Tips for Wedding Gigs

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MichaelAttaway, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. MichaelAttaway

    MichaelAttaway New Friend

    Jun 27, 2013
    Dallas, TX
  2. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

    Dec 14, 2003
    I book most of the wedding gigs I play through the catholic diocese. I have not had much luck booking weddings independently or through protestant churches. Get in with your local catholic churches, play masses, holiday a good job and they will call you when they have weddings. If you find an organist you really like convince them to record a demo with you playing a variety of wedding standards. Catholic organists will frequently meet with the couple to pick hymns and other music. Having a recording of you on hand can really help them sell the extra cost of a trumpeter to the couple.
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Yeah, don't bend over to put your horn away into your gig bag if the bride is drunk. All though I did get a nice tip from her after she helped herself to my assets so to speak.
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Actually that did happen, but seriously, try to take requests, so have all the Real Books with you. Do have a PA system they can use for announcements. If the center does not have them, let them know you can use yours. I find having an mp3 player to put through the PA is a nice touch if they still want music during breaks.
  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Wedding gigs find me from time to time, but I never go looking for one. That's like looking for trouble...weddings are a ticking time bomb of snafus - too many variables, too many changed minds at the last minute, too little real planning or rehearsal. I avoid them whenever possible, but do an occasional one if it's for a friend or if it's so much money I can't refuse. Overall, wedding ceremonies are living on the edge in front of a lot of people who want everything to be perfect, and are recording it for posterity. Thanks, but no thanks. Now, receptions are a whole different thing - everyone's happy, relieved, and ready to party. They are low-pressure and fun to play.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Get to know the organists. Your referrals will most likely come from them. Play the occasional church service for free to prove your worth. Keep practising and wait for the phone to ring.
  7. dBeav

    dBeav Pianissimo User

    May 1, 2013
    Detroit Area
    Well from what I remember from back in my polka band days, my advice would have something to do with accepting drinks while playing. Unfortunately I don't remember why that's important.......
  8. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Wedding gigs can be quite interesting... but nerve-wrecking as well. I could tell stories by the ream... But if you really want to do wedding gigs ( I mean the Church or registry thingie, not the chivoo afterwards!), there are two or three good and tried ways. One of them - get to know the local roganists - has already been mentioned. The second one is - get to know the ministers as well. In most cases, they decided what's going to happen, and they have air superiority over the church noticeboard and and parish bulletin. Get them to put a notice in - they usually are grovelled for matter.
    For Protestant churches, try and find out whether they have their own brass group (many of them have) and try to get to know the players.
    And for registrars: Get to know the local registry boss, ask him/her to put up a notice in their waiting room, invite them to one of your gigs.
    In addition: Wedding fairs have boomed in recent years. They are usually well advertised. Go there, talk to professional wedding planners about your services, give them a demo. IME, they are happy to put you onto their list. And stress that a trumpet is the perfect instrument for outdoor weddings...
  9. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    Be ready for some dumb questions and requests from the bride and the dreaded mother of the bride, and take it all in stride with no facial expressions. I have been asked how many strings are in my brass quintet. Had a bride use a stop watch to time all the numbers and request that we only bring the music she set up for the wedding [didn't want to take the chance we would have misc. music laying around] and then got a case of the jitters and we were supposed to stretch for 1/2 hr. while she made up her mind. Pay is decent but our group refused to do weddings after that one.
  10. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    Call all the church organ players in the area and let them know you are available.

    If there is a local wedding planner in your yellow pages, contact them.

    Call every minister in your area and let them know that you are available.

    Get in contact with any lemo services in your area and let them know that you are available.

    Sometimes floral shops can help you but most of the time it is too late.

    Check out any business that cater weddings.

    Call local photographers for leads.

    To make sure you have the correct material to perform, you might want to check out this post.....

    Guidelines When Including a Trumpet In Your Wedding Ceremony | The Trumpet Blog

    Be very clear ( in writing) as to your responsibilities at each wedding- your cost, numbers to perform. starting and stopping times, what you should wear, when to rehearse with the organ/piano player, etc.

    Always inform the brides mother that you will be paid the day of the wedding.

    When working with the mother of the bride, good luck!

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