Ellen Cochran has served as the Camellia String Quartet’s first violinist for more than three decades. Before the recession, she estimates she played nearly 100 weddings annually alongside Bob Woodward (second violin), Nina Vigil (viola), and Alan Clark (cello).


“We are a service that is and extra, and when pennies are being counted, we are the first to be excluded,” she explains. “We still firmly believe that live music at weddings makes the affair do much classier, and so we persevere.”

Cochran and her fellow members call Sacramento home but are happy to travel as far Grass Valley, Stockton and Fairfield when called upon by area couples.

“We feel the love of the guests surrounding [them],” she shares. “We like to watch the look on the groom’s face when he sees his bride walk down the aisle…It is a blessing to get to know the couple and their families and feel part of the whole process.”


Although the group is well-versed in the works of Handel and Bach (not to mention a number of contemporary classics), Cochran says the song they’re most often asked to play is Pachelbel’s Canon, a piece that gained popularity after its appearance in Father of the Bride.

“Each quartet member has their own personal favorites and gets to request them when we are playing for receptions. We each take turns selecting the next piece so no one gets left out,” she says. “We do have a tradition at receptions that we cannot go home until we have played ‘Siboney’ as our last song.”

To learn more about Camellia String Quartet, log on to camelliastringquartet.com. And, make sure to “like” Camellia String Quartet on Facebook, facebook.com/CamelliaStringQuartet.

Photos courtesy of Camellia String Quartet.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine contributor, Morgan Casarez.

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