5 Years in a Row

Five years ago we decided that we would start working with The Knot and Wedding Wire to expand the number of weddings that we were doing. We did our research and decided that even though both of these services would cost money out of our pockets, it would probably be worth it in the long run.

Both services have a feature that encourages wedding vendors to solicit their clients to write a review of their experience with them. I'm sure that the average bride gets a lot of requests for these reviews. Unfortunately these requests come at a time when they are starting their new life as a married couple. It's easy to imagine how busy they are.

Lucky for us, we have worked with a lot of clients that understand how important it is for the vendor to collect reviews. This is a powerful marketing tool for future clients and it is reassuring for the future client to see a historical record of good service from a vendor. Our clients have been willing to take the time to write a review about our work for them. I think this is a testament to the importance of music during a wedding ceremony and the bond that we develop as we work with a client to plan the music for their day. 

Wedding Wire and The Knot both have awards that recognize the vendors that have collected a specified number of reviews during the year. In our five year history on these websites we have won these awards every year. Even though playing music at a wedding is work, it's a job that is easy to love. There is something special about being with a group of people on such a happy day in their lives.

Thanks to all of our previous clients and we are looking forward to five more years of winning these awards. 

Posted on December 3, 2017 .

Time Off

Typically the months of January through March are not busy months for actual weddings. However that doesn't mean we are not working hard. There are new songs to learn, arrangements to write and of course the never ending scramble to fill up the calendar with new clients.

We typically attend several wedding shows during this timeframe. These shows can be stressful because they are expensive for the vendors and you feel like you have to generate some business to make it worthwhile. After several years of doing wedding shows welearned that the best approach for us was to just concentrate on playing music. We have several ladies that help us in the booth. They talk to the clients, check calendars, take deposits and let us play music.

In a typical show we will get the request to play Canon In D about 30 times. This can become tedious except when you watch the faces of the listener. Obviously they are caught up in a emotional moment, trying to plan a wedding and choose things to make that day perfect. More often that not someone will start crying during that song. It has happened so many times we have learned to put a box of tissues on the table.

That is the power of music, it can provoke deep emotions even in a crowded convention center!

Posted on March 4, 2016 .

Plan B

2015 was our best year so far. We played over 40 weddings, played several concerts, private events and lots of gigs in local wine bars, restaurants and coffee shops. We also became a provider partner with Alexander Homestead. We are very proud and happy to be on the team at this great venue.  This on top of working our "regular jobs". Why would anyone work this hard? Because we love playing music.

We did learn a few things this year that can be the difference between a successful event and a disaster. Lots of brides love the idea of an outdoor wedding. If nature cooperates it can be a beautiful thing.  The Spring and Summer of 2015 was pretty dry; if the planned event was outside, rain was not an issue.

However, temperature was an issue for a couple of events as we got further into the Summer. Please think of your guests, especially if they are elderly when you are planning your outdoor wedding at 5pm in July. Try to provide some shade and definitely supply lots of cold water. Have someone keep an eye on grandma, nothing spoils a wedding like a visit from the local EMS!

Also if your wedding is outdoors and you want your guests to be able to hear the minister, take the plunge and rent a microphone from either the DJ or your musicians. The human voice does not really project when you are speaking in a normal tone and you are in the great outdoors. No one past the first row is going to be able to hear your vows without a microphone. It's good technology, use it :).

The fall of 2015 was a completely different situation, it seemed every wedding that we played in October was in the rain. Make sure your venue is prepared to deal with this. A large tent is a minimum, a tent with sides and a floor and some climate control is optimum. Don't expect your musicians to set up their instruments in the rain, or on soggy ground, or on the edge of the shelter with rain blowing in.

A harp can cost from $15,000 to $30,000. If you had this much invested in the tools of your trade, would you take them out in the rain?

We are looking forward to 2016, with lots of weddings on the books already. Thanks to all of our clients, past, present and future.

Posted on November 30, 2015 .

"I want my friend to sing a song during the wedding"

We are hired primarily as an instrumental group. We can sing but it seems that most of our clients are looking for just music during their ceremony. Sometimes we get a request to accompany a singer that is a "friend". I know a lot of musicians that specifically do not want to do this. There are valid reasons for not wanting to do it. It is more work for the musician and it introduces an unknown element into the day.

My thinking on this has changed over the years. For me it boils down to what the client wants. Presumably they know what to expect from their friend or they wouldn't ask them to be in the service. Even if the performance is less than perfect the important thing is that the client is getting what they wanted on their day. BTW I can just about guarantee that any live performance is going to be less than perfect!

The one thing that we insist on when a client introduces a singer or another musician into the mix is a rehearsal session. This gives everyone the best chance to deliver a quality product on the day of the wedding. It also gives us a chance to meet each other and hopefully feel more comfortable with each other on the big day.

This year we have had the opportunity to work with several really great singers. In a recent wedding a lady from the bridal party was going to sing the song " 1000 years". She was from out of state and could not meet with us until the day before the wedding. We did our homework up front to make sure that our arrangements matched. The bride to be and the entire bridal party came to our home for the practice session. After the first run through we knew this was going to be a special performance.

When we were finished with that song the bride to be and two of the brides maids started singing an acapalla version of a hymn. The three part harmony was tight and the sound was amazing. Turns out they were in a vocal group together in college. After we heard the level of musicianship that the client had, we were very happy that she had selected us to be her wedding musicians. Here's a video of the performance we did with Mavis Bortey-Fio. 

A Thousand Years  

Now there was that one time when we had a singer that sang the entire song in a different key than we had rehearsed....but that is another story!

 

 

 

 

Posted on August 28, 2015 .

Opening Blog

The Wedding Musician's Blog August 13, 2015

 

We are looking forward to the upcoming wedding show at The Charlotte Convention Center on Sunday August 16.  last year we booked 6 wedding on the day of the show and several more the week after the show.

Its fun to meet with new potential clients and watch their reactions as we play music. It seems that Canon in D is the song that makes the brides and the mothers of the brides burst into tears. This happens so often that we place a box of tissues on the table in our booth.

The show runs from noon to 5 pm. Stop by our booth and say hi.