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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

August 17, 2012

Bridal chit-chat (13)

evelyn @ 10:41 pm

Paul, who is turning into this blog’s trade union representative :-), has commented about wedding video fees.  This is something that has bothered me for a long time.  I don’t know which is Paul’s musicians’ union but the Scottish Federation of Organists rates certainly do say fee + 50% for audio recording and fee + 100% for video.

Their recommended fee for both weddings and funerals is currently £55, which for a wedding, with all the fuss and preparation involved, is pretty low.  I suppose the reasoning is that as weddings are always recorded the normal fee would be £110.

I have two problems with this: first, the newspapers sometimes get hold of the video fee calculation, and I’ve seen two very unfair articles about greedy organists doubling their fees if there is a camera in sight.  Brides sometimes look askance as well when 100% is mentioned, which I have found embarrassing.  Secondly, I’ve never been sure why the video charge is separate, and specified so precisely, when there are so many other potential add-ons, like extra rehearsals or arranging pop or film music, or driving some distance.  Is the amount of the video fee some sort of universal rule, I wonder? Paul, you may have information on this.

If it isn’t a rule, then I’d much rather that a higher basic fee was recommended, which would include the video charge – as Paul has said, all ceremonies are recorded these days.   This is the policy I now follow myself.  It means I don’t ask for a video fee as such, and no bride has ever queried it.  And I play so much better when I don’t think about the cameras.

However, there is one aspect about wedding fees which no one has yet found an answer to – having to play on – and on – and on – when the bride is late.  I do so wish someone would invent a ‘bride meter’.  This would operate like a taxi meter, clocking up another £10 or so for each extra five minutes before the bridal entry.

I suppose the problem would be how to collect it …

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