Let’s face it: If you’re a musician, you probably dream of selling out Madison Square Garden or winning a Grammy. Of being a wedding singer? Not so much.
But as Rachel Anne Warren reveals in a post for The Billfold, working as a wedding singer is actually a pretty good gig.
“Being a wedding singer is possibly, by far, the best job I’ve ever had,” she writes. “Not only is singing ‘Don’t Stop Believing,’ to a crowd of people gathered in celebration both easy and fun, it’s made me a better musician.”
As part of the Bachelor Boys Band, Warren says she gets a base pay of $300-450 per gig, with the ability to earn more based on distance traveled and extra services offered.
Plus, at each wedding, she also gets a free meal — and sometimes free booze, or even tips.
So You Wanna Be a Wedding Singer?
If singing at weddings and other events sounds like a great gig to you, Warren offers three important pieces of advice:
1. Write Off As Much As You Can
As a wedding singer, you’re an independent contractor, which means many of your expenses are tax-deductible.
“Mileage and gas to and from each gig — write it off,” she writes.
“Use your phone, laptop and home office to book and manage gigs? Write it off. Spotify to learn tunes — write it off. iPad and iPad stand — write it off.”
2. Learn Your Songs
“The hardest part is getting ready for your first gig,” Warren explains. “A new singer has to invest a lot of time leading up to the first wedding by learning a ton of material.”
In addition to learning 20-30 popular songs, you also need to learn keys, bridges and what to do if a song isn’t working or if something goes wrong.
3. Build Up Stamina
Unlike at a regular concert, wedding singers are expected to sing for two to three hours straight.
“[Vocal chords] are muscles, and you’re asking for a marathon when you’ve maybe put in a couple 5ks,” writes Warren. So make sure you’re up for the challenge!
What are you waiting for? With wedding season winding down, now’s the perfect time to start booking gigs for next summer.
Your Turn: Do you love to sing? Have you ever thought about becoming a wedding singer?
Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Connect with her on Twitter: @susan_shain.