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How Do I Become a Wedding Musician?

Marty Paule
Marty Paule

In order to become a wedding musician, you should consider your music skills and preferences, then decide whether you plan to work as a solo musician or with a group. It is essential that you are familiar with the music that's most popular for wedding ceremonies and the receptions that follow. There are numerous techniques for advertising your services when you become a wedding musician. Networking with others involved in the wedding industry can result in job leads. Building a portfolio of references, performance videos, and creating CDs and MP3s demonstrating your music will help you to attract clients.

If you are not already well-versed with traditional wedding music, such as The Wedding March and popular songs such as We've Only Just Begun, it is important that you learn this repertoire before you attempt to become a wedding musician. If you are a solo musician who plays an acoustic instrument such as a flute, guitar or harp, find and learn the wedding-music arrangements created for your instrument. This will help you to prepare for performing either solo or with a group.

A wedding musician may perform during the ceremony.
A wedding musician may perform during the ceremony.

The songs played during receptions can vary widely in genre depending on the taste of the bridge and groom. That said, there are certain songs, such as The Electric Slide and The Macarena that are very commonly requested. The most successful wedding musicians are extremely versatile, handling requests for a wide variety of music. So-called "fake books" with simple arrangements of hundreds of songs in one volume can be a worthwhile investment when you become a wedding musician.

Creating a website with which to promote your business is essential. Be sure that the site is attractively designed, presents a professional image, offers lots of references, and includes MP3 samples of your work for prospective customers to audition. Social media sites are also a critical part of the marketing effort wedding musicians must make to attract business. Offering videos of you in performance can be helpful, but make sure that the video and audio quality does justice to your work.

Videos can also be a helpful way to assess your stage presence and make improvements as necessary. As you seek to become wedding musician, look critically at your stage presence, apparel, and your between-song patter. They should all exude professionalism mixed with charm.

To become a wedding musician who gets lots of work takes a lot of networking. Locate the wedding planners and bridal shops in your area and approach them for referrals. Presenting a professional appearance coupled with a charming demeanor can help you to get the referrals that you need. When starting out, you may need to offer your services at a lower cost or even for free in order to start building your reference list. Few musicians make their living exclusively by playing at weddings, and it is best to see your efforts to become a wedding musician as a means of augmenting rather than providing your primary income.

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    • A wedding musician may perform during the ceremony.
      By: photographmd
      A wedding musician may perform during the ceremony.