Please do not ask a celebrity to attend your wedding for free, because you are awesome or because you think they might like you. Celebrities and their agents are inundated with freebie requests from charities, causes, politicians, and on and on.
Time is money, and while most celebrities make much more than everyone else, their overhead is much higher as well. Personal stylists, big wardrobes, agents, entourages, security, That is part of why you want them, isn’t it? To do any appearance of any kind, just the overhead alone that an A-list celebrity has is already in five figures before they even start. B and C-list celebrities are a little different, but they have overhead too, and if they are not in your city, you will be paying their overhead, travel expenses, and their appearance fee.
That being said, a wedding is a fun appearance for a celebrity to do, and in some ways a little less demanding than other types of appearances.
Some celebrities are even registered ministers and can perform the actual ceremony, or if they are not, they can do some kind of reading you have prepared and do most of the ceremony with your priest, rabbi, or other religious official taking over and doing what is officially recognized by your particular faith.
Make sure your religious and political beliefs are in line with your particular celebrity, this needs to be said under the common sense section, and be upfront about it.
Many people consider trying to get a celebrity to come to their wedding for free, but because of their overhead and lifestyle it isn’t going to happen, unless you know the celebrity personally and they are already your friend, in which case you probably wouldn’t be reading this page.
It is so much harder to try to get a celebrity in a non-cash way that it is almost not worth doing, and can ruin your chances with that agent and other celebrities in the future. We get past the gatekeepers because when we call, it usually means money and real deals. This is valuable. Enough said.
Use cash, be businesslike, be ready to sign a contract. It is the American way.
Before you approach a celebrity or their agents, have your wedding dates all mapped out, at least tentative reservations done, caterers and entertainment lined up, all the basics of event planning if not finalized, in pretty good shape, and have a crystal clear idea of exactly what you would like the celebrity to do. Do not waste the gatekeeper’s time.
Sometimes a given celebrities calendar can change without notice and in the contract they will have at their option to either reschedule or refund your money. We realize this can be hard especially for a destination wedding. Schedules are hard for celebrities, too, our best advice is to have your dates lined up, but be flexible and ready to change your dates to accommodate your celebrity if needed. Celebrities really do try to live up to all their professional obligations which are considerable, but sometimes things happen and this will be part of the contract.
Consider carefully which celebrities really make sense for your wedding. In years past photos could be much better controlled, but now everyone will be recording, Facebooking, and Tweeting pictures and videos from their smart phones, and while the benefit of having the celebrity there is better than ever, the potential risks and pitfalls are higher for celebrities than ever before.
Yes, we are aware that having celebrities meet their fans also helps them as well, it is just that we are in a different transparent social media world now, where pictures of celebrities are routinely remixed, photoshopped, and taken out of context.
That is the way it is, and if you have done your homework to ensure that your
celebrity will be well taken care of and you have thought through exactly what you want to have happen, it will go much better in getting the actual deal done.
Almost all weddings will have some kind of sound system set up for the musicians, music, or entertainment, but often times that isn’t really the best place if you want to have the celebrity get up and say a few words, meet the bride and groom, or have a photo op.
Consider the best place just for this with an easy entrance and exit, and double check that the sound system is loud enough, works without feedback, and is in
the optimum location for your audience.
If you are attempting to hire a famous band for the wedding reception, that is a completely different contract than a simple appearance, and they will have a music contract rider, which specifies the equipment needed, the sound company to be used, and all the things that band needs to do their performance. For some bands their contract will specify that their logo, not yours, must be behind them when they perform. Just be aware that musical performances carry with them a completely different set of rules. No matter what though, good sound systems in the places they are needed are a must.
The “green room” is a room where only the celebrity and the event sponsors can go.
Generally the contract should say what the celebrity expects to have in the green room.
What kind of food, water, anything else the celebrity needs and it is usually written into the contract itself. Commonly the celebrity will need to change clothes, see how they look in the mirror, touch up hair and makeup, etc. This is part of what they need to look and feel their best for you, and to do their part to help make your party a success.
Most agreements will require you to provide this.
Security will generally be written into the contract. Sometimes the celebrity has their own personnel and they will have to be paid as well. Most parties do not have to take this into account nearly as much as those involving celebrities.
Staging and Signage
Some weddings have a theme and a banner, or other visual elements including signage, and in some cases it is great to have a picture with the celebrity and the bride and groom with that as a backdrop. Many people don’t think about this but there should be some place in addition to the green room where you can do a small, intimate “meet and greet” with the celebrity and the sponsor where you can do this.
It should be quiet, fit the particular celebrities tastes, have refreshments and sometimes food, be welcoming and comfortable. Use the green room rider as a guideline for how to set up the meet and greet room or area. Generally the same items will apply here as in the green room.
In EACH place where the celebrity is going to be or speak, if you want to have your banner or logo visible behind the celebrity, not only will you have to have these made beforehand, but figure out the best placements and lighting for them. Sometimes these photos are one of the most lasting benefits, do not falter in your planning here.
For almost any event, you will want to at least have the banner or logo behind or near any photos taken of the celebrity. This will all be written into the contract. Sometimes if you want to have a well known musician or musical group perform, their contract rider will specify that their logo has to be in the background, not yours.
This is something that you will have to iron out in the contract, but we are mentioning it here because it will affect the physical space where the wedding will be held, so you should keep this in mind in your planning before finalizing the contract.
PHOTO OPs, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM
In the contract itself, if agreed, you can have the celebrity post to their social media while AT the wedding. This is a separate point in the contract, but again you will want to have in mind the best physical space to use, and prepare it with lighting, backdrops, and keep in mind easy entrances and exits, and security.
Total Time or Time Range
In your contract or agreement, there will generally be a minimum and maximum time for the total appearance. You must be prepared beforehand with the event schedule, and be aware that the celebrity is there to do their job, but that job does not include waiting around for hours or staying there all night, unless of course that is in the contract. Most contracts are pretty reasonable, but they can’t make up for poor planning on your part.
You must be ready, and your wedding must start on time, or very close to it.
PAYMENTS and CONTRACTS
Generally with any of these appearance deals, you are going to have to pay by wire, in advance.
If something happens with the celebrity’s schedule, usually they will have an option to reschedule or refund your money at their choice.
There are exceptions, but that is generally how it works. No celebrity’s agent is going to take a chance on having someone sign a contract, give a credit card and charge it back a day after the appearance.
Escrow services are just a little too cumbersome in this business generally. They might be used in huge endorsement deals sometimes, but not with weddings and parties. So, you are going to have to budget for this, and be prepared to pay on time according to your contract.
Our lawyers want us to say emphatically that we are not attorneys, and this is NOT LEGAL ADVICE
Many other endorsement deals and other celebrity appearances require a lot more on the legal end than a wedding appearance, but as with all contracts you should have your attorney look at the contract before you sign it and send funds.
Even though we have written many DOS and DON'Ts on the way that things are generally done, there are many types of weddings, so it impossible to set all the rules in stone. Almost anything you want to do is possible, so if you have read this page carefully but still have questions, please reach out to us via phone, chat, or the form below.