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New York, New York


A New York harpist trying to figure things out - and the mishaps and adventures that inevitably ensue.

Wedding Scams, Because Apparently That's a Thing

Kathryn Sloat

I've heard lots of weird wedding gig stories - and lived some of them, too - but I've never been booked to play a fake wedding before. 

A couple of months ago, I was contacted through Wedding Wire to play a wedding ceremony in New York City. Everything started out pretty normal - the client picked out a package, instrumentation, etc. Then things started to get weird. They changed the location of the ceremony. They started sharing all of this awkward personal information that I most definitely did not need to know. And then, the real red flag for me - they insisted on sending me a check for twice what I was charging them, and asked me to send part of it to a third party. Of course the check bounced, and the client disappeared. 

I'm still not sure what their plan was - my guess was that they were hoping I would send the money to the third part ($1200) before the check cleared. I wonder if this sort of scam has ever worked - I mean, what young musician has a spare $1200 to send out, just because a client is freaking out about time constraints? I'm not an idiot. 

I've been checking my bank account every day to make sure no money is missing, but so far everything is fine. Other than an address to send a deposit check to I didn't give out any of my personal information, so I don't know how something bad could happen - but I'm not a criminal mastermind. However, judging from how stupid he thought I was and the number of grammatical errors in his emails, I'm going to assume this guy isn't, either. 

Happily, I got to play a real wedding yesterday. They sent me a real contract with a real signature and a real deposit check ahead of time. I showed up to the real venue, where there were real wedding guests, and the real bride and groom got really married. 

The bride had picked Ben Folds' "The Luckiest" - one of my favorite songs - for her processional.

Has anyone else ever been the victim of a scam like this?