Wanted: etiquette tips for performing at weddings and eventsViolinists: Recordings and Performances: I have recently started to perform (with one other violinist)for wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours and other events. I am looking for some basic, good etiquette tips, do's and don't if anyone has any to provide.
From Jennifer Mascaro
I have recently started to perform (with one other violinist)for wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours and other events. I am looking for some basic, good etiquette tips, do's and don't(s) if anyone has any to provide.
From Peter CharlesPlenty of very rude jokes about the first night of the honeymoon ...
Posted on May 19, 2012 at 06:52 PM
From John CaddTry not to join in the fights . Keep playing during the fights .
Posted on May 19, 2012 at 10:57 PM
From Gene WieDon't make bets out loud with the violist about the longevity of the marriage during the actual ceremony.
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 03:07 AM
From Laurie NilesOne good tip is to remember not to introduce yourselves to each other if you've never met! Though it's perfectly normal for professional musicians to have a different group of people assembled for various functions, it can be disconcerting to those hiring you if, say, the viola sub who has never played with your group comes in and everyone very nicely shakes hands and says, "Oh yes, so glad to meet you, have we ever played together? So glad you could make it!"
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Have readable music, especially if you are expecting everyone to sight-read.
If you are the contractor, make sure you have looked at the music before. It's nice, also, if you've read it with a group, just to know if there are any strange turns or errors in any of the charts.
Give good instructions to the musicians on how to get there. E-mail a reminder to everyone a few days before the gig.
Make sure the party is providing straight-back chairs with no arms on the chairs; remind everyone to bring a stand, know if there will be enough light, and if not, suggest bringing stand lights, make sure there is an outlet for stand lights.
If it's outdoors, make sure you have shade or shelter, or contingency plans for rain.
For a wedding, know when you have to play, and plan in advance what you will play. That's not as important for "filler" music before and after, but during the ceremony, it's important.
From Emily HogstadHave a contract saying how much you expect. Spell the financial side of the arrangement out very clearly so there is as little room for misunderstanding as possible.
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I always send a little note to the bride and groom afterward, congratulating them and thanking them for trusting me to be a part of their big day. I don't know if it's appreciated or not, but I figure it can't hurt.
From Daniel BroniatowskiHi Jennifer,
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 04:09 PM
As a wedding contractor, I agree with Laurie, 100%. She is spot-on. One of the most important things to remember is that the couple will have many things think about on this day and your job is to do what you can to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Also, have a plan for what happens if things run late (which they often do). This should be addressed in your contract.
From Roland GarrisonShow up sober, or mostly so.
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Arrive fully dressed, or mostly so.
Play in key, or mostly so.
Don't try and beat the bride and groom to the cake.
But most important, be very careful where you leave your instrument, even for a second! There may be kids around waiting for a chance to see if they can play...maybe even adults.
From Emma BrownFor outdoor events- remember to bring clips (or a sheet of plexiglass) to keep music on your stands! They're the worst thing to get caught without, and even the smallest breeze seems to be able to blow music away...
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 09:26 PM
From Rachel NevilleThere ought to be someone that is in charge of logistics that isn't the bride. A wedding planner or relative. Make sure you know who that is if there is a problem. You don't really want to talk to the bride at all (especiallly before the ceremony). They'll be too nervous. For outdoors, if it's windy, get some tent stakes and stake the music stands into the ground so your music stands don't fall over. (there is a curved bit that can hook over the legs in the stand) I like what one of the other posters said about a thank you note, you really can't ever go wrong with a thank you note.
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM
From Sverker LennartssonDon't hit on the groom in front of the bride.
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 10:57 PM
From Paul DeckBe careful about advertising, but the opportunity to do so should be written in your contract -- for example, a tasteful table card with a web site or an email address, maybe a stand of business cards near where you are playing. If you get "breaks" do NOT overstep them. Ask for 15 and take 10. I would personally not have drinks at a wedding (it does NOT help you play). If you are offered a plate of food, this you can accept graciously. A small cooler (that you can conceal discreetly) with a few ice packs and Rubbermaid containers will enable you to keep safely what is offered.
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 01:03 AM
From Gene WieSpecify in your contract what is included in the fee.
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Guest Arrival (15 minutes of music)
As others have mentioned, a clause that covers the event running late is especially helpful. I usually grant a 30 minute grace period, with charges incurred afterwards.
From Jennifer MascaroThank you so much, everyone, for the tips and for the humor, too!!! I will make note of all these things. Some great advice about outdoor performing especially. I am new to the site and was not sure how everyone was going to take my first question. Glad you are all so kind and so funny!
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Revisit Violinist.com editor Laurie Niles' coverage from Canada of the 2013 Montreal International Musical Competition, including her interview with gold medalist Marc Bouchkov.
Please consider supporting Violinist.com by becoming a sponsor, and reaching our dedicated community of violin professionals, students and fans!