Golden Gate Ensembles
I want them! My fiance and I went to my friend's wedding where they played for the ceremony and for the cocktails. We were blown away. My fiance studied the cello for lots of years and played in college and he couldn't believe how good they were. They played all the regular classical stuff really well but when it was time for the cocktail hour suddenly they were tearing it up with rock and pop and all kinds of hot stuff. I wrote for a demo CD and it's just as hot. They aren't too expensive either.
We booked the Golden Gate String Quartet through their booking coordinator, Su Buchignani, for our wedding and they were amazing, from start to finish. They are such a talented group of musicians, each with an amazing resume of professional engagements, which shows you that you are in good and experienced hands. They were also suprisingly affordable, and I think that having them a part of our wedding was some of the best money we spent, overall.
They played for our ceremony, cocktails and dinner, and our guests all raved about them--their repertoire is so diverse and extensive, the classical they played for our prelude music was gorgeous, and then we switched things up with the 20's/30's-style caberet tunes during cocktails which were amazingly arranged and fun.
Su is even an accomplished "strolling violinist" and led our guests Pied Piper-style from the ceremony location to cocktails, which many guests told us was a magical way to move from one segment of the celebration to the next. Our whole wedding was outdoors, and the quartet played amazingly and tirelessly despite a freezing and unexpected temperature-drop right at sunset. I couldn't believe their dedication and professionalism. They just kept playing beautifully right through dinner, as even our guests shivered, layered on jackets and warmed up by the gas heaters.
Su is incredibly responsive and professional, and also just a very positive and encouraging person who clearly lives and breathes music--she has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of every genre we discussed with her. We had a few calls with her to discuss music choices along the way, and my fiance always remarked after each call that "Su is the best!"--she inspires such confidence that the event will be a success. And it was!
She works with you to suggest and then help you choose the right songs for your processional/recessional in the ceremony and then the type of songs to create the mood you are aiming for in any other segments (like cocktails/dinner).
I can't recommend Su and the Golden Gate String Quartet highly enough--they are incredibly talented and professional.