Sunset from Doolin, County Clare, Ireland
Across the shining sea lies Amerikay

Rose in the Heather combines a lively lead fiddle with rhythm and melody guitars and an Irish drum to produce a high energy sound in the best of the Irish and American traditions. These traditions also provide elegant and graceful melodies suitable for both formal and informal wedding ceremonies.

How much do you charge?

Our basic fee is based on the number hours we play, although there are other factors that affect the price. When we bring our full sound system and speakers, there is a minimum charge for three hours of music, because of the setup time required. If the event takes place a significant distance from Portland, we may include mileage or lodging expenses. Contact Rose in the Heather to discuss your particular needs.

Because we never book multiple events for one day, we are almost always available to play some overtime. If you think this might be a possibility, please discuss it with us before the event.

When you decide to hire Rose in the Heather to play for your wedding, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reserve that date for you. We ask for a deposit of 20% of the full fee. The final payment may be made at the event, usually at the end of the performance.

When do you take breaks?

We take breaks for 10 minutes out of each hour. Often these can be timed to occur when the music will not be missed, such as during the cake cutting, the toast, or throwing the bouquet. If you wish, we can play recorded music during those breaks. Please let us know ahead of time whether there will be food at the reception available for us.

Can you play outdoors?

Yes, we can play outdoors. Our sound system can handle all but the largest outdoor areas, and we can rent additional equipment if necessary.

One thing we absolutely require for an outdoor performance is a covered area, such as a tent, or a contingency plan in case of threatened rain. We cannot perform uncovered in rain or drizzle.

Can you play for both the ceremony and the reception?

Yes, we would be happy to play for both. You may choose fiddle or cello and guitar, and we have many suggestions for appropriate traditional tunes. In this situation we would set up our sound equipment in the reception area, and then we would take our instruments over to the ceremony location. Some ceremony sites have their own sound systems that we could use, or we could play unamplified.

What if our wedding is cancelled, or someone in the band is sick?

If your wedding is cancelled or postponed at least 24 hours before the date (due to weather, illness, or some other unforeseen problem), your deposit can either be refunded or applied to a later wedding date. If the cancellation happens less than 24 hours from the time of the wedding we will retain the deposit, but in either case we will not charge the rest of the performance fee.

If one of our guitar players is unavailable due to illness or emergency, we will perform with just one guitar and not charge you for that absent performer. If our drummer is unavailable, we will supply a substitute. Unfortunately, if our fiddle player is not available we would have to cancel our performance, refund your deposit, and supply the names of alternate Celtic bands. Of course, we would only do this in case of the most serious emergency.

Can you make announcements during the reception?

Some events at a reception need to be announced, such as the toast or the cake cutting. We can make these announcements if you like, or someone else can come up between tunes to speak. Either way, it will help us plan our music if you can discuss with us a general timetable for the reception and how you will want the announcements made.

Can we have Irish dancing at our reception?

Certainly. If you have never been to an Irish ceili and you are not sure about this, ask us for information on some of the local dances. These dances are easy to learn and lots of fun to dance or observe. Like square dances, ceili dancing uses a caller. Callers vary somewhat in their fees, and we would be happy to contact an experienced caller for you and work out the financial arrangements.

What setup requirements do you have?

We have a few physical requirements, and a few suggestions that can make our performance go more smoothly. First are the requirements:

  • A space at least 10' x 20' for the group of six. This includes the space required for speakers and other sound equipment.
  • At least one electrical outlet within 100 feet. (If that power would be coming from an extension cord and not from an actual outlet, let us know in advance.) We need to be able to secure the extension cord to the floor to keep people from tripping on it - if duct tape is not acceptable, then we need to work with the facility to find an alternative safety method.
  • Setup and teardown time of at least an hour, preferably an hour and a half. Some wedding sites place strict limits on the amount of time that the wedding party has access to the area. If your site is like this, please let us know well in advance and we can arrange to work around this.
  • For outside weddings - we need to have all of our equipment under cover in case of rain. This will mean a tent or covering at least 10' x 10' for just fiddle and guitar, and at least 12' x 20' for the group of four.
  • If we also play the ceremony - we need to be sure that all our equipment is safe at the reception site.
  • Helpful but not necessary - if you have a friend who would like to help in our setup, it can be very nice to have someone to stand out in the reception area and tell us if we are loud enough or too loud, and if all our instruments can be heard well. (This can be difficult to judge while playing.)
  • Helpful but not necessary - it is nice to have a "designated problem-solver" whom we can contact if something unexpected happens, so we don't have to bother you.
  • Helpful but not necessary - it can be nice for us to get a chance to look at a facility before the actual wedding. We could contact the event planner for the facility for a visit before the wedding date, or we could arrange something else with you.

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