So, how much does a wedding band cost? It’s a question we get asked all the time, and it’s one that’s quite hard to answer as most bands are often coy about what they charge.
Given the huge number of bands of different sizes and set ups it’s hard to identify a ‘going rate’ for a wedding band in the UK; and, as with so many things, average prices do vary from region to region. However, a good rule of thumb is most wedding bands will charge £200-£250 per band member for an evening reception. Although busy acts, or those specialising in high-end weddings will be considerably more.
Don’t forget, you’re not just paying for two hours of live music; you’re hiring professional musicians who are going to be at your wedding for between six and seven hours; they are bringing several thousand pounds worth of equipment; and, they are likely to have travelled some distance to be with you. Also, your wedding band will usually provide a number of additional services, such as learning requests for you and your partner, that add value to what they are charging.
Some people will tell you that price indicates how ‘professional’ a band is; but it’s not necessarily that simple. Whilst it’s true that if a band offers to play your wedding in central London for 50 quid it’s probably worth looking more closely at their credentials, there are better ways to assess how professional a band is other than just cost. For example, how quickly do they reply to your emails and messages? Do they have experience of playing at weddings? What have previous clients said about them? And, do they have stand-in musicians if one of the band is taken ill on the day of your event?
However, there are some great ways to save money on your wedding band without sacrificing quality; for example:
Book a local band. The less distance the band has to travel, the lower their overheads in time and fuel will be. This will be reflected in the price you pay.
Book direct with the band. Using a booking agent has many advantages, but they do add 10-20% on to the cost of the act. Working directly with the band will save you money.
Ask what other services the band can provide. Many bands are now offering additional services such as Wedding DJs and MC at great prices, which can bring down your overall costs.