Friday, March 30, 2012

Wedding Season

When you play piano like I do, you get asked by nearly every friend you have that ties the knot to play at their wedding.  Some ask me to do all the music and others just ask me to accompany a soloist.  Either way there is one thing that is always true...I hate playing for weddings.  There many different reasons why, but here are just a few:

  1. Brides are notoriously high strung and indecisive.  That's a dangerous combination when trying to pick music for their special day.
  2. It's a high stress gig for me.  They're always recorded, so if you fuck up it's saved for posterity's sake.
  3. Weddings are very unpredictable.  I've played for some that started close to 30 minutes late.  That's 30 more minutes of prelude music I have to pull out of my ass.  They never go off without a hitch.
I have a friend that is an extremely talented organist and he agrees with me that playing for weddings sucks. He tried to price himself out of the market by charging $750 to play for one.  When people were willing to pay him that much he whined, "Dammit, Jeff, I can't turn down that kind of money!!!"

I don't charge that much when I play for one.  In fact I usually don't charge a dime.  You see I only play for the weddings of close friends or the kids of close friends.  I tell them to consider my services their wedding gift from me.  It's a win-win because I'm often short on cash and I hate shopping and they need music.

All of this comes up because I am playing for a wedding tomorrow that I never intended to play for.  The bride asked me if I would play something at her wedding.  She mentioned that her brother was going to sing something, so I assumed she just wanted me to accompany him.  (By the way her brother is an excellent singer.  Think a cross between the voices of Justin Timberlake and Michael Buble.)  So she emails me about 3 weeks ago and asks if I'm still planning to "help out" with the music.  After I tell her yes she says she will send me the music.  I'll be damned if I didn't get music for the whole entire ceremony.

So think of me tomorrow afternoon about 4:00 Central Time.  I'll be sweating in a monkey suit much like the one in my profile picture while I try not to screw up playing Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and Debussy.

1 comment:

  1. Hell, I hate even going to weddings - I couldn't imagine having to perform in one.

    Best I can do is best man's speech - get some laughs and then start drinking heavily to forget everything else