Tips for a Wedding Musician
Are you interested in playing music at a wedding? Did a friend ask you to play at theirs? If you're new to it, it's very different from a regular musical gig. Here are some things I've learned at weddings I've played at in the past few years.
1. Do what they want.
As you are hopefully aware, a wedding is about the bride (and groom). With this in mind, your goal should be to blend into the moment, to enhance it, NOT to be heard, but felt. You're there for them, not for you.
If a couple hires you as the live band, they want the energy that comes from a live band. You should be doing contemporary hits that people know, and most importantly, want to dance to.
2. Make SURE you have everything you need
It's the little details that get people on this one. Here are some of the most common things people forget.
- Guitar stands
- Power for amps
- Music stand
- The music :)
It can really ruin the whole experience if you don't have everything you need. Going to the rehearsal is a great way to ensure that you're prepared for the day of.
3. Be flexible
Weddings are much more improvised than you may think, and if you're only able to do exactly what's written in the music, you can really be in trouble. MOST of the time, I have to be watching the ceremony while I'm playing, looping certain parts of the music to make sure the timing is just right.
4. Help them out
Another thing that happens often is the couple will ask YOU for suggestions of what to do. It seems nice to defer to them and say "Anything you want!", but the reason they're asking you is because they want you, the expert, to decide. There's a ton of planning that goes into weddings, and the more decisions you can help make, the less the couple has to think about.
You're job is to make this thing go as smoothly as possible. If you're acting unsure something, you're just going to stress the couple out more. Be easy to work with, it will get you a long way in whatever you're doing.
5. Communicate Clearly
Be clear from the get-go about your pricing, or if you're playing as a wedding gift. You really don't want to be talking about payment after the fact if you had different expectations. And do bring it up in a way that doesn't make it seem like you're in it only for the money. It's just a part of the process, and it's best to talk about asap.
Music plays a huge role in the impact of a wedding. I hope these tips will help you to avoid rookie mistakes, and make the special day extra special for the bride and groom.
p.s. Yes, I'd love to play at your wedding ;) see contact tab to reach out.