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CostHelper > Weddings  > Organist

Organist Cost


How Much Does an Organist Cost?

 
low costLow: Usually Start $100-$150average costOrganists Average: $175-$250high costHigh: Organists Can Run $300+

A wedding organist is a suitable choice for those who enjoy hearing hymns and classical arrangements before, during and after the ceremony. In general, churches with a working organ have a suggested organist you may hire for an event. However, some organists also work on a freelance basis and will play at various locations for an agreed-upon fee. Because organs are not easily moved, musicians should be provided with the instrument on-site.

Typical costs:

  • The most common fee for a wedding organist is in the $175 to $250 range. Starting at $100 on the low end, an organist may charge $300 or more for his or her services.
  • Some churches include an organist as part of a wedding package in their ceremony fees. Church packages including an organist cost around $1,000.
Related articles: Live Ceremony Music, Wedding Music Band, Wedding DJ

What should be included:
  • The organist should attend a scheduled wedding rehearsal. If the contract does not include rehearsing the day before with the organist, a CD of the selected music should be provided.
  • The organist's fee should include a consultation to select music.
  • A wedding organist should arrive at his or her scheduled time the on the wedding day. He or she will agree to play music selections before, during and after the ceremony. The entire musical set typically lasts no longer than one hour, unless the wedding couple has an especially long ceremony planned or a lengthy recessional, dismissing each row of guests.
Additional costs:
  • A non-refundable deposit may be required to secure your organist for the wedding day.
  • Expect to pay $25 to $50 per hour for additional rehearsals with the organist if rehearsals are not included in the overall wedding fee.
  • If you plan to include a vocalist, musician or choir requiring the use of the organist for rehearsals, expect to pay $50 to $150 per rehearsal.
Shopping for an organist:
  • Get quotes from several organists before making a selection. If there is a musician you prefer to work with, ask if he or she is able to match a competitor's fee. Don't haggle on the price, however, knowing that an organ is a complicated instrument that takes musicians years to master.
  • If you have specific music in mind, make sure the organist can play the pieces selected at the consultation to reflect the mood of the ceremony. Traditional wedding ceremony songs are listed at Music for Church Choirs[1] . When making song selections, the organist should play the songs for you or let you listen to a recording.
  • A helpful article at Songs for Your Ceremony[2] gives a break down of the music needed for a wedding service and where each song can be placed.
  • GigSalad[3] and Gigmasters[4] offer a searchable database of organists by state. When hiring from their listings, Gigmasters recommends reading client feedback and reading the contract carefully before making a decision. Organists should be booked 3 to 6 months in advance.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
What People Are Paying...
Amount: $300.00
Posted by: S. Loricchio in Nutley, NJ.Posted: June 9th, 2017 03:06PM
As a full time Director of Music/Organist, (member AGMA NYC Chapter) I agree with John Thomas. There is protocol to follow, which is usually addressed at Pre-Cana and/or your appointments with the priest who is presiding over your ceremony. It is wise to work together, especially when you might like to bring in other musicians. All will go much smoother when church guidelines are followed.
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Organist Bench Fee
Amount: $250.00
Posted by: John M. Thomas in Newark, NJ.Posted: April 3rd, 2011 07:04PM
As a full-time organist for a church and a member of the Amerian Guild of Organists (union - please refer to official website for precise inforation: http://www.agohq.org/about/index.html ) it is important to note that churches often have contracts with their own organist. Typically such arrangements entail that the church's organist is compensated at their regular rate if you hire another organist or opt not to have the organ used. Also the church's organist, music director or pastor will have the last word on what music or musicians may be approved in any given church and some will not allow another organist to be hired under any circumstance. Lastly the church's organist or music director may impose a contractor's fee (i believe an additional $40 per person is normal) for booking and coordinating with any other musicians for the client. P.S. Some churches also have similar arrangments with singers.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.music-for-church-choirs.com/page-weddingmusiclist-105.html
  2.  www.songsforyourceremony.com/diffpartceremony.html
  3.  www.gigsalad.com/Solo-Musicians/Organist
  4.  www.gigmasters.com/Organ/Organist.htm
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