Post # 1
I’m in a pickle about what to do here. We are on a tight budget for our wedding, so to cut costs, we asked one of my good friends to play violin during the ceremony. Friend = Free! But as time went by, we eventually asked one of her musician friends to also play during the ceremony. We said we’d pay him but that number was unclear til now. At first, I thought we could get away with $100 since he’s only actually playing for 5 mins before and 5 mins after (the wedding ceremony). Also, since it’s a friend of a friend, we’d get a friend discount. Now it seems like my friends wants us to pay at least $200! Is that a bit too steep? I feel like I could hire an actual professional for about the same. Plus, he’ll be on the keyboards, not a real piano. We also thought about letting him stay for dinner (over $100 per head) instead of cash or with less cash.
Any advice or previous experience would be SO SO SO greatly appreciated!! TIA!
Post # 3
Yeah, that seems like alot to me and I work with alot of musicians.
Post # 4
Do you think it’s regional? I feel like everything in LA is more expensive… sigh.
Post # 5
Yes, $200 for just 10 minutes seems far too much!
Post # 7
I agree that is unreasonably expensive. My mom is a ceremony musician (but also a professional member of an orchestra), and they charge $150 per musician for an hour. Granted it is in a less expensive area, but still… If you are going to spend that much anyways, hire a professional. Maybe a cellist…my parents sometimes perform as a violin/cello duo and that works out well!
Post # 8
Oh, thanks everyone for being so helpful! I feel better now that I heard even those in the business charge less than that! Now it’s just a matter of letting him (and more importantly, my friend!) know.
Post # 9
When you let them know, you don’t have to accuse them of being too expensive or trying to rip you off. You can just let them know that unfortunately you can’t hire them because you can’t afford their fee and your tight budget only allows you to spend $100 on ceremony music.
Post # 10
@gcwest: Good wording. I usually just say ‘I love your work, unfortunately, you are out of my budget’ Be prepared for them to come back with ‘What’s your budget?’ so you can tell them. Good luck.
Post # 11
I don’t think the cost is outrageous. Although they will only be playing for around 10 mins, they will need to block out a couple hours of their day. Also, are you planning to have them play prelude music? Anything before the wedding actually starts? Our organist had a set fee of $200.
Post # 12
Well… unfortunately, even if they’re only actually playing for a few minutes, you still have to pay them for their time (which is the whole ceremony). And I also really doubt you’ll be able to find someone who does this professionally to charge any less (trust me, it’s how I made money when I was still in school).
My advice would be a) don’t pay one person and not the other, it just seems to me in bad form, and b) use a recording since they’ll be playing on a keyboard.
Post # 13
Well, one is my actual friend. She’s actually in the bridal party. And she insisted that she didn’t get paid, but I will gift her in another way. The other is her friend that she really likes to play with. So it’s not really “hiring” and not being able to afford him. He isn’t normally a performer and doesn’t do gigs. The payment is basically a “thank-you” for doing this for us. We are leaning towards a cash gift of about $150 or dinner, which is about the same.