While there haven’t been any other exciting or noteworthy developments on the wedding planning front (not that I could share much anyway, or I’ll give away the whole evening to guests who may read this), I did have my first encounter with the “Wedding Machine” the other day.
Wedding Machine? It’s the phenomenon that dictates anything to do with weddings immediately inspires the vendor to pull out a folding chair, whack you in the shins with it, then bend you over the back of the chair and reach their fist as far up your hindquarters as they can in search of vital organs. Or at least that’s how you feel when they present you with a quote for their services.
In search of some music for the evening, we contacted one such vendor, mostly out of curiosity to see what his rates may be. You see, having a wedding in Tofino means that nine times out of ten, we’re going to be paying our vendors to travel from somewhere that isn’t our venue. The photographers are from Vancouver, the officiant is from Ucluelet, and some rentals are going to be coming from the Lower Mainland. Travel and shipping costs are built into our budget.
And while we have no qualms about providing for our vendors, there’s certainly a point where their requested compensation starts to look like one of those ridiculous diva-level backstage riders from the smoking gun.
This particular performer requested the following:
1. Minimum booking charge of $500 or 4 hours performance at $520
2. Mileage and ferry costs to/from the venue
3. A meal during the event
4. Overnight Accommodation
Those were pretty reasonable – what really got me was when he added:
5. Per-diem for all meals during travel to and from the venue
6. $25/h for 10 hours of travel to and from the venue (his “normal rate” for travel anywhere past West Van or Langley)
Seriously. Seriously? SERIOUSLY!
I respect that the guy’s gotta eat, and a drive to the far west coast probably isn’t his idea of a good time, considering the rate he wanted for doing it. But while I’m sure he’s talented, he’s not any sort of groundbreaking musician. He’s a wedding singer. That’s ALL he does. He does not do weddings in addition to gigging other venues and events, he doesn’t advertise any sort of individual composition or instruction ventures. He sings cover tunes at weddings and corporate events. And has a partnership with a DJ service to offer both live and canned music. And has clearly never entertained the notion of packing an effing sandwich!
The ONLY thing he’s being compensated for, at his $25/hour, is he’ll be driving instead of sleeping in until 3:00pm, then writing love songs for Drew Barrymore so he can sing to her on a plane while Billy Idol distracts her big beefy jerk of a fiance… wait, no… I don’t think he does that either.
In any case, when I called him out for his exorbitant demands, he simply said “fine, good luck finding someone else” and left it at that.
Dude, if you didn’t want to travel, just say so. Don’t assume I’m stupid enough to cop to your particular brand of crazy simply because I’m a bride to be.
And incidentally, we did find someone else, who happens to be an enthusiastic, recognized and well-trained musician/composer who happens to accept weddings in addition to other regular gigs, and like the rest of our vendors is as far from a Diva as one can get, and really just wants to offer any advice and expertise in his realm that he can in order to make our event the best it can be.
Also, because he’s making perfectly reasonable demands in terms of travel & logistics, we can afford to hire him, and a few of his bandmates as well – making our musical experience even better than we’d initially planned for!
Take that wedding singer. I hope you’re enjoying hitting the snooze button next March 29th.