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gazman

Wedding and Funeral Fees

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In Brighton there is an RC parish priest and an Anglican Vicar (formerly an RC priest in Italy) who both have the registers signed on top of the nave altar, turning it temporarily into a desk. I have played for weddings in both churches. Undignifed and irreverant, yes, but it certainly encourages them to hurry up.

 

Malcolm

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In Brighton there is an RC parish priest and an Anglican Vicar (formerly an RC priest in Italy) who both have the registers signed on top of the nave altar, turning it temporarily into a desk. I have played for weddings in both churches. Undignifed and irreverant, yes, but it certainly encourages them to hurry up.

 

Malcolm

To aid this, what they should do at this point would be to restrain physically the photographer*. In my church they seem to take an absurdly long time to capture presumably similar photographs of virtually every combination:

 

Bride and Groom (holding pen)

Bride, Groom and Rector (Bride holding pen)

Bride, Groom and Bride's Mother (Bride holding pen, Bride's Mother trying to hold pen, stand upright and retain hat on head - and smile)

Bride, Groom, Bride's parents (both partly obscured by Bride's veil / boquet / the lumpy pillar capital)

Bride, Groom and Groom's parents (with irritating small child, who is clearly bored out of its mind)

Bride, Groom, both sets of parents and at least two other small children - one of whom is, equally clearly, desperate to visit the toilet.

The pen

The entire party, with the Rector gritting his teeth and looking surreptitiously at his Rolex.

Bride, Groom, the bridesmaids and the old woman who lives under Julian's Bridge....

 

By this time, I will have exhausted my repertoire of works by Sorabji, cleaned the keys and stopheads and rustled up a couple of bacon sandwiches for wilting choristers. And taken the altar silver to have it valued.

 

 

 

* Preferably involving a straitjacket, a small, dank cell and a rather alarming softly spoken Eastern European gentleman, who possesses an impressive collection of knives.

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and rustled up a couple of bacon sandwiches for wilting choristers.

 

 

:rolleyes::lol:

 

Cooked on the chamades, which by this point will no doubt be glowing?

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In re post 52:

 

pcnd - one of your very best. May you, like the King, live for ever.

 

Although, at the time that my wife and I were married, I had not experienced many wedding services, I have always been mindful since then of the arrangement at our own ceremony. We had the signing of the register in the church nave on a small harmonium (not being used for the service!), and we accomplished all that was legally required during the singing of "Lord for thy tender mercies' sake". Not quite as long as "Hear my words" or "Vox Dicentis", but everything was done and dusted during that piece, which I estimate lasts about 90 seconds. Of course, in those days (early 60s), photographers in churches were definitely off limits. As a result we all got to the shampoo before the bubbles stopped bubbling.

 

On the question of when one stops playing due to a late bride, I usually give them 5 minutes and then stop. A notable cathedral organist of my acquaintance stops right on the pre-agreed kick-off time. Of course, there are occasions when the matter is beyond the control of the bridal party, but I contend that these happen rarely. When people say to me "it's traditional for the bride to be late", my reply is usually, "should bad manners be traditional?"

 

David Harrison

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Guest Patrick Coleman
In Brighton there is an RC parish priest and an Anglican Vicar (formerly an RC priest in Italy) who both have the registers signed on top of the nave altar, turning it temporarily into a desk. I have played for weddings in both churches. Undignifed and irreverant, yes, but it certainly encourages them to hurry up.

 

Malcolm

 

 

I do exactly this, but it need neither be undignified nor irreverent. The photographer gets no more than three shots, and with all the congregation waiting dare not ask for more.

 

Malcolm, it depends whether you see the use of the altar as sanctifying the profane elements of the marriage contract, or profaning the holy place.

 

And yes it does avoid all the c**p described so eloquently by pcnd! :rolleyes:

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To aid this, what they should do at this point would be to restrain physically the photographer*. In my church they seem to take an absurdly long time to capture presumably similar photographs of virtually every combination:

 

Bride and Groom (holding pen)

Bride, Groom and Rector (Bride holding pen)

Bride, Groom and Bride's Mother (bride holding pen, bride's Mother trying to hold pen, stand upright and retain hat on head - and smile)

Bride, Groom, Bride's parents (both partly obscured by Bride's veil / boquet / the lumpy pillar capital)

Bride, Groom and Groom's parents (with irritating small child, who is clearly bored out of its mind)

Bride, Groom, both sets of parents and at least two other small children - one of whom is, equally clearly, desperate to visit the toilet.

The pen

The entire party, with the Rector gritting his teeth and looking surreptitiously at his Rolex.

Bride, Groom, the bridesmaids and the old woman who lives under Julian's Bridge....

 

By this time, I will have exhausted my repertoire of works by Sorabji, cleaned the keys and stopheads and rustled up a couple of bacon sandwiches for wilting choristers. And taken the altar silver to have it valued.

 

 

 

* Preferably involving a straitjacket, a small, dank cell and a rather alarming softly spoken Eastern European gentleman, who possesses an impressive collection of knives.

 

Good one pcnd - especially the Sorabji - 'always a favorite at nuptials - and often in my case a not too heavily disguised version of 'Why are we waiting...' in a sort of neo Messaien style.

 

A

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In re post 52:

 

pcnd - one of your very best. May you, like the King, live for ever.

 

 

David Harrison

Thank you!

 

Indeed I hope to.

 

:rolleyes:

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:lol::D

 

Cooked on the chamades, which by this point will no doubt be glowing?

 

White heat - no less....

 

:rolleyes:

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In re post 52:

 

pcnd - one of your very best.

Wasn't it! :rolleyes:

 

May you, like the King, live for ever.

Hmm. I don't know that I'd wish that on anyone. If it isn't an ancient Chinese curse, it should be!

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What an entertaining thread this has turned out to be! Thank you. :(

 

Ok, folks, I'll try another tack, if I may. If you're going to take on a new post such as the one I described and are asked to 'name your fee' what - within reason! - would you propose?

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Funerals £60

Weddings - without choir £100

with choir £125

Wedding fees doubled if there is a video

 

Adult choir members - not less than £25 each

 

 

Malcolm

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Funerals £60

Weddings - without choir £100

with choir £125

Wedding fees doubled if there is a video

 

Adult choir members - not less than £25 each

 

 

Malcolm

Thank you, Malcolm. :)

 

Anybody else care to suggest what you think a fair rate might be, please?

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Our fees are:

 

Wedding - £150

Funeral - £80

Doubled if recorded

 

Choir receive £20. We had a wedding yesterday, which was videoed. Partly in jest one of my choirmen asked 'Do our fees get doubled?!'.

 

Now that has never occured to me. What do others do?

 

F-W

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Wedding - £150

Funeral - £80

Doubled if recorded

 

Choir receive £20. We had a wedding yesterday, which was videoed. Partly in jest one of my choirmen asked 'Do our fees get doubled?!'.

 

Now that has never occured to me. What do others do?

If the fee is doubled for the organist then it should be doubled, or increased by the same amount, for the choirmen. Their performance is being videoed in exactly the same way as the organist's or conductor's. I don't know how things are in the main London professional church and cathedral choirs these days, but certainly pre-the Thatcher trade union reforms when there was a legal closed-shop, the choirmen of Westminster Abbey, for example, took great exception to being videoed by tourists.

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Our fees are:

 

Wedding - £150

Funeral - £80

Doubled if recorded

 

Choir receive £20. We had a wedding yesterday, which was videoed. Partly in jest one of my choirmen asked 'Do our fees get doubled?!'.

 

Now that has never occured to me. What do others do?

 

F-W

I am not a professional musician and I don't wish to cause offence, but what additional work is being done that justifies a higher fee? There should be an hourly rate that reflects the number of hours of effort required. As a former broadcaster, I saw a sharp decline in the employment of musicians as a result of unreasonable demands. I'm sorry, double fees just for a video, in this day and age, put me in mind of duck houses and moat maintenance! Take care not to talk yourselves out of a job.

JC

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I am not a professional musician and I don't wish to cause offence, but what additional work is being done that justifies a higher fee? There should be an hourly rate that reflects the number of hours of effort required. As a former broadcaster, I saw a sharp decline in the employment of musicians as a result of unreasonable demands. I'm sorry, double fees just for a video, in this day and age, put me in mind of duck houses and moat maintenance! Take care not to talk yourselves out of a job.

JC

I can see some merit in not making much fuss about amateur video, but to say "what additional work is being done that justifies a higher fee?" ignores all relevant law about performance rights. You might as well as what additional work is being done by an author when their book is turned into a film, or when photographers receive payments from many different newspapers for the use of the same picture.

 

If a professional video is being made at a wedding there will almost certainly be restrictions placed on the use and copying of the finished videorecording by the filmmakers.

 

John, could you describe what area of broadcasting you worked in?

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I can see some merit in not making much fuss about amateur video, but to say "what additional work is being done that justifies a higher fee?" ignores all relevant law about performance rights. You might as well as what additional work is being done by an author when their book is turned into a film, or when photographers receive payments from many different newspapers for the use of the same picture.

 

If a professional video is being made at a wedding there will almost certainly be restrictions placed on the use and copying of the finished videorecording by the filmmakers.

 

John, could you describe what area of broadcasting you worked in?

I am indeed ignoring performance rights because I do not think they are relevant in the case of weddings and funerals. If the resulting tapes were to be exhibited to a paying audience, there might be some justification for a share of the ticket revenue, but we are not talking of celebrity weddings here are we?

 

I think the case for authors and photographers is different. They are manufacturing a product for commercial sale, not providing a service for which they receive a fee.

 

In television I worked in a range of operational posts in studio production before moving into management. In both capacities, I was frustrated by the intransigence of some musicians. In the end, producers could no longer be bothered to employ them.

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I am indeed ignoring performance rights because I do not think they are relevant in the case of weddings and funerals. If the resulting tapes were to be exhibited to a paying audience, there might be some justification for a share of the ticket revenue, but we are not talking of celebrity weddings here are we?

I don't know - I can imagine the hoohah if a choir or organist had some sort of sliding scale of charges based on the perceived celebrity-rating of the couple getting married. Do you see a church or cathedral wedding as different from a recital, in terms of performance rights?

I think the case for authors and photographers is different. They are manufacturing a product for commercial sale, not providing a service for which they receive a fee.

So a wedding photographer is different from a wedding singer how?

In television I worked in a range of operational posts in studio production before moving into management. In both capacities, I was frustrated by the intransigence of some musicians. In the end, producers could no longer be bothered to employ them.

As a professional musician I have had much more experience in the recording studio for BBC radio (chiefly drama, with some appearances on magazine programmes, a R4 quiz series and a few OBs) than in TV studios (a few Pebble Mills, some light entertainment specials). Both can be demanding, but TV wins hands down for long periods of inconceivable tedium alternating with moments of intense stress. If musicians lost work as you describe then I hope their hearts and nerves are better, even if their wallets are emptier. On the other hand, I gather many of the popular TV shows today are again using live bands, eg Strictly Come Dancing.

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If the fee is doubled for the organist then it should be doubled, or increased by the same amount, for the choirmen.

Surely it depends? I cannot comment on Father Willis's choir (which, for all I know, may consist of professional singers), but as far as the those in my region are concerned, most definitely not. All but two of which I am aware have no professional level of skill and I would lay odds that the majority of choir members here cannot read music confidently at all. A flat fee for their time is fair enough, but to put them on professional payment terms would, frankly, be pretentious in the extreme, if not downright ludicrous. You could, of course, say the same of organists, but I take it that we are here discussing organists who know what they are doing and are fully capable of delivering the goods to the required standard. Are all their choirs really of a similar accomplishment? Respectfully, I very much doubt it.

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I don't know - I can imagine the hoohah if a choir or organist had some sort of sliding scale of charges based on the perceived celebrity-rating of the couple getting married. Do you see a church or cathedral wedding as different from a recital, in terms of performance rights?

 

So a wedding photographer is different from a wedding singer how?

 

As a professional musician I have had much more experience in the recording studio for BBC radio (chiefly drama, with some appearances on magazine programmes, a R4 quiz series and a few OBs) than in TV studios (a few Pebble Mills, some light entertainment specials). Both can be demanding, but TV wins hands down for long periods of inconceivable tedium alternating with moments of intense stress. If musicians lost work as you describe then I hope their hearts and nerves are better, even if their wallets are emptier. On the other hand, I gather many of the popular TV shows today are again using live bands, eg Strictly Come Dancing.

I think you misunderstand what I am saying. My dentist charges £250 an hour, so I see no problem with a professional organist charging a similar amount for a wedding. Both require skill, training and preparation to perform their job and should be appropriately rewarded. I just think it is silly to distinguish between video and non video. Yes, I do think a wedding photographer is different from a wedding singer and, like the organist, I think a realistic professional fee should be charged.

 

I take the point about long periods of inconceivable tedium in television - it just happens to be the time when other professionals are doing their bit. I am pleased to see the resurgence of live bands but still regret the absence of orchestras from our screens. I am long retired from the business, so things may have changed in recent times.

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I think you misunderstand what I am saying. My dentist charges £250 an hour, so I see no problem with a professional organist charging a similar amount for a wedding. Both require skill, training and preparation to perform their job and should be appropriately rewarded. I just think it is silly to distinguish between video and non video. Yes, I do think a wedding photographer is different from a wedding singer and, like the organist, I think a realistic professional fee should be charged.

Would your dentist mind if you brought in a film crew to film him working on your root canals? [Edited to add:] And I think professional photographers generally charge a fee plus a charge for each photograph (that is each copy, you are not allowed to copy the pictures yourself).

I take the point about long periods of inconceivable tedium in television - it just happens to be the time when other professionals are doing their bit. I am pleased to see the resurgence of live bands but still regret the absence of orchestras from our screens. I am long retired from the business, so things may have changed in recent times.

I've, perhaps erroneously, imagined the absence of orchestras from our TV screens to be part and parcel of the same anti-elitism that keeps Shakespeare and solo cello suites off our TV screens!

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Would your dentist mind if you brought in a film crew to film him working on your root canals?

If, in perhaps half of root canal procedures, filming for and by family and friends was normal practice, I would expect him to get on and do his job without complaint or extra charge.

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I think there is some difficulty here about what constitutes a 'professional' musician in the case of organists and choir members. Professionals deserve to be paid at a professional rate. Many of us organists are professionally qualified and play to a high standard (I include myself in this category), but I am not a professional organist in the sense that I don't make my living primarily from playing and choir directing. But does that make me any less a professional musician, really? Or am I just a competent amateur? If I play for a wedding at my church, I will provide an excellent, professional service, but if I'm not available they'll ask the guy from the congregation to play -- he plays the piano with two fingers and can just about manage on the organ if he takes it slowly, doesn't have to use his feet too much, has several months' notice, and they don't ask for Widor. We are both paid the same fee.

 

As for doubling fees, I think I'm entitled to ask for the reasons that have already been stated by others in earlier posts, but I rarely do. In the light of this thread, however, I tried it recently: the result? -- the couple called back later to tell me they had now decided not to have a video after all! Even my doubled fee would have been comparatively low judging by other responses on here, and certainly less than the bride will spend on her hairdo for the big day ...

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If, in perhaps half of root canal procedures, filming for and by family and friends was normal practice, I would expect him to get on and do his job without complaint or extra charge.

The argument that because something is normal practice it is therefore right makes me quietly scream.

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The argument that because something is normal practice it is therefore right makes me quietly scream.

Oh, please don't do that. Let's discuss something uncontroversial like Bach's preferred composition of mixtures instead. :)

JC

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