Thursday, April 22, 2010

When Your Client Isn’t the Bride-Part 3

This is the last in a 3-part series on the ups and downs with working with a client that is not the bride.

When Your Client is the Mother of the Bride, the Groom, or Other Family and Friends of the Bride

These people, the bride’s loved ones, are emotionally connected to the wedding details, unlike booking agents or wedding coordinators.

Most of the musicians I interviewed had no problems or issues working with the mothers of brides, or any of her family and friends, for that matter. They typically do not hover about musicians on the wedding day, because they are part of the wedding party and busy tending to other activities. As long as they are speaking for the best interests of the bride and groom, family members are a pleasure to work with.

The trouble arises when a loved one, typically the mother of the bride or the mother of the groom, makes decisions about your services without consulting with the bride and groom first. Then she is no longer working for the wedding couple’s best interests.

It’s rare when a conflict of interest arises between the wedding couple and the person who actually hired me. When it does, I try to be as diplomatic as possible. I listen to the bride’s concerns and then explain my situation: Her mother signed my contract, and therefore, I must follow her instructions. Then I ask the bride if she can discuss the issue with her mother and come to a mutual agreement.

The person who signs my contract has “veto power.” That’s the way it is, legally. So, I take the time to explain this to the bride and groom if differences of opinion come up. Open communication is the key.

I’ve barely touched the surface of the problems that can arise at weddings and how to solve them.

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

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