[Callers] Rates for private events (weddings etc)?

JoLaine Jones-Pokorney via Callers callers at lists.sharedweight.net
Sat Mar 26 16:31:48 PDT 2016

I charge $150 for a wedding and $50 more if alcohol is served.
On Mar 26, 2016 5:29 PM, "Dave Casserly via Callers" <
callers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:

> I've only called weddings for good friends, and I do that for free.  But
> I've played a lot of weddings, and I generally would not take a wedding gig
> unless it paid at least 2-3x what a normal dance would pay.
> For a single caller, assuming you're NOT bringing sound or being in charge
> of the band, you'll probably have some MC duties, at least.  It's been that
> way at pretty much all of the weddings where I've played for a dance.  As
> Alan and Jeff said, it doesn't matter how much time there will be actual
> dancing; you'll end up being there for quite a while in any event with
> setup, etc.  Keeping your time to a minimum isn't going to be a priority;
> I've played weddings where the band sets up and finishes sound check
> literally three hours before going on.
> I recommend getting the couple on the phone immediately so you can gauge
> what they're looking for.  Generally, I think about it in terms of how long
> I need to be there.  If it's a local gig, I'd start with something like
> $150 for the first hour I'd be there, and $50/hr after that, plus travel.
> But I'd ask for more if I had any duties other than playing (or calling),
> such as setting up sound, providing recorded music, etc.  Typically, you
> won't be at a wedding for less than three or four hours, at least, so
> you're looking at $250-500.  I live in DC, which is not quite as expensive
> as NY, so adjust accordingly.
> I am generally willing to play or call for dances for community events and
> other one night stands at a much lower rate.  With weddings, though, the
> couple's paying LOTS of money for stuff that isn't as valuable as the
> music, and I'm unlikely to move much off the initial ask, unless it's a
> very close friend, in which case I'd do it for free.
> -Dave
> On Sat, Mar 26, 2016 at 4:36 PM, Alan Winston via Callers <
> callers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
>> First off, you're not charging for the number of minutes of dancing.
>> You're charging for your experience, expertise, and skill, showing up on
>> time and being ready to do it, waiting around as necessary, traveling if
>> needed, being mellow if (when) things go over and your time is cut, etc.
>> What are you being asked to deliver for your fee?  Are they booking their
>> own band and arranging their own sound?
>> For the wedding dance I just did in Berkeley - probably a comparable
>> market to NYC - they provided sound, I organized a band for them, each band
>> member and I were promised $300 for playing for the dance (and then a more
>> for playing in the ceremony and some incidental music).  They actually paid
>> me more than the agreed-upon amount, so I don't think they thought I was
>> gouging.,
>> For a friend's wedding I might work free.
>> If you want to be paid appropriately, state your price and don't waver.
>> If you want to get the gig regardless, ask them their budget and quote less
>> than that.
>> When asked to arrange musicians I make it clear that I can't quote before
>> I know who's available but state a range ($1000-$1500) and I also ask their
>> budget and then adjust the number of musicians (two good ones is fine,
>> three better) so we all get paid enough within their budget.
>> -- Alan
>> On 3/26/16 11:13 AM, Maia McCormick via Callers wrote:
>> Hey folks,
>> I've just been asked to call a wedding, and I don't have a good idea for
>> what the going rate for these things is. What do you all charge for a
>> wedding (say, 30 mins-an hour of dancing)? (And how might you adjust this
>> rate for NYC?)
>> Thanks,
>> Maia
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> --
> David Casserly
> (cell) 781 258-2761
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