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Live Wedding Band Cost Guide

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Location: National
Average Band cost $4,500 Lower range $600 or less Upper range $10,000 or more Most couples spend between $2,850 - $6,488

Costs displayed in graph are based on spend from thousands of couples who recently reported pricing for this service within their WeddingWire review. Pricing varies based on factors including, but not limited to, vendor’s experience, level of expertise, event guest count, date, and geographic region.

How much does a live wedding band cost?

If you love the full, rich sound and abundant energy of live music, then hiring a wedding band to perform during your reception is an absolute must! While the average wedding band cost in the U.S is around $4,500, band prices for a wedding may vary depending on where and when your wedding is taking place, as well as a number of other factors, like the number of musicians and length of time. In fact the cost of a wedding band typically ranges from $2,850 to $6,488 in the U.S.

What services do wedding bands offer?

Most obviously, your wedding band will perform live music during your reception. Your wedding bandleader will likely also serve as the emcee for your event, making announcements and generally “running the show” during your reception. Your wedding band will also likely provide their own audio equipment, including microphones, speakers, and a sound system. A wedding band may also be hired to perform during your ceremony or other events (like your rehearsal dinner or after-party), depending on your wedding’s needs and budget.

What contributes to the cost of a live wedding band?

There are several factors that contribute to a wedding band’s cost, including:

  • Time: How long will your wedding band be performing at your wedding? Most wedding bands charge for a set number of hours—if you want them to perform beyond that (during your cocktail hour or after-party, for example), you’ll have to pay additional charges for their time. Also remember that your wedding band will have to take a few breaks at predetermined times throughout your reception—this will be specified in your contract. When it comes to breaks, your band will usually have a single musician perform or play recorded music so there isn’t complete silence—but be sure to ask!
  • Number of performers: The bigger the band, the more you’ll pay.
  • “Extras”: Is your band providing additional equipment beyond the standard sound system? Some bands can provide lighting, projectors, or other equipment, which will add to your band costs.
  • New Songs: If you want your wedding band to learn a particular song for your big day, you may have to pay an additional fee. This varies from band to band, so be sure to ask your musicians!
  • Travel: If your wedding band will be traveling a long distance to perform at your wedding, you may have to pay for their mileage, gas, airfare and/or accommodations.

Are live wedding bands more expensive than DJs?

Typically, yes—a wedding band cost is more likely to be higher than a DJ’s. On average in the U.S., a wedding band cost is $4,500, while a wedding DJ cost averages $1,000. Remember though, that with a wedding band you are paying for multiple professional musicians to perform on your wedding day, while a wedding DJ is usually a single pro.

Do wedding bands provide their own equipment?

Equipment such as microphones and speakers is typically included in band prices for weddings. Some wedding band companies can provide additional equipment such as lighting, fog machines, or projectors, but that varies from company to company so be sure to ask.

How many musicians are in a wedding band?

An average wedding band has about six musicians, but there are bands of all sizes available—anywhere from a trio of musicians to a full orchestra of nearly 20! A standard wedding band often consists of a keyboard or piano, bass, guitar, drums, one or more horns like a saxophone or trumpet, and vocalists—but again this does vary. Note that the bigger the wedding band, the fuller and more lively the sound will be.

What types of genres of music do wedding bands play?

Some wedding bands are considered “dance bands” which means they play a wide variety of music in all genres. However, there are many bands that specialize in a specific type of music, from Latin to big band, country to Motown, rock, funk, and more. Some bands only will play a specific musical genre, but even those that specialize in a genre may be willing to play other types of music.

Are there different kinds of wedding bands?

Aside from the different types of music a wedding band may play, some wedding bands are booked through music agencies, while others are independent. If you know you want to have a wedding band but are unsure on the type or style of band you need, you may want to talk to an agency. On the other hand, if you know the exact type of band you want, an independent band might be the right route for you.

How can you save money on your live wedding band?

Wedding bands are typically thought of as expensive, but there are several ways to save money on your wedding band. Here are a few:

  • Be conscious of time: Try to keep the number of hours your band will be performing to a minimum. A four-hour package is usually sufficient for most weddings.
  • Fewer pieces: A huge band with lots of instruments will cost more. Work with your music agency or bandleader to figure out a number of instruments that will provide the sound you desire, but also fall within your budget.
  • Marry in the off-season or an on off-day: Wedding bands may offer discounts for performing in the less busy off-season (the wintertime, in most regions) or on a weekday.

Do I have to tip my wedding band?

We recommend tipping each musician in your wedding band $25 to $50. In addition, thank your wedding band (and other vendors!) by writing them an online review.

When should I hire my wedding band?

Wedding musicians are typically among the first vendors that are hired. We recommend booking your wedding band at least eight months before your big day. Start by reading online reviews of local wedding bands and music agencies, then plan to meet with one or two to ensure that they’re a good fit for your big day. Wedding expos can also be a good way to hear wedding bands live and in person before hiring.

What questions should I ask a wedding band before hiring?

There are several important questions to ask a wedding band before hiring.

  • What type or genre of music do you specialize in?
  • Can you show us your song list?
  • How many instruments and vocalists will be present at my wedding?
  • What are your band prices for weddings?
  • Have you worked at my venue in the past?
  • Will you learn new songs for my wedding?
  • How do setup and breakdown work?
  • Can you help me pick music for my wedding reception?
  • Do you have a demo or video from a performance?
  • How many breaks do you require, and how long are they?
  • What equipment do you provide?
  • What other services do you offer?