Jump to content
Mander Organs
gazman

Wedding and Funeral Fees

Recommended Posts

Guest Roffensis

Going on from what I was saying earlier today, I have just been in a church where I know all the people involved fairly well. That church has all sorts of tensions and problems because people such as the director of music and the vicar don't actually talk to each other and discuss what they are each planning to do and what their vision is for the future. Like so many organists and vicars neither seems capable of telling anyone what they are going to do in a service until about five minutes before a service because neither of them is capable of deciding what they are going to do any earlier than that. Organists and vicars are both just as bad at this sort of thing.

 

Malcolm

[/quote

 

Oh I get on fine with the clergy where I am, perhaps I am a rarity! :)

 

R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting arrangement at my place: we have the same fee for weddings and funerals (currently £70.00) which of course is doubled if videoed. One can feel underpaid for the former (unless it's videoed) and overpaid for the latter. (Certainly it's embarrassing to try and ask anyone to dep for me at a wedding for £70.00 unless it's my own Assistant who lives nearby the Church and is retired from his former day job...)

 

Anyone else experienced that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, but I would make the point that, generally speaking, weddings need more preparation time and more time at the church on the day.

 

Malcolm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is up to the family to decide how much music they want played on the organ, although this should be at the discretion of the Priest as to what is allowed. Both my Priest and I refuse inappropriate music. If an organist is booked and only plays 10 seconds :lol: , he has still travelled to the church, given up his time, and is entitled to his full fee. It should be presumed also that he has done so at the risk of losing work elsewhere in the meantime, given that funerals are arranged in advance. In about two cases per year I find a family who "don't want an organist", and typically they have no music at all.

 

Concerning weddings, in the case of video, I also double my fee. This is standard practice.

 

R

 

It has been interesting to read how different churches arrange the question of wedding and funeral fees. In the benefice in which I operate the fees are agreed with the joint PCCs and form part of the standard charge made to those who are about to be matched or dispatched. Thus, in effect, the church pays each organist directly and we do not have to negotiate with either customers or funeral directors, although on occasion I have charged extra for an additional rehearsal. Videos are so commonplace now that we gave up the charging of a special fee long ago. The current fees for all of those who play in the various churches are, for a wedding, £85 and for a funeral £60, although, sadly, they happen comparatively rarely in our area; I think the bracing country air in this part of Worcestershire encourages all of them to live in sin for a very long time.

 

David Harrison

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been following this thread with great interest.

 

I play for two churches - one Roman Catholic and one Methodist. The Roman Catholic church in question does not pay organists for their services, and probably would not be too pleased if any hint concerning payment was even suggested! Very often, a lot of Catholic churches over here claim that they simply do not have the funds to pay an organist. This is of course completely untrue, especially when one considers that in your average Maltese church there are roughly five or six masses every day - all bringing in a fairly princely sum from the offertory. However, having said this, they are always most grateful for the services offered.

 

On the other hand, the Methodist church here, whose income appears to be considerably smaller, are always very willing where remuneration is concerned, and also very willing to discuss fees with the organist where funerals and weddings are concerned, and negotiate with other parties on the organists' behalf.

 

VA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
when the Bride is late.

 

[:

 

R

 

Or the groom - that happened once to me and I was getting a trifle worried as I was due to play another wedding in another church later that day where a friend from university was getting married. He ws 3/4 hour late! Fortunately I was able to get the my friend's wedding in time.

 

But the best of the lot was when the priest was late! Bride and father were waiting at the door of the church while he was, unvested, lighting the candles and checking the books were open at the right page and during all this I was trying to keep the congregation entertained - with decreasing enthusiasm and, I'm sure, equally decreasing success!

 

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recently the string quartet in which my wife plays was booked to play the pre-service music in a Cornish church. They were to accompany the bride up the aisle, but all the hymns were to be played by the organist. At the start of the service the bride duly entered and the priest announced the first hymn. Silence. The priest looked round at the organ. Empty bench. No organist! He never did show up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Until 3 years ago I was paid £30 for a wedding with no extra fee if a video recording was made. When I realised how far below the going rate this was, I dug in my heels and after some refreshing exchanges of letters (when they asked me to wait until the following year so that they could adjust the wedding fees to accommodate my request ) they agreed to pay me what I asked for, which was £60 - I didn't like to push my luck by asking for double the fee for a video.

 

Later, I noticed the fee had been raised to £70 without my asking, and they add on another £10 if it is to be recorded. Not sure why they don't just ask me what my fee is - perhaps there is an element of control freakery somewhere.

According to the schedule for 2010 there are over 40 weddings between March and November and more may be added.

 

I am nowhere near as well qualified as most contributors to this forum so I suppose all is as it should be

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are extremely lucky. I don't know of any church within quite a wide radius of Brighton (not southwards, obviously!) that gets anything like 40 weddings a year. Even major parish churches are lucky if they get 7 or 8.

 

Malcolm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are extremely lucky. I don't know of any church within quite a wide radius of Brighton (not southwards, obviously!) that gets anything like 40 weddings a year. Even major parish churches are lucky if they get 7 or 8.

 

Malcolm

 

I'm 2 down, 40 to go....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Making idle chit-chat with the vicar of a rather deprived suburban parish, I casually enquired if the organ got much use, for weddings and so on.

 

He mulled that one over for a moment and replied, "We don't get many actual weddings...we do get a lot of preparations..."

 

Oh dear. 8-)

 

H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote "When the Bride is late"

We do not allow late brides in our two church benefice.

Last year a bride turned up almost an hour late, with not so much as a "sorry"

When I asked one of the ushers what was the cause of the delay I was promtly told "Chill out man, it's a wedding"

We noe allow a bride to be five minute's late no more. If she is later than this the wedding cermony does not take place, and of course no refund of fees!

Guess what, all our brides now arrive in plenty of tome to have the obligitory potos taken, and the service stars at the alloted time..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote "When the Bride is late"

We do not allow late brides in our two church benefice.

Last year a bride turned up almost an hour late, with not so much as a "sorry"

When I asked one of the ushers what was the cause of the delay I was promtly told "Chill out man, it's a wedding"

We noe allow a bride to be five minute's late no more. If she is later than this the wedding cermony does not take place, and of course no refund of fees!

Guess what, all our brides now arrive in plenty of tome to have the obligitory potos taken, and the service stars at the alloted time..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have once before shared the story of a bride who was almost an hour late even though she lived about two doors down from the church.

 

Having got through all the wedding music about two times over in my "bumper book of wedding and funeral music" and still no show, I took in a deep breath and started playing some of the funeral music.

 

At which point she arrived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless we have 3 or 4 booked on the trot, I feel I have to show some measure of understanding when the bride is late. I too have sinned, having been 20 minutes late for my own wedding over 30 years ago.

Pots and kettles etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unless we have 3 or 4 booked on the trot, I feel I have to show some measure of understanding when the bride is late. I too have sinned, having been 20 minutes late for my own wedding over 30 years ago.

Pots and kettles etc.

Whilst we are talking of late brides, my latest trick is to tell the bride that if the wedding starts at 1.00pm then the bells stop at 1.00pm and not a minute later. Since the bellringers have already rung half an hour before the start of the service then it doesn't really seem appropriate to make them go on ringing. Same principle for the organist! It is amazing how when the bells do stop ringing there is an absolute screaming silence!

 

All this said, there are stupid brides, but there are some for whom the lateness is beyond their control. Like the driver who got lost taking a short-cut through the maze that is Prestatyn! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One very eminent cathedral organist once told me, he gives them 5 minues, and then silence.

 

If I stopped playing 5 minutes into late time 'silence' isn't the word I use to describe the level of noise in church... :rolleyes: It's a rare treat when the guests are quiet and I can hear what I'm playing. I used to take them on with the tutti, but these days I sit and 'play', and then pull out some stops if the noise level dips!!! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I know what you mean! Its school confirmation on Sunday, and it resembles a huge social gathering with little respect for what is actually taking place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once attended, as a guest, a wedding in a large and quite well known church in Northampton. The organist* was improvising the music before the bride's arrival and when she was around fifteen minutes late the theme of a popular Christmas Carol started, intermittently, to appear. Before she arrived some 20 minutes late it had become much more obvious, to the clear amusement of the choir and quite a large proportion of the audience.

 

*Not the regular, but an uncle of the bride lest it be thought impolite! I gather that he was auditioned before agreement was given for him to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone ever experienced a 'cause or impediment'?

 

At one wedding for which I played many years ago, the Vicar warned me before hand that there was the strong likelyhood of someone raising a 'cause or impediment' when the question was asked.

The plan was that, should this happen, I should play as loudly as possible whilst the bride, groom, families and whoever raised the 'cause', retired to the vestry to sort it all out.

To my great disappointment, the incident didn't happen.

 

DT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At one church where I played, when weddings were more popular, 3 or 4 back to back on a Saturday was not uncommon. A strict rule on lateness was imposed after one day when the vicar cancelled a wedding service because the bride was more than 30 minutes late. He explained to the congregation that they were welcome to stay to the next wedding if they felt suitably deprived of a service. The bride did eventually turn up about 10 minutes before the next one, but I believe they were not cordially introduced.

 

On the subject of when to stop playing, on a Sunday morning I stop at 11.00 prompt. For weddings I give them 10 minutes over, usually growing in banality or cheek as time passes. Popular music is a wonderful resource for this.

 

This one, given the nature of many of the people getting married, and the British weather, from The Carpenters is particularly sweet.

 

Talking to myself and feeling old

Sometimes I'd like to quit

Nothing ever seems to fit

Hangin around, nothing to do but frown

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

 

What I've got they used to call the blues

Nothing is really wrong

Feeling like I don't belong

Walking around like some kind of lonely clown

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

 

Funny but it seems I always wind up here with you

Its nice to know somebody loves me

Funny but it seems that it's the only thing to do

To run and find the one who loves me

 

What I feel is come and gone before

No need to talk it out

We know what it's all about

Hanging around, nothing to do but frown

Rainy days and mondays always get me down

 

 

AJS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I am feeling sarcastic or when the choir ladies sit down in disgust when the signing of the register goes on to ridiculous lengths, I wheel out Michel Legrand's 'If it takes forever I will wait for you'.

Sadly, I fear these touches of irony go wide of the target in most cases.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...