Being a key part of someone’s big day and doing something you’re good at is rewarding, but also challenging. Whether you’re a current or aspiring wedding singer, you’re always going to be up against competition, and stunning vocals alone won’t help you stand out from the crowd. To enjoy a long and successful career as a wedding singer, you need good marketing skills, commercial knowledge, and desirable personality traits.
We’ve put together some top tips on how to be a successful wedding singer. We’ve also spoken to wedding singer Christina Rotondo to get her top tips for wedding singers to succeed in the industry. Christina performs at weddings across the UK, and with over 70,000 YouTube subscribers, she knows what she’s talking about.
Charge the right amount
If you’re starting out, it can be tricky knowing how much you should charge. You can’t just pluck any number out of thin air – the fee will depend on your experience, what you’re offering, and the location of the wedding. Your fee can range from £50 to over £1,000. We recommend researching what other wedding singers charge in your area – for example, you can see what others charge here. You can also ask family/friends how much they paid for the singer at their wedding, to give you an idea.
Christina Rotondo has performed at weddings across the UK with her guitarist friend Harry.
She said: “We started at £300, and we’ve been told multiple times that this is far too low for the work we do. This means we’ll get around £150 each after a wedding performance, but the figure will differ from venue to venue – typically, public gigs like pubs will pay less.
“You should always add your petrol expenses on top of the fee, as well (HMRC guidelines recommend 45 pence per mile). This is something we now make sure we do wherever we play.”
Like any business, you need to market yourself. A strong digital presence will make you look more professional, help you gain exposure, and hopefully secure bookings.
Create your own website
Having your own website will not only make you look more legitimate and professional but also help you showcase your talent and any positive reviews you may have. Post audio or video demos, and potentially include popular songs you can sing well. Creating a website can be easy and free if you use the right tools, so here are the 21 best free website builders.
Get yourself on social media
Nowadays, it’s rare for a business not to have some form of social media presence. After all, it’s free advertising. So, if you want to sell yourself, you should create Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts dedicated exclusively to your singing services. From these accounts, you can post videos of yourself performing, build a fanbase, and engage with potential clients. You never know how many queries you might get once you get started. If you have the money, you can even promote yourself via paid Facebook ads to get your name out there.
Having a YouTube account is also a good idea if you want to a) share videos of yourself performing at weddings and b) point potential clients to this channel so that they can get a better insight into your repertoire. Often, you can obtain video clips from the wedding’s professional photographer.
Make your own business cards
Another great idea is to create business cards for yourself and hand them out at events you attend or work at. You can also ask friends if you can put them in their shop or office. Ask to put them in bridal boutiques, churches, suit rental companies, etc. They’re affordable and easy to make on websites such as Vistaprint.
Ask happy clients for reviews
If you’ve done a good job, most people will be happy to give you a positive review if you ask them for one. This can be done on Google or via an online form on your website.
Sign up to websites
Another good way to stand out from the crowd is to sign up to publishing platforms. Whether you’re a solo wedding singer, or part of a wedding band, you can register to sites such as Last Minute Musicians. This website acts as a directory for musicians, and people can use it to see listings and book you. It allows you to complete a detailed profile with a biography, sample repertoire, price guide, and examples of recent clients.
Make sure you’re prepared
You don’t need us to tell you this, but preparation is key when you’re performing at someone’s big day. As you know, performing live requires a lot of fine tuning.
You might be booked for the whole day, in which case you’ll have lyrics to memorise, so practice is everything. If you’re worried about vocal fatigue, there are a few steps you can take to prevent it. For example, going on vocal rest, reducing your alcohol intake, cutting down on cigarettes, and drinking water. Oh, and peppermint tea works wonders for your voice, too. Check out the worst food and drinks for singers here.
Arrive with a clear idea of how you want to set up your stage. Knowing where and how you want to set up your equipment in advance will take a load off on the day and sidestep any potential delays when the wedding guests turn up.
Lastly, singing at the right volume is tricky to master, but it’s crucial. Singing too loud is a common complaint made by guests at weddings. You want to blend into the background and create a pleasant, relaxing ambience. The last thing you want is for people to have to shout to make themselves heard.
Time your journey
As a wedding singer, you can travel all over the country in less than a week. Sometimes, your journey to the wedding venue can be long and sometimes in the sticks, so it’s important you time your journey right.
If you’re late to an all-important wedding gig, not only do you potentially sabotage the first dance, but you could gain a dreadful reputation. All it takes is for someone to post a negative review online, and potential clients could look elsewhere.
So, always aim to arrive half an hour before the time you’re supposed to be there – or even an hour if you’re cautious. We all know satnavs can be very temperamental. This ensures you have plenty of time to offload your equipment and set up, and maybe even a bit of time to relax beforehand.
Determine your target audience
There’s so much competition out there, and the type of music you specialise in depends on the type of bookings you want. For example, if you aim to sing during ceremonies, you’re more likely to need slower, more religious songs. During receptions, you’ll probably be singing trendy hits and wedding classics. However, keep in mind that you’ll likely get requests, so it’s important to know as many popular songs as possible.
Collaborate with wedding planners
Wedding planners often have their go-to wedding singers to recommend to clients. Sometimes, they keep a list of singers and demos to hand over. You want to be on this list. Get in touch with local wedding planners, book an appointment, and deliver your demo to them. If they like you, they might ask you to audition.
Avoid unnecessary risks
There are so many things to be mindful of when performing on someone’s big day, so the last thing you want is to have to worry about an accident happening. But even if you’re diligent and cautious, guests tripping over your equipment like your mic’s wire is a common occurrence. If someone claimed compensation from you for their injuries and you didn’t have specialist music insurance, you could be left out of pocket for a long time.
Plus you might have to turn down potential customers because most venues won’t let you perform live without Public Liability insurance.
Christina Rotondo said: “The venues I’m performing at have requested that I have Public Liability insurance. For not a lot of money, I’ve given myself that extra level of security with music insurance. Ultimately, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“When people are booking you to play on their premises, if you can say you’ve got Public Liability, they’ll be more eager to hire you.”
We offer Public Liability to enable you to perform at wedding venues, and to protect you against claims made for injury to someone else and property damage. We also provide Equipment cover to protect your equipment against loss, theft and damage.
Get a quote and create your own wedding singer policy in just a few minutes.