Music is a major part of any event such as a wedding. For Cha and I, music is one of our non-negotiables in our wedding budget. It’s actually one of the things I’ve pondered on even before I met my future wife. And so we’ve made it a point to make this our dream–a live orchestra playing on our wedding. We’ve set that target so we know what we need, the only question was who to get? We’ve visited a few bridal fairs and on the 5th month after our engagement, we finally booked the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO).
Now, here are the reasons and considerations why we chose the best wedding orchestra Manila has seen (at least for us! haha):
The music that will be played in specific parts of the ceremony was most important to us. We wanted everything to be perfect for it: the groom and bridal march, the communion, the vows, etc. Different musicians will have a different style and interpretation of music so we initially had a list of potential suppliers with us. We’ve made thorough research: watched videos of our shortlisted musicians on different events some we even listened live! And we both agreed that MPO’s rendering were most compatible to what we want to hear on our wedding.
Moving on, MPO has a huge repertoire! That’s already expected of them as they are one of the biggest orchestras in the Philippines. For starters, 90% of the requested songs we submitted to them was available. The 10% that they didn’t have available were either from an anime or from Victory Worship. I wrote specific music arrangements for various parts of the ceremony and shared it with their musical director Maestro Gerald Lao for review.
2. Sheet Music
We went for an orchestral music setup as we want to hear the music in detail up to the last note.
3. Instrumentation and Number of Musicians
Deciding on how many musicians to be included depends on various factors such as:
1.Quality and fidelity of music— It is not always the case that more musicians is equal to great music. We decided to go for a larger group as we want to have a better expression in terms of different instruments and most of our wedding music requires particular instruments such as the flute. If you will go for a duet, you can have a pianist/guitarist and a soloist (like a violinist) to pair. Quartet is actually a good option for most weddings. It looks and sounds decent. For our case, we chose octet. I needed specific number of string players, pianist, and flautist. We did not go for a full orchestra as it may outnumber the guests (plus it’s also more expensive!). Haha! 😊
2. Music specifics — Any genre/type of music will do as long as you, the couple, decided on it. If you decided for classical musicians, list of music sheets from the musicians may be present. If not, online resources are also available.
3. Budget — the more musicians, the more expensive it becomes. This is true most of the time. But if there are family and friends who can play music for the wedding, you might also want to opt for that. As for our case, we asked some of our talented friends and family to sing in both ceremony and reception! We didn’t have to book additional singers plus having them be a part of the wedding is priceless and more personal!
4. Musical reputation (experience) — If there is a budget, go for those with high reputation. We highly recommend that you research, research, research, and research. If you can talk to other couples who have previously hired your potential supplier then better. Having an orchestra will look fantastic in photos, but not all will sound magnificent. We’re really blessed to have been able to book MPO as this was one of our prayers when we were still preparing for our wedding.
Manila Philharmonic Orchestra offered paid rehearsals with their super-talented *hands down* pianist Maestro Gerard Lau. I remember he told me that he composed music for a McDonald’s commercial before. You can tell that I am still in awe with him!
Moving on, we booked for a rehearsal with our amazing singer friends and family–this happened in their office/studio near Greenhills few days before the wedding. He have tips and pointers to our friends too! Rehearsals with the actual octet happened early morning on our wedding day.
5. In summary:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
We rave about Manila Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) on their performance on our wedding! Definitely five stars through the roof.
- They are easy to communicate with (Thanks, Julie!);
- Very very responsive with emails and SMS (very important since we were mostly out of the country!),
- Very comfortable to work with, and needless to say they are very talented! The price for octet already included transpo and other fees so we didn’t have to be concerned on the day of the wedding.
- Plus points because they arrived on time and played through till the ceremony ends.
We highly recommend the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra on your wedding! They are definitely one supplier that won’t give you unnecessary anxieties, headache, or problem during preps and even on the day itself.