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Behind the scenes of your wedding entertainment - A day in the life

There is different types of wedding entertainment and different types of wedding musicians. For some, this is a part time weekend hustle to make some swill money. For others, it's a full time career. Generally though, even the best musicians need to have their grubby dextrous fingers in lots of different musical pies to make any kind of living. I'm no different, but where I stand on this spectrum, I will let you decide. Here is a run down of a typical day for a wedding musician which highlights the amount of work that's done behind the scenes.

Rather than describe a working gig day, I'm going to let you peep into my world on a normal 'every day' kind of day.


05:30 Morning - What happened last night?


Being the father of two young children, my day starts with loud noises and pokes to the forehead.

(picture of me waking up tired - caption I wouldn't have it any other way)

Just for some context, in the height of wedding season I can have up to 2-3 bookings on any given weekend. A lot of my clients will have questions and these can come in during the night along with initial enquiries.

"Do you have any dietary requirements?"

"We heard a really nice song on the radio the other day, could you send us a sample of it please? It's called Fire Starter by Prodigy."

"I've been told by our venue that they don't have a licence for amplified music, can you play unamplified?"*

I spend some time in the morning catching up with messages and replying to urgent emails/ messages.


09:30 Wedding Entertainment Admin Time

After the school run, it's admin time. This is the boring stuff that I like to get out the way early and the first thing I do is consult my list - I make a list every night as my 'Boss' telling my future self the most important things to do the next day - Which quite often looks like this -

  1. Send my Public Liability Insurance details to venues.

  2. Pricing a wedding quote.

  3. Send receipts/invoices.

My quotation process isn't automated at all. I read every email quote enquiry and price each wedding after working out costs myself. When all the boring stuff is out the way, I hit the studio.


10:30 Studio Time


All of my upcoming weddings will have specific itinerary attached with set lists, schedule and venue details. Since The Incident I make sure that these are correct before printing and keeping physical copies of each wedding in my diary.

If it's a particularly busy time coming up, I spend some time learning and rewriting the songs in the order that I have to perform them.


My Brain - I've been conditioned to break down music and learn songs very quickly but I never rely on this skill. I have a very specific way to learn songs and keep them in my head.


Doing My Thing


I think it's safe to say that most of my clients book me because I provide something special for them. I re-write music to fit the wedding whether it's a movie / game theme or a particularly 'heavy' genre that wouldn't typically work as you walk down the aisle.

There's no pre-written sheet music to follow for most of what I do and I never trust youtube tutorials or other people's interpretations. I prefer to do it myself.

Listening - I make a playlist of all upcoming songs which I need to perform and listen to it throughout my day. This means that I can recall the music in my head after a day or two and I'm less reliant on my own written music on the day.

As I said earlier, I prioritise my nearest upcoming weddings and consult my gig info sheets to run through set lists requested by my clients but I'm usually planning 2 weeks to a month in advance depending on the complexity of the songs requested.


14:30 My Other Musical Pies


Life as a musician is difficult if you only do one thing. A big part of my day is dedicated towards teaching and filming educational courses for my guitar students. I don't want to talk too much about this as one man's passion is another man's tiny wallet collection. As they say.

With a school run in between, parent taxi service and a sprinkling of Jiu Jitsu. This takes me up to the last chunk of my day.


20:00 Home Work

Being self employed, I have to make a conscious effort to be off the clock when I finish work. I find that difficult.

My day ends with me assessing what I need to do tomorrow. If I am performing at a wedding, there's some extra preparation in terms of equipment but if there's no gig, I'll update my playlist and chip away at my blog.

Yep. The one you're reading right now.

Which I'd like to thank you for by the way.


Thank you for reading

My profession doesn't leave a lot of room for many extra curricular activities. Gaming, cinema, meals out are all things I barely have time for which is why the time I do have is so valuable.

When I spend my spare time sharing stories and tips with you on here it's nice to know that it helps people.

Feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me if you've found this insightful. Or even better, share it.


*There is no such licence. If your venue doesn't want a musician to play amplified then either there have been volume complaints by neighbours and sometimes other clientele e.g. golfers, or they are trying to muscle out your suppliers so that you have to use their 'trusted' suppliers'. More on this in future articles.

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