Who told people all this nonsense that to perform at a wedding or private parties they have to perform for 3-5 hrs?
Does U2 perform for 3-5 hrs? They perform 15-20 songs for 2 hrs. Instead of learning 50 songs half heartedly, learn to MASTER 15-20 songs where you can play them without thinking at all even under high pressure environments, so your mental cortex is free to think of the BIG picture at hand.
At private events you're not just being hired to perform like a manual labour worker in the background you're there to AWE the crowd.
If you bring your A Game and perform some very EXCITING numbers you can AWE a crowd for 1.5 hrs on stage. Most people's attention span doesn't surpass that amount anyways. I'm talking about interacting with the audience as you perform as well.
Tell them your speeches and stories in between songs. Extend that 1.5 time of playing to 2 hrs or longer through your interactions with the crowd.
Make them feel you are a celebrity. Even if you are not behave like one. Have celebrity appeal. Charisma. Dress the part like a real celebrity whose made it. Get your hair done for the night. Make sure your shoes look new. Wear an outfit that doesn't scream a working musician, but rather a famous musician. Lots of specialty stores in Toronto that cater to ONLY musicians. Work out religiously. Think STAGECRAFT.
All those things go a long way to putting on a good show than just fading into the background playing nonstop where no one even knows you exist.
I bet for a private event like that it's possible to make 2 grand plus tips .. Even $800 in tips. Why not? If you don't communicate and vibe with the audience your tip jar will be empty.
Remember if you charge 2 grand people will think why is he charging 2 grand, he must be good, or maybe it will be a wicked show. And you may make 2 grand. If you charge $100-$500 for a private party you will never be paid $2 grand even if you're worth that.
It's hard to have self esteem as a musician. But do you think U2 only got rich because of their music? Hell no! They know how to put on a show! They are BETTER live than in the studio. Bono interacts with the audience. He vibes with them. The audience and the band feel like they are all ONE (pun intended).
You've got to OWN the performance! Know your music inside and out, but go the extra mile. Don't think of your work as a job, this is SHOW-BIZ!
Sounds like you have it all figured out after all.
Please do your first gig and try all this and let us know how it goes.