The average cost for wedding musicians is $720. Hiring a wedding music band to play on your big day, you will likely spend between $550 and $900. The price of music entertainment can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). View our local wedding bands or get free estimates from pros near you.
Marching down the aisle to the sound of live music sounds so romantic. Some brides and grooms go for classic wedding music.
Others opt for something more in line with their own unique tastes. They choose music that reflects their own personalities and interests.
Some of the most popular choices are Spanish guitar and string quartet. Good live music makes moments like dinner, cocktail hour, reception, and dancing that much more pleasant.
The key is to find a solo musician or a band that specializes in just the kind of music you want for your wedding.
Musical performers specialize in pop, rock, R&B, jazz, standards, classical, and more. You may consider hiring a karaoke band. Karaoke allow wedding guests to perform with a live band supporting them.
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Before looking for your caterer: know what your budget is, how many guests you’d like to invite, and what your overall vision is for the meal. This will save you and the caterers you interview a lot of time.
To hire a live performance from a solo artist or a band, you will pay more or less depending on the day, location, experience, and skills.
More experienced or popular bands may cost more. Local bands are cheaper because you don’t have to cater for transportation or accommodation.
Some musicians will charge a flat rate for the entire day or evening. Other bands will charge you an hourly rate.
The rates will go higher when you are working with several musicians, performing for a longer time, and how far they are from the wedding venue.
Some musicians will charge a flat rate of $350 which is a good deal. But the rate will go up with more than one performer.
Some performers will want an hourly rate for playing their instrument. Hourly rates are cheaper when you book more hours. You might pay $200 for one hour, $250 for two hours, and $300 for three hours.
You can expect to spend more money to hire more musicians. Performing bands will typically offer packages that provide for all the members.
A soloist, duo, trio, and quartet will not cost the same. The package may include a prelude, the marriage ceremony, and a postlude.
Some instruments may cost more than others.
Demand pushes prices up. So a musician who relatively unknown will be cheaper, even if they are really good.
Two apps that will help you sample different musicians before you choose are Bandcamp and SoundCloud. Or visit their website if they have one.
Will you need an amplifier, microphones, or electricity? Go over everything with the musicians and the venue that will host your wedding.
You might need a generator for an outdoor wedding. Find out whether the band will provide sound equipment. If not you will need to pay separately.
Some venues provide lighting equipment. This may be an add-on or part of the budget.
You will need to provide food and drinks for your wedding musicians. Confirm how many entertainers will be there and inform your caterer.
The timing of your wedding will influence the demand. Demand in turn influences the price.
Summers weddings are more expensive because there is more demand for wedding musicians. If you want to marry in the summer, book your musician well in advance. This will earn you a discount for early booking.
Musicians avoid booking more than one event per day. Booking early gives you a higher chance of getting the wedding musician you really want.
Saturday weddings cost more. You will get a cheaper price if you book on a different day.
If the artist you book is part of the American Federation of Musicians, you will have to meet the minimum rates set by the union.
Union members may cost more but they are likely to be more professional because they take music as a profession and not a hobby.
Musicians like to create unique playlists that make your ceremony special for you.
You should receive a list of songs that the wedding musician is ready to play. If your special request is not on their list, you will pay more for the time they will have to spend practicing the new song.
Professional musicians can comply with your dress code without charging extra. But ask first to be sure.
You will pay more for a musician from a different city or state to come and perform at your wedding. The extra time and money spent traveling and situating themselves near your wedding venue will become part of your costs.
You will also have to pay for equipment. They will need to haul their equipment or hire equipment in your location.
To save money, hire a wedding musician based near your wedding venue.
You want to have an in-person meeting with the band manager or musician. Use this time to discuss expectations. Go over your contract before paying the deposit.
You may need to pay a deposit up front. This deposit protects performers from losing income as a result of last minute cancellations.
You will pay the balance on the wedding day.
A DJ or solo musician will be a lot cheaper than a full band. Consider one of these options. If you have a local music school, consider hiring talented students.
Schedule your wedding on a day when demand is low. Avoid the summer or a Saturday.
You want to first of all sit down with your fiancé and agree on a few things. Together you can contemplate what your wedding should feel like.
Work with your wedding planner for professional advice. Map out key moments during the wedding – like the first dance or the march down the aisle.
You are now ready to look for wedding musicians. When you consider the practicalities of executing your vision, you will be able to narrow down your choices. For example, you will need an amplifier and a microphone to play live music at a beach wedding.
Use SoundCloud to sample their music. Listen to their recordings. Watch their videos. Only shortlist them if you like their sound.
The more experienced they are with weddings, the better they will be at working seamlessly with wedding planners and other vendors.
Go through reviews from clients. Look out for a good attitude, punctuality, and good performances. Check that you can afford their rates. Make sure that they will be available on your wedding date and secure their services with a signed contract and a deposit.
Now that you have an idea of the price range, let's find the right caterer for you.
Your vendor contracts should clearly spell everything out. Don’t assume anything.
Your contract should specify:
Your wedding planner should go through it and make sure it checks out.
Besides décor, music has the greatest power to set the mood for the day. Live music is even better because you can have a performance that is custom made just for you.
Live music costs more and some couples will only get musicians to perform at the wedding and at cocktails before the reception.
Classical music is popular for the ceremony and the cocktail hour. Many couples also favor world music and jazz.
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Your cost will depend on the instruments played, how many they are, and how the length of their performance.
The price you pay includes how long they will perform. This should include the time spent setting up and winding down. Equipment is also part of the cost but it may not cost extra.
Live performers will rest for as much as 15 minutes in between sets.
You may also pay some additional costs:
You can get discounts for off season weddings, early bookings, or a wedding that is not on Saturday.
Use these resources to search for wedding musicians and contact them.