Proper wedding attire for musicians


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My friend and I are just getting started playing weddings together...violin duets and violin/flute duets.

I have sung/and or played at friends and families weddings. But as we are just getting started doing this, we need some advice. for the friends/family gigs...you know them well enough to have heard ALL about what EVERYONE is planning to wear. Therefore, you can dress accordingly. As Hired musicians, I am sure the situation changes. What do those of you, who do this, recommend ? :) As far as I can tell, there are no other violinists/flautists in our general area that are doing this. THANKS

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My friend and I are just getting started playing weddings together...violin duets and violin/flute duets.

I have sung/and or played at friends and families weddings. But as we are just getting started doing this, we need some advice. for the friends/family gigs...you know them well enough to have heard ALL about what EVERYONE is planning to wear. Therefore, you can dress accordingly. As Hired musicians, I am sure the situation changes. What do those of you, who do this, recommend ? :) As far as I can tell, there are no other violinists/flautists in our general area that are doing this. THANKS

For a man, always , ALWAYS a tux.

For a woman, anything formal but not racy. -try not to look better than the bride! (seriously)

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Allan is correct except possibly for one situation. My quartet has two 'uniforms'. Tuxes for men and formal black for women, and then black shirt and pants for the men and, still black, though perhaps not quite as formal for women. We always wear tuxes for gigs and usually the black outfit for performances (trying not to be so 'stuffy' fow our audience). However, we do a lot of outdoor weddings where it is quite warm, even hot. We take off our jackets at such times, so we are beginning to consider wearing our black outfit for warm outdoor events because it looks better than jacketless tuxes. You can see both outfits on our website:

http://www.fortestrings.com

Browze around, each tab and sub tab has a different picture, some are in tuxes and some in black.

Good luck with your gigging.

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For a man, always , ALWAYS a tux.

For a woman, anything formal but not racy. -try not to look better than the bride! (seriously)

Always formal for women musicians? as in floor length black? what about informal weddings, etc? :)

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For daytime events, black dressy pants and tops are usually fine for women. Extreme tightness, display of cleavage, flashy jewelry, strong perfume, and other spectacularisms can be annoying to clients and may actually infuriate disciplined colleagues.

Shapeliness is welcome, but be wary of any getup that makes people look at you when they should be looking at the bride. (Recent challenge: A powerfully built colleague who has cute ankles gets a pricey new pair of "dress capris", complete with ankle jewelry and backless high-heel shoes. Who can tell her? She's the boss, good grief.)

Practicality is important, especially when you're doing your own drayage. Entering via the center aisle when the flowers are already in place is taken by some as a sign of poor judgement. Try to develop some sort of radar for locating side doors that might be unlocked, and for ways to hide your case without putting yourself in the way of people who might suddenly decide to walk backwards without first looking at you coming up behind them with your priceless delicate instrument. (TMI. Sorry. Venting again.)

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Always formal for women musicians? as in floor length black? what about informal weddings, etc? :)

Well, there are no actual rules, which is why the question exists. IMO, you always want to show respect for your audience. that means dressing formally, even if they are not.

I would also rather suffer outside in the summer, wearing a tux or lined jacket, than to be cool but look casual. Been there, done that. Never again. I have too much respect for myself, my craft, and my performance.

-But to each his own, of course.

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I see that I am in the minority. I live in a University town surrounded by rural Virginia counties. When I started wedding gigs 20+ years ago, the men always wore tux unless told that less formal was preferred. Within the last 5 years, however, the gents have increasingly been wearing black shirt, pants and tie. This clearly sets the ensemble apart and looks quite elegant without attracting attention. I've never had any complaint or comment.

For outdoor summer weddings in Virginia, a tux is pretty much out of the question due to 90+ temp and humidity. In any case, I think formal wear without a jacket looks far less formal than all black. IMHO

As for the ladies, I can not recall them ever wearing long black attire for formal. Elegant, all black seems to be formal for the ladies around here. Accents of white, a colar, belt, or scarf for example, are used in less formal settings.

Off topic: the university symphony wears formal concert attire, but not a few of the young ladies wear tops that leave midriffs exposed, which I find to be in poor taste. The style seems to be firmly intrenched, however, even for ladies whose midriffs are, shall we say, not exactly svelt.

HS

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Around here, solid black (black dress shirt/slacks for both men and women) is almost always acceptable. The exception would be a very formal evening wedding, in which case tuxes for the men and "elegant black" (I like that description) for ladies.

Floor-length black gowns/skirts for ladies are going the way of the dinosaur, IMO. It's rare to see that even in the symphony.

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We are still debating the black shirt and slacks vs. coatless tuxedo in our group. Our contract does stipulate such leeway (removal of coat) for warm weather, but I feel that the all black solution is more comfortable and looks better than the tux. In Texas it's not a matter of a little suffering, it is more serious than that, especially since we will play in conditions that very few will play in, such as 100 plus degrees (no direct sunlight on the instruments on a hot day, that's absolute, our contract stipulates that shade must be provided as well). The guys have matching shirts with a preacher type collar that we button the top button on. It looks very good and is less conspicuos than white shirts. You should see what some of the photographers (especially) and even coordinators wear, it's embarrasing sometimes.

Just look good. Nice polished shoes, pressed pants and shirt, well groomed, etc. It may be a gig for you, but it's hopefully someone's only wedding.

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It may be a gig for you, but it's hopefully someone's only wedding.

A very good point. I have picked up a few things to , hopefully suit for different occasions. one of the dresses may be a little too casual...it is a black dress with a very small white floral print on it...cotton tea length...would that be ok for outdoor weddings? I also have a 2 piece black battenburg lace dress, and a silver -more black than silver-straight dress that is almost floor length. I have 2 outdoor weddings booked already with a possible third on the beach. do any of these sound better than the others? :)

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I really shouldn't be commenting on this as I am not a musician myself, but it's strange, that nobody mentioned white top with black bottom... That's how my daughter's quartet usually dresses for weddings... For other gigs they usually wear all black.

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