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Recent blog posts
Katrina and Jeremy’s wedding ceremony at the Fairmont Chateau Montebello, violin and cello duo, April 26, 2014, Montebello QC

This wedding ceremony took place in the tent on site at Chateau Montebello, and the day way lovely! We worked very closely with the wedding planner, Roxanne to make sure that everything was organized, all the t’s were crossed and I’s dotted, and the ceremony was lovely. We performed light classical selections during the prelude before the wedding ceremony. The song selections for the ceremony were very traditional, which makes for an elegant yet warm atmosphere.

 

Processional: Pachelbel Canon

Signing: Bach-Gounod: Ave Maria

Recessional: Mendelsohn: Wedding March

 

 

Wedding planner: Roxanne Sarazin

Decorator: Dahlia Designs

Photographer and Photo credit: Genevieve Albert

Venue: Fairmont Chateau Montebello

Wedding ceremony musicians: Duo d’Amore-violin and cello duos, string trios and string quartets

 

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Kim and Reinhold’s wedding ceremony in the Spanish Ballroom of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, violin and cello duo, April 26, 2014, Vancouver, BC

 

 “It was absolutely lovely – Duo d’Amore were very good. Thank you so much!” Kim and Reinhold

 

 

Working with Kim and Reinhold to make sure their wedding was spectacular was amazing, and easy! They wanted a ceremony that was, in Kim’s words “elegant and understated, simple and beautiful.” Using our website as a guide and listening to our samples, they came up with wonderful wedding ceremony music selections, and found the whole process to be easy. Here is the ceremony music they chose for the violinist and cellist to perform:

 

 

 

Bridesmaids processional: Bach - Air on a G string

Bride's processional: Bach - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring

Signing: Vivaldi - Winter from Four Seasons

Recessional: Handel - La Rejouissance

 

 

All of these selections really work well in a room like the Spanish Ballroom, letting the sound of the violin and cello fill the room, and really bloom. Great music for a great couple!

 

Wedding planner: Alicia Keats

 

 

Wedding ceremony musicians Vancouver: Duo d’Amore-violin and cello duos, string trios and string quartets

 

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How to choose wedding music: the postlude following the ceremony

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 Like the prelude before the ceremony, the postlude is really not a part of the ceremony, but it is still useful to mention this portion as it is a great spot to have music. The postlude follows the loud and happy recessional. Sometimes all of the guests have exited (if the wedding is particularly small) and other times there is an opportunity to play music for 5-10 minutes following the ceremony (especially if there is a Champagne toast or pictures.)

 

If there are no pictures or toast following the ceremony, Duo d’Amore would be happy to choose an additional song to keep the mood upbeat, and this is how 90% of the music for the postlude gets chosen. In all likelihood, it is so loud that the music can not be heard by everyone, and the guests are also walking away from the musicians. In other cases the bride and groom may have more songs that they would like to incorporate into the ceremony and prelude, but for time constraints or other reasons they did not get performed. In this instance we would play one or two songs, again to keep the mood light and happy. So there are lots of options!

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How to choose wedding music: the recessional

Well, we’ve reached the last major point in the ceremony for amazing music: as the bride and groom walk down the aisle as husband and wife. What could be more exciting? The music for this portion is often the most upbeat, loud and fast of the whole ceremony, and many couples find that along with the processional, it is easy to choose recessional music. Plus the recessional songs great with one of our string ensembles! If you are getting married in a cathedral or with the Catholic Church, there are lots of alternative classical pieces to choose from, not to mention great more common songs like Handel: Rejouissance form the Royal Fireworks (which we LOVE to perform) and Mouret Rondeau, for example. If you want to be more on trend, we have a great selection of pop music recessional music such as Viva la Vida, which is becoming almost traditional, to the Beach Boys Crazy Little Thing Called Love and even November Rain by Metallica, and many, many more options. 

 

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How to choose wedding music: the signing of the register

Unlike the processional music, which is all about the bride’s (and wedding party’s) walk down the aisle, the signing is much more relaxed, and the music during this period is typically quieter and slower. If the wedding has more modern music, then we recommend choosing two pop songs for the signing. If the wedding has a more classical feel, or you want to give the wedding a more traditional vibe but still have pop and upbeat selections as the main portion of the ceremony, then the signing is a great place to have classical music. It is also helpful to choose music that will contrast with the recessional, so slow and beautiful tends to work very well. We have a number of non-traditional classical music selections and well-known pop selections that we can recommend for the signing. Just ask us—we love to help!

 

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How to choose wedding ceremony music: the processional

Most brides and grooms fall into two categories when it comes to choose the processional music: They either have a specific song that they would like performed, or they have no idea what to choose!  In both cases, Duo d’Amore has you covered. For the bride that knows exactly what she would like, we can most often play a great version of the song, and we may already have it in our repertoire. Otherwise we are happy to look into getting an arrangement. For the bride that has no idea, this is where our years of experience come in, and where we begin to ask questions (see the earlier post How to choose wedding ceremony music: an introduction) and the mood of the ceremony and the feel that the bride and groom would like to create. Sometimes it is helpful to choose the bridesmaids music first and find a song that either compares or contrasts with the bridal music. The processional music is where the bride really shines in the ceremony, and it is absolutely vital that the music songs fantastic, and matches the style of the couple.

It’s a little off topic for this post, but a question that I am often asked by the bride and groom is some form of: how long is the processional so we can time the walk at the rehearsal. The answer is that we take care oft this—all the bridal party and bride have to do is walk down the aisle, and we will time everything so it fits very well, and depending on the song etc., will either come to a harmonious cadence, or will discreetly fade out—again Duo d’Amore has performed for thousands of weddings, and we are happy to use our knowledge and experience to make the day (and the music) beautiful and seamless.

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The prelude takes place about 15-20 minutes prior to the start of the wedding ceremony. Though music is not the focus of the prelude is can really help set the mood for the ceremony and make the guests feel welcome as they enter and are seated. It also provides a wonderful cue for the guests to take their seats, notifying them that the wedding ceremony is about to start. The music for the prelude is often chosen by Duo d’Amore, as it is not really the focus in the same way that the processional music is. That being said, some clients have let us know a few songs that they like and we can easily incorporate these into the prelude. Depending on the mood that the bride and groom want to create (see the previous blog for more information) the prelude can range from music that is soft and welcoming, with predominantly classical music selections, to upbeat and bright with pop music. Other times clients want a mix of both, and that option is increasingly popular. However, most clients leave the actual selections up to Duo d’Amore, as we really enjoy selecting interesting music to play—sometimes the music can be quite loud (if there is a room full of people, for instance) or soft and intimate. An important thing about the prelude is the timing—for years we started playing for a full 30 minutes prior to the ceremony, but we have since changed this to a 15 minute time frame, and many guests appreciate this, as it give people a few minutes to chat amongst themselves prior to the wedding. It also provides a nice cue for people to take their seats as we begin to play.

I am always wiling and eager to help my clients, and they can call or email me anytime. www.duodamore.com

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How to choose wedding ceremony music: an introduction

As wedding ceremony professionals, one of the most common questions we are asked is “How do I choose my wedding music?” Unfortunately, there is no simple, straight answer to this question. I always ask couples to first consider the mood that they would like to create, and go from there. Next we can look at the type of ceremony (church ceremony, outdoor ceremony, religious, non-religious etc.) We can consider the structure of the ceremony: is it short or long? Is it a full Mass in a cathedral, or a gathering with family and friends at a winery? How many people will be at the ceremony? Do the bride and groom have a special song they would like performed? Is there a singer? Has someone in the bide and grooms family written any music? These and other questions are great for the couple to ponder, and will go a long way in not just choosing music, but choosing music that is a reflection of the couple.

I am always wiling and eager to help my clients, and they can call or email me anytime. www.duodamore.com

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December events and looking ahead to 2015

As the first snowflakes start to fall from the sky, and the Christmas and holiday season begins, we are hard at work preparing for a number of corporate Christmas parties, as well as wedding ceremonies and other special events. We are also looking forward to the New Year, and booking events for 2015. Along with all of that, we are thinking about what wedding trends will we see for 2015. In the past couple of years, at least in regards to wedding ceremony music, many couples have mixed popular music choices with more traditional selections. It seems to me that 2015 will have people still interested in more popular music, but there may be a slight shift to more vintage themed weddings, with classical oriented music performed. Corporate events will continue with a mix of classical and pop, with larger ensembles like a string quartet or smaller soloists and violin and cello duos, though depending on the type of event, this might change to popular upbeat music, slower more background music, or as we are getting into the Christmas season, holiday and Christmas themed music. Whatever happens, from Calgary to Charlottetown, or Surry BC to Scarborough ON it sure will be an interesting year, with lots of exciting events, and great live music!

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Duo d’Amore Wedding research in England and Italy 2014

As many of our clients know, I spent the past few weeks on a wonderful trip through parts of central Italy including Rome, Florence and Perugia, as well as additional time in London England. Besides the amazing food and wine in Italy, I had the great opportunity to do a good deal of research into wedding trends and ideas for 2015, as well as spends a good deal of time looking at and playing some wonderful violins, made by Italian violinmaker Filipo Protani. England was more focused on weddings, as I attended a wedding outside of London, and had the good fortune to visit a wonderful exhibit called Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

As with all trips, it’s always very nice to come home again. I am really excited to be refreshed and renewed for an amazing 2015!

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Duo d’Amore performs for opening of WaterPark Place, RBC Headquarters in Toronto

Oxford properties has booked our violin and cello duo to perform for the opening of new headquarters for the RBC, called WaterPark Place, located at Bay and Queens Quay in Toronto. Our string duo will be performing from 7:30-9:30am on the following dates:

September 8, 15, 22, 29

October 6, 20, 24

November 3, 17, 27

December 1

It is quite an honor to perform for Canada’s largest bank, and in such an innovative building, at it may become the first LEED certified Toronto office tower. The building not only uses deep lake water-cooling and air circulation, but also combines window glazing, and cutting edge plumbing.

Corporate event music: Duo d’Amore-violin and cello duos, string trios and string quartets

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Corporate Event Performance for Luxinside at Holt Renfrew, Toronto, September 11, 2014, violin and cello duo, Toronto

Yesterday evening, Duo d’Amore performed at Luxinside, a French art exhibition showcasing a number of luxury products coming to Holt Renfrew, and displayed with a cool, and modern aesthetic. Our musicians performed a wide variety of interesting music for the guests, which included the president of Hot Renfrew (who had very nice things to say about our performance) as well as delegates from the French Embassy.

Photo source and credit: www.holtrenfrew.com

Corporate reception music: Duo d’Amore-violin and cello duos, string trios and string quartets

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We love performing at Casa Loma, especially when the grandeur of the venue matched the classic and timeless quality of classical music. Sarah and Anthony chose a great selection of songs that fit well together, and were also somewhat out of the ordinary, and Sarah had Schubert’s Ave Maris for her walk down the aisle. This was something new for us and likely many of the guests in attendance. Ave Maria is normally performed during the signing of the register, but as they asked us to choose for a “wedding surprise” it was used for the bridal processional. This is quite a refreshing change, and it is amazing how the rearrangement of songs alters the perception of the piece. This was a great idea and one that we would recommend, for the processional, signing or any part of the wedding ceremony. The ceremony concluded with the strong and bright fanfare of Mendelsohn’s wedding March. What a grand day!

Bridesmaids: Pachelbel’s: Canon in D
Bridal processional: Schubert Ave Maria

Signing: surprise selection by the musicians

Recessional:  Mendelssohn: Wedding March from a Midsummers Nights Dream                  

Wedding planner: Michelle Garber, fabfete

Wedding ceremony music Toronto/GTA: Duo d’Amore-violin and cello duo

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Sandy and Jason’s wedding ceremony and cocktails at the Pillar and Post, June 7th 2014, violin and cello duo, Niagara on the Lake, ON

As I was checking the mail this week, I noticed a small envelope along with our mail. Upon opening it, I saw that is was a lovely thank you card from Jason and Sandy, from our performance at the Pillar and Post. Here’s the message inside:

Dear Duo d’Amore,

We both wanted to thank you for setting a beautiful stage with your music for our special day. It turned out to be sunny, and our guests were amused by the songs they recognized. We hope you enjoyed it and couldn’t have done it without you! Cheers! Sandy and Jason Mills

The string duo performed the following selections during the wedding ceremony:

Bride processional Pachelbel Canon

Signing of the register: Beatles Here Comes the Sun and Coldplay: In My Place

Recessional: The Verve: Bittersweet Symphony

During the cocktail reception following the wedding ceremony we performed good deal of upbeat and fun music (Beatles, U2, Beach Boys, Train, Foster the People etc) and it really suited both their planning and the mood for the day.

Niagara on the Lake wedding ceremony and reception music: Duo d’Amore-violin and cello duos, string trios and string quartets

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Duo d’Amore celebrates 100th wedding and event review on Wedding Wire

Duo d’Amore is proud to announce that we have received our 100th review on wedding wire! This could not have been possible without the hard work of our team of musicians, and such wonderful clients. Thanks!

“The music was beautiful and was timed perfectly. I only wish I could have been there to hear all the songs, like when guests arrive! haha! :)

We were very pleased with the service you and your musicians provided from beginning to end of the whole process.

I didn't get the chance to speak to the musicians but please tell them thank you for contributing to the magic of our special day.” –Darlene, bride 06/28/14

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Lauren and Abim’s  wedding ceremony and reception at the Ancaster Mill, May 11, 2014, violin & cello duo, Ancaster ON

This was our first weekend in 2014 where we performed at outdoor wedding ceremonies, and the weather could not have been better! Many guests at the ceremony echoed this, and the officiant even mentioned this at the start of the ceremony. Lauren and Abim’s wedding was really wonderful, and interesting as well, as it combined very interesting Thai tradition that I’ll get to in a moment. For the music the couple requested upbeat pop songs for the prelude and we performed a number of selections including Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. During the ceremony they requested Here comes the sun for the maid of honor and the bride, Henry Mancini’s Moon River, and Brian Williams’ God only knows for the recessional. These songs worked exceptionally well. In the middle of the ceremony, the couple who met in Thailand, added two Thai elements to their ceremony involving both bracelets and a conch shell with holy water (extracted from the wedding program):

Rod Nam Ceremony: In traditional Thai weddings, an elder will take a conch shell filled with blessed water and pour it over the hands of the bride and groom to bestow luck and good fortune upon them. The ceremony is called Rod Nam Sang as ‘rod nam’ means soak with water and ‘sang’ means shell.

Sai Sin Ceremony: In traditional Thai ceremonies, relatives tie blessed string bracelets on the wrists of the bride and groom wishing them luck. These bracelets are to be kept on for at least three days.

Both of these were interesting to watch and learn about, and I can see these traditions being used in weddings in the future.

As the guests crossed over the bride following the ceremony, we were escorted into the 1812 room of the Ancaster Mill where the cocktail reception was supposed to take place. As the weather was so nice, all of the guests were on the outdoor patio, so we decided to setup there and perform for the cocktail hour. We received many compliments, and the bride and groom really appreciated the music we performed. What a beautiful day!

Officiant: Al Harder, Kettle Creek Weddings

Photographer: Old Mill Studios

Hamilton/Burlington wedding ceremony music: Duo d’Amore-violin and cello duos, string trios and string quartets

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This wedding ceremony at the old mill combined classical elegance with popular light and fun music, and a good measure of family involvement. The ceremony was beautiful. The string duo started off by performing a lovely mix of classical and popular music as the guests were arriving and taking their seats for the ceremony. At the start of the wedding ceremony, the musicians performed a beautiful rendition Somewhere Over the Rainbow for the bridesmaids, followed by Don’t you Worry child for the bride. The family involvement came next, as the bride’s sister sang during the signing of the register. After the officiant introduced the couple, amidst clapping and cheering, the string duo performed the classic Mendelssohn’s Wedding March as they walked down the aisle as husband and wife.

 

Bridesmaids: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Bride: Don’t You Worry Child

Recessional: Mendelssohn Wedding March

Toronto wedding ceremony music: Duo d’Amore-violin and cello duos, string trios and string quartets

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Andrea and Adam’s wedding ceremony at the AGH Design Annex, April 26, 2014, violin & cello duo, Hamilton ON

"Thank you so much for the amazing performance on Saturday! The violin and cello really set the tone and pulled everything together to create an amazing evening! We received so many compliments on the classical music choice and skill (especially from my cousin, who is a musician and luthier from manitoba- he was utterly impressed)  We will certainly recommend you!" Andrea & Adam White

 

This was our first time performing at the Design Annex of the AGH in Hamilton. The venue is located on James St, which is where the now famous art crawl takes place, and is very close to the water. We arrived quite early, and setup—it was clear that as soon as we arrived (Almost 1 hour early) that all of the preparations had been taken care of—everything was in place and looked beautiful. We had a nice chat with the groom, and the officiant before the guests arrived which was nice. As the guests started to arrive, the violinist and cello player performed a mix of classical and more popular music. The ceremony proper was a fantastic mix of Pachelbel, with Bach and the Beatles added, and the guests really enjoyed our performance! What a great ceremony, venue and of course, married couple!

Processional: Pachelbel Canon

Signing: Beatles: Here there and Everywhere and Bach: Jesu Joy

Recessional: Beatles: When I'm 64

Venue: AGH Design Annex

Officiant: Rev Derek A. Ryamarchuk, Wedding Company of Niagara

Hamilton/Burlington wedding ceremony music: Duo d’Amore-violin and cello duos, string trios and string quartets

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Ryan and Nilusha’s wedding ceremony at the Ancaster Mill, 1812 Room, April 19, 2014, violin and cello duo, Ancaster ON

Our string ensemble performs regularly at the Ancaster Mill, but this wedding was one of the most unique events that we have performed at the Mill. Ryan and Nilusha had their ceremony in the 1812 room, which, when you enter the Mill, is downstairs. This was our first time playing in the room, and it is both beautiful with the dark wood and fireplace, as well as the original artifacts from the mill presented in a glass display. Rooms that have some wood in them are great for carrying and enhancing the sound of string instruments and this really helped create a beautiful ambiance and purity of the violin and cello tone.

Ryan and Nilusha were interested in having a number of pop songs from our Modern repertoire throughout their ceremony, and we worked on creating the playlist below. Their ceremony was also interesting, as they combined traditional western traditions with beautiful Indian traditions for a truly memorable and wonderful ceremony.

Bridesmaids Processional: Cohen: Hallelujah

Bride Processional: Elvis: Can’t Help Falling in Love

Signing: Beatles: All you Need Is Love and Perri: A Thousand Years

Recessional: Coldplay: Viva la Vida

Ancaster Wedding ceremony music: Duo d’Amore-violin and cello duos, string trios and string quartets

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Despite the fact that more and more people are choosing to add pop music to their wedding ceremony for a modern feel (which we love!) I was thinking about the untapped possibilities of non-traditional classical music as part of the wedding ceremony. There are so many amazing pieces that run the gamut from romantic soaring melodies, catchy upbeat tunes to more quiet dignified music that can add an incredible degree of interest and personalization to your ceremony. Maybe music that guest and you have never even heard before, but something that just fits perfectly with what you have planned. This is one of the things that I, Matthew the owner and violinist of Duo d’Amore excel at. Why? Because If a classical music nerd, an audiophile and a fantastic resource. I love nothing more than to have an in-depth conversation with clients about the style and mood they are trying to create for their wedding or event, and then coming up with an incredible, interesting and above all exciting playlist.

Please call or email me, and let me know how I can work hard to make your wedding even more memorable, more tailored to what you want, and the mood that you want to create then you ever imagined.

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