Contracts for Wedding Ceremony Musicians

There is vital information that needs to gathered from and provided to wedding musicians for any wedding ceremony. Much of it should be in writing on the contract and many details (ceremony order, participants, and music selections) can be shared with the wedding musicians more informally. The contract with the wedding ceremony musicians or wedding music coordinator should contain the vital information including, type of music ensemble, date, location, time, cost, payments, cancellation policy and contact information.

General Information to Include on Wedding Music Contract

  • Employee: Name of wedding music coordinator, music ensemble leader, or musician.
  • Employee’s Ensemble: Name of wedding ensemble, type of ensemble or instruments provided.
  • Number of Employees: Number of musicians in ensemble.
  • Date of the Event: It is important to make sure that the year is on the contract and every e-mail. This is a common mistake. Some brides plan years in advance and some weeks in advance. The year is an important detail, which if excluded, can lead to disastrous results.
  • Time of the Event: Include both the time of the wedding ceremony and length of the time the wedding musicians are contracted for. Allow time for the wedding to start late in the length of time that the musicians are contracted for.
  • Name and Location of the Wedding Ceremony: List the full name of the venue and the complete address. Confirm that the address is accurate and look at maps systems (such as Google maps) for mistakes in the directions or there could be dozens of lost and late vendors and guests.
  • Contact Information: Names, phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses of employees (musicians) and employers (bride and groom). Be sure that the cell phone numbers of the bride and groom (or other contact person) and the employee are listed. Often, only office or home numbers are listed and having cell phone numbers for last minute changes, questions or emergencies is of vital importance during the days leading up to the ceremony,
  • Cost: Price of the wedding musicians or music ensemble and what that includes. Customarily, music is provided for prelude, processional, ceremony music (interludes, candle lighting ceremonies, etc.) recessional and postlude.
  • Deposit: The amount of the deposit and when it is due. Remember that wedding musicians are not confirmed until the deposit is received and are still available for someone else to hire them. If using a wedding music coordinator or agent it is a good idea to get your deposit in ASAP as well. Although they can often guarantee whatever kind of ensemble wanted, the best musicians on their staff get booked early.
  • Balance Payment: The amount of the balance due after the deposit, and when it is due. Most wedding musicians and wedding music coordinators request that balance payment take place right after the ceremony.
  • Payment Method: The kind of payments that are accepted and who should checks are payable to.
  • Meals: The number of meals provided for musicians. Remember, a fed band is a happy band and a happy band is happy and fun on stage. If musicians are only performing for the ceremony it is not customary to provide meals.
  • Overtime: The availability, cost and payment due date for overtime. Generally overtime would only apply to the wedding reception except in the case of an extremely late starting wedding.
  • Special Requests or Unusual Details: Special song requests, costume requests, unusual requests (e.g. the ensemble is to march into the church) can be listed on the contract.
  • Cancellation Policy: Read this carefully for rules about dates and fees.
  • Weather Restrictions: For outdoor weddings, wedding musicians may have restrictions about temperature, wind, rain or lightning?
  • Miscellaneous Fees: Read contract carefully for any extra fees. Fees for sound system, special music requests, and cartage of large instruments may be added. Any reputable wedding ensemble or wedding music coordinator will disclose and discuss any extra charges when giving initial quotes or when special requests are made.

When using a contract for wedding ceremony music it is important that it contain all of the general information including the kind of music ensemble, date, location, time, cost, payments, cancellation policy and contact information. If all of the music is selected at the time of the contract signing that may be included as well. Using thorough contracts with correct details protects the wedding couple and the musicians from mistakes and misunderstandings and provides information needed by both parties.

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