Current Fee for Weddings

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Hey. This might seem like a dumb question, but the truth is, I'm so out of the loop when it comes to playing wedding ceremonies, I have no idea what the going rate is anymore for a 2-4 piece wedding gig.

    The basic situation is that later this month the band is playing a gig for a friend of the bandleader, who over the years has kind of become a friend of mine as well. For the band part of it, the thing is being done as a gift from the bandleader to the friend, so it's a lower paying job since the whole thing is coming out of the bandleader's pocket.

    In any case, the groom asked if I'd be willing to play the ceremony as well, to which I agreed, and he wants to know my fee. I'm just not sure what to tell him. I was willing to play it pro bono, but I figured I'd let him make the call - I'll tell him my willingness to play it for free, but I also want to let him know what the going rate on these things are...only I don't really know the going rate.

    I figure that allows him to both save some money, but if he so chooses, he can give me a few bucks - anything between zero and whatever fee I quote.

    As a side note, should I be offering to play it for free, or should I ask for payment? Like I said, he's kind of a friend - I've known the guy for over 10 years at this point.
     
    bumblebee likes this.
  2. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

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    To play for free is your decision, nobody can decide that for you. Myself, I will play for free when it is my idea and I volunteer it, but I won't play for free if asked to do so (barring direct family relations or other obvious circumstances). Just how I roll.

    I don't know the going rate for you, but by me (in Scranton PA, where the cost of living is low and I'm sure the going rate is not as high) I get $150 for services, $175 if there is a Mass as well.

    Receptions are more, and depend on the duration.
     
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    This wedding will actually be in the Pittsburg area. There's a fair amount of person expense going in to simply being there for this wedding due to me having to drive out from the Baltimore area, but I told the guy that a C-Note would be sufficient. That's a bargain price because I would have told him $150. Either way, I'd have done it for free.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Hope he doesn't read Trumpetmaster........

    I think that you are being fair about this. There is a lot of time invested to get the skills to guarantee a long term POSITIVE memory of the wedding day. Cheap trumpeters also insure lasting memories.........
     
  5. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

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    Most of the time when I get booked for weddings, it is usually through the church organist. I very rarely communicate directly with bridal parties, the organists know me, and they know my prices. Most organists I know will not haggle, if the person isn't willing to pay $150, then there is no trumpeter. I know one local organist will haggle, and sometimes hires local college students for $50. While some college students are very good, from the stories I've heard the bridal parties would normally be better off saving their $50....
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I don't think he reads TM, but he used to play trumpet - he still owns a Callet Jazz that he refuses to sell to me. :D

    I'm not going to mess it up. This wedding is coming up on November 22nd and to my knowledge, the only tunes I need to cover are the standard Trumpet Voluntary, possibly Trumpet tune, and the Mendelssohn wedding march, all of which I've performed in the past many times. However, if the music is really out there or I don't think I can cover it, I'll defer to a friend I know who I used to gig with who now lives in that area. He's a very solid player whether it's classical to bebop.
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    The going rate in the Midwest is $100 a man and travel expenses and with the price of gas currently, perhaps $200-300 just for travel. And then if you are staying overnight $200 to cover lodging for the quartet. So all in all, a fair price would be $1,000. If you do it for a C-note, you will be behind on the deal about $200 for gas and lodging events. OK maybe you would do it for free, but would you pay $200 to play a gig? And what about your band mates? Would you expect them to do the same? The overall expense for a wedding is will over $50,000. Truly, the small fraction of $1,000 out of that total sum is a very humble price to claim.
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    This is just 3-4 songs, solo trumpet, at the wedding of a guy I consider to be a friend. $1000 is insane. If I didn't know the guy and it was local, I'd probably quote $175, maybe as much as $225.

    As a side note, I currently play 30 to 40 wedding receptions a year, most of them fairly upper class events, so I see expensive weddings all the time.

    Regarding travel, I'd be going to this wedding anyway, so I'm not really factoring that this time, and I'm not staying over. I'm going to drive home that night.
     
  9. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    In that particular instance I paid to play...and in some ways I'm still paying! :-)
     
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