Friday, May 18, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Hiring Wedding Musicians

Many of the best weddings often have wedding musicians performing at them, they help make the occasion a very special event. There are many different types of wedding musicians to choose from including organists, guitarists, keyboardists, pianists, violinists, vocalists, harpists, flutists, string duos, string quartets, then there are bands which include big bands, dance bands, show bands, brass bands, or jazz bands. At some weddings you will also find steel drum bands.

You will find many of your wedding musicians have differing levels of pricing. The rule of thumb, the harder it is to play the instrument the higher the price. The wedding couple should go for the type of music they like most that will fit their budget. They should really hear the music live before booking a music group. If they should choose a band, the cost tends to be about $150 per musician. If you opt for a string group you are much better off going for a string quartet over a duo because they give you a deeper sound.

Before booking a music group, you want to stipulate what is expected in the contract. What times are the groups playing their music, how many musicians are playing and what instruments are they playing, how long are their breaks and what type of clothing will you expect them to wear. You should also stipulate in the contract what music is expected to be played, sometimes they may be asked to learn new music which maybe specified wedding music or music that is special to the wedding couple. Part of the contract may be to pay for the sheet music that must be ordered and there will be time that will be needed to learn the music and there may be a stipend for practice time.

Often though, a wedding couple could ask for a discount from the wedding musicians and more often than not discounts are granted. It does not hurt to ask for a discount. Here are 10 other cost saving tips for hiring wedding musicians.

Tip 1 - Go For the Less Expensive Wedding Musicians
If your budget is an issue, you might opt for going for less expensive wedding musicians. The more affordable wedding musicians include organists, soloists, guitarists, pianists, and flutists. In between gigs, you also might want to check if venues have a sound system and play music using CD's, IPods, and MP3 Players. You might play soft music during the dinner part of a wedding reception. You also may consider hiring a wedding DJ in between gigs. Constant music tends to keep the party going.

Tip 2 - See the Music Group Live Before Booking
You want to be sure a music group is good and you like their music before booking. Also if there is some music that is to be learned, you really want to hear it live before the wedding. You should meet with any musicians about two weeks before the wedding to be sure their music is good and they have mastered the music you are asking them to play at your wedding. Two weeks allows you time to find an alternative musician for your wedding if the musician should sound horrible. It's a very important day, you want a professional sounding musician. For a band group, make sure you have seen them live or have seen the current group on a video tape.

Tip 3 - Find a Budding Star from a Nearby Music School
Around where you live there are Universities, Colleges, Community Colleges, and Music Schools. Stop by one of these institutions and talk to the Dean of Music or find a Senior Music Teacher. Inform them you are having a wedding and ask, is there a student they might recommend. Very often you will find an outstanding music talent, you get great music at your wedding at a greatly reduced price. You not only get great music, but you are giving a student a chance to pad their resume and you get their foot inside the door. Maybe you can get a string quartet really cheap, the instructor might even help them prepare for the wedding. Make sure you listen to any performers before booking, maybe meet with a few different students before deciding.

Tip 4 - Avoid Asking a Professional for a High Demand Date
Wedding musicians are like many other wedding vendors, if you are looking for a professional wedding musician, they are going to charge you more during the busy wedding season and for holiday periods. Wedding musicians may charge more during the wedding season which tends to be May and June and for American Holidays such as Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. If you are booking during holidays you might choose a wedding musician that's good but less experienced during busy seasons.

Tip 5 - Book Top Notch Wedding Musicians Far in Advance
The really good wedding musicians, in order to book them you might need to book them at least a year in advance. The really outstanding musicians, you might even need to book them two years in advance. The really good musicians and music bands if you really want them you must not take a chance and book them very early or they will be booked and not have your wedding date available. Make sure you sign a contract early and check in with them both a month and again a week before your wedding.

Tip 6 - Hold an Audition for your Wedding
What you can do, put an ad in the newspaper, in free classifieds under events in online websites, or in penny saver. Arrange to meet up with local musicians and go with one that sounds great at a price you like. Weddings are opportunities for many wedding musicians. You can invite them to your house or meet them at their studio. Auditions have worked out great for many wedding couples to find great music for their wedding.

Tip 7 - Cut Down on Wedding Musician's Times
Often you can cut down on the amount of gigs to be played at your wedding. Go for 4 gigs instead of 5 or 3 gigs instead of 4. The wedding has been a long day, and the wedding guests will start leaving often after 3 gigs. Also don't give in to overtime. The important thing is that the wedding music is good. The event will be remembered for the good music and not for playing a good while. Ask for less gigs for a cheaper price before you book the wedding musicians.

Tip 8 - Find Local Musicians or Local Band
Very often wedding musicians include travel costs in the contract. You can save yourself some money if travel costs don't need to be in the contract. When looking for musicians, try to find wedding musicians that are more local, they also may play some more music if they know they won't have to travel.

Tip 9 - See if Wedding Band Members will also Play your Wedding Ceremony
In order to get a booking, a music group may also offer up members to perform a little for your wedding ceremony in order to get the reception booking. Many wedding reception musicians are very gifted, maybe you will get a flutist, violinist, keyboardist, or a vocalist. When you met up with the wedding musicians, you asked if any could play at your wedding and you found someone good. Pat yourself on your back for finding a musician to play your wedding ceremony. It never hurts to ask, you may be pleasantly surprised and find a musician to play your ceremony at either a reduced or no cost.

Tip 10 - Book Wedding Musicians at Off Peak Days and Times
If you are booking professional wedding musicians have the wedding other than a Saturday night. If you book wedding musicians during the earlier past of the day, this will allow the wedding musicians to perform at multiple weddings. Wedding musicians often will give you a discount if you book them during non prime time, book them for lunch time or early afternoon and get a nice discount and this will allow them to get in two bookings for the day. You can save on musicians substantially if you have your wedding other than a Saturday.

There are other savings ideas too. If you have a band at your reception, you might think about teaming up with another wedding, take part of the reception area and share in the expense of hiring a wedding band. You also might have a crash the party scenario, invite outside guests to hear the dance band, and hire a bouncer to share the costs and have a little money left over for your honeymoon.

Be sure you get a good musician to play your wedding, you only get married once, you do have a budget but  if you can afford it be sure to get a good group. Make sure bands play the music during the time the contract stipulates and ask the bands and music groups for references and ask for 3 and contact at least two references. Music makes for a memorable wedding, so get yourself some great wedding musicians!

See you on the other side!

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