Monday, July 28, 2008

How You Can Afford Live Music for Your Wedding!

There is nothing more special than having musicians present to
perform for your wedding and reception. Hiring musicians is not
just about having wonderful music to accompany your wedding
activities-it's also about having a performance to watch. Your
guests will certainly enjoy watching a musician performing rather
than watching someone pushing the play button on an iPod stereo.

Conventional thought is that musicians will charge more than DJs.
This is not necessarily the case. Here are some ways to get your
musical talent for less:

  • Invite musicians to play for several wedding elements
    When you
    hire musicians to play for multiple hours, they may give you a price break for performing additional hours. Invite them to play for the ceremony AND the photo session afterwards. Or invite them to continue through cocktail hour. Or have your reception band play through dinner and then kick it up for dancing.

  • Shave off some time
    Your reception hall may want you to be
    finished by a certain time so that the staff can get in and clean up. Therefore, don't instruct your reception band play until the very last guest leaves-Instead, tell them to end a half hour before everyone needs to vacate the site. Bringing the music to an early close will give guests the signal that the party is at a close and it is time to throw the rice.

  • Go with a smaller group
    Obviously, if you hire a trio instead
    of a six-piece band, you'll be saving some money.

  • Hire musicians who can fit into your budget
    Professional wedding musicians have large repertoires and know the elements of a wedding. They may also be familiar with the staff of your service providers that you have hired (such as your celebrant and your wedding coordinator).

    If you don't have the budget for a professional, turn to student
    musicians. You won't have as many musical choices to choose from, but you'll save money. Find student musicians at local colleges and universities, or simply ask music teachers at your local full-service music store for recommendations.

  • Be careful inviting friends and family members to perform for you
    It's absolutely wonderful when your professional musician
    friend volunteers to perform at your wedding as a gift to you. You won't have to pay for the musician's services, and the musician will welcome being a part of your special party.

    It is an entirely different story if you ask an amateur musician
    friend or a close family member to perform at your wedding. You are putting that loved one on the spot-If they don't want to perform, then they may feel they'll risk hurting your feelings by turning you down. The solution: Invite amateur musician friends and loved ones to play a special song during the reception, while you give your reception band a break. At the reception, people are partying and your friends will feel more relaxed performing. Save performances during the formal wedding ceremony for professionals or experienced musician friends who volunteer to perform for you.

  • Provide amplification or nix it altogether
    Some musicians and
    bands may offer you a discount if you provide the amplification, or house sound, for them. To make this happen, you will need to have on hand an experienced sound tech to take care of the musicians' amplification needs. Here's an advantage to hiring a sound tech: they can also mike your celebrant during the wedding service.

    Or, trim your guest list so that amplification is not necessary.
    Some musicians will charge less if they don't need to haul sound equipment to your wedding.

  • Hire musicians in your geographical area
    Travel is expensive,
    and importing musicians from many miles away is, too. They will pass along the price of their gas, lodging, and meals to you. When you hire local musicians, you won't be paying that surcharge, and they are more likely to be familiar with your wedding venue.

  • Change your date
    Saturday evenings are prime time for weddings,
    and in many regions, June is the prime wedding month. To receive possible discounts on all your wedding services, including live music, plan a wedding that is off-season (during November or January, for instance) or select a weekday wedding date.
Having live music at your wedding can be affordable! If you have further ideas, be sure to let me know, so that I can pass them along to my wedding clients.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How to Make Money Playing Weddings

For Musicians Only

Within my new book, “The Musician’s Guide to Brides: How to Make Money Playing Weddings”, I introduce many ways to make wedding gigs successful gigs for all musicians. Since I fully intend to write future editions, I wanted a forum to find out what works for you at weddings. Perhaps you’ll have some additional ideas that I did not come across during the writing of my book.

So, let’s start with the first topic…From the first chapter of my book, I spell out 10 personality and skills that a musician needs to be successful at playing weddings. They are:

1. Be content with taking directions from the bride and those she appoints to oversee her wedding, no matter how strange you think her expectations of you may be.

2. Educate the bride about the services you have to offer.

3. Politely stand your own ground when necessary.

4. Possess a willingness to offer helpful suggestions about how to select wedding or reception music, without actually making up the bride’s mind for her.

5. Accept the fact that you will be performing background music while people are talking and mingling.

6. Perform smoothly and with confidence.

7. Look good. No, look GREAT!

8. Realize that you can learn from bridezilla stories, those horrible nightmares about crazy brides that you, other musicians, and wedding vendors experience from time to time.

9. Know that a positive attitude makes you a magnet for enjoyable, high-paying wedding gigs.


10. Love what you do and success will come.

My best,
Anne Roos
Celtic Harp Music by Anne Roos

And if you would like to purchase my new book, “The Musician’s Guide to Brides: How to Make Money Playing Weddings”, with 324 pages of helpful wedding gig info, you can order it from all retailers that carry Hal Leonard Books, including Barnes & Noble, Borders Stores, and

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An Introduction

Hi, I'm Anne Roos, Celtic Harp Musician and author.
As an introduction to myself, I am including a video that was taken of me in different settings. I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you,
Anne Roos
Celtic Harp Music by Anne Roos
"Beautiful music!"--United Airlines Inflight Music Service