When organising your wedding, there are lots of things to think about, including the music. Here are just a few of my top tips when you start approaching musicians:
1. Know your budget:
Live musicians will have a set baseline rate, usually in line with their union. This fee will cover the costs of rehearsal time, travel time and agency fees/commissions as well as the cost of the day itself. However, this does not mean that the price will be extortionate, talk to your musicians and ask for a quote.
2. How many musicians will you be hiring?
As I’m sure you would expect, the more musicians you hire, the higher the cost of the booking. While it may be tempting to just go with the one musician, this can massively affect the type of music you will be getting. For example, a single line instrument playing pop songs can be tricky, as most pop songs are very repetitive, without the lyrics, the music would not have the same effect. Musicians prefer to feed off the atmosphere or each other when playing to give their best performance, be mindful of this. Another option could be to ask your soloist whether they will perform to a backing track for you.
That’s not to say that you can’t have a solo instrumentalist for your wedding, with other genres such as folk, classical and jazz music offering more interesting lines.
3. Which part of the day will they be performing in and for how long?
As explained in section 1, musicians will have a baseline fee. After this, their fees will increase depending on how long they are needed to perform for. These could differ between musicians, talk to them about this as they may have wedding packages to offer.
Knowing which part of the day they will be performing in is crucial as the type of music the musicians play for you could change dramatically based on the mood you would like to create. You may want a full on party during your wedding ceremony, but you may want to save it for the dance floor 😉 Mood changes happen frequently over the course of a wedding day and so the music can reflect this and really set the scene for you.
4. Where and when?
So you’ve told them the part of the day, but what are the exact timings? Where is it exactly and do you have an address and postcode for the location? Is there parking nearby? These all seem like simple questions but they often get overlooked with all of the other details. Remember that your musicians need to know where they are going so that they can make travel arrangements and more crucially, turn up in the right place at the right time!
4. Do you have a theme?
Perhaps you are having a themed wedding. Medieval, Star Wars, softly romantic, massive celebration, completely out of the ordinary, the types of themes are endless. Again, the music could reflect this. You may even have a colour theme that you would like the musicians to stick to, please be aware that not all musicians will do this you are paying them for the music, however, be prepared in case they ask you.
5. Are there any add-on fees?
Some musicians may charge you extra if you ask them to perform after a certain time (usually 11pm or midnight). You may also be charged extra for travel costs if they are coming a long way for the wedding, this should be discussed with you when they provide you with a quote. If you are very late and the musicians have to hang around longer than their agreed time, you may be charged for that time after the day, most musicians will play for their agreed time and no longer to avoid this situation.
If you have specific requests and the musicians have to arrange the music for you, they may charge an extra fee. However, they may also include this into a wedding package or as part of their service. Talk to them if you are unsure.
Enjoy the process, I know that there is a lot to think about but most musicians will prompt you if they need any more information from you. Keep the lines of communication going and ask them questions too. They will want to make sure that they provide you with the service you want with as little stress as possible so that your day goes smoothly. Keep in touch with them afterwards too, you’ve shared an important life event with them and that’s always a special connection. Leave them reviews and if you were happy with the service they provided, recommend them, word of mouth is very powerful.