(Closed) Is it rude to hire someone I know to play the piano?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Is it rude to hire her for money?
    rude : (0 votes)
    it's perfectly fine : (29 votes)
    83 %
    invite her as a guest if you want her to perform : (6 votes)
    17 %
  • Post # 3
    7311 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

    No, not rude at all. Treat it as though you are hiring a vendor. You just happen to know this vendor a little bit. No big deal. In fact, this person may be flattered that you think so highly of her musical ability that you want to hire her for such an important role. Just make sure you have a contract drawn up that clearly explains the services to be delivered and any other expectations you have (e.g. appropriate attire, show up for rehearsal, show up 30 minutes prior to ceremony start time, etc.).

    Post # 4
    722 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @moiraine:  I don’t think it’s rude, it would be the same situation as an officiant or photographer. you’re hiring them but not necessarily inviting them to the wedding (more the officiant than the photographer)

    Post # 5
    472 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Not rude at all.  Our band in the evening is friends of mine.  We’re paying them and they’re not guests.

    Post # 7
    2070 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    I don’t think it’s rude, especially if you aren’t close enough that she’d expect to be invited as a guest. I do think you’ll need to be very clear about treating her like your other suppliers (eg drawing up a contract as a PP mentioned).

    Does she play professionally? In this case, I think it would be rude NOT to offer to pay her.

    I see you are in Germany – in the UK there is a musician’s union with a website showing the average pay for different types of musicians. This helped me work out what to offer my organist. I’m sure there will be something similar in Germany which could be useful for you.

    I have asked my friend to play the organ for us but because he is a professional I have offered to pay him (using the website I just mentioned for guidance). I would hate for him to miss out on earning money playing elsewhere because he is playing for me instead. However my situation is slightly different because I will also be inviting him and his Girlfriend to the reception.

    Post # 8
    56 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - local park

    I don’t know the going rate for wedding musicians in your location, but as a professional musician, I charge $150 for a 1 hour wedding.  To me, that includes the rehearsal if you want me to show up (1 hour), and some prelude music (usually 15 minutes, and I show up 10ish minutes before that) as well as the ceremony music.  Even while I was a student, I would never have been offended for someone asking me to play in their wedding, but make sure ahead that they know they’re getting paid (sometimes it’s awkward if it’s someone you know- you sometimes think they assume it’s going to be for free and that can put you in a weird place if you don’t want to do it).  You can ask what they would charge- that wouldn’t have offended me.  Just a bit of advice from a wedding musician in the States. 🙂  Also, I do know that I’m pretty inexpensive for my location. 🙂

    Post # 9
    5955 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    It’s not rude at all, but if your aquaintances with her it might feel awkward to not invite her to the reception.


    Post # 10
    9954 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Etiquette Snob here… lol

    No not Rude at all… she’d be just like any other Vendor… except this is someone you know of (and their work / talents) first hand

    So totally acceptable.

    And just like any other Vendor you’d need to lay out your Expectations clearly, as well as both come to an agreement to all the details, AND SIGN A CONTRACT (that is the Professional thing to do)

    If it is only for the Ceremony, then it would be clear that she wouldn’t be invited to the Reception

    (Altho if she came to the Rehearsal, you / The Hosts would want to most likely extend an invite to the Rehearsal Dinner… especially so if you have a relationship with her at all… it would be the courteous thing to do)

    If she were to perform at the Wedding Reception (nice to have soft piano music during Dinner), then again you’d treat her like a Vendor… and it would be appropriate to also provide some food & refreshment for her.  If she was a “friend” you could always ask her stay on afterwards.

    Hope this helps,


    Post # 11
    4656 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @moiraine:  I think it would be MORE rude to invite her as a guest and then give her a job to do… if you’re paying her, it’s not rude at all. (But I’d make sure you get your agreement in writing, just in case of some problem. I hear sooo many friendor horror stories)

    Post # 12
    1511 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    @Bebealways:  Agreed.

    @moiraine:  One of my close friends/roommates from college hired one of my ex-boyfriends to play piano at her wedding a few years ago.  (It was a little awkward for me since I was there with my now fiance, but she did warn me ahead of time!  Haha.)  She’s not particularly close with him, but he is a very talented pianist … So she asked him to play and he agreed.  She paid him, but I’m not sure if she had any type of contract in place.  I do think that’s a great idea just so it’s all there in black and white.

    Otherwise, it’s not rude at all!  I think I’d be flattered if someone thought I was talented enough to perform at his/her wedding … And getting some extra cash for my effort wouldn’t be bad either.  Smile

    Post # 14
    107 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I’m hiring the brother of one of the groomsmen as the photographer, because, while I’ve hung out socially with him, he would not have been invited to the wedding. I’ve been hired as a musician at the weddings of acquaintances, and thought nothing of it. 

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