You’re about to work at your first wedding, either your first wedding ever or more than likely your first wedding where it’s your business.
Nerves are running high, but you’ve got this!
Of course, we don’t want you to just do your job and get through the day, we want you to absolutely SMASH the gig, make the most out of it and get more bookings from it.
Follow these tips to well and truly own the booking and before you know it, you’ll find it second nature to simply be the best at each and every wedding.
First up, BE CONFIDENT.
You know what you’re doing, and you’ve been booked based on how good you are.
Go out there and own it.
Don’t second guess or doubt yourself, go with your instincts and do what you do best. You’re the professional here.
Put on your game face.
Whenever I turn up to a gig with Joey, the first thing we say to each other when we get out of the van is “Game faces on”.
That little pep talk is like a switch, it’s time to do this!
Bring your game face to every gig, smile, be friendly, make it so that other suppliers, clients, and guests are happy you’re here and know you’re a pro.
Nothing is too much trouble.
There’s going to be some weddings where everything is laid out for you, you’re given refreshments, a room to use, a decent space, ample time to set up, etc.
However, there will be some gigs where you have to load everything in via a third-floor window, in 15 minutes, without making a sound (ok, maybe that’s a bit much but you get the drift).
Take the rough with the smooth and be easy to work with.
If you don’t get your ideal working conditions, don’t complain about it.
Deal with it and keep everyone happy. Don’t take it personally if the venue staff hasn’t brought you a drink, or the client forgot to tell them there’s a drinks tab.
There’s a lot going on, you’re not the most important person today, just roll with it and do what you’re there to do.
Wedding venues in particular will notice this attitude and in turn, will be more likely to add you onto a preferred wedding vendors list.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
It’s easy to overthink some details and worry too much about little things. A musician will be annoyed if they hit a wrong chord, or sing a wrong lyric, or a florist may be annoyed if one bouquet isn’t perfect.
Remember that the couple and guests are on cloud 9, they’re not going to notice the little things, they’ll notice the good stuff, so don’t worry!
If you’re a performer and they want a longer set, give it to them.
Need to stay an extra 30 minutes? Do it.
I absolutely hate it when I encounter suppliers who’re clock watching as they need to get away “I’ve got another gig tomorrow so need to get some sleep”.
Staying an extra 30 minutes or playing an extra few songs will mean the world to the client and in the grand scheme isn’t that big a deal.
But it is a big deal if you say no or shoot off because you’re only booked till 8.
You can do the best job all day long, but leave on a sour note, and that’s what will be remembered.
The reality is that you’ll encounter most other wedding pros at weddings, so be sure to use any downtime to meet others.
Speak to the photographer, caterers, band, venue, etc.
Swap details, explain how happy you are to be working with them, follow them on socials.
Then follow it up afterwards.
We always add venues and photographers on socials and thank them afterward.
It means we get referrals and we get some pro photos of us playing.
If you can pick up one booking from a referral from one gig, you’ll be fully booked in no time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback asap.
Wedding suppliers are often nervous about asking for a review, don’t be!
It can be helpful to prepare the clients on the night.
We always make a point of saying thank you and good night to the bride and groom, they always say “thanks guys, you were awesome!” to which we always follow “Awh thanks, you guys made it so good for us, would you mind giving us a little review to help us get more bookings?”.
I’ve never had a client say no at this point!
Then follow up the next day saying thank you and provide a link to go and give you a review.
This is the prime time to do it and doesn’t seem desperate, they’re expecting it.
It’s also worth chasing this up if you don’t get a review, the number of times we’ve chased a week or so later and got an apology followed by a raving review! Get into the habit of this as these reviews will make or break your business.
Your knowledge goes a long way and your advice can make a difference.
If something needs changing or adapting, don’t be afraid to say something to make the wedding day that little bit better.
For example, if the venue hasn’t turned the lights out for the evening band, suggest they do.
Or if you’re being positioned in a bad place, politely explain where you think you should be and why.
Doing this politely and with a good reason will not make you seem like you’re fussing, it will make you look like a pro.
One final tip, be prepared for EVERYTHING.
To give a good example of what I mean here, as a musician, I have all the obvious things in my bag (microphone, spare drum sticks, plectrums, strings, leads etc.) but I also have a plethora of things to help should a random situation arise.
A multi-tool, batteries, torch, first aid kit, sewing kit, allergy tablets, pain killers, plus loads of random things.
Admittedly, a lot of these things have been added to my bag because one gig they were required and I didn’t have them, but next time someone needs a dress fixing in the dark I’m sorted!!
You’ll be amazed at how many times you’ll get asked for something random and if you can produce the allergy tablets because the bride has been stung by a bee, you’ll go down as a legend! (true story!)
Learn from the experience, debrief after each booking either alone or with colleagues, how can you improve next time?
Every wedding you do will be a learning experience, try to take something from every booking. How could you have made it go even better or smoother, what was the lowest moment (not meaning there was a low point), how could that have been made better?
After EVERY gig we look at how we can make things better, we look back at our first gig as a band and how they are now, they’re so much better because we always look at how to improve on things.
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