Brits are not great bargainers. And a wedding is a declaration of love, so the last thing you probably want to do is drive a musician’s price down – especially in front of your fiance(e). But there are other ways of getting a good price for your matrimonial music – and still getting the wedding soundtrack you deserve.
- Pick another day: let’s start with the most obvious. The vast majority of couples get married on a Saturday. Choose a weekday, and not only will your venue and probably all your wedding vendors charge a lower price, the musician you pick is more likely to be available, since Saturday is a popular day for gigs and for music teaching, too!
- Pick your musician early: book your performer in good time – not only will you have your pick of some of the best wedding musicians (musicians who specialise in weddings, not just a musician who may have been to a wedding), but also you can avoid the annual increases that all professionals apply each year. With your musician chosen, you can then turn your attention to other priorities.
- Go off-season: in the UK, big wedding months are May, June and September. July and August tend to be a little quieter because of school summer holidays; October and November cannot guarantee good enough light for the photos; and ditto January and February, which are ‘wedding fair months’. But pick one of these quiet times of the year to get married, and all of your vendors will be delighted to work for you, and probably offer you a discount too.
- Christmas is a No-No: unless your pockets are as big as Santa’s! Equally, avoid New Year, Easter Sunday, and possibly August Bank Holiday.
- AM can be better than PM: if you are a ‘morning person’, then make an early start. Musicians are busier in the evening, whether with their families or out gigging. And you’re bound to pay for less for the bar, too.
- How long do you want your musician to play for? Your guests will probably not be assembling an hour before the ceremony. You know your friends, and unless they are ultra-organised they are probably going to turn up with about 20 minutes to go. Or later.
Of course, no two weddings are the same, and the music is one of the key things that make every wedding different – but think really carefully about where you can best employ the music on your day to set the right mood.