Best of the Knot 2010

We are proud that Shaw Strings has been rated by local brides and voted
The Knot Best of Weddings 2010 Pick.

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“The members of the Shaw Strings provided such a personal touch… I felt like my family was playing.”
Carolyn and Michael

“You added that special touch of romance to our ceremony”
Jim and Leah

We are delighted to be on the recommended performers list at:
Hotel DuPont
Greystone Hall
DuPont Country Club
Joseph Ambler Inn
The Willows
Appleford Manor
Merion Tribute House
Reading Country Club
RiverCrest Golf Club
Springton Manor
The Willows
Mendenhall Inn
The Curtis Institute

We belong to the following organizations:

West Chester
Chamber of Commerce

Greater Philadelphia
Better Business Bureau

National Association
of Catering Executives

International Society
of Event Specialists ISES

Better Business Bureau Rating A

“Thank you for all of your help to make our wedding ceremony so very special. All of you have been a joy to deal with. The music sounded so lovely! We thank you for all the kindness, professionalism and talent you graced us with on our wedding day.” Laurie and Ron

“My husband and I would like to let you know how beautiful your music made our son's wedding. So many people told us how much they enjoyed it and it added an extra special touch to the day. Pachelbel's Canon made me forget the raindrops and focus on my lovely daughter-in-law and my handsome son.”
Mr and Mrs B

“I can't begin to tell you how many of my guests complimented my selection of your quartet. I am still hearing feedback almost two months later. I must say that you helped make our wedding flawless and absolutely beautiful. I am glad we were able to work together.”

“Thank you and the rest of the quartet for the exquisite music that was played at our wedding ceremony. Additional thanks for keeping our guests entertained through a power outage and a late limo driver. The music was beautiful and added that personal touch that we wanted.”
Heather and Keith

“While I waited upstairs, the lovely music was a pleasure to listen to and a comfort. So many of our guests remarked about the string quartet. Your music made all the difference in setting a lovely atmosphere.”

“We really appreciated your suggestion of including Stephen (the bride's 11 year old brother). It would never have occurred to me and yet it was such a special moment for all of us. Thank you, too, for the program of the music. I am glad to have it as a memento and it was thoughtful of you to give us one. The note and payment to Steve (we paid him $5.00) was a real surprise and delighted him to no end. We will be pleased to recommend Shaw Strings when the opportunity arises.” Linda

“How wonderful it was to walk in the church last Saturday and hear the Shaw Strings playing. I've received many wonderful compliments on your behalf. I especially want to thank you for your wealth of ideas and calm reassurance in our several phone conversations. I knew I could relax and enjoy the day after talking with you.” Sally

“Thank you so much for making our wedding absolutely perfect with your music. You played beautifully! It added an air of elegance and grace to the ceremony.”
Chris and Nora

Peace of Mind

Live Auditions

When you hire the Shaw Strings you not only get very experienced musicians — you also get peace of mind. We are there for you, and our only goal is to help make your day wonderful.

The Shaw Strings can provide you with a string quartet, trio, duo, solo harp, violin, or flute, or any combination of these players for your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, and non-dancing reception. Please call Virginia at 610-696-3018 for all price information.

Our charge for the wedding ceremony is a flat fee, no matter how long the ceremony, with hourly rates for other parts of the event. Our special wedding gift to you is the extra prelude music we play as your guests arrive.

To assist you in selecting the music for your wedding, please visit the Wedding Favorites selections on our Repertoire page and also review the Preview Selections on the home page of this site. Additionally, some examples of music programs from wedding ceremonies that we have played are provided below. Our Repertoire page is organized by categories to enable you to choose music for specific themes.

request Form

Request Form

Please fill in our online Registration Form so that we may begin to help you plan the music for your event. This is not a contract. We will send you a contract after we receive this form.


When you decide to hire the Shaw Strings, we will provide you with a personalized contract to fill in, sign and return with a non-refundable deposit check in the amount of $200.00. The balance is due one week prior to your event. One month prior to the event, you should also return the repertoire list with your favorites checked or highlighted so that we can use it to make up your music program. If you decide not to hire the Shaw Strings, send me an e-mail stating that you have made other plans – however, please include your name, date, and site as we file all information in chronological order.

Please call me at 610-696-3018 or e-mail me at Shaw if you have any further questions.

Payments may be made as follows:
1 – $200 deposit with signed contract with balance due 1 week before the wedding;
2 – $200 deposit with small payments paid until the balance has been paid 1 week prior to the wedding;
3 – $200 deposit with the balance paid via using the account.


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Agreement Terms

Agreement and Terms

This sample text below conveys the terms of our contracts. You may download a “Sample Contract” which is similar to the one we will send to you when we receive your online Registration Form.

Virginia Schawacker will make all reasonable efforts to satisfy the purchaser's expectations regarding the content and manner of all music performed, including musical selections and volume levels.

If the Purchaser cancels an indoor or outdoor engagement, the Purchaser will pay the entire contracted price if written notice sent via certified mail is not received by Virginia Schawacker at least thirty (30) days in advance.

In the event the Purchaser reschedules an outdoor engagement due to inclement weather, Virginia Schawacker and the Shaw Strings, Inc. will perform at the rescheduled time and date for no extra charge so long as it can reasonably provide an available quartet. In the event an outdoor engagement is rescheduled due to inclement weather and Virginia Schawacker and the Shaw Strings are unable to provide a quartet, Virginia Schawacker will refund the balance of the purchase price. The deposit of $200 will not be refunded. Once the Shaw Strings, Inc. begin performing at an outdoor engagement in no event will purchase monies be refunded. Deposits for canceled dates are not refundable.

The starting and finishing times stated herein shall be adhered to. Announcements (including wedding reception and banquet introductions) or incidental music will be provided during the agreed time period only. An agreement to advance the starting time will automatically advance the finishing time. Any time spent in moving equipment during the agreed time period shall be regarded as performance time, not as intermission time.

If the Shaw Strings are to accompany a singer, the singer must furnish the Shaw Strings with the accompaniments in string quartet form in the proper key no less than two weeks prior to the engagement. The Shaw Strings will not be expected to play the mass parts for full masses.

Performance beyond the contracted time is at the discretion of Virginia Schawacker. Agreements to perform overtime must be finalized at least twenty (20) minutes prior to the contracted finishing time. Full payment for all overtime must be made immediately following the completion of the last overtime period. Overtime refers to non-ceremony functions.

Equipment needed for performance will not be set up more than thirty (30) minutes before the starting time, unless special provision is made herein to compensate for dead-time between the set-up period and the performance starting time. Wedding ceremonies are the exception.

The Purchaser will pay Virginia Schawacker a $30.00 penalty for each check returned for insufficient funds. This penalty will be paid within thirty (30) days of the engagement.

The Shaw Strings, Inc. will not be required to perform under the following conditions: (1) being seated in the direct sun, (2) temperatures under 65 degrees, (3) untented during light rain or drizzle.

All advertising or programs should list the musicians as “The Shaw Strings”.

The amount of liability for any performance will be equal to the amount of this agreement.

This agreement is subject to proved detention by sickness, accidents, acts of God, inclement weather, or any other conditions beyond the control of Virginia Schawacker or of the musicians scheduled to perform. In emergencies, Virginia Schawacker will be at liberty to replace musicians earlier scheduled.

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Gifts for You

Gifts for You

We have prepared a special list for our brides “Wedding Hints” which is a downloadable document.

We have a special poem for the Father of the Bride “Father's Poem” which is a downloadable document.

Sample Programs

Sample Programs

Catholic Ceremony – No Mass

Springton Manor


Sheep May Safely Graze – Bach
Ich Liebe Dich – Grieg
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring – Bach
Panis Angelicus – Franck

Seating of the Mothers

Ave Maria – Schubert

Processional of the bridal party

Canon in D – Pachelbel

Procession of the bride

Trumpet Voluntary – Clarke



Ode to joy (Joyful, Joyful) – Beethoven

Cocktail Hour

Greensleeves, Moon River, Eine Kleine Nacht Musk,
Theme from Beauty and the Beast

Jewish Wedding

Kesher Israel


Air – Bach
Air from The Water Music – Handel
Canon – Pachelbel
Berceuse – Iljinsky
Aria – Handel
Winter from The Seasons – Vivaldi
Rigadon – Mauret
Hana-Ava Babanot Laila, Laila
Ana Halach Dodech

Processional for the Brides Maids

El Ginat Egoz

Processional for the Bridegroom

Dodi Li

Processional for the Bride

Erev Shel Shohshanim



Simon Tov
Chosen Kalah Mozel Tov
Hornpipe from The Water Music – Handel

Non Denominational Wedding

DuPont Country Club


Air – Bach
All I Ask of You – Lloyd-Webber
Canon – Pachelbel
Ich Leibe Dich – Greig
My Funny Valentine
Over the Rainbow – Arlen
Somewhere Out There – Horner, Mann, Weil
Through the Eyes of Love – Hamlisch

Seating of the Mothers

Try to Remember – Schmidt

Processional of the Bride and Bridal Party

Brandenberg Concerto #2 1st mvt – Bach



Hornpipe from The Water Musik – Handel


La Rejouissance from The Royal Fireworks – Handel
Allegretto Op 2 No 5 – Haydn

Cocktail Hour and Dinner Music

Variety of Classical and Popular Pieces

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No Denominational Wedding

National Constitution Center, Philadelphia


Air – Bach
All I Ask of You – Lloyd-Weber
Alleluia – Mozart
Aria – Bach Chanson de Matin – Elgar
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring – Bach

Processional of the parents and bridal party

Canon in D – Pachelbel

Tribute to Parents

Romanza from Eine Kleine Nacht Musik – Mozart

Lighting of Unity Candle

Solo – singer with keyboard



Wedding March – Mendelssohn


Hornipipe from the Water Musik – Handel

Cocktail Hour

Variety of Classical and Popular Pieces

Catholic Mass

St. Thomas the Apostle Church

Preludes (strings and guitar take turns)

Sheep May Safely Graze – Bach
Chanson de Matin – Elgar
Arioso – Bach
Bouree (E-major) – Bach
Air – Bach
Aria – Bach

Seating of the Mothers/grandparents

All I Ask of You – Lloyd-Webber

Processional of the bridesmaids, flower girls and ring bearer

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring – Bach

Procession of the bride and her parents

Canon in D – Pachelbel

Opening prayer and 1st and 2nd readings

Alleluia (organ and singer)
Glory and praise to our God

Travelling music

Romanza – Mozart

Presntation of the gifts (organist and singer)

Here I Am, Lord
Lord's Prayer/ Nuptial Blessing

Sign of Peace

Dona Nobis Pacem or guitar selections

Communion hymns (organist and singer)

Presentation of Blessed Mother

Ave Maria – Strings and singer – Schubert


Wedding March – Mendelssohn


Guitar selections

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