Today I am delighted to welcome Matthew Stephens with some advice on how to get the best out of your chosen Wedding Singer.
Matthew is an acoustic wedding singer and DJ based in Yorkshire.
I now hand you over Matthew…
I’m going to outline a few ways to help you get the best from your chosen wedding singer.
These few specific points that should help you get that little bit more for your money and to also ensure you get a professional that will make your special event memorable.
1 – Requests/Special Requirements
On a day as special as your wedding day you are bound to have a few ideas of what you’d like to help make this once in a lifetime occasion go as you’d hope it should.
Be it a certain song played as the bride walks down and back up the aisle, a specific set list of songs to be played during the drinks reception or while the guests are being seated for the ceremony, a surprise song arranged by the bride for the groom or visa versa, a particular song performed in a particular way for the first dance – and on and on the list goes.
If you can think of it, it could be requested.
As the paying customer you should expect this request to be met but obviously your timescale comes into it.
If you want a full set list of songs then your chosen musician will some time, possibly months, to learn them if he/she isn’t familiar with them so be mindful of this.
I did this once for a couple in Scarborough and it took several months.
They had a very specific idea of what they wanted to hear at a coastline, outdoor drinks reception and so I agreed to learn the songs at no extra cost.
As any musician will tell you, the playing of the song is the relatively easy part, it’s knowing the song inside out before you learn to play and sing it to a professional standard of performance that’s the hard part.
So I had to put the 15 or so songs on my iPod and listen to them for months, every time I was jogging, to ingrain them in my mind.
This may seem like a lot to ask of a musician but knowing more songs as a musician is always a good thing and I have since played these songs many times so it was good for the client and good for me as it forced me to learn a big chunk of music I would have otherwise never performed.
The situation I outlined above, or a similar situation is only achievable with a long period available between the booking and the event, but if you have that amount of time to spare do not be afraid to ask for whatever songs you may require.
Even with a shorter time available you should still not hesitate to make some specific requests.
I once performed during a ceremony and drinks reception for a couple who had been let down last minute and I had a couple of days to get about five songs together for them – one of them on a ukelele!
It was stressful but I did it and any wedding singer worth their salt would have aimed to achieve the same thing given the chance.
So to sum up, when you have a good amount of time to work with, time is on your side. If you have a lot of time to spare you should never hesitate to make sure that EVERY request you make is fulfilled.
There is not a single reason not to! If you are a little more pushed for time you may have to settle for a little less but not always – at least ask for everything you want and you never know, you may find someone with a very bendy back!
2 – Package Deals
Package deals are becoming more and more popular amongst wedding musicians these days.
Most wedding singers will be happy to attend a full day long event and sing at multiple occasions during the day so always consider enquiring about this option and the discounts available.
You may want a singer/musician to play a song live during the ceremony and then nip outside to entertain the guests during the drinks reception.
Depending on the musician you may also be able to get them to play in the evening and/or provide a disco service as well.
The prices will of course always vary from person to person, but for the most part you should be able to obtain some discount for booking a musician for multiple services so it can be well worth looking into.
Personally, I offer a ‘Total Wedding Entertainment Package‘ for £499 that essentially means you hire me for the full day and have access to unlimited services throughout the whole day.
I can play during the ceremony, the drinks reception, the wedding breakfast, the evening reception and provide a disco service all for £499.
Deals like this are becoming more common place so be sure to check your options with your chosen musician to make sure you are getting every bit of value you can on this already expensive occasion!
3 – Check Their Equipment
This may sound a little daunting but it really isn’t and a lot of it is taken car of by the venue.
The first thing I’d consider is, is their equipment too large or too small? Is it portable if you need them to move around from say the wedding ceremony to the drinks reception?
A quick query on your part via email should be able to clear these things up pretty swiftly.
I’m an acoustic guitarist/vocalist so it’s necessary for me to have multiple set ups for varying occasions.
I have a portable, small, one speaker sized set up for small/medium sized ceremonies and drinks receptions, etc.
So if I need to relocate quickly between two parts of a wedding venue I simply unplug and walk it to the new location.
I also have a larger set up designed for large halls and discos where a loud volume is necessary, that is much less portable and takes time to set up.
Most professional musicians should have a least these two options to make sure that the event flows fluidly without lots of stopping and starting – that can really kill off the atmosphere you have striven so hard to create!
One other small thing that most venues will require for insurance purposes is a copy of the performers Public Liability Insurance (PLI) and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) certificates.
These are generally, but by no means always, a must for a professional musician.
All you have to do is give your chosen performer the name of the venue or events manager and they will email a copy over to them.
4 – Always ask!
If you have any special requirements on the day such as you need a microphone for speech makers or a sound hook up for a projectionist for example, always check with your chosen musician to see if they can accommodate you.
These are both services I can provide at no extra cost and you may find your chosen musician will do the same.
Don’t be afraid to ask! Anything you can think of that they may be able to help you with, anything at all, drop them a quick question via email to see if they can.
It won’t cost you anything but it may save you a lot of money!
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions about anything written here or services I provide, please feel free to contact me via my site