Wedding: Day of Guidelines
I thought it might be an interesting and enlightening post to share what sort of information your musicians require in terms of preparing for your event, particularly for weddings. Among the information I confirm with my wedding couples at the initial consultation is the repertoire, venue address, ceremony setup, day of contact info, confirmation of starting times, and parking details. Parking details are always very important to a harpist, as the instrument is rather unwieldy to transport (to say the least).
Depending on the difficulty level of the repertoire I would also have set a practice schedule for when to have the selected ceremony pieces performance ready. My repertoire is typically set for weddings much prior to the day of. This gives me time to practice any special requests thoroughly and prepare my set list before the wedding. Once the repertoire is learned to perfection, the specific details for the event would be re-confirmed.
One week prior to my weddings I reach out to my contact for the event. My contact is the party who hired me. Typically this is one half of the couple, although it could also be a parent/grandparent, someone associated with the venue, or another party such as an event planner or coordinator. This is when I re-confirm all the details for the wedding, including the chosen ceremony pieces, starting time, venue address and if there is any remaining balance. If pertinent I would also reconfirm parking arrangements, arrival/load-in details, and my day of contact number if this has not already been arranged. I prefer to have a day of contact of either a family member/friend, wedding planner, or venue manager to contact in case of emergency. The wedding couple has enough to deal with on the day of without their harpist calling them with questions!
Confirm contact details in case of emergency
Confirm repertoire selections and correct order in music binder
Confirm venue directions
To bring to venue:
Amp and electronics (if needed)
Music Stand Clips (to hold music on stand for outside weddings)
Harp strings and accessories
Depending on what time of day the event falls, I would confirm this checklist either the night or morning prior to the event.
As the musician it's up to me to ask all pertinent questions so that I'm able to provide the most seamless day possible to my wedding couples. This is also true for all events I perform at such as background music, cocktail hours, or receptions. Ultimately it's my job to have all the details correct, be organized, and provide the musical backdrop for any event as a professional. As the client, you can relax knowing that by hiring a professional musician your event will run smoothly because of their experience. This post is meant, as a fun little way to get inside the mind of the professional musician, and to know what questions you will most likely be asked. I hope it gives you ideas for your events, and makes you confident in your choice of professional musician.