Encore's Guide to Booking a Singer

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"I always feel very honoured to be part of a wedding day and to share in such an important event."
Encore singer Joanne McGahon

Are you curious about hiring a singer for a wedding or private event but don't know where to start? We’ve compiled answers to the questions we hear most often, complete with tips and inside knowledge from some of our top singers. To discuss booking a singer with our team, simply email Alexandra at [email protected].

  1. The Basics
  2. Equipment & Setup
  3. Repertoire
  4. Booking

The Basics

What styles of music can the singer sing?

While singers usually specialise in a certain style, some will be happy to offer a variety of styles: e.g., an opera singer may sing some show tunes as well. Have a listen to the singer's demo tapes to get an idea of their sound, and ask them if you'd like songs in more than one style.

"You were, as ever, absolutely fabulous."
-Emma Duchess of Rutland on Encore singer Zita Tatrai

During which parts of the wedding ceremony can the singer sing?

The singer will usually sing at the following parts of the ceremony: seating of the guests, bridal procession, signing of the registry, and the walk out.

Can the singer sing at the reception as well as the ceremony?

Absolutely, although make sure that if you want a different style for the reception that your singer is comfortable singing in multiple styles.

Does the singer need an accompanist?

Generally yes. Singers often sing with a keyboard player, but can also pair up with guitarists, string quartets, harps, and pretty much any instrument you can imagine! Some singers can also play keyboard or guitar and accompany themselves.

Encore singer/accordionist Martina Schwarz

Equipment & Setup

How much space does a singer need?

Not much - just enough for one person to stand and be able to move a bit. Of course, if the singer is playing with another musician or group, you'll need to provide space for them.

What equipment do I need to provide?

A chair for the singer to sit when they're not singing.

Do I need a to provide a PA system?

If you are hiring a classically trained singer, then a PA system is generally only required in a very large room. Jazz and folk singers will need amplification, although some will be able to bring their own equipment.

How long does the singer need to set up?

If amplification is needed, allow a quarter of an hour to set up. Otherwise, singers ideally like to warm up for about 15-30 minutes before singing.

Encore singer Phoebe White

Do I need to provide food?

Singers will appreciate bottled water and tea/coffee/biscuits upon arrival. Meals are always welcome, though generally not required unless your event is at dinnertime.

Can a singer sing outside?

Yes, in warm weather and with appropriate rain cover (a marquee or tent) and amplification. Make sure to tell the singer you want them to be outside!

What dress code can I expect?

Singers can tailor their outfit to your event - white tie, tuxedo, floor-length gowns, cocktail dresses, smart casual or just all black are all possible.

How long will the singer sing for?

During a wedding ceremony, a singer will usually sing 3-4 pieces. During a reception or party, sets are usually 2 x 45 minutes with a 15-minute break between sets.

Encore singer Gemma Louise Doyle

Do I need to provide parking?

Sometimes - check with your singer how they plan to arrive! If they are transporting a keyboard and/or other kit, they will need a parking space near the door (or be able to unload near the door).

Repertoire

What are the most popular repertoire requests?

Our top singers tell us the following pieces are guaranteed to lend a little something special to your wedding or event:

Ave Maria by Franz Schubert

O Mio Babbino Caro by Giacomo Puccini

Song to the Moon by Antonín Dvořák

Songbird by Fleetwood Mac

One Hand, One Heart from West Side Story

Can the singer sing my favourite song?

Absolutely! Singers love adding new pieces to their repertoire, and if they can’t find an arrangement, will often tailor one themselves for your event. This may add an additional fee to your booking, but is well worth the extra expense to hear your favourite song played in a new and exciting way.

I'm not sure what type of music I want - where can I go for ideas?

Go to Encore's singer page and listen to different singers' audio/video clips and get ideas of which styles you like. You can even filter by location to find singers near you!

Encore singer/pianist Elliot Doyle Rooney

Booking

How far in advance should I book?

We advise booking as soon as possible, especially if you have special musical requests, but we handle last-minute bookings all the time at Encore and can easily find a singer at short notice.

What's the typical price for a singer?

Generally around £200 - £300 to sing at a wedding ceremony. Some singers will offer a discount if they are booked for the reception as well.

Do I have to pay travel fees?

You may have to factor in travel costs if the singer is not local. Most musicians have a set radius from their home (generally 15-20 miles) and charge extra for any travel outside that area. We have singers all over the country, so we can usually find someone close to your location.

The standard rate is 47p/mile so if the singer needs to travel 50 miles each way, that's an additional £47 for 100 miles of travel. This amount is included as a rough guide - each musician will set their own fees.

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"I love performing at wedding ceremonies, because it really helps create the atmosphere."
Encore singer Teresa de Roberto

How do I handle contracts and payment?

The easiest way to handle contracts and payment is to book through Encore. Our bookings process is extremely straightforward, and once you have confirmed a booking with your chosen singer, contracts and payments will be handled painlessly and effortlessly by our secure payments system. To discuss booking a singer, please email Alexandra at [email protected]

Hopefully this guide answers all of your questions! If you have more questions about singers, email us at [email protected] and we'd be more than happy to help.


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