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If you’re looking to break into the music industry to become a wedding singer, know for sure that playing at weddings can be a lucrative and fun way to do so. Weddings are joyous occasions, and many couples seek live music to make their special day even more memorable.
As a wedding singer or a member of a wedding band, you can earn good money and gain valuable experience in performing in front of a live audience. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the necessary steps to become a wedding singer.
The Benefits of Playing at Weddings
You can expect high returns once you become a wedding singer and establish yourself. Weddings are expensive affairs, and as such, many couples are willing to pay a premium for live music. As a result, wedding gigs can be highly lucrative, with bands typically charging at least $1,500 per performance and sometimes as much as $15,000 for a single night.
Moreover, playing at weddings is fun for many reasons. By the time you start playing, the stressful parts of the wedding are usually over, and everyone is in a celebratory mood. Weddings are mostly happy events, so people are more forgiving and just want to have a good time.
Getting Your Band Together
If you want to become a wedding singer, the first thing you need to do is get your band together. Generally, singers don’t get hired by themselves to play at a wedding, so you’ll need to find a group of musicians to join you. The first step is to figure out what you’ll be playing, as this will determine the instrumentation you’ll need. Ask yourself, “Will this band play a certain genre or era?” or “Does it have a theme?”
There are many variations of the classic “cover band,” from tribute acts that cover specific artists to bands that specialize in playing songs from a particular era. Regardless of what type of band you want to create, the most important thing is to compile an amazing song list that will impress potential clients.
What Instrumentation Does Your Band Need?
Once you have a rough set list, you can start hiring people for your band. The instrumentation you’ll need will depend on the songs you’ve chosen. Does your band need a keyboard player, two guitarists, or multiple singers? Consider the financial aspect as well; the more people you hire, the more you’ll need to charge to make a profit.
What Makes a Great Wedding Band Member?
To become a wedding singer and be successful in this job, you need to possess certain qualities.
Firstly, you must be good at learning and executing requests. Many couples will have a few songs they want you to play at their wedding, and you’ll need to be able to learn and perform them well. Secondly, you need to have a versatile tone on your instrument and be proficient at executing parts convincingly.
You should also be well-organized and prompt and have nice enough clothes to wear on the big day. Finally, you need to have enough free time to commit to the project entirely. If you’re too busy, you’ll have to hire substitutes often, which can be costly.
What Do You Need to Do as a Wedding Singer or Band Member?
When you become a wedding singer you’ll notice for sure that playing at weddings requires more work and organization than playing at a bar. Here are some things you need to be able to do to become a wedding singer: Learn and execute requests Play at least three sets Set up and run your sound system (if necessary) Dress appropriately for the occasion Negotiate your fee
How to Get Wedding Gigs
To get wedding gigs when you become a wedding singer, you’ll need to start playing at bars and other venues as a cover band. This will give you the experience and exposure needed to land more lucrative gigs such as weddings.
It’s important to have business cards ready to hand out and to let people know that you also do weddings. This way, you’ll be at the forefront of their minds when they start planning their big day. Additionally, some wedding bands sign up to participate in wedding shows where they showcase their live performances, share photos, videos, and hand out business cards.
These events provide a great opportunity for you to meet potential clients and build your network. Word of mouth is also a powerful tool for getting wedding gigs. As long as you’re a good band, people will recommend you to their friends and family who are getting married.
This can lead to a steady stream of gigs not just for weddings but also for other events such as office parties, Christmas parties, and events at bars.
How Much Do Wedding Singers Get Paid?
One of the biggest advantages of playing at weddings when you become a wedding singer is the amount of money you can earn. However, the amount you get paid will depend on various factors such as your experience, the size of the band, the location, and the duration of the gig.
As a general rule, a wedding should allow you to earn at least $400 per musician. This may seem like a lot of money, but keep in mind that weddings are hard work. The day is long, the sets are long, and there is often a fair bit of pressure. When you’re just starting, you may have to play for less than $400 per person.
However, once you’re established, you shouldn’t play for less than that. Some wedding singers and bands charge as much as $1,000 per person. When negotiating your rate as a band, it’s always wise to have the other party throw out a number first. If the number is higher than expected, say yes. If it’s lower, don’t be afraid to counter-offer. It’s also important to take travel into account when setting your fee.
Ensure that you won’t be dipping into the fee too much to travel to the wedding. You can also take an extra $200 into your fee for travel. If you’re bringing a sound system to the wedding, you should be charging extra for it. Tack on an additional fee for owning, hauling, and setting up the sound system. This can also be a good way to increase your rate overall.
Other Wedding Gigs
Aside from being a wedding singer or part of a wedding band, there are other money-making opportunities for musicians at weddings.
For instance, couples often hire musicians to sing them down the aisle. If you’re an instrumentalist, this may be the perfect gig for you. Jazz or classical musicians are also often hired to play during supper. If this is your specialty, you may be able to market yourself to these clients. If you’re a DJ, many couples opt for DJs during the reception to save money and have a different type of dance party.
This can be a great opportunity to show off your skills and get more gigs in the future. Regardless of where you’re performing at the wedding or what kind of musician you are, the steps to success are much the same.
To become a wedding singer learn the necessary wedding songs, start playing different gigs, and let it be known that you’re available for weddings. Negotiate a fair rate, ensure that everyone is getting paid fairly, and be professional, sharp, and most importantly, have fun. If you sound good and follow these steps, you are guaranteed to book more weddings and other gigs in the future.
Playing at weddings can be a lucrative and fulfilling career for singers and musicians. It may take some hard work and dedication to become a wedding singer and build a successful wedding band, but with the right mindset, talent, and attitude, it’s possible to earn a decent income while doing what you love.