Frequently Asked Questions



All Events

What is the difference between a string quartet, string trio, and string duo?

The string quartet is four musicians: two violinists, one violist, and one cellist. The string trio is three musicians: one violinist, one violist, and one cellist. The string duo is two musicians: one violinist and one cellist. The larger the group, the more full the sound.

Can you play outdoors?

Yes! As long as we are under a 10’ x 10’ waterproof canopy tent (we can provide one for $50) and the temperature outdoors is between 50 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures outside that range can do permanent damage to our instruments. Outdoor events with piano require an outlet within 40’ of the playing area to power our digital piano.

Can you play under the shade of a tree without a canopy tent for an outdoor event?

Unfortunately, no. Even if we are performing under a tree, we need a waterproof canopy tent to provide protection from precipitation and/or falling debris.

Do you require a deposit? Is it refundable?

We require a deposit to be paid to be returned with the signed contract. It is not refundable.

When is the final payment due?

The final payment is due two weeks before the event. Early payments are refundable up to that date.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We only accept checks made out to Vine Street Ensemble and mailed to 1202 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Urbana, IL 61801.

Is it standard to tip musicians?

Tips are not required, but always appreciated. If you would like to tip the musicians at your event, you can tip in cash. You may also mail a check made out to Vine Street Ensemble after the event.

What if my event runs later than planned?

We cannot guarantee that our musicians can stay past the contracted end time. However, if we are able to stay, overtime will be charged at $25 per 15 minutes per musician.

What do you need provided at the venue?

We need one armless chair per musician in a space about 10’ x 10’. Events with piano will require use of the venue’s acoustic piano or an electrical outlet within 40’ to power our digital piano. We will provide our own music stands.

Do you perform with amplification?

We do not perform with any amplification as the sound of acoustic string instruments carries quite well and our digital piano has built in speakers.

What will the musicians wear?

We wear formal black clothing to all events so we look professional without standing out.


How much time should I book you for my wedding ceremony?

Plan enough time for a prelude (as guests arrive) and postlude (as guests exist) in addition to the total time of your ceremony. For most weddings, 15 minutes is enough time for the prelude and 10 minutes is enough time for the postlude. You may need more time for the prelude if you think guests might be arriving earlier (for example, if your wedding is in a remote location) and for the postlude if your attendants are dismissing by row or you are having a receiving line immediately after the recessional.

Do you come to the wedding rehearsal?

We do not typically come to the wedding rehearsal. We have performed at dozens of wedding ceremonies and are confident we will know when to start and end each piece during your ceremony. Instead, we ask for you to provide a list of the people who will be part of the processional and the name of someone who can let us know when everyone is ready to begin. If you would like us to come to the rehearsal, please email us about availability and for a quote.

What music do I need to choose for my wedding?

You don’t have to choose the music for the prelude or postlude; we usually select that music, but you are welcome to if you’d like. Most couples choose a few songs for the processional (parents, wedding party, and spouse entrance) and one song for the recessional. You can also pick a song to be played during any special moments in the ceremony (such as giving flowers to mothers, sand/candle/tree ceremony, saalt phere, visit to Mary, etc.).

Can you play a song that isn't on your list?

Yes! We can arrange any song you’d like to have us play at your wedding for a $50 fee per song.