This month, we’ve been talking to our wedding jazz player, who tells us all about the best parts of his job.
How did you get started in the wedding industry?
I’ve been playing in bands at weddings for over 20 years. We’d normally arrive during the wedding breakfast, where we’d start setting up for the evening do. The music that we’d hear playing during the meals would often be too loud or inappropriate in terms of style, so I decided to pull together a more laid-back set, and market myself specifically as ‘background music’ for the wedding breakfast. This really took off, and has developed into playing at the drinks’ reception as well as the ceremony.
What’s your favourite aspect of working in the wedding industry?
It’s such an honour to be involved in the most special day of many peoples’ lives, and I still get a buzz from knowing that my music is contributing to the magical day that couples have been planning for years. I keep in contact with my couples in the months leading up to their wedding to ensure the style of music I play is perfect for them. This is mutually beneficial as, on the big day, I often feel like I’m playing at a friend’s wedding.
What do your customers say about you?
Well, I don’t want to blow my own trumpet/saxophone, but my customers often compliment me on the perfect atmosphere that my music creates, and comment on the fact that my selection of tunes is ideal for a variety of ages. Don’t just take my word for it, though; you can find a whole host of reviews in my testimonial videos, at youtube.com/dinnerjazzsax
What trends do you predict for 2019/20?
I’ve been noticing with couples’ music choices that they’re looking for that ‘surprise element’, either by choosing something modern but giving it a retro twist, or harking back to the swing/rock ‘n’ roll eras with upbeat tunes that spread happiness and positivity.
What makes you different from others in the industry?
My sound is completely different to other saxophone players in the industry, as when I play, it’s just my saxophone with a piano track, rather than full-on band tracks that others often use. Although they have their place in the right setting, for me, the classic, mellow sax and piano sound works really well as background music. It helps to ensure that my music enhances, and not overpowers, the celebrations.
My set-up makes me unique to others as I don’t need to plug into a power source. This gives me complete freedom and flexibility with regard to where I can play. Imagine it’s raining and we’re set up inside, but then the sun makes an appearance and, consequently, all of the guests head outside into the garden. Rather than play into an empty room, I simply pick up my speaker and follow them outside!
The structuring of my pricing differs from that of other musicians, and I feel is much better for the couple and their wedding day. I charge by the segment of their day; i.e. the ceremony, drinks’ reception, wedding breakfast – or a combination of the three – rather than charging by the hour. This means that if timings are running late, the guests aren’t suddenly left without music due to the musician reaching the end of their paid time. If I’m booked for the drinks’ reception, I’ll play through the whole segment – regardless of how long it takes.
Aside from the music, I’m very meticulous in my planning ahead of a wedding, both with the couples and with their venue, so that we all know in advance what will be happening on the day. It goes without saying that I’ll always turn up to a wedding smartly dressed, fully prepared and ready to go!
What has been your favourite wedding so far?
That’s such a hard question to answer as every wedding, every couple, every venue and every song choice is different, bringing their own unique challenges and rewards. I would say it’s a combination of many different weddings, couples, venues and wedding guests all rolled into one. As long as the wedding guests are happy, then I’m happy!
What tips would you give a couple when planning their wedding and booking suppliers?
Research! Before you book, take the time to get a feel for the different suppliers by talking with them; have an email conversation and check out their social media to ensure that they, and the service they offer, is what you want for your day