also we need to be in touch with your wedding coordinator in order to get a cue to let us know when to start playing for the beginning of the processional.

Can your group play a piece that is not listed on your repertoire?

Yes. If you can send us a piano score or piano-voice score of the piece, we can take a look at it. If it is less than 3 pages long and well set for the group you have chosen, then it is easy to use.

If it is a long piece or densely harmonized, then we need to make an arrangement of the piece. It can costs $50 - $80 to write an arrangement.

If you only have a CD recording of your piece we would not be available to write out the parts. We don't recommend using music written for orchestra i.e., symphony movements and concertos. To arrange these complex works for a small group is very difficult and would be very expensive.

Do different instrument combinations have different repertoire?

NO--most of the standard wedding pieces are available for any combination.
YES--the original pieces written for duos, trios and quartets can only be performed with that specific instrument combination it was written for.

When is the deposit due to hold the date, how much is it and when is the final payment due?

After receiving our contract the deposit is due within 7 days. It is 50% of the total price and is non refundable. The final payment is due two weeks before your event.

Can I change the times printed on the contract?

We prefer not to change the specified times on the contract. It is very likely that our musicians have other engagements before or after your event and that would cause scheduling problems. To be safe allow 1 and 1/2 hours for the ceremony. If your event is short and you are sure that your guests will find the location and your wedding party will be ready in time, one hour will probably be fine. Most weddings do start a bit late and we try to prevent having problems.

What if I need the musicians to stay extra time after the contracted time expired?

Please ask the musicians if they are available to stay longer. Specify how much longer you need them for. They are independent contractors and after the contracted time expired they have the right to set their own prices. If they are available to stay and you negotiated the additional timeframe and price they need to be paid at the end by check made out to their individual names.

Will the group move or travel from the ceremony site to an other location for the reception? Is there an extra charge for travel?

Moving from one room to another doesn't take much, we always appreciate some help with chairs and stands to speed up the process. Travel from one location to an other is no problem either. You will be charged for the entire time the musicians are booked for even if there is travel involved during the contract.

Will you play with the church organist?

Yes. We suggest to add a soloist (singer, French horn or trumpet) to the organ or have one of the musicians from the trio or quartet play a solo piece accompanied by the organ. To have a string quartet or trio perform with the organ might sound too thick. We will need to discuss and work out the music with the organist ahead of time.

Can you accompany my friend or family member who sings?

Yes, we'll need to get the sheet music (a piano score or piano-voice score with guitar chords provided in case you have selected a guitar as one of the instruments in the group) of the chosen piece in the same key your singer will perform in. We will look at the music and decide if it can be used as it is or it needs an arrangement. The music needs to be arranged if it is longer than 3 pages or is very densely harmonized. It can costs $50 - $80 to write an arrangement.

We need to have a short rehearsal with your soloist (approx. 15-30 min.) before the Prelude music starts. There will be extra charge for that service.

I would like to hire a vocalist or trumpeter besides the string quartet for my ceremony. Can your group accompany the soloist?

Yes. If Columbine Entertainment hires the soloist you have nothing to worry about. Our musicians have a great experience and repertoire available to accompany our soloists. If you choose a piece we do not have, please click here [link to question on this page] to read about the details. If the soloist is hired by Columbine Entertainment, there is no extra charge for the run-through with the soloist before the prelude starts.

How do the musicians know when to start the processional?

We usually need to get a cue from a wedding coordinator or anybody who is appointed to coordinate your ceremony. That person knows when the mothers are getting ready to proceed. At that moment she/he lets us know by telling us or waving at us and everything flows perfectly after that.

Do your groups use amplification?

Guitar players use amps only as needed. String groups and wind instruments usually perform acoustically.

What kind of chairs do you need?

Armless chairs, please. The simplest foldable chairs work perfect.

Do we need to provide food for the musicians?

We really appreciate being offered a refreshment and a bite during a break on a long engagement (3 hours or more), but are discreet and polite about not interrupting your guests.

How much space does the ensemble need?

Musicians with string instruments need some room to be able to perform. We would like to avoid touching anybody with our bows, also they are fragile.

For example:
Quartet - 9 feet x 13 feet
Trio - 7 feet x 10 feet
Duo - 5 feet x 7 feet

What do musicians need?

Our musicians will bring their own music stands and gear. Please provide an armless chair for each player and adequate reading light for indoor weddings and protection from the elements of outdoor weddings. Please let us know if you are planning to have very dimm lights on your ceremony or dinner. We will be happy to bring our standlights. We really appreciate being offered a refreshment and a bite during a break on a long engagement (3 hours or more), but are discreet and polite about not interrupting your guests.