[Dixielandjazz] Do you or your band play weddings?

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Tue Jan 4 10:05:06 PST 2005

In a message dated 1/4/05 8:50:10 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
sign.guy at charter.net writes:

> Don't laugh at weddings.  I at one time almost made a career out of them
> until the DJ's came along. 

Hi Larry:

I was not laughing at weddings at all,  just a tongue in cheek jab at our 
Buddy Jim Kash who landed the biggest one yet in Spain.

Wedding were and are a very good source of usually afternoon gigs and very 
reasonable money if you go after them and market them head on against the DJs 
who found the niche and moved in on live bands who fell asleep at the wheel in 
the marketing game.

You guys who do weddings need to go SELL those brides and grooms, not just 
use the sales approach of "I guess you are looking for a DJ huh?" or You don't 
want to buy a live band do you?  Approach.

Mow you want to get clever, get yourself a DJ setup and get one of your kids 
or somebody else, Hell even a Chimpanzee to play CDs on the breaks.  You need 
a decent P.A. System if you have vocalists in your band anyway, so why not 
plug in a CD player as well.

The DJs are getting as much or many times more money than you used to get for 
a three or four hour wedding gig anyway.  The only reason DJs are successful 
in that market is because bandleaders and many agents found them easier to 
deal with than the bands and some of their inherent problems, but trust me the 
DJs have the same problems of showing up late, getting drunk on the gig, playing 
the wrong kind of music, quitting early, playing too loud and being obnoxious 
to the guests, and so on.

It is still very possible to play weddings and make good money, but you have 
to look for them and then go close the deals and sell them whatever they want 
and if that means playing something other then OKOM then I must go back to the 
old adage:  "The Customer is Always Right"  "find the need and fill it"  
People are always willing to Pay for What they want or at least What they Think 
they Want.

Now you book enough Weddings on Sat. & Sunday at good money, you can pay the 
sidemen pretty well from it and hold some back to promote yourself an OKOM gig 
on Monday Tue. Wed. Thurs. or Fri.  where you will meet new people and book 
more Weddings etc.  It just never stops folks, one gig hopefully leads to 
another and another till the calendar is full and the bank account is not bouncing 
any checks. 

Playing music is hard Work and finding the best places to play it is even 
harder work, those who do so win the game and are much happier with the few 
exceptions like Artie Shaw. :))    But even Artie did it so well he became terribly 
successful and then he hated it (or so he said) but you notice he did not 
give the money back.  Any of us should be so lucky.

Now we must remember that most Weddings are between YOUNG PEOPLE, so if you 
want that market you have to cater to it, as Steve and I keep saying, Go take 
our music to that market and expose them to it, they will like it and they will 
buy it, especially for Weddings when you explain to them that they need to 
have music that is suitable for Gramma and Grandpa and Mom & Dad and the aunts 
and uncles as well as their young friends so that every one has a good time at 
the party and makes it their special day.

Someday they will get a big laugh out of seeing Grandpa getting a bit tipsy 
and trying to dance with a hot young lady and looking like a fish out of water, 
but they will smile when they realize how much fun the old fella was having 
while celebrating their wedding and happiness.  Long after they remember their 
young friend who got drunk and threw up in the punchbowl.   That's the Wedding 
market love it or leave it.  :))


Tom Wiggins
I was also only kidding, I will of course work any Wedding that pays the same 
or better than my normal engagements, I have actually worked a couple of them 
over the years the second time around for both the Bride and the Groom.  Now 
that is getting good mileage out of a gig and it's residual values.    Heck I 
do Funerals too, :))

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