5 Things To Consider When Performing At A Wedding

By Matti Carter

Do you regularly perform at weddings? Do you want to know how to get the most out of performing at these types of events?

I would like to share with you some key things that I have learned about performing at weddings. As a musician, you should know that weddings are NOT regular performances. You don’t often get to perform the music that you would like to, and most of the music needs to be based on the wishes of the married couple. 

Listed below are several topics to think about when invited to play music at a wedding: 

  1. Contacting The Bride Or Groom

I recommend contacting the bride or groom well in advance. The most effective way to contact is by phone. You need to spend some time talking to them, and remember to take notes about everything. Get to know more about the wedding schedule, the venue, the amount of people, the age of the people, the style of music, the specific music you they want to hear, the dress code, the wedding dance and everything else that might be relevant. If you have something extra to offer them, be sure to present it on the phone. Your goal is to make a great first impression, so that the bride and groom will trust you and feel good about their wedding.

  • Attention To Detail

Following the brides or grooms wishes as specifically as possible will make a very positive impression during the gig. This shows that you have been listening to them and taking notes, and that you take your work seriously. Playing exactly the songs that you were asked to at the right time, dressing exactly the way you should and being precise with the timetable will make a huge difference. Sometimes they will not tell you everything that you need to know, so make sure to clearly ask about all the different details before the gig.

  • Manners

Do not be rude on the phone, and always say thank you when the time is appropriate. You need to make a great first impression, and manners certainly help you achieve that. Be polite at the venue, and congratulate the bride and groom. Be polite to everyone around you so that people will get a good perception of you. Be genuine and do not over-do it.

  • Maintaining A Good Atmosphere

Keeping the mood and general atmosphere high at weddings is very important. You definitely don’t want people to get grumpy or negative. With some audiences negativity can’t be avoided, but you can definitely have an impact on the situation. 

It is a good idea to bring a microphone with you (even if you are an instrumental act), so that you can say something positive to the audience during your performance. Before the wedding, remember to make sure that using a microphone is ok with the arranger. Also make sure that you speak into it only during appropriate times. You may not need to use the microphone a lot if there is already someone else doing a lot of announcements. Do not use the microphone too much, make sure that the musical side is the most important part of your act. 

You should also be open to socialising a little bit with other people at the event. This will improve the atmosphere of the event and make people like you. Do not overdo this either, because it might ruin the quality of your performance, which is the most important part.

  • Going The Extra Mile

People will take notice if you are extra helpful and show them that you care. For example, showing interest to check out the venue with the event organisers before the wedding day is a great way for you to not only show that you care, but also get valuable information about the venue that you did not have before. You could even visit the home of the bride or groom to be.

© Matti Carter

About The Author:

Matti Carter is a professional musician based in Helsinki, Finland. He has been performing music at weddings for many years as a pianist. He enjoys writing instructional articles about performing based on his own experiences. If you want to find out more, feel free to contact him.