How Much Does A Live Wedding Band Cost?

If you’re getting married soon, you’ll want to do everything possible to make the day one to remember forever. While the ceremony itself is incredibly special, the reception is just as important. From which guests come to the kind of food you’ll eat, every detail needs to be ironed out. When it comes to music, you’ll need to decide whether you want a band, a DJ, or neither. So, how much does a live wedding band cost, anyway?

What is the average cost of a wedding band?

Hiring a live wedding band to play at your wedding can cost several thousand dollars. According to WeddingWire, the average band cost is around $4,500, but it can range anywhere from $600 to more than $10,000. The median is anywhere between $2,850 and $6,488, which is a pretty wide range.

If you choose to have musicians at your reception rather than pre-recorded music, you’ll need to budget for this when planning your wedding. Given that the cost of having a live wedding band can add a considerable amount to what’s already a pretty pricey affair, this may or may not be feasible for every couple. It’s also worth noting that it’s proper etiquette to tip the band at least 10% in addition to their base rate.

What do wedding bands actually do?

The most obvious task of a wedding band is to play music throughout your reception. That means bringing their own equipment such as microphones and speakers, plus instruments for the musicians. They may have a set repertoire of music, but you can always request they learn and play particular songs that are meaningful to you.

In addition to playing music, the bandleader can also take on emcee responsibilities by making announcements throughout, should you ask for that.

What determines the price you’ll pay?

There are many factors that will determine the cost of a live wedding band or even a wedding DJ. However, since you’re shelling out at least a few grand, you probably want to know why it’s so expensive. Here are just a few things that affect the price you’ll pay.

  1. Where you live This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Small-town wedding bands are likely going to charge much less than those working in a large city like New York or Los Angeles. Everything in major metropolitan areas costs more, and a live wedding band is no exception.
  2. How popular the band is Who are you trying to book? If it’s a band that’s well-known and in high demand, you should expect to pay much more than a relatively new or unknown group. The more people know and love the group, the more they’ll likely charge.
  3. How many people are in the band A larger band equals higher costs. That’s not only because they’ll need more equipment and it will cost more to get to your reception. It’s also because they’ll be splitting the fee between all of the members of the band. The less they charge, the less each individual member makes.
  4. When you’re booking your wedding Off-season = lower prices. If you’re planning a wedding in late spring or summer, the cost of your live wedding band will be considerably more. That’s because demand is higher at this time and bookings will be more competitive. The same goes for the day of the week. Weekend weddings will be pricier than those held on a weekday.
  5. How far they’ll need to travel Is your wedding out of town? The band will need to travel there and you’ll have to cover the cost. The longer it takes them to reach your reception, the more you can expect to pay.

How much do wedding DJs cost?

If you’re not quite sure if a wedding band is right for you, you might consider a DJ for your reception. WeddingWire reveals the average cost of a wedding DJ to be around $1,000 in the U.S. This is likely because they’re single entities who don’t need much equipment and work solo. They’ll still bring their own music and can take requests based on a couple’s music preferences. However, none of the music is live, which also accounts for the less expensive prices.

That being said, the same conditions listed above also affect how much your wedding DJ might charge. Popularity, demand, and where you live can all drive their prices up as well, so ask around before making any bookings.

Tips to keep in mind when booking a live wedding band

  1. The earlier you book, the better. This is true for many things in life and it applies here as well. If you’re getting married next year or the year after, there’s no harm in inquiring about booking your preferred wedding band in now. You’ll likely get better rates for doing so.
  2. Develop a good rapport with your band or DJ. This is important to ensure your big day goes smoothly. Talk to them about what you’re looking for, what kind of music you’re into, etc. Letting them know your preferences will make sure you’re on the same page. You can also iron out details if there are services they don’t provide. (In this case, it might be better to book someone else.)
  3. Check for hidden costs. When you ask a wedding band how much it would cost to book them, that should include all fees. However, you may need to dig deeper to make sure nothing is left out. For instance, is there something they don’t consider standard? If extra charges may apply, you need to know about it in advance.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia