How much does it cost to hire a wedding band?
If you’re about to embark on the understandably daunting process of choosing your perfect wedding entertainment, you’ve probably got about ten thousand questions and very few obvious places to look for the answers - the principal of which is probably, how much should I pay for my wedding band?
First off, don’t worry! We know this feeling well. As one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of wedding bands, soloists and DJ’s, we’re in constant contact with wedding planning couples who have no idea where to start when it comes to finding that perfect act (or acts!) for their big day.
How Much Should I Pay For Wedding Band Music?
First off, we've put together this helpful video to guide you through the process of booking your wedding music and to give you an idea of what you can get for your budget.
How much to budget for your wedding music
Although it’s true that a higher price doesn’t always equal a better band, there is definitely a base rate that you need to be starting from.
Let’s start with an example.
Take your average middle-age rockers playing covers down the pub on a Saturday. They’re probably taking home between £250 and £500. That’s just for amateur players performing through what is usually old, average sounding and potentially unreliable gear. What’s more, a pub band doesn’t typically have experience at the top of the music industry, so they struggle to meet the demands of a high-end, meticulously planned wedding.
There’s a reason you pay more for an established, professional wedding band. Once you get over a certain price point, you can be sure your musicians are industry-standard. For example, a lot of our bands are session players for major touring artists, including One Direction, Ed Sheeran, and Paolo Nutini. They perform in our brilliant function bands alongside work at the pinnacle of the music industry.
You’re paying for the very best - professionals, who make a living from performing. You're also paying for a professional set-up - professional bands will have the insurance and PAT certified equipment to satisfy your venue's requirements, they'll have PA and lighting equipment that looks as good as it sounds, they'll provide a bespoke laptop DJ service before and after live sets, they'll have professional rehearsed understudies for every position in the band (so you're not left without entertainment in the event of a band member falling ill), they perform a set list focused on your enjoyment - rather than a set to indulge their own preferences, and with Tailored Entertainment, you receive exceptional and attentive customer service from a dedicated booking manager throughout the booking and planning process.
The very least we would recommend paying for a top-quality, professional function band is around £1,000. At that figure, you’re ensuring your band is assembled from top-quality, professional musicians. You know they’re going to offer a concert-level stage production, with pro audio and lighting output. Finally, and most crucially, it’s the peace of mind of knowing the band you have booked are incredibly well versed in providing the highest level of entertainment for your evening. Why would you settle for anything less?
Now, if that seems like just too much but you’re still desperate for some live music at your wedding, you could consider a solo or duo act to perform at your drinks reception. This can be a sophisticated way to bring a little energy to your afternoon with the added benefit of not going over budget. Take a look at our soloists and duos for weddings.
The Cost of a Wedding Band
As we said earlier, don’t be fooled into thinking more money necessarily equals better. An increase in the price of an act tends to be for one of these reasons:
• Number of band members
They’re a bigger, more complex ensemble involving more musicians. Maybe horns, strings, or multiple vocalists.
• The bands style
They’re a more specialist act – for example, a jazz, vintage or festival band. These carry a higher price point as they’re a bit more unique in sound and style.
• Your chosen wedding date
Weekdays tend to be less expensive when booking live entertainment, followed by Friday and Sunday. Saturdays are the most expensive. During the off-season (colder months) you may see lower rates compared to dates in July for example.
• In demand wedding band
The band in question is in incredibly high demand. This typically drives the price of an act up a little bit.
So if you're wondering what you get for your money, here are a few bands at varying price points. Keep these points in mind, and you'll start to see why bands cost what they do...
Brightside - Starting at £995
Indie rock wedding bands have long been a big hit with couples planning their wedding entertainment, and we can totally see why. Take Brightside, for example. This tight trio brings a big, ballsy sound and an absolute killer setlist to your wedding reception - all of it delivered with an unmistakable glint of star quality.
4 To The Floor - Starting at £1180
Funk pop party bands are a big hit for weddings due to their crowd-pleasing, timeless setlist of singalong party classics. 4 To The Floor are an awesome 4 or 5-piece party band that specialise in bringing your big night to life. Their setlist has something for everyone, from sixties Motown to current chart killers - all of it performed by a stunning live band that’ll have everyone on their feet all night.
Festival Nights – starting at £1910
With a slightly more specialist setlist and set up, festival-style wedding bands tend to sit at a slightly higher price point than your standard function acts. These high energy bands give your big night the feel of an iconic summer festival, and guests and bookers cannot stop coming back for more. One of the country’s most sought after London wedding bands in the ever popular ‘festival’ style', Festival Nights have just finished another summer of back-to-back weddings across the UK and Europe. Their peerless live show has gifted them a massive reputation, making them a surefire hit with all your wedding guests.
Soul Supreme – Starting at £3770
Soul & Motown bands are perfect for any wedding or event looking to bring a touch of glamour to proceedings. The uptick in price is down to the fact that, in order to nail that classic Motown sound, the band has to be a little bigger than other acts. Soul Supreme are, simply put, the ultimate Soul and Motown function act. They take a loving glance at one of music’s best-loved genres; bringing their own fresh, contemporary edge to the very best songs from the imitable Motown record label - all delivered in a scintillating live show that your guests will find truly unforgettable.
Soho: City Collective - starting at £5,145
Premium Showbands are the absolute last word in live party entertainment. These world-class acts would fit comfortably on the bill of any live music venue on the planet, and as such, they tend to fetch a premium price. But you're paying for the creme de la creme. Take Soho City Collective, for example, one of the country's most in-demand premium showbands. They regularly book shows across the globe, in locations including Bali, Monaco, The UAE, The Maldives, and The USA. When it comes to live music, it doesn't get much bigger than this.
Tips for finding your wedding band
All of our acts provide two hours of live music, concert level stage production, and a pre-mixed DJ set provided as standard. However, there are a few extra bits to keep in mind…
TravelThe further away your band is based, the more you’ll pay. Many people consider it a small price to pay to have their perfect act at their wedding, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
Arrivals & Curfews
Early arrivals and late curfews can make everything run a little bit easier on the day. But do be aware that this will mean the act will charge a little extra on top of their standard price.
DJ & Disco Music
Bands will provide a pre-mixed disco included in the price of their booking – and you can choose this yourself! You can also book the band to DJ the evening, taking requests and mixing the tunes between sets, but this will be a little extra on top of your booking.
Feeding the band!
All our acts have a standard rider of a hot meal and soft drinks attached to their contract. If this isn’t possible, it’s not a deal-breaker – but a fed band is always a happy band...and boy do they appreciate a good feeding!
More top tips for finding your perfect wedding band
1. Choose your style before you start your search.
The function band industry has come a long way in the last few years. You don’t have to settle for a dodgy band in dodgy matching suits playing the same old tired tunes any more.
There’s incredible wedding bands out there that will match up with exactly the kind of music you love. But it really helps to hone that in a bit, first.
Think about the kind of music that gets you and your mates dancing at a party. Is it classic Motown? Try a Soul & Motown wedding band like Soul Supreme. How about indie bangers? indie rock band 8-Ball have got you covered. 90’s classics? Give Sega & The Boombox a listen. We even have club anthem bands that turn your big night into an Ibiza nightclub. Whatever you’re into, there’s a band out there for you.
Once you’ve narrowed that part down to one or two possible styles. You can move on to phase two…
2. Be realistic with your budget.
For some people, the choosing the perfect wedding entertainment is one of the most important parts of their wedding day. For others, it’s a nice addition to your reception.
Whichever side you sit on, set yourself a suitable guide price and use that as a yard stick for any band you check out. But remember – if you think the band’s price point sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Spending that little bit extra may mean you get better value for money. Trust us, you won’t regret it!
3. See what other couples have said.
It can be difficult to judge if a wedding band is right for you – typically, you won’t meet them before your wedding day and you’re booking them off the back of their promotional videos.
Your best bet is to take a look at the band’s client testimonials. This can very quickly give you a great portrait of how your night will unfold with your chosen band at the helm. Any function band worth their salt should have a long list of these to hand you on request, or ideally clearly listed on their website.
You could start by checking out our Facebook page, where you can view our regular ‘testimonial of the week’ feature. Here’s last week's from The Fix…
"We just want to say a massive thank you to the band! They exceeded all of our expectations and were totally accommodating to our decision not to have a first dance. They slotted our chosen song into the set and it couldn't have gone more perfectly.” Natalie & Charles - Wedding, Coltsfoot Country Retreat, Knebworth
4. Check out the band’s social media.
A function band’s social media presence can give you another great snapshot of their sound and style. It can also act as a great indicator as to how busy the band is!
Check out this from Festival Nights. They take a photo with the audience at the end of their shows and post them as ‘band selfies’. Not only do they look great, it gives you an opportunity to gauge how well they bring the party!
So there you have it. Hopefully we’ve managed to answer all of your questions, but if there’s something you’re still pondering over, give our expert team a call on 0800 564 2240 to chat a little further. We’d love to hear from you!