How to ensure a wedding singer doesn’t ruin your day

A blog pots from a wedding singer.

There is nothing like a wedding for reuniting long-lost relatives and friends from different parts of the planet. And, after a while apart, your guests will want to have a good time. So, choose your wedding singer carefully.

What could possibly go wrong?

Now, I don’t want to be a pessimist. However, it’s important that your wedding goes off without a hitch. With this in mind, here are so me things to consider when hiring a singer for your wedding.
 

Music

What kind of music do you want? Make this clear to your wedding singer. Ask them for a song list and highlight the songs you would like them to play. Just as importantly, let them know what you want them to leave out. For a wedding ceremony, the bride and groom usually choose around three songs that have significance: one for when the bride walks the aisle, one as the bride and groom sign the wedding register and another as the newly-wed couple exit the ceremony. As long as you give them enough time, most singers will be happy to learn one or two songs that aren’t in their current repertoire.

Volume

Particularly early on, it is essential that the music isn’t too loud because your guests will want to talk to each other. So, make it clear to your wedding singer at which point in the evening you’d like them to ‘crank up the volume.’
 
I specialise in wedding ceremonies and receptions, so I’m used to playing at low volumes. However, I still make a point of asking the bride and groom to let me know if I need to adjust my volume either up or down. You see, as a musician, it’s sometimes difficult to gauge how loud I am in a room because I hear myself through a monitor, not the front-of-house speakers. So, if your musician gets the volume wrong, give them a signal — that’s all it takes.
 

Timing

Provide the singer for your wedding a schedule of the day’s proceedings. As a rule, I generally arrive at a venue about one hour before I have to start. Doing this enables me to set up and address any technical difficulties that sometimes arise. For the ceremony, your schedule should include when the bride is expected to arrive and the order of the requested songs. During the wedding reception, advise your wedding singer when speeches are supposed to happen. Don’t stress if your timings don’t work out exactly as planned; any professional musician should be flexible and ‘go with the flow’ — within reason, of course.

Communication

The best ways to avoid problems on your wedding day is to communicate. Make sure you talk to your wedding singer before the big day to discuss things like song selection, timings and entry to the venue. Usually, you can do this via the phone or Skype, or if your wedding singer lives close by, in person.

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Andrew Healey

Editor

Andrew is an Auckland-based writer and musician.

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