top of page

Event Tips

Budget Planning to Enable Live Music

Plan ahead, know your budget, and set realistic expectations for your event. A simple online search reveals the extent to which couples tend to underestimate their wedding budgets, often by 50% or even more.  Instead of waiting for vendors to share their rates and proposals with you before you share that they cost too much, be proactive and be open about your budget. This simple act will empower you to make hard decisions and will also save you time. If you feel mortified by sharing a clear budget number, offer vendors a price range. Discussing rates should be transparent and professional. Instead of spending the majority of your funds on the event venue and catering, it's essential to plan and allocate a budget for other vendors who may contribute in smaller ways to your wedding, such as live musicians. These live musicians should not be relegated to receiving a slice of whatever is leftover from the budget by default. Planning to include live music means doing your research to educate yourselves as to what musicians typically charge. Therefore, reaching out to musicians to get quotes during the very beginning of your budget planning will serve you better than using the leftover funds to hire whoever you can, in a scramble. 

Choosing Music for Wedding Ceremonies

Consider music that reflects your journey as a couple, allowing time for musicians to learn new pieces if necessary. While I’m happy to offer musical suggestions, it is important to finalize song choices within 60-90 days before the wedding ceremony to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for all involved.


Avoid Ghosting Event Vendors

A concerning new trend in the wedding and event industry is when prospective clients be they wedding couples, wedding planners, or point persons for other events, stop responding to vendors they've contacted known as ghosting. Remember, vendors are real people who work hard and deserve respect. Even if they're not the right fit, it's important to communicate openly and timely rather than ignoring or delaying responses. Many vendors collaborate with each other and appreciate being informed if you choose another provider you're good being considerate and avoiding ghosting helps everyone involved.


Offering Gratuity

There's a lot of confusion about tipping wedding vendors and who should be tipped. Empower yourself to decide who receives gratuity. If you feel your vendor deserves it, offer gratuity. It's proper etiquette, especially for smaller vendors who have worked hard to perfect their craft. Some vendors may include gratuity in their contracts, like caterers. Remember, tipping is a sign of appreciation, especially for vendors who excel in their work.


Final Payment

Payment is due at the end of my performance. Please be prepared to settle your agreement by making payment as arranged. Some vendors require full payment upfront. Some wedding couples designate the wedding planner, their assistant, a family member or a member of the wedding party to handle payments, which works smoothly. While vendors are understanding, prompt payment allows you to return to your event and lets vendors conclude their part efficiently. Please be considerate and settle payment discreetly and promptly after services are rendered. Additionally, the conclusion of the performance is the appropriate time to offer gratuity if you intend on doing so and if it has not already been offered.

Walking Down the Aisle

Wedding couples, take your time walking down the aisle. Choose meaningful songs for your entrance. Slow down your walk to savor the moment and make it memorable. Rushing down the aisle can lead to missing out on the music you have chosen to be performed live. Practice your walk beforehand, enjoy the moment, and remember to balance fun with the solemnity of the occasion.


Having a Point Person

Some wedding vendors decline to work with wedding couples who do not hire a professional wedding planner. It is my strong recommendation that all wedding couples hire such a professional. For couples who choose not to hire a professional, selecting a trusted, confident, and reliable wedding attendee may be a good option. It is always prudent to directly identify your vendor who this point person is since the wedding couple or host will be focused elsewhere. Remember, I probably do not have any idea who Aunt Susan or coworker Doug is, whom you’ve appointed to be your point of contact. Oftentimes, describing them is not as helpful as meeting them face-to-face for a brief exchange.

Wedding Ceremony Timing

Timing is crucial for a wedding ceremony. Ensure the pianist can directly see the entire ceremony and the aisle entrance or designate someone to cue them. Without a clear view or cue, the musical timing can be uncertain. Proper musical cues ensure proper musical timing which is essential for a smooth ceremony.

Offering Refreshments to your Pianist

When I’m on-site for three or more hours, there might be some downtime. It’s thoughtful for clients to offer refreshments if provided to guests. In most occasions, being onsite for three or more hours will warrant a vendor meal which will be mentioned in the formal agreement, so it should be no surprise. Vendor meals are an industry standard for many wedding and event vendors.

Bride-Zillas, Groom-Zillas, and all other scary Zillas

Basically, don’t be one. Enough said.


Wedding Rehearsals

Solely based on my availability, I may offer to attend a wedding rehearsal if it is at a venue in Denver with space I am unfamiliar with. If I have performed at your wedding venue before and comfortably know the venue space, it will most likely not be pivotal for me to attend the wedding rehearsal. If the venue is outside of Denver and is one I am unfamiliar with, my attendance at the rehearsal may required to ensure the smoothness of the ceremony. In these cases, a supplement may be added to the original agreement with a secondary rate to enable me to attend.

Staying Connected

It's common for pianists to be booked for weddings and events a year or more in advance. It's helpful to keep in touch with your vendors every few months or more if needed, via e-mail or phone to discuss any changes and avoid last-minute surprises. Remember, your pianist has other clients too, so be respectful of their time. While it's important to address concerns, excessive communication, or expecting a 24-hour connection with your pianist is not reasonable. Use phone calls and emails efficiently and respectfully.


Working with your Professional Pianist

You've done your research before booking, and I have 30 years of experience. I will spend hours rehearsing and going over details to deliver as promised. You can refer to your written agreement to ensure everything is accurate. Trust that your musician will deliver as agreed.


bottom of page