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  #1  
Old 04-16-2012, 04:06 PM
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Default Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

(I'm sure there're too many apostrophes in the title...)

Hi chaps and chappettes,

I've not posted for ages; been rather busy drumming, teaching, gigging etc. Hope you all had a happy Easter and the like.

Anyway, I'm after some tips on getting my jazz quartet into weddings. I've plenty of experience gigging and recording, but never doing weddings, corporate functions and parties. We have a four-piece jazz band that play swing and latin standards, and are looking seriously into joining the wedding circuit.

So far, we've produced some promotional recordings to show off what we play, have a basic WIP website and Facebook page, and plenty of gigging experience. The plan is to get the recordings and websites polished, hand out our cards at gigs, hit wedding fairs etc. and promote as hard as possible.

Are there any particularly big do's and don't's that we should look out for, any pitfalls, awesome tips, golden rules? We'd be asking a modest fee to start with, something along the lines of 400 for two 45-minute sets, customised for their tastes, and flexible to fit in around them. Is this about right? We don't want to sell ourselves short, at least two of us are professional musicians and need to make a living/cover costs, but also we're not yet competing with the top notch high-collar bands that have been doing it for years.

Anything and everything you have to say on this topic will be read with interest, thanks.

Jonathan
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

400 is quite a low fee for a one-off gig (which weddings tend to be, obviously!). I would be considering upping the price to 450 or maybe 500 but I don't know what the circuit is like in your part of the country. It's good work if it's consistent and you have bookings.

I think most of the things that come to mind are quite simple. Don't stand outside smoking in front of the gates, do what the couple ask you to, etc. I don't have any specific wedding experience so take what I say with this in mind but I think you'll do well to just be 'professional' and make sure that you have your financial affairs in order - as a band and individually.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Don't get caught making out with the bridesmaids.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:23 PM
jasonmwnf jasonmwnf is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

I haven't played a wedding in ages, BUT.. The last cover band I was in did something really smart and ended up with a load of wedding gigs. There is a wedding exhibit/tradeshow type event were I live every year. The guys in the band simply booked a booth in with all the wedding photographers/floraists/dress makers and ended up getting a great response and a ton of gigs. So, if there is such an event near your area... get to it! Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

you really want to be a wedding band? hoo-fah. That, to me, is the worst gig out there.


F
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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Originally Posted by topgun2021 View Post
Don't get caught making out with the bridesmaids.
This is SERIOUSLY the best piece of advice... really... not only making out, but hitting on.

It's in many musicians DNA, specially if you start playing bars, clubs, etc... where the whole vibe is different... people are there anda band is sort of the center of attention... on corporate, wedding gigs, you are closer to a prop... PART of the enviroment.

So after your set, just stay in your place... you don't want to share the fate of Nick Nightingale in Eyes Wide shut... hahaha.

Florian.. I share your sentiment... but for a working musician, playing these kinds of events is a way of earning an honest buck... and heck, you even contribute in people enjoying themselves... I used to "look down" on it... but so many talented musicians and good friends of mine work wedding and events and I have come to both understand and respect what they do... it's just work, and like everything in life you can do it or you can do it well!
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
you really want to be a wedding band? hoo-fah. That, to me, is the worst gig out there.


F
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

The main thing wedding bands tend to forget is that they are not the main attraction. A lot of times you are just background music. You might also find that your band might need to tone it down for a wedding crowd. If you're a jazz group, that basically means keep the solos and song choices as accessible as possible, stick to the standards and make sure guys aren't playing Coltrane licks on top of Autumn Leaves, and of course volume will always be a concern.

I've done a ton of weddings, and a lot of times they can be a lot of fun. It's like any other gig, if there is a good crowd with good energy, it's fun to play. Of course, sometimes they can be a drag, and you have to worry about the brides grandmother that is seated right by the speaker, and is complaining the whole time.

The money can be really good, I would charge more if I were you.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Given that your fee usually includes setting up during the day, or if you're playing both reception & evening bash, in the morning, I think 400 is very low indeed. A full function wedding band usually charges upwards of 1,000, but they're established acts. A lot of wedding bookings are by referral. The gig itself is often your showcase, so spending time getting it right from the offset is a good investment. I agree that you need to charge an attractive fee to get into the circuit, but I'd be tempted not to advertise your fee, & offer quotations after you've taken all elements into account. 150 / member is the minimum you should consider IMO.

Having variations on your sets can maximise your earnings, as well as giving you handy options depending on the audience. Obviously, a dance set is essential, but you may also wish to consider a "background" set for playing during the reception/cocktails or similar. Offering a day & evening service will maximise your potential, after all, you're set up for the day, so you might as well play as much as possible :)

Good luck with the project, & post some of those recordings you mentioned in your OP :)
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Thanks all. Our recordings are being posted right now on the Detour Ahead page in my signature, go to the Samples section.

The website itself is WIP, so no comments please on how unprofessional it currently looks :)
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Arrive early, especially if you're the drummer; you need to make sure you get some space.
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  #12  
Old 04-16-2012, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

I do a few out here. We have very few clubs on Kauai so there aren't a lot of paying gigs. Being a tourist destination, there are a ton of weddings and events. Rates for weddings are generally $125-150/hour per musician. Corporate events are more. I just did a party on Hanalei Bay for a guy's 50th birthday. We had a blast. Ate, drank, played under the stars for two hours, and made $300 cash each. My friend played a dive bar on the south shore the same night. Bar full of drunks. The septic system overflowed and stank up the place. He made $75.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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I do a few out here. We have very few clubs on Kauai so there aren't a lot of paying gigs. Being a tourist destination, there are a ton of weddings and events. Rates for weddings are generally $125-150/hour per musician. Corporate events are more. I just did a party on Hanalei Bay for a guy's 50th birthday. We had a blast. Ate, drank, played under the stars for two hours, and made $300 cash each. My friend played a dive bar on the south shore the same night. Bar full of drunks. The septic system overflowed and stank up the place. He made $75.
Wow, swings and roundabouts. Not even sure where Kauai is...
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

The very first thing you need to be sucessful,well in the states anyway,is an VERY deep set list.Turning down reasonable requests from guests,and especially the wedding party/parents is a great way to signal,that your not a "real"wedding band.A sure way to keep the phone from ringing.I've seen bands were everybody has laptops on music stands,with thousands of pieces of music.They don't use them often,but they can save the day,whwn needed.This also says that you guys are pro's in every way,and as we yanks say"you came to kick ass and take names"

I have seen more that a few weddings where,the band MC's the event,and litterally "runs" the reception.A really good wedding band can make or break an event.It also is a way of breaking the monotany of playing the "Tarantella" for the 600th time.

Vocals are important also and a good front man/woman,will help things go smoothly.

Get signed contracts,well in advanceof an event,and collect a deposit at the initial signing.Spell out refund options.Make a set list with the parties,6 months before the event.Full pay at the start of the gig...or no music.Stipulate overtime fees,and extra fees should they request say piano music, during the coctail hour

Wedding band are considered by lots of musicos as the ultimate in boredom,and sterility,while also selling out your craft.Toe me thats BS.You and the band can make money,and while not breaking any serious musical boundries,still have a good time doing it.....and pay the bills at the same time.Cheers

Steve B
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

I'm sure you know about writing contracts, but that's a big one that newbies miss. Get it in print and make the financially responsible party sign it well before the date. Have the details included in the contract (set up time, when to be done setting up/soundchecking by, cut off time, etc...) I did ONE wedding gig that was a schematic disaster, which involved being told we had to stop setting up because the guests were arriving, the wedding starting/running late and being told "We paid for 3 HOURS of music...you're staying (...even though you've started 2 hours later than we anticipated. ), and then the father of the bride came up to write the check: "It was $500, right?" "WHAT?!?!? $2,000!!! That's outrageous! I'll pay you guys $800 and not a penny more..."

Yep. Get it in print and signed!
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

I used to be a wedding photographer. 2 bits of advice.

1. Make sure you get paid in advance. Often the money runs out on the big day and you get fobbed off.

2. If there's a family brawl... don't stop playing!
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Amen to all of this. I have provided production and backline to a number of high-dollar wedding bands, so allow me to add a few things...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
The very first thing you need to be sucessful,well in the states anyway,is an VERY deep set list.Turning down reasonable requests from guests,and especially the wedding party/parents is a great way to signal,that your not a "real"wedding band.A sure way to keep the phone from ringing.I've seen bands were everybody has laptops on music stands,with thousands of pieces of music.They don't use them often,but they can save the day,whwn needed.This also says that you guys are pro's in every way,and as we yanks say"you came to kick ass and take names"
It's becoming quite popular for the entire band to have iPads loaded with the RealB app. I've even seen them download a requested song during break so that they can perform it on the next set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
Vocals are important also and a good front man/woman,will help things go smoothly.
Most bands I deal with bring at least 2 (one male, one female) vocalists, and usually one or two of the other musicians can handle the occasional lead vocal. BTW, seldom do the front vocalists lead the band and/or carry MC duties. Having a non-vocalist handle MC duty frees up the others and helps save their voices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
Get signed contracts,well in advanceof an event,and collect a deposit at the initial signing.Spell out refund options.Make a set list with the parties,6 months before the event.Full pay at the start of the gig...or no music.Stipulate overtime fees,and extra fees should they request say piano music, during the coctail hour.
Absolutely. Every other vendor (you're a vendor, get used to it) gets some if not all of the money up front. The parents and/or party planner don't want to have to worry about it at the time of the event. The band leader will be required to meet with the bride and her parents at some point prior to the event to go over songs they really want to hear, and songs you'd dang well better NOT play. There will be some of both.

They will likely want an instrument set during the cocktail hour. One party planner actually had me set a separate set of instruments in a different location so that the keyboardist, bassist, and sax player could perform jazz classics as a trio out in the entryway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
Wedding band are considered by lots of musicos as the ultimate in boredom,and sterility,while also selling out your craft.Toe me thats BS.You and the band can make money,and while not breaking any serious musical boundries,still have a good time doing it.....and pay the bills at the same time.Cheers

Steve B
There's quite a bit of crossover between studio players and special event players. Neither of them or glamorous, but you can make a decent living at both.

Some other thoughts:

Like any other corporate party, your soundman will not be allowed to be out front. Find one with the skills to deal with this. Also, bring a "manager" or good friend who can interface with the clients while you are one stage playing.

As far as your price: To those who will only be hiring a band once in their lives, money is likely not a concern. They are will to pay whatever you ask so long as you make them feel they have received what they paid for. In fact, a lower price makes it seem as though you think less of yourselves and your talent. Don't be afraid to raise that price. If your price is in the correct range for your region then you will still be rejected about 20% of the time. Don't let that bother you.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Anyone who thinks that being in a wedding band is beneath them has clearly never done a day's work in their life: it beats the shit out of shelving biscuits at the local supermarket. Besides, even the best and most successful musicians had modest beginnings - no one was ever born writing hit singles and playing them to thousands of fans.

If you can say you played a gig on a Saturday night in front of a couple of hundred people who all danced and cheered and you got paid for it, then I say good for you John.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Few comments from a recent "mother of the bride":

We checked out a lot of wedding/function band websites and none were charging less than 600. 800 wasn't unusual.

A lot of websites say they'll take requests, with enough notice. This is useful if the bride has a "first dance" song in mind.

We liked the pics page to show them in their "gig outfits". Matching or themed suits, or at least white shirt and matching waistcoat or something like that. For a wedding, a lot of people will want you to look smart and/or co-ordinated.

We saw quite a few bands and solo musicians at wedding fayres. They all had different pricing structures for different parts of the day eg arrival of the guests for ceremony, drinks after the ceremony, and of course the evening party. First question they all asked is "what time?" and second was "how long?"

IMO the contract is vital with at least part of the money up front and the rest, say, not less than 4 weeks before the event. Everyone else concerned with the wedding will be doing this, so why not the band? Bands can get booked up to 6 months before the day, so there's also always the possibility it'll get cancelled so you'd want a decent sum up front (non refundable as per contract). If a band hadn't asked for money up front I'd have thought they were unbusinesslike and/or inexperienced and/or disorganised - the upfront fee showed a commitment from them in my mind. I agree with the person who said money gets tight towards the end (don't I know it!) so you need to have the the full sum before the last minute panic sets in.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Oh yeah, weddings are awful. Being home before midnight, having a good meal after sound check (it should be in your contract), people show up intent on partying their tales off so if you do an OK job they treat you like rock stars, pays way better than bars, what's not to hate?



Interview your buyers and get a script for the night nailed down with them and/or their wedding planner.
Play standards that work like crazy.
Don't showcase your mind-bending piece of arithmetical wonder.
Price high.
Wear a tux.
Don't drink (too much) on stage.
Do the special dances like Bridal, Mommy dance, Daddy dance, on CD.
Have some ethnic stuff ready, like klezmer, polkas, etc. A couple of each will get you through most gigs.
Get paid before you play, no exceptions.
Hand out cards for referrals. A great place to find new brides is at weddings. We went to ten weddings the year we got married.
Use the bride's & groom's names, as opposed to saying "The bride will now dance with her father". It's the little things that count. Often times we'll humorously rename our band after the buyer, so for instance if the groom is Joe Smith, we'll call ourselves the Joe Smith Studio Orchestra.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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2. If there's a family brawl... don't stop playing!
That calls for some honky-tonk old west music if it happens.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Not sure of your local situation but the Wedding/Function band I worked with for 15+ years on an extremely busy basis morphed a little over time to reflect what was happening in that circuit.

* For example, a CD and IPOD connected to the sound system was a must for breaks so people could continue to party. Especially the specific songs the band hated to play and the people would only want to hear the "originals" of. It was a Win/Win for all.

* Always know the correct pronunciation of the names of EVERYONE you need to mention.

* Be prepared for delays while other wedding/function type things bite into the event.

* Identify any and all specifics for outdoor gig needs?

* Make friends with Caterers, Photographers and Party Planners - they'll become a huge referral source for you.

* Wear a Tux for each and every gig.

* Be prepared for setting up way early and leaving should the wedding be taking place on the premises you are playing or if the event coordinator insists you are to be set up by a certain time in advance. Could be many hours ahead for whatever reasons.

* If your market requires it - consider knowing "customs" based songs. For example, I've played a gazillion Jewish weddings. A certain song library is needed in addition to the regular wedding music.

Just some quick thoughts....
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Put your card and cds in every bridal shop within a 100 mile radius. Make the cards and cds attractive to women. Women make most of the decisions regarding the wedding so that is your target. Also give a cd to every reception hall in the area. We were going to have a dj but when we went to book the hall the guy let us hear several cds of bands that had played before. We ended up calling a band. Thank god i really didn't want a dj............
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

For years I did this for a living. The main thing to remember is that you are in the "People Business". Be flexible and ALWAYS polite even if you have issues to deal with. Remember that the bride and her family (especially Mom) think this is the biggest day of her life and the slightest offense or oversight will be taken as a direct attack and make you the enemy. They don't call them Bridezilla for nothing. Lots of good suggestions already mentioned from the music aspect so I won't belabor that. Just remember that you will be required to play all kinds of music. Start building a huge library of repertoire because you never know when you're going to be required to play something completely out of your usual comfort zone. Stress to all your members that it is essential to be timely and and dressed appropriately. Clean pressed clothes, shined shoes, personal cleanliness etc. are essential. Most times the hosts will be very cordial and invite you to eat or drink. I would discourage that other than perhaps a soft drink or water. You are working, not partying. Be professional and act like it. Remember that you are likely performing for potential new customers too so have contact and promotional material along with your schedule calendar handy.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

In wedding band many things are there for Do's and Dont's. The things which are DO are speeches short and sweet, preferably spaced out, food choices, not just a set menu, with vegetarian options etc., and things which are not do are blaring music that makes the wedding sound like a night club, no clear schedule of events, leaving people to wonder when something is going to happen and many more are there. While follow these things we may a happy moment with wedding band persons also.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Some oldie-but-goodie, "We've all been there" videos...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11GEx-PyNAc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyHuN...feature=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lftXj...eature=related
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

better off getting some turntables and increasing your % of $.

I've come to believe that when you consider the $ before the opportunity, then all you get is $.

There are more lucrative things...and more satisfying venues....let them eat DJ.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florian View Post
you really want to be a wedding band? hoo-fah. That, to me, is the worst gig out there.


F
Is it the earlier hours, better pay, automatically crazy happy audience, or the free food & drink that bothers you?

Wedding dos and tips:
Ad in the wedding planner.
Get cordial with venue owners, they recommend a lot of vendors to brides.
Treat venues as your customer, as well as the bride, and take great care of bartenders and the dressing room. Don't smoke at their front door, that kind of thing.
Weddings are usually attended by several young couples about to get married, so shake hands, hand out business cards, and ask for the business at the end of sets.
When you're speaking, say the bride and groom's name. So many bands say "And now the groom will dance with his mother", very lame.
I worked with a guy who liked to re-name the band on the spot after the groom. 'We are the such and such band, also known as the Bob Groom Studio Orchestra".
If you can't get into the whole people side of doing weddings and don't like the game that should be played to flourish, then don't do weddings.
Develop your set list by how successful the song was, drop the dogs after a time or two of failure to cause dancing.
And play "I Will Survive", the ladies will hit the floor like drunken strippers.
Charge a lot. Seriously, the "til we get our foot in the door" tactic is a sucker's move, the lowest price you'll play for becomes the highest price you'll play for.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Never played a wedding, but I got married (for the 2nd time) last year and my wife wanted a rock band at the reception. All the band members were our friends and we got a good discount, but I upped it a bit just to show my appreciation.

Friends or not, what they did wrong that sorted ticked us off:
1) went out behind the reception hall and lit up a coupla joints in plain sight of our guests before they played,
2) started late,
3) didn't have some equipment they should have had; they had to spend time rigging up a workaround.
4) the lead guitar player let someone sit in for him for several songs. The other guy was good, but we paid for our original band members to play.

Don't be these guys. Be respectful of everyone and act like you are talking to the Bride's grandparents if you engage in any conversation with wedding guests.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:40 AM
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Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Never played a wedding but my band played a couple of weddings earlier this year when I wasn't available. Our singer has done a lot of filming and photography for weddings in the past and based on some of his rants I imagine his advice would be simple:

DO avoid playing weddings
DON'T play weddings

:)
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Ha, I just realized how old this topic is, and that I answered it twice lol. There's a drummer joke in there somewhere just waiting to be born.
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  #32  
Old 08-29-2012, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Wedding bands are just like wedding photographers.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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Originally Posted by rogue_drummer View Post
Wedding bands are just like wedding photographers.
Since I do both, but not at the same time, enlighten me. :)

Dennis
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  #34  
Old 08-30-2012, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Make sure the band get fed at the wedding.
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  #35  
Old 08-30-2012, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

To emphasize what was said:

You are there for them. To make their event special. It's not a concert or even a club date.

You are likely to be venue wall paper. If you can get some folks in the audience excited great. But don't force it. I once played a CEO's birthday party and it seemed like they were ignoring us. But we kept plugging along and ended up with a bonus.

Don't be offended if you are asked to otherwise remain invisible. Again, this is someone else's thing. If the event coordinator tells you to enter and exit though the kitchen, use the opportunity to make friends with the staff in there (maybe get some good food on the side out of the deal).

Deep set list, Real Books or iPad app. Be ready for anything. I did a wedding once that was a throw together mercenary casual from our perspective. Just play Brick House and funk jams in E for people to dance to. The bandleaders wife was doing the MC and announced that the band was going to play a James Taylor song that was the couple's favorite. The bass player was late and nobody had a chart for that song. While she was talking the singer confirmed he knew enough to fake it and keyboard player and I (playing guitar on that gig) each grabbed a piece of paper and started writing down what we thought it was. A quick conference and in less than a minute we were counting it down and getting though it for the happy couple.

Corollary to the above. In the last corporate band I played in we would work with the event coordinator to field 4-5 special requests which we would learn (if we didn't already do them) for the gig. This helped expand the book and made the customer feel special.

We've all seen that video of the wedding band with the drummer going crazy on a double bass kit. You probably won't have much room unless it's a large corporate event. And you won't likely be playing Innagaddavida. So a small 4 piece kit is probably sufficient.

Have spares for everything in the car. Not only for when things break, but you never know. At a Pebble Beach wedding once, the event coordinator comes running in ranting about "Where is the jazz quartet out on the beach?". Bandleader pulls out his copy of the contract and shows her where no such thing was specified. Now, we could have brought extra rigs and put a few folks down there to play some background jazz, for more money of course. But nobody asked. I was able to set up some extra PA stuff and play a lite jazz playlist from my iPod and they were glad to have that.

Which reinforces the whole everything in the contract. Start and stop times. Cost for overtime. And so on.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:32 AM
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Florian Florian is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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Originally Posted by Spreggy View Post
Is it the earlier hours, better pay, automatically crazy happy audience, or the free food & drink that bothers you?

Wedding dos and tips:
Ad in the wedding planner.
Get cordial with venue owners, they recommend a lot of vendors to brides.
Treat venues as your customer, as well as the bride, and take great care of bartenders and the dressing room. Don't smoke at their front door, that kind of thing.
Weddings are usually attended by several young couples about to get married, so shake hands, hand out business cards, and ask for the business at the end of sets.
When you're speaking, say the bride and groom's name. So many bands say "And now the groom will dance with his mother", very lame.
I worked with a guy who liked to re-name the band on the spot after the groom. 'We are the such and such band, also known as the Bob Groom Studio Orchestra".
If you can't get into the whole people side of doing weddings and don't like the game that should be played to flourish, then don't do weddings.
Develop your set list by how successful the song was, drop the dogs after a time or two of failure to cause dancing.
And play "I Will Survive", the ladies will hit the floor like drunken strippers.
Charge a lot. Seriously, the "til we get our foot in the door" tactic is a sucker's move, the lowest price you'll play for becomes the highest price you'll play for.
the ONLY redeeming thing about a wedding band MIGHT be the earlier hours, but my gigs usually end earlier than wedding gigs. Better pay - not so much at all. Automatically happy audience - maybe, but I dont like drunks on stage with me or bouncing off my stuff. Free food and drink, I can get at least one of the two when I play.
Weddings, meh, no thanks.

F
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Since I do both, but not at the same time, enlighten me. :)

My apologies, I should have explained better. Grin.

Both photogs and musicians are hired guns. Do what the bride and groom want, or whomever is paying your fee. You are there to do a job. Be professional about it. Don't go into it expecing anything other than payment. Don't go expecting to be fed. Don't go into the deal expecting to pick up any unattached bridesmaids or female wedding guests (but if they approach YOU and seem interested, then by all means, all forms of wedding etiquette are out the window. Go for it!)

If you are the band, don't get po'd if nobody pays attention to you whilst playing. They are there for the bride and groom; not you. You are overhead. Keep egos in check at all times. Be there when they want. Set up where they want. If they ask you a question about songs, setting up, ect, THEN give your professional, honest answer. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I've been to a number of weddings over the years where the band almost ruined the reception for some of the reasons stated above. The band was set at ear blistering volumns and ignored requests to turn down because "it's their art", the band was very late, the band got all po'd and pitched a temper tantrum because nobody was dancing, etc.

As for wedding photographers, sadly I've seen egomaniacs who show up dressed totally inappropriately in filthy clothing, smelling, unkept because "they are artists". Or they have an attitude problem because even though they are paid to do a job, they can't seem to take orders and direction from the person paying them and get po'd when told what to do or what shots to take or NOT take.

The moronic photographer hired for my older brother's wedding years ago damned near ruin the entire wedding because he was VERY late and very obnoxious about it, claiming he had a "prior" engagement. He knew plenty of time ahead what time to be there and where the gig was.

You never know who is in the wedding party looking for a band for their next function or as a wedding band.
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Last edited by rogue_drummer; 08-30-2012 at 10:51 PM.
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  #38  
Old 08-30-2012, 11:42 PM
boltzmann's brain boltzmann's brain is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thud View Post
I used to be a wedding photographer. 2 bits of advice.

1. Make sure you get paid in advance. Often the money runs out on the big day and you get fobbed off.

2. If there's a family brawl... don't stop playing!
unless instructed to by the bride's mother. DAMHIK.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thud View Post
2. If there's a (family) brawl... don't stop playing!
This is actually good advice anywhere. Especially in bars. Draw people's attention away from the fight and let the staff handle it.

When I played 6 nights a week we had a standing high energy song set that we would automatically go into if a fight broke out. Didn't matter if we were in the middle of a ballad or on break. Get up on stage and do it. Even though it was a mellow club, being in the middle of a tourist trap (Waikiki) you never knew when some joker was going to start something.

The other thing was to try and avoid watching, anything that focuses people's attention where they shouldn't be. Get them out of the aisles and on the dance floor. Less lawsuits that way.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:45 AM
Aubrey Aubrey is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

I just want to say you here that wedding is the special moment of your life and comes only one time in your life so make it
special and organize your wedding function by the Master of Ceremonies because they are organized your wedding
function very best and make it memorable and also arrange a Band for you weeding to make more enjoyable
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