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Wedding Music Band Cost


How Much Does Wedding Music Band Cost?

 
 average costAverage: $1,150-$2,200 
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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.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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Austin Wedding Band, Uptown Drive worth every penny
Amount: $3,500.00 total
Posted by: Danyelle in Austin, TX.Posted: August 7th, 2019 12:08PM
Number of Hours: 4Type: Wedding Band
I recently hired Austin wedding band, Uptown Drive for my wedding. I can not say enough about my overall experience with this incredible group. They are on-time, almost over prepared & come packed with a high-energy show. My friends and family are still raving about what an incredible performance they did. Uptown Drive was extremely interactive and played music of every genre and era. Finding a good wedding band is easy, but finding a GREAT ONE who puts every ounce of energy into their live show is second to none. Not to mention they'd DJ in between the two set breaks they took, this kept the party alive. I would hire a live band again & again! Since I love Uptown Drive so much here is a link to their site https://www.uptowndrive.com
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These prices are WAY off!
Amount: $18,000.00 total
Posted by: Rachel Schilling in Brooklyn, NY.Posted: February 10th, 2019 01:02PM
Number of Hours: 4Type: Wedding
These prices are way way off!! We found this out pretty quickly with just a few calls to bands that we liked. One band leader just laughed at us and said "what is it 1974 still!" Makes me wonder how they did their research. I mean how many bands and couples did they contact to come up with this figure? I could imagine that there may be an inexpensive wedding band out in the middle of Nebraska where the demand is also low as well as the pool of amazing musicians as vocalists, but in the popular cities where the majority of events happen, be ready for some serious sticker shock when looking for a truly amazing band. Sure their are cheap bands, and it is usually pretty obvious why they are cheap. Just like everything else in life, the best is expensive and you get what you pay for. This is a once in a lifetime event, there are no do overs, so we bit the bullet and went for the best. It was one of the best decisions we made, no regrets!
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A Good Band Is SO Worth It
Amount: $6,500.00 total
Posted by: A_Meyers in Austin, TX.Posted: August 23rd, 2018 05:08PM
Number of Hours: 5Type: Variety/Dance
We booked Plush Party Band out of Austin, TX for $6,500, and it was WELL worth it. We looked at a lot of bands that were in the 2-4k range, but they just weren't very good. They either couldn't guarantee the lineup of musicians, or they didn't have great chemistry/choreography, didn't have the music memorized, didn't have a great lighting set up, some didn't do announcements, etc. Plush offered it all, plus they learned some new songs for us, and it was all included in their price. I got THANK YOU NOTES FROM OUR GUESTS for throwing the best wedding party they've ever been to, and many of them said Plush was the reason why. I'd never go with cheap over high quality for such a special occasion.
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A Great Live Band is Worth Their Salt
Amount: $6,000.00 total
Posted by: Will in New York, NY in New York, NY.Posted: February 17th, 2017 01:02PM
Number of Hours: 5Type: Wedding band manager
I run a successful wedding band with grammy winning musicians. You can get a cheap wedding band that plays hits, goes through motions and lacks soul and fire ($1000-1500...or you can get great bands that have musicians who play with greats like Stevie Wonder and mind blowing talent. Most great musicians will cost anywhere between $750-1200 (yeah it's a lot for the best, or at least the singers) and the band is usually 6-15. Also the sound engineer costs $1500-2500 for great lights/sound set up. Oh and lodging/travel but that isn't band. Travel is gas unless they need to rent a van. The alternative is getting a DJ though which I believe is one of the weakest things to do for your wedding but I guess I'm biased too.
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I think 2000-4000 is realistic
Amount: $2,000.00 total
Posted by: Lara in Philadelphia, PA.Posted: August 24th, 2016 09:08AM
Number of Hours: 8Type:
Depends on your date, but there are definitely ways to keep the number lower. Last Minute Wed has better pricing than most
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The RIGHT wedding band to have again and again!
Amount: $2,500.00 total
Posted by: Billy Thomas in Baltimore, MD.Posted: January 15th, 2016 10:01PM
Number of Hours: 4Type: Variety
You know you have the right band when you have them for your own wedding, then your sister's fiance insists on having them for theirs!! Mutual Fun band - their name says it all. I'm a musician myself (bar band) and I can tell you they were top quality musician. Versatile and could play both Frank Sinatra and Bon Jovi made us wonder if they switched bands during the break! They charged us $2500 for 5 pieces (with a keyboard cocktail hour), my sister is getting their 6 piece for about 3K (but she is also having them play during the ceremony too). Our reception was in Baltimore, and theirs will be in Northern VA. The band told us there was no price difference between those areas and they serve a whole bunch of neighboring states (PA, DE, West VA, of course DC). Really amazing group and I can't recommend highly enough. People still talking about it work! We delt mostly with Jim and he made it easy for us during the whole planning process. They even learned our first dance for us!
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How to get the most out of your wedding band
Amount: $7,500.00 total
Posted by: Joey D. in Hoboken, NJ.Posted: August 26th, 2015 09:08PM
Number of Hours: 4Type: 7 piece
We were recently married, and did a lot of research on wedding bands. We had also attended many of our friends weddings and learned a few tricks of the trade to help get the most out of your wedding band. (Tip #1). We found that the best deals were either on the new mostly unknown young groups or some of the older perhaps outdated groups. We worried that the younger groups wouldn't be together come time for our wedding so we opted for the older group. These guys were certainly a bit beaten down from years of abuse and willing to forego some of the things the really popular groups had insisted on. They agreed to play continuous music with no breaks. (Tip #2) Have the band members wear depends which will keep them from having to take bathroom breaks (their idea, not mine!). They also agreed to not being fed, and had somehow stuffed their pockets with quite the food supply! They somehow fit a four course meal in there, complete with salad, sorbet, main course, and dessert!
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This article is right on point
Amount: $2,200.00 total
Posted by: donna81 in Chicago, IL.Posted: August 9th, 2015 09:08AM
Number of Hours: 5Type: 10-piece
I found this article to be right on point. We spent exactly 2,200 for our wedding entertainment. This is the day girls dream of ever since they are little girls, so we wanted to make sure we went all out and found the best group to help us celebrate this once in a lifetime event. We really wanted a group that reflected our style, and didn't want the typical wedding band that plays all of the fun relevant hits that you hear at so many parties. We figured we were the best judges for selecting the music (even though we really had no experience in this), after all we were paying for it. We found that many bands were not willing to reinvent their successful formulas in order to cater to our requests. We did finally find a band that was perfect for us, and the price was just right. The group included an eclectic and unusual grouping of musicians which included guitar, drums, a tuba, oboe, three bass clarinets, and a rapper. Everyone said it was a night they will never forget!
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We found a fantastic wedding band for $250!!
Amount: $250.00 total
Posted by: I can't remember in Waldorf, MD.Posted: August 7th, 2015 08:08PM
Number of Hours: 4Type: 10 - piece
Sure they were dressed in jeans, and certainly seemed to smoke a lot of pot, but so did we, so it really didn't matter. Quite honestly I remember very little about the whole evening, but we sure saved a ton of money! I really didn't think much about it at the time, but 250 split 10 ways is only like 25 dollars each, man how do they do it? Tough business!
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These prices are way off
Amount: $15,000.00 total
Posted by: Jen21 in NYC, NY.Posted: August 7th, 2015 08:08PM
Number of Hours: 4Type: 10 piece
We really did our research when looking for a great band for our wedding. There wasn't one decent band for under 10,000, and pricing for the really outstanding bands who are in high demand were in the 12,500 - 20,000 range. We wanted an amazing party to celebrate our wedding so we did spend a good amount for a truly amazing band. It was well worth it, and we had an amazing evening with our friends and family that we will always remember.
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Real cost
Amount: $1,850.00 total
Posted by: John1616 in Linden, NJ.Posted: March 25th, 2015 08:03AM
Number of Hours: 4Type:
Searched and searched for a good band. Stopped by other weddings to listen to a few. We got a 4 o'clock band for $1,850.00 total. They were wonderful. One needs to shop around as there are many bands out to rip you off. If think you will pay lots then you will. Shop around. I know of one band who charged around $4500.00 to one couple through the wedding planner and charged another couple $1600.0.
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Ummmm No
Amount: $6,500.00 total
Posted by: DavidC in Windsor, Other.Posted: October 16th, 2014 01:10PM
Number of Hours: 5Type: Wedding Band
Those numbers are totally off, you're not going to get a good wedding band for less than $800 a person.
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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External Resources:
  1.  wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-music-ideas/articles/wedding-receptio...
  2.  www.bridalguide.com/
  3.  www.perfectweddingguide.com/planning/music-entertainment/
  4.  wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-music-ideas/articles/top-10-wedding-m...
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