Wedding Gigs

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MonkeyboneMonkeybone Frets: 275
Very quick gig related question: I've been asked to play a wedding party, and I don't know how much to charge. I'm a solo singer/guitarist, and usually charge £150 for 2 hours music at pubs. What would be the general consensus on fees for weddings?

My band - Crimson on Silver  For sale - Blackstar HT-5S

Gear - Guitars, amps, effects and shizz. Edited for Phil_aka_Pip, who is allergic to big long lists.

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  • lustycourtierlustycourtier Frets: 3351
    much travel involved? If near home at least, double, if not treble. You may also need liability insurance and everything PAT tested 
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  • nero1701nero1701 Frets: 1487
    Other things to consider.

    Early set up as they dont want you there faffing around during the meal ect, they want you to turn up and play, this also may mean turning up the next day to strip down and pack up.

    We usually charge £800 for 3x45 minute sets for a std gig, and £12-1500 for weddings.

    Liability insurance, pat testing, sound check, PA and lighting unless you have your own.


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  • StratavariousStratavarious Frets: 3714
    edited March 14
    solo.. use MU rate card as a minimum,.. cover travel, time, late finish, etc.  suspect in the £400-700 ballpark if a longish day with some travel.

    https://musiciansunion.org.uk/working-performing/gigs-and-live-performances/live-engagement-rates-of-pay/national-gig-rates

    +1 venue may ask for PAT.. you can do that yourself though and factor in insurance to cover claims if you/they need to cancel, etc. 
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  • MonkeyboneMonkeybone Frets: 275
    It's not overly far away. I am looking in to public liability and PAT testing. PA is sorted, but I don't have lighting...

    My band - Crimson on Silver  For sale - Blackstar HT-5S

    Gear - Guitars, amps, effects and shizz. Edited for Phil_aka_Pip, who is allergic to big long lists.

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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 3337
    Very much what @nero1701 said - they're paying for your day not just your performance period and that can be a 12 hr day!

    Venues may ask for all those other things, too, (PAT Testing, Liability). As you're a solo performer, the stage/performance area size may not be much of an issue but should ask about that and ensure you can fit your set up, have sufficient plugs nearby so that you're not trailing leads etc and they'll probably need to be taped down. You should also enquire if there's a Decibel Meter in the place.

    As a Groomsman for a mate's wedding later in the year, I've just secured a 5-piece function band for him playing either 3 x 45 mins sets or 2 x 1hr - they're charging £2400. On the basis of that what we charged a few years ago, asking £500-700 would not be unreasonable.

    For yourself, you would need somewhere to change and relax/hang out as you could have a long wait, something to eat and drink (not usually the same as the guests, but sandwiches or a platter).

    All the best

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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 9893
    edited March 14
    I'm not a wedding band (although do have a couple of gigs where I am doing some singing after my main job of piano background music) and I'd echo what others have said about all the differences to straight forward pub gigs adding up to a very different fee. 

    Travel, waiting around between set up and performances, learning specific songs for the booking (I learn new music for pretty much every single booking, did 30 bookings last year...), health and safety requirements like PAT and PLI etc, set down times and late journeys back are all factors. For example to play a ceremony, I charge £230. People often see that as me charging £230 for half an hours work playing 4 tunes, but as nobody in their right mind would get married in Birmingham, I'm usually travelling an hour, 15 mins to set up, I'm helping them to choose their preferred tunes, I'm transcribing them and arranging them for piano and to fit the format, I'm typing it all up and practising it so it's perfect for the day etc. 

    You may also need to do a reconnaissance as they're likely to have their own on site restrictions or peculiarities, such as sound metering and locations of suitable plugs etc. Not just a case of turning up to a pub and letting rip (I know there's slightly more to it than that but you know what I mean)

    I don't think the food thing is necessarily something to charge for as you'd still eat if you weren't there and you'll have plenty of time to sort your own food out - if they choose to feed you as well then that's nice but definitely not something to expect. 
    Please note my communication is not very good, so please be patient with me
    soundcloud.com/thecolourbox-1
    youtube.com/@TheColourboxMusic
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 10471
    I think £300 is about right, £350 would be better. 

    Don't go in too cheap. If you don't value yourself then they won't either. When we first started doing weddings 20 years ago we were cheap and got all kinds of hassle. Shoved in corners, playing to limiters, not being able to get in and set up etc. When we started being really expensive everything changed,  because the bride and groom weren't having anyone hassle or compromise the band they broke the budget for.  
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 9893
    Danny1969 said:
    I think £300 is about right, £350 would be better. 

    Don't go in too cheap. If you don't value yourself then they won't either. When we first started doing weddings 20 years ago we were cheap and got all kinds of hassle. Shoved in corners, playing to limiters, not being able to get in and set up etc. When we started being really expensive everything changed,  because the bride and groom weren't having anyone hassle or compromise the band they broke the budget for.  
    Very true!
    Please note my communication is not very good, so please be patient with me
    soundcloud.com/thecolourbox-1
    youtube.com/@TheColourboxMusic
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  • RickLucasRickLucas Frets: 406
    Generally speaking, they are more hassle than a regular gig so I wouldn't feel bad about charging more.

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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 31689
    We charge double for wedding gigs. 

    I decided to do that a few years ago for the simple reason that I hate them, but actually doubling the price means we do much nicer wedding gigs now. 
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 3145
    Don't get the charge double for a wedding gig, I do charge for the extra time and hassle like any other normal gig. That said if someone's been to your gig and asked you to play then the above applies, if however it is a fancy wedding venue which approaches you fill your boots!
    @monkeybone if you need your gear PAT tested give me a shout in Shepton 
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • borntohangborntohang Frets: 159
    "Wedding" is Latin for 'stick a zero on the end'.

    Jokes aside, you charge more because unfortunately wedding planning turns reasonable people into micromanaging lunatics, and the barman at the Dog & Duck rarely goes into screaming hysterics because you wore a shirt that didn't match their theme for the evening or took ten minutes longer setting up than planned.

    I don't mind doing them and generally the actual wedding couples have been lovely, but venue managers have an amazing ability to get on my tits. "Here's the five square feet of floorspace you'll be playing on today, shall we say start the music in fifteen minutes?".
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  • JonnyBgoodeJonnyBgoode Frets: 118
    I charged £250 min for weddings as a soloist (Spanish guitar), for gigs within an hour of home, that involved  'reasonable' expectations. For extra distance  I added more.

    It was a huge relief to pack it in!
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  • MonkeyboneMonkeybone Frets: 275
    An update: the couple are happy with my fee f £300, I now have public liability insurance, PAT testing is on my to do list.

    My band - Crimson on Silver  For sale - Blackstar HT-5S

    Gear - Guitars, amps, effects and shizz. Edited for Phil_aka_Pip, who is allergic to big long lists.

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  • RolandRoland Frets: 8775
    … wedding planning turns reasonable people into micromanaging lunatics ...
    This could be a thread on its own.. I have fond memories of the event planner who wanted all branding removed, including our backdrop. Who remembers the London 2012 closing ceremony where Pete Townshend had gaffer tape over the logos on his cabinets?
    Tree recycler, and guitarist with  https://www.undercoversband.com/.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 10471
    An update: the couple are happy with my fee f £300, I now have public liability insurance, PAT testing is on my to do list.
    PL is around £25 a year .... I use insure4Music 

    Any competent person can PAT test and there's actually no legal requirement to do so but to keep Hotels and such happy you need to  inspect the condition of your cables, plugs and mains inlets of your equipment for wear and damage. Then test the earth continuity of all devices that are earthed. Test the insulation between live and earth and put those results on a spreadsheet and email it in to them. I have a proper Fluke tester but you can run these basic tests with a multimeter. 

    I have mixed feelings about PAT testing as in some cases it can make equipment more dangerous and it won't show up the dangers with modern SMPS designs that have cut corners ... for example won't show up there's no proper component isolation or cuts in PCB  between primary side and secondary side in something like a PA speaker or monitor. 

    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 31689
    Don't get the charge double for a wedding gig,
    It's simply because I don't want to do them. :)
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 3145
    p90fool said:
    Don't get the charge double for a wedding gig,
    It's simply because I don't want to do them. :)
    That gets a wisdom!
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 3145
    Whatever we think of PAT, to get certain gigs you have to have the certificate, and I don’t really understand the reticence of people not having their gear checked by a competent person once a year even if it is themselves. The problem comes with finding a competent person and not getting ripped off on cost. I charge by the hour as opposed to per item, because some items take longer than others , and some can be simply fixed if they fail then passed, and some like most guitar pedals and fx don’t need to be tested but their power supplies do. Passive cabs and rack cases certainly don’t need to be!
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 3595
    p90fool said:
    Don't get the charge double for a wedding gig,
    It's simply because I don't want to do them. :)
    That gets a wisdom!
    I call it the ar#eache factor. Everything’s fine until the brides friend or mother or auntie or whoever gets involved. Suddenly your time is doubled and they need lab mics for the speeches and specific playback at exactly the right time and expect a disco type service in the breaks and…we haven’t done the ….yet!
    Weddings also feature the amature drinkers and new parents that haven’t partied in months/years and might be a right pain. Lots of extra pitfalls. 
    So price for a fuller professional service or carry production and charge for it.
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