(Closed) Should ceremony musicians come to the rehearsal? If so, do you pay them more?

posted 9 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
820 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Good question, my organist offered to come to the rehearsal. She didn’t say she would charge more but I didn’t really even think of that… oops! I’m curious what others say! 

Post # 4
513 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I think it depends on how experienced your musician is. For example, I played at my friends wedding- but I had never been to the church (so I was worried about how the sound would carry) and I never worked with the churchs pianist who was my accompanist. I actually had a separate rehearsal without the guests.

On the other hand- we hired two guitarists and a cellist for our wedding ceremony & cocktail hour. But the gentleman who is playing is a preffered vendor at our wedding venue, and has done countless weding’s there. He has a relationship with the venue and the venue’s wedding site coordinator… so he does not need to be present for the dress rehearsal. And I feel confidant in his ability to ‘roll with the punches’ since he is a professional.

I would think you would need to take into account the musicians comfort level (many can practice earlier that same day to gage what adjustments need to be made). 

And yes- if you are paying them for the ceremony, I would think that it would be courteous to pay them for a rehearal unless the whole payment includes rehearsal time and this was pre-agreed on. Musicians have other functions (i.e. rehearsals, performances) and if you take time away from them to be elsewhere where they can make money… you should pay them for their service. I am sure they would appreciate it. Unless they are your friends and don’t mind doing it off the books (so to speak).  -If you find out they had an opportunity to make money elsewhere, I would recommend you adjust your schedule to fit them because right now with the economy- musicians needs to get as many bookings as possible. And if it is perceived by other organizations/groups that the musicianist they were interested is consistantly unavailable, then the musician may lose business/callbacks.

Either your friend can go on their own to practice at the venue, or earlier in the day to your venue to get a sound check, I am sure that is sufficient. At the dress rehearsals- it’s mostly about making sure the processional and recessional walking time and order is set. The officiant spent a large amount of time discussing with the wedding party who was responsible for what and when (which they didn’t need me as the musician to be there for that portion because that was what the majority of the rehearsal entailed). When I went to my friends church- it was on a separate day. I literally had my friends mom, dad, and the coordinator walk down the aisle, just to check that the tune my friend selected matched the timing to the number of people who would be going down the aisle. 

Post # 5
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

If you ask them to come, you should pay them more — you’re making use of their time outside of the service you hired them to provide (wedding day music).  If they volunteer, it would be nice to give them a little extra, but not absolutely necessary.  Since they’re professionals, they rely on compensation for their time and talent, regardless of whether it’s a rehearsal or an actual wedding ceremony, so it would be wrong to expect them to donate that time unless they choose to do so (or if it’s included in your contract with them already).

Similarly to this, most independent officiants in my area also charge extra to do a rehearsal on the day prior to the wedding and make it pretty clear that it’s not included in the "ceremony fee" — it’s a separate service they provide upon request, for a separate fee.  Either that, or they offer packages that do or don’t include the rehearsal, and the prices are adjusted accordingly.

I don’t think it’s necessary to have the musicians at your rehearsal — at the last wedding I was in, they weren’t there during the rehearsal and everything went fine.  If you really want them to be there, you should probably ask your friend what she thinks.  Maybe just she can come down and then fill the other quartet members in on it afterward?  That would probably be easiest.

Post # 6
21 posts

Just encountered this issue yesterday! I had heard that rehearsal time costs extra, so I didn’t ask them to attend. However, my string duet offered to attend the rehearsal, no strings attached. (Ha! Sorry.) They’ve played a lot of weddings but are recent college grads and perhaps more eager to please than seasoned professionals; whatever the case, I sooo appreciated their offering that I assured them I’d have some token of appreciation for them at the rehearsal. I might give them a couple gift cards or something along those lines. (FYI, their fee for the short ceremony is $200.)

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