Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Weddings  > Wedding Music Band

Wedding Music Band Cost


How Much Does Wedding Music Band Cost?

 
 average costAverage: $1,150-$2,200 
post E-mail post Post   Comments (20)

Before you budget for a live band, you must first decide what style of music you like. TheKnot.com[1] provides suggestions and advice to help you make that decision. Cover bands are the most common types of live bands hired for weddings since they often can play a range of familiar music. Other popular styles include jazz, swing, and big band. Karaoke bands, which allow wedding guests to control the microphone and sing along with the music, are also increasing in popularity.

Typical costs:

  • The average cost for a 4-hour performance by a 5-member live band, which is the most typical size, is $2,085. A smaller band of 4 performers averages $1,150, while a bigger band consisting of anywhere from 6 to 10 members, averages $2,200.
  • Costs for live band will also vary based on the date and time of the wedding, as well as the city or location. Larger, metropolitan areas will typically offer more bands and thus, a wider variety of prices.
  • There may be additional fees for additional microphones or wireless microphones if you hire a karaoke band.
Related articles: Live Ceremony Music, Wedding DJ

What should be included:
  • Prices for live bands should include the musicians' actual playing time and all equipment necessary for the performance, including instruments, sheet music and music stands. In most cases, the band's leader can also emcee the reception, and provide a microphone and at least one loudspeaker.
  • Most live bands require a 5 to 15 minute break between sets, typically once every hour.
Additional costs:
  • Overtime fees are typically based on the band's per-hour charge, which can range from $450 - $750. However, some groups impose an overtime penalty, which is more than their hourly rate. Some also require that overtime fees be paid in cash on the date of the event. Many wedding planners advise booking a band for an additional hour ahead of time, to avoid any overtime costs.
  • Special backdrops or stage lighting may be added to the total cost, but are often negotiable. A detailed price breakdown should always be included in your contract.
  • Meals or drinks are typically not included, so if you choose to serve the band members, be sure to factor them into your head count or arrange for separate meals outside your catering budget.
Discounts:
  • If your ceremony and reception are in different locations, BridalGuide.com[2] suggests asking one member of the band that you hire for the reception to also perform at the ceremony. This may save you from incurring costs from separate musicians.
  • Many live performers offer discounts for Sunday weddings. However, some do not book any Sunday performances.
Shopping for wedding music band:
  • Many websites, such as PerfectWeddingGuide.com[3] offer local resource guides for wedding entertainment.
  • If you've gotten a recorded sample of the band performing, TheKnot.com[4] advises finding out the specific singers and musicians on the recording. If you're interested in a group's 5-piece ensemble, it won't help to hear their full 12-member band.
post E-mail post Post   Comments (20)
CostHelper News


3 Ways to Have the Government Pay You Back for Your Energy Efficient Upgrades
Any renovations or upgrades made to your home this year that included energy-efficient appliances could be eligible for some federal energy tax credits. But it's not just appliances. || Posted December 9 2013


7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Florida bands
Amount: $15,000.00 total
Posted by: Jennifer wynn in Miami, FL.Posted: September 25th, 2013 07:09PM
Number of Hours: FourType: Wedding
I found these averages to be way off the mark, at least in the south Florida area. All of the really good bands were upwards of 10,000, with some as much as 18,000 - 20,000. I did find a few bands that were cheaper, but they were horrible! We spent the money, but found A great band, which made our wedding, and they were worth every penny
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Hot Date
Amount: $1,000.00 total
Posted by: Hot Date in St. Paul, MN.Posted: August 8th, 2013 07:08AM
Number of Hours: 4Type: Jazz, pop, rock, blues
Wedding bands can be really expensive, but these musicians have worked so hard and put a lot of time into crafting their wedding performance, not to mention many of them taking the time to work together and rehearse. It can be the most difficult task trying to get 8 to 10 working musicians in a room to rehearse with each of their very different busy schedules.
Our duo, Hot Date, can charge less than a lot of wedding bands, simply because there are only 2 of us. We don't have to pay out 8 musicians at the end of the night. But there are a lot of options when choosing wedding music and everyone's tastes and needs are different. Some people want a traditional variety band, some couples want something new and unique. Check out Hotdate.bandcamp.com
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Hire professionals, not a bar band
Amount: $4,000.00 total
Posted by: Pro Musician in Phoenix, AZ.Posted: July 1st, 2013 12:07PM
Number of Hours: 4Type: 6 to 9 pieces
Earlier comments about hiring a bar band for a few hundred dollars, are horribly wrong. Your typical reception includes dinner jazz, Sinatra, classic rock, disco, country, modern pop. Most bar bands can't handle all that.

Each musician is typically looking at an 8 to 9-hour day. Imagine what a plumber would cost for 8 hours on a Saturday. That's why the typical wedding band costs at least $400 per musician. Bear in mind that the money is not split up evenly; some of it goes to cover advertising, referral fees, vehicle, PA equipment, etc. The leader, who has been in constant contact with the bride over the past few months, will be making much more than the rest of the band.

To save money, deal directly with the band, not an agency (who adds 30% or more to the band's price). If you hire an out-of-town band who charges you for travel, make sure the leader is not hiring local musicians and pocketing the travel money. Agencies pull this stunt all the time.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Ben in Green Bay
Amount: $2,500.00 total
Posted by: Bootsy in Cincinnati, OH.Posted: January 8th, 2013 05:01PM
Number of Hours: 4 hoursType:
You my friend are the problem with musicians working for the cheap. After being a working musician for almost 40 years, (last 20 in the same band) the money has not gotten any better. Most would rather have a band than a DJ but yes it is pricey. Couples be advised as posted earlier in this post, you get what you pay for. The only way that you should consider a way to save money on a band is to deal with the band directly. You will save at least 20-30% right up front. Yes, bands charge more for wedding, but that is because the bar gigs are a weekly thing and there is only so much money you can make there and everybody is trying to get those gigs. A wedding is a life event for people and you should not skimp on something this important. Trust me, if you hire a bar band to play your wedding for $700, you are getting a band that only makes $200-$300 dollars at a bar if they are lucky. If you see them at the bar and the place is packed, booze or not, everyone has a good time.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Live band for wedding reception
Amount: $2,500.00 total
Posted by: bleu11 in Washington, DC.Posted: October 5th, 2012 01:10PM
Number of Hours: 5Type: Latin band
Just reading some of the posts here. I recently inquired ab cost for a latin band for our wedding. They are charging us 2000 for a 7-piece band or 2500 for a 10-piece band with $150 discount (for both prices). They will only play a total of 90 minutes (45 min sessions w/ 15 min break). They only play for private functions. They are pretty good and saw them live already.

Is that a reasonable price?
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
wedding band
Amount: $7,500.00 total
Posted by: a user in somewhere, MD.Posted: September 7th, 2011 08:09PM
Number of Hours: 4Type: reception
i needed to reply to the comment "always see your band at a live show. Not a showcase". This does not favor the band in the least bit. I run the #1 band at my agency and we have a showcase once a month. At a showcase you are sitting in chairs watching under a microscope. At a party, you come and see people dancing and having a great time. There are bands out there that are no where near as good as others but if the alcohol is flowing, people will have a good time and it looks good to you as the potential client! At a showcase, you can't hide your flaws. The better bands will always rise to the top. It is also not appropriate to show up to someone elses party to watch a band.
Weding bands get a bad rep because of some bands that don't understand what they are there for. For me it is all about you the client. Yes, you will pay anywhere from 7500 to 9000 depending on how many pieces i bring, but I don't consider it just another gig. It is your special day and it should be treated as such. If you spend the money on the right band you will alwasy walk away happy. If you don't have the money for a "good" band then there are DJ's with the same attitude as me. Don't get a band just because you want a band. You need the RIGHT band! They should take no more than one break which should be durning dinner. (we take none!) Yes, you should feed the band because they are there for at least 8 hours and they can't just run to McDonalds or order a pizza! Even if it is the famous "bandwhich" (ckub sandwhich) it will be greatly appreciate by the band! Also, talk to you band leader before booking the band. Agents are there to sell you but once the sale is over, you will be dealing with the band directly. You relationship with the band is very important! Hope this helps you in your search!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
How Much Does Wedding Music Band Cost?
Amount: $4,500.00 total
Posted by: Jrob33 in philadelphia, PA.Posted: June 24th, 2011 10:06AM
Number of Hours: 5Type: reception
PLEASE do not hire a $2,000 band to play your wedding. A good wedding band consists of professionals. Here is the REAL DEAL. there are a few types of bands. 1. Agency bands. these bands are always the most expensive because they work for an agent. The agent gets up to 30% after expenses. Meaning they pay the bills, the agent gets 30% then the musicians get a few hundred each. They are usually interchangeable musicians. The pros to hiring an agency band is they usually have a few to choose from. the Cons. EXPENSIVE. Figure $7000 and up.
2. The independent experienced band. Avg cost is $5,000 which includes cocktail hour piano. Usually the same members with good chemistry. With the use of the internet you can research yourself and save a lot of money. More and more bands are becoming independent. PROS: Fair pricing, deal with band leader not agent CONS. good bands book about 1 year out.
ALWAYS SEE YOUR BAND AT A LIVE SHOW. NOT A SHOWCASE. a showcase is set up to be in the bands favor.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
You can get good bands for a lot less
Amount: $700.00 total
Posted by: Ben Roche in Green Bay, WI.Posted: June 3rd, 2011 07:06AM
Number of Hours: 4Type: Classic rock/Party
You can get good local bands for a lot less than these prices if you look in the right places. Typically bands will charge a lot more to do a wedding because they know they can get it. Keep in mind that these same bands play bar gigs for a few hundred bucks because the bars can't afford to pay them more. Go to a club and find a band you like. Then just walk up to them and ask if they'll play your wedding and give them your price. Many, many bands, including mine, would do it for less than $1000. I know a really good band that wanted to get out of the wedding scene so they raised their wedding price to $1700. Now they have more wedding gigs than ever just because they raised their price. Be smart an you can find a great local band at a steal.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
No meals?
Amount: $1,500.00 total
Posted by: Mark Ungar in Richmond, CA.Posted: April 11th, 2011 09:04AM
Number of Hours: 4Type: wedding
As a professional musician, I strongly agree with the previous comments by musicians. The amount quoted is too low. Most bands do provide their own PA, plus interim recorded music, at a substantial discount over what you would have to pay if you hired a sound company and a DJ separately. In addition, the band PA is usually available for the use of guest speakers and toasts, and many times the band leader functions as an MC, gratis.
What I find particularly egregious is the statement "Meals or drinks are typically not included". As the people above stated, a typical wedding gig is an 8 to 10 hour day for the musicians involved. The notion that any normal bride and groom would want to deny them food and drink at the wedding is ridiculous. And yes, feed them at the beginning of the dinner break, not at the end -- it just makes sense in terms of logistics. This is not the Middle Ages anymore, and musicians are humans too, not slaves. If you cultivate resentment, it's going to come out.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
great Chicago based band
Amount: $3,000.00 total
Posted by: David & Anne B in Milwaukee, WI.Posted: December 9th, 2010 06:12AM
Number of Hours: 4Type: Wedding
We found a great band for our July wedding 2010, Club 37, and at a reasonable price out of the Chicago area. I was suprised at how easy to book them it was. Outstanding group of musicians and the leader John took care of the bridal party and other announcements. Found them on gigmasters.com
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Band pricing
Amount: $12,000.00 total
Posted by: Jennifer Cohen in Miami, FL.Posted: October 12th, 2010 11:10AM
Number of Hours: 4Type: Wedding
I have found pricing for an exceptional band to be between $10,000 up to $16.000 plus. I did find bands anywhere from $3,500 - $7,500 but they were horrible. I spent $12,000 for a great ten-piece band, and it was money well spent!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Great Wedding Band!
Amount: $3,000.00 total
Posted by: Ashley Poston from Boulder CO in Denver, CO.Posted: September 6th, 2010 08:09PM
Number of Hours: 3Type: Rock and Bluegrass
We recently married in June and the band we hired was amazing. They were a fresh twist to the typical cover band and DJ. They know a very wide range of music and even learned a few tunes we requested! Their cost is $1000/hour and I felt like it was a great deal for what we got and all our guests loved them. Very professional band with excellent management that helped fulfill our needs. I highly recommend them! Oakhurst is based in Denver but play all over the state and travel the country from time to time. They also told us they played with Zac Brown Band before!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Person who wrote article on pricing for band is way off
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: kay macklee in Houston, TX.Posted: October 17th, 2009 04:10PM
Number of Hours: 4Type: Variety
The wedding vendors who tell you that they can get a big band for an inexpensive rate for so many people in the band, are the ones who take advantage of a band that plays for a living and knows they need the income and will force them to drop their rates significantly. By doing this, they damage every musicians ability to make a living. For a 4 piece band, for 4 hours, that supplies the sound system, lighting, Emcee capability, DJ between breaks, do charge a fair rate of $ 3,500.00 for that 4 hour gig. There can be a compensation of 15 minutes or so, as gratis; but when you hit the 1/2 mark, it is time to go into OVERTIME...CHARGING $ 400.00 - $ 600.00 per 1/2 hour. IT IS OVERTIME. I understand this...and if attitude of the band is going to be better for the Bride & Groom, I certainly want that for MY wedding experience. If Brides knew this up front, it would make a difference. The Band is essential. Why are the Wedding Vendors trying so hard to cut their rate down. Wedding Vendors are not doing their brides the best by getting bands that play for drastically reduced fees. Brides don't find these things out until much later, when they realize they have been 'manipulated' into going with what the vendor is suggesting; instead of having the better quality choice. All Wedding Vendors need to be more attentive to the quality they provide instead of the cheap deal. It affects memories forever.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
price reality
Amount: $7,000.00 total
Posted by: laurap in Bloomfield, NJ.Posted: August 26th, 2009 01:08PM
The price above is not realistic in New Jersey & New York. In those areas you would pay between 5and 15K for 8 pcs.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Cost of wedding bands
Amount: $7,000.00 total
Posted by: Anne O. in Chicago, IL.Posted: August 7th, 2009 02:08PM
Number of Hours: 4 hrs plus ceremonyType: wedding
The amount quoted at the top of this article is way off for the Chicago area. Music is pricey but makes the reception much cooler than any DJ could ever do.
Our band cost about $7000. We had a pianist for the ceremony, music played by the band's sound engineer for cocktails and the pianist again for dinner time. Our band was 8 pieces (3 singers and a sax, keyboard, bass, guitar and drummer) and rocked the party! We also gave a meal to the pianist, band leader and sound engineer since they were there for many hours. All of them had drinks at the bar, but we asked them to be discreet and not drink more than 2 per guy. It was worth it! Our party was a blast!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
cost of bands
Amount: $3,400.00 total
Posted by: Rick Creel in Cashiers, NC.Posted: March 30th, 2009 06:03PM
Number of Hours: 4Type: Wedding Band
I don't know who wrote this article originally, or what makes them an "expert" to be quoted on price. Our band, The Great Imponderables, was awarde the 2008 "Best of the Best" Wedding Band by the Wedding Merchants Business Academy. Our typical cost for 4 members for 4 hours is $3,200. Then, if there's extensive travel or lodging needs, these are added. The venues that we play for weddings do have other bands. Most all of these bands have a very similar rate as to ours. Now, there is the saying, "you get what you pay for", and this goes for bands as well. First of all, are they professionals? What makes them a professional? Well, do they do this for a living or are they a nice group of people with some talent that is trying to make some money on the side doing weddings, your wedding. Another band mentioned an easy 10 hours for a 4 hour performance. That is a very reasonable estimate. A good sound system that they should be providing will cost them into the thousands. If they have to hire sound, it will usually cost them at least $500 for a professional sound company, and that's a bargain. So let's do the math here: This site says $1,150 for 4 prfromers. Subtract the cost of $500 for a professional sound system (even the band needs to calculate this cost if they provide the sound themselves. the equipment is expensive). This brings the cost to $650. Four men at 10 hours equals 40 hours. This brings the total to $16.25 per hour per band member. Now, the band also has instruments that they have paid for, cost of strings, drum heads, etc. Does this sound like a professional that gets $16.25/hour then has other expensed to take out of that? Bands at that rate do not last but just a couple of years. Chances are, if you hire them in advance, they may not be around to play at your wedding. If you'll visit our official web site (just search the bands name), you will find more information on band pricing. Be reasonable. You get what you pay for.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Information from a band in Fairfield County, CT
Amount: $400.00 total
Posted by: A band in Fairfield County, CT in Fairfield County, CT.Posted: November 14th, 2008 11:11AM
Number of Hours: 4Type:
BAND DEMOS: Demo CDs and DVDs of bands can often be deceiving. Was the demo recorded live or in a studio? Are the people on the demo or DVD actually in the band? The best way for a client to know what a band is like is to go and hear them live. I would encourage wedding clients to go and see the band they are interested in hiring and actually introduce themselves to the band members to get to know the band before signing a contract. Most pro bands will have a schedule of where they are playing and make arrangements to have clients come and hear them at a live venue
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Information from a band in Fairfield County, CT
Amount: $400.00 total
Posted by: A band in Fairfield County, CT in Fairfield County, CT.Posted: November 14th, 2008 11:11AM
Number of Hours: 4Type:
BAND MEALS: It has been my experience that the band is almost always fed meals at wedding receptions. The reason for this is as follows. When you add up loading equipment, driving time, set-up and sound check, playing a 4 to 5 hour reception, break down and load out, band members are sometimes looking at a 10 hour or more work day. In addition, when feeding the band members, they should be fed their meals as soon as the head table/bridal party is served. It is typical that a band will take a break when the hot meal or main course is served. When the guests start their main course they want to be able to talk and the background music should be as quiet as possible. Sometimes a caterer will wait until all 200 or so guests are served and then feed the band members last. This creates a situation where the band, having already taken a break at the start of the main course serving, has to extend their break to eat their meal. The wedding party and some guests will have already completed their meal by this time wondering where the band went and why everyone isn't dancing. Believe me, the band wants to be ready to play when the bridal party is ready for them so to avoid this situation, it is recommended that band members be served meals earlier rather than later. Most seasoned caterers will already know this but these arrangements should be made beforehand between the wedding clients and caterer.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Information from a band in Fairfield County, CT
Amount: $400.00 total
Posted by: A band in Fairfield County, CT in Fairfield County, CT.Posted: November 14th, 2008 11:11AM
Number of Hours: 4Type:
PRICING: Most of the professional wedding/party bands charge $400-$700 per musician for a 4-hour wedding reception. You can expect the lower range on a Sunday wedding and the higher on Saturday weddings.
MUSIC: Most pro bands will tweek their song selection to suit the tastes of the wedding couple and their guests. The professional band will also usually learn the special dances (first dance, parent dances) for the event if requested to do so by the client.
BAND BREAKS: The current trend in the metro area is to hire bands for "continuous music" events with no band breaks. NY area music agencies have added this feature as a way of competing with DJs and Karaoke performers who typically don't take breaks. This means that at least one or more band members is on stage at all times providing live music. There is sometimes an extra charge for continuous music. In practice there is no real advantage to hire bands for "continuous music" since most bands will have a CD player or iPod they will happily hook into the sound system to play music on their breaks. There are times when during the reception when the guests will welcome a break from live music as well. The AFM (Musician's Union) guidelines state that for every hour, a musician is to play 40 minutes with a 20 minute break. The actual play/break times are usually decided at the time of the contract
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Live Bands are expensive
Amount: $5,400.00 total
Posted by: Justin in Ocean City, NJ.Posted: July 9th, 2008 11:07AM
Number of Hours: 4 hr. plus cocktailType: 10 Piece
We recently just booked a band for our July 2009 wedding. I just wanted to inform everyone that $2200 is well below the average for a 6-10 piece band. I would say the average wedding band charges approximately $800 per player on a Sat. night and that's average. We lucked out and got a great deal from Dynasty Entertainment. Obviously I haven't had the wedding yet, but I expect it to be great. Good luck!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

Comment On Your Experience With Wedding Music Band
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * total
Number of Hours: Type: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-music-ideas/articles/wedding-reception-mus...
  2.  www.bridalguide.com/
  3.  www.perfectweddingguide.com/planning/music-entertainment/
  4.  wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-music-ideas/articles/top-10-wedding-music-...
More Weddings Topics
Check Out All Costs for Weddings How Much Do Wedding Flowers Cost? How Much Does a Groom's Suit or Tuxedo Cost? How Much Does a Champagne Toast Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com



Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
A 9-miles ride in ambulance with no medical attention cost 1200 in WA
Paid: 1200.00
This is legal rip-off. In my case, just a 9 miles ride from 1 hospital to the other without any medical attention cost me 1200 out of pocket. How can states attorneys and legislators let this happen everywhere... [more]
-TomN
Ambulance Cost
First tat
Paid: 0.00
I am 17 now and I am looking to get a pair of tribal wings on my upper back. This will be my first tattoo and would really like to have some advice about them... [more]
-Dannyboy
Tattoo Cost
All Propane Dealers are NOT crooks!
Paid: 1.89
In January of 2004, I bought my new 1000 gallon propane tank from Anderson's Propane of Bergman, Arkansas. Delivered about 100 miles from Bergman, installed, with a regulator, for a total of $1,519.66... [more]
-Eric Williams
Propane Tank Cost
ripoff
Paid: 15000.00
Family member charged with 7 felony accounts for a single act decided by the officer who took the report. The police report went to the AP and articles in tons of papers. Blown way out of proportion and one - sided... [more]
-America Lost
Felony Defense Attorney Cost
Stress Test
Paid: 1400.00
Agreed to test only as precautionary and peace of mind. Dr. office called ahead to be sure insurance would cover, in-network, etc.... Bill for procedure: 1600.00 (I owed 500... [more]
-DBR
Stress Test Cost
mold
Paid: 5500.00
Shortly after moving into my "new 2006" mobile home, I became aware of a cracked waterline under the house. I had a plumber repair it. This was 2011. In 2014 January I became very sick..found it was black mold under thd house... [more]
-Mary Solberg
Mobile Home Insurance Cost