AND SPECIAL OCCASIONS
HOW TO ADVERTISE YOUR SERVICES FOR WEDDINGS AND SPECIAL OCCASIONS
Tips from Sandra Boysen
Advertise in smaller community newspapers --- independent publications, alternative media, and neighborhood sorts of papers. Their ad rates are usually much lower than those of the regular daily paper. Large colleges or universities often publish their own on-campus newspapers, with cheap ad rates --- and it's the college-age group which is going to plan the most weddings! Change your ad to keep it fresh every month, if you can.
Also, specifically for wedding singers, many towns and cities have a small, booklet-sized publication called "Wedding Planner" or something similar. It is released two or three times per year, and takes ads for wedding-related services such as singers, instrumentalists, DJ's, and flower/cake/clothing aspects. These, as well as the alternative papers, are often found in or near the newspaper racks at supermarkets, near the front door, so people can easily spot them. They can also be found where ever there are gift registries --- department stores and stores like Linens & Things or Bed, Bath, and Beyond often have them in the gift registry area.
If you don't have access to alternative newspapers or wedding planners, get on the computer and design an 8.5x11 flyer with your photo and the pertinent info presenting you as the best wedding vocalist since King David! These flyers can be copied at Kinko's, and for a little extra money you can go with full color and glossy paper to boost your presentation. Put 'em up in bridal boutiques, tuxedo rental shops, wedding caterers and bakers shops, and give one to every minister or church music director you can find.
That's just the start. You might also want to make yourself available to sing at wedding receptions, so consider making up a package of songs which you can perform to CD accompaniments. Try Musical Creations, in South Carolina. They carry hundreds of songs of all styles and can raise or lower keys for you, even edit to be longer or shorter if you want. Their number is (919) 460-7464 and their office hours are Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, EST. Call them and ask for their free catalog.
Tips from Heather Allen
These days everyone is looking for one stop shopping, brides included. Do you know a pianist/organist, cellist, violinist, flutist? Pool your resources and your Rolodexes. Work together and package your talents. Four or five people often have better returns than just one.
I used to work for a symphony and kept a Rolodex of singers on file for weddings. I got 4, maybe 5 calls a month for singers and I would recommend someone. One of the guys (who I tended to recommend more often) would bring a box of chocolate by if he got a gig by referral from our office. Now, he was a great singer - but that little gesture that didnít cost him a lot of money, and it made us recommend him more often than the others. This same thing went on at the opera office.
Get referrals from bridal shops, formal wear, caterers, etc. Take a packet (or ten) over to your local churches (rep list, bio, rates, maybe CD or tape with one or two songs). Sit down with the minister, wedding coordinator, organist Ė whoever will meet with you.
Also, sing in area churches on Sunday morning for free. I'm sure you know at least one person in each church - tell them you'd be interested in singing at their church and they can help you get the ball rolling - or take the bull by the horns and offer it to the music director directly. Then on Sunday morning have your "Wedding Singer" cards on hand and talk about how much you love to share in the worship service, wedding, funeral whatever.
WEDDING GUIDES AND ONLINE ADVERTISING
Wedding Links Galore - advertise your services for free in a listing searchable by state and city. This site can be located through www.ultimatewedding.com, one of the big sites for wedding planning, which drives a lot of traffic to the site.
Top Wedding Sites - advertise your services for free, but you must pay for a premium listing.
The Birdís Song (R. Vaughan Williams, The Pilgrimís Progress)
Bist du bei Mir (J.S. Bach)
Down the Road (words set to theme from Dvorakís New World Symphony)
His Eye is on the Sparrow (Luigi Zaninelli, Five American Gospel Songs)
The Holy City
I Need the Every Hour
I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (J.S. Bach)
Jesu, The Very Thought of Thee
The Lord Is My Shepherd
O Lord Most Holy
On Eagles' Wings
Psalm 23 (Paul Creston)
Psalm 23 (Malotte)
The Wedding Song (Set me as a seal upon your heart) from Daniel Pinkham's Wedding Cantata. Published for voice and organ in a single sheet by Peters
Where eíer you walk (from Semele, Handel)
Jesu, Joy of Manís Desiring (Bach)
Entreat me not to leave thee (Gounod)
Nico Castel Ladino Songbook: specifically, Scalerica de oro.
"All I Ask of You" duet from Phantom of the Opera (Lloyd Weber)
"All The Things You Are" (solo or quartet) (Kern)
"And This is My Beloved" from Kismet
"From This Moment On" from Brigadoon
"i carry your heart" (music John Duke; text by e.e. cummings)
Let Beauty Awake from Songs of Travel (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
"Love Song (duet) from Pippin
"Make Believe" (duet) from Showboat (Kern)
"My Heart is so full of you" from The Most Happy Fella (Loesser)
"One Hand, One HeartĒ from West Side Story (Bernstein)
"Our Love is Here to Stay"
"Pur ti miro, Pur ti godo" (duet) from Coronation of Poppea (Monteverdi)
"Silent Noon" (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
"Thy hand in Mine" (Frank Bridge)
"Till There Was You" from The Music Man
"Some Enchanted Evening" or "Younger Than Springtime" from South Pacific (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
"The Very Thought of You"
"La vie en rose" (Piaf)
"With You" from Pippin
"You Are Love" from Showboat (Kern)