Friday, September 25, 2009

The Right Mindset-The Bride is the Star, Not You

Performing at weddings is much more than simpy playing well. It's more then creating a lovely atmosphere for tying the knot, and it's more than supplying the right party music to get people up and dancing at a reception. Unlike other gigs where you can play any tune you wish within a certain sytle, this is the bride's big day and she is in charge. She gets to select the special music that will make her day magical. This requires clear communication between the bride and the musicians.

This might sound easy at first. So, you just explain to the bride what selections you can perform, she chooses, and then you show up at the wedding and play. Just like any other gig, right? Not so fast...

The bride is unlikely to have hosted or coordinated other big events in the past and therefore will be inexperineced in event planning. Because of this fact, she may have very different expectations of what you can and cannot play, where you can set up, how to pay you, and so on.

The wedding itself, and the planning of it, can be an emotional rollercoaster for a bride. Often she'll hold a picture in her mind of her perfect wedding, and she'll do anything for her wedding day to match her fantasy. She'll enter into wedding planning with these expectations, while she is wrestling with the expectations of her fiance', her parents, and her future in-laws. Sometimes a bride will crack under this pressure, rendering her nervous, indecisive, or overly concerned with non-essential details.

Accept the very real stress a bride may be under and hold her hand through this process. Educate her about what you need from her, from music selection to the kind of performance area that you require, Don't assume she is experienced with party planning. It's also good to do this even with a bride who will be having a smaller wedding, eloping, and getting marrided for a second time, or simply renewing her vows. This bride may be more flexible and relaxed, but she still needs to have the same level of communication with you as a nervous and excited bride with big wedding plans.

Wedding muiscians are an important member of a team of wedding vendors consisting of the celebrant, the event coordinator, the banquet manager, the photographer, the videographer, and any number of other service providers. We all work together to make the bride's day memorable. Wedding musicians are part of the bride's "supporting cast". We are not interested in upstaging or stealing the spotlight from her. She is the star on her wedding day.

Copyright © 2008 by Anne Roos, excerpt from "The Musician's Guide to Brides: How to Make Money Playing Weddings", published by Hal Leonard Books. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced in any form, without written permission, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review.

Hundreds of additional tips, are available for musicians (and all entrepreneurs) in my book, "The Musician's Guide to Brides" available wherever Hal Leonard Books are sold: music and bookstores, and through online retailers including,, Sylvia Woods Harp Center catalog, and of course, at my website at Celtic Harp Music by Anne Roos

No comments: