Wedding Etiquette Forum

How to ask someone to play at our wedding?

The mom of one of my two maids of honor (I have two best friends, couldn't choose one) is a fantastic piano player. My fiance and I are both very close to her. That being said, we want her to be the pianist for our wedding. I'd like it to just be as a wedding gift...but I'm not sure how to say that/how to ask her. Do I even mention that it would be in place of their gift (I feel like that sounds tacky...is it?) or do I just ask her to play or what? I'm not sure how to go about this. Any advice would be appreciated :)

Re: How to ask someone to play at our wedding?


  • The mom of one of my two maids of honor (I have two best friends, couldn't choose one) is a fantastic piano player. My fiance and I are both very close to her. That being said, we want her to be the pianist for our wedding. I'd like it to just be as a wedding gift...but I'm not sure how to say that/how to ask her. Do I even mention that it would be in place of their gift (I feel like that sounds tacky...is it?) or do I just ask her to play or what? I'm not sure how to go about this. Any advice would be appreciated :)
    You can't ask her to give her talent as a gift, that would be rude. Do you know about how much she would charge? Or another pianist? If you really want HER then ask if she is willing and offer to pay her going rate. Only if she offers to do it for free, it would be up to you to accept or not. There is no nice way to ask for free services.
    doeydoweddingcactus
  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited September 2014
    You can definitely ask her to play piano at her wedding, but do not say that her performance will be your wedding gift. You shouldn't mention anything regarding receiving wedding gifts (to any of your guests) because you're implying to your friend that she should be giving you a gift anyway, which is not polite. Instead, I think you should ask her to play, and then give her a gift of some sort for her performance.

    Out of curiosity, why couldn't you choose her as your bridesmaid?

    ETA: re-read your first sentence and answered my own question. For some reason I was reading that you chose 1 of 2 friends and your own mother to be your MOHs.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers


  • You can ask her bit you need to offer to pay her as you would any other musician. She may OFFER to do this for free but you need to be prepared to pay her.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    doeydoluckysnorkel
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ditto PPs.  You should never ask for a gift.
    image
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited September 2014
    The mom of one of my two maids of honor (I have two best friends, couldn't choose one) is a fantastic piano player. My fiance and I are both very close to her. That being said, we want her to be the pianist for our wedding. I'd like it to just be as a wedding gift...but I'm not sure how to say that/how to ask her. Do I even mention that it would be in place of their gift (I feel like that sounds tacky...is it?) or do I just ask her to play or what? I'm not sure how to go about this. Any advice would be appreciated :)
    I am a retired church organist/pianist.  My daughter is a professional singer.

    If you want this lady to play at your wedding, you simply ask her how much she charges for her wedding services, and the YOU PAY HER!!!
    You have no idea how insulting your idea is to musicians, who spend years and years learning their art, and then are expected to entertain at parties or to play in church for nothing.  I spent more time learning my art than most doctors do, learning their profession.  (Piano lessons at age 3 - don't do that to your child!)

    It is completely rude for you to suggest that she give you her services instead of a material gift.  You have no business even mentioning gifts.  If she decides to give you her services as a gift, that must come from her, not you.  Coming from you it is greedy, tacky, careless. 

    PS.  Average wedding charge is $300.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    luckysnorkellevioosaweddingcactus[Deleted User]
  • buttercup1958buttercup1958 Blue Smokey Mountains
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Yeah V was asked to play at a wedding once. It was a beach wedding in the summer. That may not sound bad but V is very ginger and he was in a lot of pain by the end of the ceremony due to the heat and sun. He never received money for his services or a thank you card. He is still annoyed at it and this happen years ago. Please don't ask.
    image
  • Usually if I'm asked to play at a wedding I'm also invited to then I'll do it as a gift. But I offer and have never been asked that straight out. I asked my cousin to play and will be asking her what she charges. Chances are she won't but I will not presume that and didn't ask her to do a freebie.
  • CMGragain said:
    The mom of one of my two maids of honor (I have two best friends, couldn't choose one) is a fantastic piano player. My fiance and I are both very close to her. That being said, we want her to be the pianist for our wedding. I'd like it to just be as a wedding gift...but I'm not sure how to say that/how to ask her. Do I even mention that it would be in place of their gift (I feel like that sounds tacky...is it?) or do I just ask her to play or what? I'm not sure how to go about this. Any advice would be appreciated :)
    I am a retired church organist/pianist.  My daughter is a professional singer.

    If you want this lady to play at your wedding, you simply ask her how much she charges for her wedding services, and the YOU PAY HER!!!
    You have no idea how insulting your idea is to musicians, who spend years and years learning their art, and then are expected to entertain at parties or to play in church for nothing.  I spent more time learning my art than most doctors do, learning their profession.  (Piano lessons at age 3 - don't do that to your child!)

    It is completely rude for you to suggest that she give you her services instead of a material gift.  You have no business even mentioning gifts.  If she decides to give you her services as a gift, that must come from her, not you.  Coming from you it is greedy, tacky, careless. 

    PS.  Average wedding charge is $300.
    I charged like $75! I think it would depend on your area and experience of the person playing/singing.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You can certainly ask her to play for you, but you cannot ask for it (or anything else) as a gift. 

    And if you ask her, you should pay her and have a written contract designating what she will sing, when, and how much compensation she'll receive for it.

    And she may say no.  Respect that.
    southernbelle0915luckysnorkel
  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer

    One of our officiants is my pastor from back home - he's like a grandfather.  He gettin' paid.  It might end up in our card box, but the money will be in his hands first.

    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
    sarahufl
  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    It's unclear from your "wedding gift" reference whether you are saying this because you don't want to pay her or because you think she will not charge you and don't want her to feel obligated to buy you a gift as well.  So, as PP said, regarding the former, you ask her to play as a vendor and wait to see whether she charges you (if you are very close, my guess is that she will not).

    With regards to the latter - we had a friend who offered to set up his speaker equipment and make sure our music got played for us at our reception (we were making our own playlist and asked him what sort of speakers we should rent because he is knowledgeable about it).  His offer meant he was doing work on our wedding day and it saved us quite a bit of money on renting speakers or hiring a DJ.  I didn't want him to feel obligated to buy us something too, but didn't want to say something tacky that would indicate I was expecting a gift.  So as a part of thanking him for his offer, I mentioned that his doing this was a wonderful wedding gift. I figured that way, he knew we considered it a gift (and a very generous one at that) without any rudeness or implied expectations.
    image
  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer

    melbenso said:
    .  So, as PP said, regarding the former, you ask her to play as a vendor and wait to see whether she charges you (if you are very close, my guess is that she will not).

    I disagree with the bolded. I think you should be up front about cost and ask how much she will charge. If she offers to play for free, then you can accept but you shouldn't "wait and see." Also, before asking about cost I think you should give her the choice if she wants to play in the first place; she might want to enjoy the day as a guest.
    Poor word choice early in the morning.  By wait and see, I meant, when you ask her to play, you will see whether she intends to charge you and how much.  (And you should ask what her fee would be during that conversation if it doesn't otherwise come up.)
    image
  • I agree with PPs. It's really rude to ask her to give you a gift no matter what the gift is. You can ask her but be up front about your budget for entertainment/music and offer to pay her for her services. Even if she offered to play at your wedding, you should still offer to pay. My violin teacher offered to play at my wedding and I was up front with our budget. We're paying him and his cellist to play even though he was the one that offered his services (and we are really grateful he did because we couldn't afford live music otherwise and I really love his playing).

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Ok, a bit off topic but do you know if she had played at weddings before?  About a year ago I played at my first wedding about a year ago, and while I've been playing flute for years, the improvisation and timing needed to play for a wedding ceremony is a different skill set, that she may or may not want to gain.  Also if she has never performed at a wedding she might not already know the typical wedding music so unless you are not picky and willing to use what she knows, she will need to put in a significant time investment in learning new music.  Also depending on the position of the piano at your ceramony site, she might not be able to see any of the ceremony.  And it could be disruptive for her to move from the piano to a seat when she isn't playing. Do you really want someone you are close to to not be able to watch you getting married?
  • Kerigirl9Kerigirl9 member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited September 2014
    I'm a semi professional singer and have been asked to sing in a ton of weddings for friends and family. Usually the bride and groom asked me for my fee and I told them that it would be my gift to them. Sometimes there was no discussion about payment and that was fine with me also as I would have refused the payment anyway. We're talking friends and family here. For close friends I performed AND gave a gift. But PPs are correct that the polite thing to do is to ask for their fee. 

    I worked hard on my craft for a great many years and I'm happy to share it with my friends and family should they honor me with a request for my participation in their wedding. 

    Same goes for funerals. Friends and family... No charge.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    CMGragain
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards