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Twin Cities wedding and event pianist, Sharon Planer, loves the adventure of bringing events to life with her live piano music!

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wedding musicians
How to Plan Your Wedding Music
October 13, 2015

From the moment your wedding guests enter your ceremony or reception site, one of their first experiences will be the music! 

You will want your musician to be talented, professional, reliable and passionate about creating a beautiful musical setting for your special day.

How to find the right musicians for your wedding.

Word-of-mouth recommendations from people you know and trust can provide you with great leads. Get recommendations from local music stores. Do an internet search for the type of musician you are looking for. The place where you are having your ceremony or reception may provide you with names of musicians that they recommend. Check with other facilities that hire musicians for their recommendations. Select a number of musicians to contact. Hear them perform live. Read reviews online of people that have hired the musicians you have selected.

Ask the musicians for sample demo recordings. Ask them for references. Talk to references who can vouch that the musicians do a great job and are prompt and responsible. Do they provide a free consultation to help you plan your music? Are they willing to learn other songs? Do they play the style of music you are looking for? Are they willing to accompany vocalists or other instrumentalists if necessary? Will they attend your wedding rehearsal? What backup plans can they offer if they are not able to perform for your ceremony? Do they charge by the hour, by the job? Do they 'listen' to you? Do they make you and your event seem important to them? Do you like their personality and they way they respond to you? 

Find out the total cost to you including their performance, mileage, set up fees, rehearsal, practicing with other musicians, learning new music, etc.  Once you find the musicians that best represent your wishes, you will probably be asked to provide a deposit in order to secure the date for your wedding. 

Finding music for your ceremony

Once you have selected your musicians, you will want to meet to plan your ceremony music. Your musicians should be able to offer advice and provide you with a variety of music to choose from. Be sure and tell your musicians any special song requests that you have. It can sometimes take 4-8 weeks to special order music, so it’s important to do this well in advance of your wedding. The musicians will appreciate time to learn the music. 

There are some great sheet music resources and song lists online. Your local library will also likely have wedding music resources including sheet music and sound recordings. Many of the wedding web sites have lists of ceremony and reception music allowing you to listen to samples. Online and retail bookstores have music resources as well and you can listen to samples in the store and online. Bookstores and music stores will have resources to help you plan your music as well as sheet music and audio recordings. Staff at the retail stores are usually happy to share their insights with you. Discount chain stores sell wedding sampler audio recordings as do card shops and wedding shops.

Here are a few sites with helpful musician reviews and great planning ideas.


Perfect Wedding Guide

Central Minnesota Wedding Association


If planning music for your wedding seems overwhelming, a professional musician will be able to guide you through the process and take care of all the details for you.  


You can relax knowing that your musician will create the perfect setting for your wedding!

Wedding Planning, Wedding Music
wedding ceremony, wedding planning, wedding music, wedding musicians
Pianist for Parties is 'Best of 2015' Ceremony Music Finalist at Minnesota Bride Magazine
June 08, 2015
Best of 2015 Minnesota Bride Magazine Finalists

Best of 2015 Minnesota Bride Magazine Finalists

Pianist Sharon Planer was nominated as a finalist at MN Bride Magazine.

Couples getting married in Minnesota have a wealth of talent and dedicated wedding professionals to choose from. I love performing piano music at weddings where the professionals work together as a team to make a wedding couple's dream a reality. I recognize many of the Finalists at Minnesota Bride 'Best of 2015' to be exactly of that caliber.

I am humbled and grateful to all the brides, grooms, event professionals and others for nominating me as a finalist for the MN Bride Magazine 'Best of 2015' Ceremony Music. Many thanks!

There are many wonderful wedding musicians in the Twin Cities including the other two finalists the Four Voices String Quartet and the Lake Minnetonka String Quartet. Engaged couples have great options for live music! Check out the complete list of MN Bride Finalists for 'Best of 2015' at

If you are planning a wedding and are looking for exceptional wedding services available in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota, the 'Best of 2015' Finalists list at Minnesota Bride Magazine is a great place to start your search!

Wedding Planning, Weddings
minnesota bride magazine, Awards, Best of 2015 MN Bride Magazine Finalists, Ceremony Music, Event planning, wedding planning, wedding professionals, wedding vendors, vendors, wedding musicians
Should my friend sing or perform music for my wedding?
January 22, 2014

by Sharon Planer, Pianist for Parties

The musical performance of a talented family member or friend can make your wedding music extra special.  


If you are asking a family member or friend to perform for your wedding, here are some questions to ask yourself to assure your music will have the quality you are looking for.

Do they want to perform for your wedding?

If they are a gifted musician and eager to make your wedding special with their music, you are on the right track to follow up with them. Ask if they are comfortable performing in front of guests. I was present at a wedding where the bride's aunt insisted on having her two adult daughters sing a duet. The daughters made is very clear that they did not want to perform, but their mother insisted. The day of the wedding the daughters refused to use a microphone and they barely whispered their music. Only the guests in the first row could hear them. If you invite someone to sing or provide music, you want them to be comfortable doing so. Do not push someone into performing if they don't want to.

Make sure to hear them perform.

If your only experience hearing a singer is a karaoke performance, ask to hear them perform outside of that setting...unless, of course, you want them to perform karaoke at your wedding.

Can they perform the style of music you want?

Can they perform the songs that you want? If they do not know your songs, do they have the talent to learn the music up to performance level? If they need accompaniment, can the accompanist and performer work together to provide a professional performance? A bride that hired me asked me to accompany her singer who happened to be a co-worker of hers. When we met to practice, the singer was very fine on two of the songs, but the third song completely threw her. It was a country song and she didn't sing country. After trying and trying, she refused to perform that song. I recommended to the bride a talented vocalist that I knew would be able to perform the song beautifully. Luckily, the bride allowed my vocalist to perform the country song. The day of the wedding, the co-worker performed her two songs beautifully and my vocalist aced the country song, twang and all! Everyone was happy!

Just last week I met to practice with a vocalist who is sister of the bride.  I can see why the bride asked her to sing.  She has beautiful voice and has performed for other weddings. Since the accompaniment she was used to hearing were band versions, I offered to record my piano accompaniment part for her to practice with on her own so she can feel comfortable with the piano part.

Hiring professional musicians will assure that your wedding music will performed by talented experienced musicians.


Hiring professional musicians that work together and have a repertoire together, will provide even greater assurance that your music will be as wonderful as it can be. Throughout my experience as pianist for hundreds of weddings, I have developed relationships and repertoires with other musicians. When I am asked to find a singer, harpist, violinist, etc. I have a 'go to' list of professionals that I love to perform with.

If you decide to have your friend or family member perform for your wedding, ask them to provide you with their backup plan if they are not able to perform for your wedding due to illness or an emergency.  You don't want to be left empty handed on your wedding day!  A professional musician will provide you with a written contract spelling out just such terms.

Your wedding is a personal and meaningful expression of your love and commitment.  When your musicians have talent and experience they can add a lot to making your wedding truly special!

Music Planning, Musicians
wedding musicians, wedding music