Live Music- Sounds of Your Big Day

Hiring a live musician can be a daunting task, but the Tri-State is filled with a plethora of talented professionals ready to fill your ceremony and/or reception with a wide array of tunes from soothing and classical to rock or cover ballads. To learn more about the booking process and what to expect day of, we interviewed four area musicians to get their take on how to bring your big day to life with the sound of live vocals and/or instruments.


Weddings by Lauren /

What does she offer? Full wedding ceremony music, coordination between multiple musicians, and piano, vocal, and organ services.

How did she get into business? “I have played the piano since I was five years old and started voice lessons when I was ten. I was asked to play for my first wedding at the age of twelve and never looked back. I loved the process of choosing music that means something to the couple and doing my best to provide the performance they desire.”

What is her process the day of? “I typically come to the rehearsal so any questions can be taken care of early. I like to be at the church around an hour and a half before the ceremony starts in order to set up any sound equipment and check microphone levels. If rehearsals with other musicians are required, I come early as well. For outdoor ceremonies, I do have a keyboard, microphones, and speaker system to accommodate.”

She goes on to add that “Live music makes any ceremony so special. It allows you to depend on someone to fill in any unplanned silences and to cover when things go wrong (like that flower girl just not cooperating!). I do my best to make each wedding a personalized day of beauty, love, and music.”

Sting quartet

Southern Indiana String Quartet / 812-459-3696 /

What do they offer? Sarah Land shares, “We play a variety of events including wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions, holiday celebrations, birthday parties, family get togethers, etc.

How did they get into business? Sarah goes on, “We got into the business back in 2011 when I noticed there weren’t a lot of string quartets in the Evansville area, but there was certainly a demand that I felt needed to be fulfilled. I was wanting to get back into playing after a short hiatus, and so I asked my sister, Leslie Baumgart (second violinist for the group), if she’d be interested in diving into this venture with me. After I convinced her to commit, we set out to find ourselves a first violinist and a cello. Once the quartet was formed, we spent many nights rehearsing in the garage my husband had set up as a recording studio. We went through hundreds of pieces and found what worked and what didn’t. A lot of playing with other musicians is about reading the other musicians, playing off what they’re doing with dynamics, bowings, etc., and being able to anticipate what’s coming. Once that integration is achieved the music and arrangements really start to flow well. We are blessed to have a very talented in house arranger, first violinist Rob Schnautz, who is able to take just about any piece of music and make it work for us as a string quartet. We strive to keep an up-to-date repertoire with not only classical pieces, but also songs from the top 40 charts, often being popular requests for weddings.”

What is their process the day of? “The process the day of is setting up, tuning, taking in our surroundings and making sure the little details are settled such as who is our cue person? Which member of the quartet can best see the wedding party walking down the aisle? Are we being mic’d? If so, we’ll have a conversation with the sound guy and go through necessary sound checks to be sure we are able to be heard.”

Sarah goes on to add, “Our main goal is make sure the bride and groom are at ease and confident that we’re going to provide just the right soundtrack to their special day. A lot of that is handled prior to their actual wedding day, and this ensures a smooth experience for every one involved. We’ve learned to always be on our toes, prepare for the unexpected, and go with the flow. We work together to take cues from each other and from others, which is so important in making sure everything goes just as it should. Music is such an integral part of so many of the best experiences in life, evoking the emotions that create unforgettable moments. This is why we take our job very seriously and love watching how our music can make these moments come alive.”


Emily Fife, Harpist / website: / Facebook: @EmilyFifeHarpist / Instagram: kentucky_harpist/ email: phone- 270-860-9354.

What does she offer? She is a wedding and special events harpist

How did she get into business? “I started playing the harp at the age of 8. I have been playing the harp for 25 years. I started out playing background music at special events and evolved into playing weddings. It is now the most favorite part of the work I do as a harpist. I offer harp music for wedding ceremonies, for cocktail hours, and for dinners at weddings. I offer special packages for clients who book me for both the wedding and cocktail hours and/or for dinner.”

What is her process the day of? “For the day of the wedding ceremony. I play 30 minutes of prelude music, the processional, any additional music needed during the ceremony, and the recessional. I always make sure to play extra music after the recessional music has ended as guests are exiting the wedding.”

Shes goes on to add, “I think the live music adds that extra touch of class and elegance to a wedding. There is nothing like live music. The harp is a great instrument for a wedding. While the harp has a delicate sound, I have a pickup that has been added to my harp, so I can be plugged in to any amplification system and the sound be projected. I mostly use this during cocktail hour, since that is naturally a louder time of a wedding.”

Nick Smith

Nick Smith/Smith and Rome / /

What services do they offer? Live music (acoustic guitar and singing) for ceremonies and receptions

How did they get into the business? “I started playing music with a few good friends at a few restaurants/bars in town, and some events for nonprofits around town, and it kind of built up from people hearing me through those.”

What is their process the day of? “I generally meet up with the bride and groom in the weeks before the wedding (to go over the music selections) then arrive early the day of the wedding, to set up the audio equipment and sound check before the wedding.”

Nick goes on to add, “I think having someone play live music at a wedding really helps make it memorable and special for the couple, and for everyone else in attendance. It kind of gives it a different atmosphere. It’s a great time!”

Photo by Tiffany York