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8 Must-Ask Questions for your Wedding Musician

If you're like most couples, wedding planning is a strange new land with so much information out there - so how do you make sure that you've gotten all the details that are relevant for you?

To help with your search for a professional musician that is the perfect fit for your wedding day, here's 8 questions to start the conversation.

1. How long have you been a musician, and how many weddings have you worked?

Ideally, your wedding pro should have lots of experience and training as a musician outside of the wedding sphere, but also specifically with weddings. Not only does this make them more skilled in their craft (professional musicians have spent many years honing and perfecting their skills), but this also makes them a valuable source of information. It ensures that your wedding day goes smoothly, as there are many moving parts and considerations to be made that are specific to a wedding that a musician should know.

2. How much do you charge?

Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expertise. Generally, the higher quality and experience, the higher price tag. A good wedding pro will get to know your vision for your day so they can tailor their services to you. This is crucial information for your wedding pro to have before they can accurately discuss pricing and services.

3. How much is the deposit, and when is it and the balance due?

This question is pretty straightforward. The deposit amounts vary wildly depending on the overall cost of the services. Professional musicians put in a good deal of the work in preparations before your wedding day. In these instances they may require a retainer fee, instead of a deposit, to reserve your date and fund their preparations. Be sure you have a clear understanding of whether a deposit or retainer is refundable.

4. What specifically is included in that cost?

Packages often vary, so it’s likely that you won’t be able to compare one musician exactly to the next without doing a little figuring. Keep in mind that the lowest cost isn’t necessarily the best deal; some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages.


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5. What happens if I cancel or have to reschedule? What happens if you cancel?

Find out if your retainer or deposit is refundable under any conditions, or what happens if local health requirements force you to reschedule your plans (sometimes referred to under a Force Majeure clause). Do they have a back-up plan if something out of either of your control happens?

6. How do I get the contract back to you?

If they answer with something like, “I don’t usually bother with contracts,” RUN! A contract is designed to protect both you and that wedding professional; don’t settle for a verbal agreement that won’t hold up in court.

“A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on." -Samuel Goldwyn

7. Are there any additional fees beyond what’s quoted?

Music, as a service, doesn't require sales tax in Washington State. Many wedding pros will charge a nominal fee depending on the distance they'll need to travel to your event, and may take into account whether an overnight stay is required. Everything should be clearly defined in your contract and invoice - there should be no surprises!

8. Do you carry liability insurance?

The answer you’re looking for here is, “Yes.”

This protects you in case an unfortunate accident should occur on your wedding day. Some venues may require to be named as Additional Insured on a business' liability policy for the given date. Being able to produce proof of insurance is a sign that you’re dealing with a reputable business, since most non-legitimate operations don’t bother investing in insurance.

I hope these questions will prove helpful as you plan

the wedding of your dreams!


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