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Wedding tips part 4:

Put it on paper, hiring musicians

Don't hire musicians without hearing them play!
Most musicians will provide a demo tape, but if possible try to go hear any musicians or bands perform in person.

Always get a contract - Include specifics in the contract so that your musicians know what you want and what is expected of them:

Once you have your basic wedding plan in mind, get music suggestions and recommendations from your officiate, reception hall manager, friends, family and any potential musicians. Think of the music as the soundtrack to your wedding.

Here are some considerations:

· Date/Time/Place - This should be set in stone. Make sure the Reception musicians in particular are flexible with the end time. Your event may run longer than expected.

· Price & Overtime Rates - get this in writing. It's common to put down a deposit of half the agreed upon price, and make sure to get a receipt for your deposit. Typically ceremony musicians should be paid in full immediately before the ceremony. Reception musicians are paid after the reception.

· What will be played, and at what point during the ceremony or reception.
If you've requested specific tunes you might want to include these in the contract.

· What sheet music is needed, and at who's cost.
Find out in advance who is responsible for locating and purchasing any needed sheet music.

· Breaks & Meals - Indicate the number and the duration of any breaks. Also plan to feed your musicians if they will be playing for several hours. Talk to your caterer about preparing something for them in advance. The happier the musicians are, the happier you'll be.

· Cancellation Policy - Be sure this is discussed and stated in the contract.

Leave no detail overlooked!
Provide musicians with a map to the location, and reconfirm the date and time as the big day approaches. When they arrive, direct them to space where they can store their instrument cases and any equipment, and where they can change clothes if necessary.
Have them arrive early enough to set-up and do sound checks before your guests arrive.
Do you expect your piano player to bring his or her own keyboard? Make these arrangements as far ahead of time as possible.

1. When to book
2. Setting the mood
3. Setting the stage
4. Hiring musicians
5. How much?
6. Acoustic or amplified?
7. Music selection
8. Putting it all together!

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