Break down the cost of a wedding

Breaking Down the Cost: What You Pay for When You Hire a Wedding Band in 2023

Breaking Down the Cost: What You Pay for When You Hire a Wedding Band in 2023 1500 853 adam Michaels


When finding your perfect wedding band, you may find it difficult to figure out what you’re paying for. When breaking down the cost of hiring a wedding band you should also be thinking about your wedding budget. When it comes to wedding entertainment, you are investing in talent and service first, but also insurance policies, professionalism, reputation, and overall experience in the industry. Professional wedding musicians are going to cost more than musicians who do not regularly play at weddings. 

Typically hiring wedding entertainment like a wedding band is about 5-8% of the wedding budget. Working backward from your budget to find out how much you’re able to allocate to your music is usually a better first step than spending hours searching for prices.

By having a draft budgeted amount set aside for a wedding band, you can use this value when calling potential wedding bands. It is highly advised to use this value and ask the wedding band if they can provide a service package that is within your budget. 

With the 2023 summer season here, now is the best time to get your wedding entertainment budget in order! Typically, there is a high demand for the summer wedding season and it’s best to book your wedding at least a year in advance of your big day! Otherwise, you run the risk of your dream wedding band already being booked for another event! Let’s take a closer look at what affects the price of a wedding band so you know what kind of bang you’re getting with your buck!

In 2022, the average price of a wedding band in the United States was around $10,000-$14,000, but this can vary depending on different aspects, such as the time of year, location, travel costs, and the number of musicians in the band. 

A reputable wedding band in the NJ/NYC area, for example, should cost $1,200-$1,800 per musician, including the non-musicians who travel. If the band provides the lighting and speakers, it will attract additional fees. Bands who are billed to travel to your wedding will charge you extra to cover gas, accommodation, mileage, etc.

Just like with anything else, the more demand there is for a band, the higher the value and cost. The number of band members also plays a crucial role in wedding band pricing. The more professional musicians in the band, the more people there are to pay. From acoustic singers/guitarists/pianists/MCs to professional vocalists with backing tracks, there are numerous options to consider.

By increasing your budget, you’ll have the option to add a sax player or full horn section to your band. With seven or more members, you can expect a vibrant performance that will be sure to make a strong impression. Just remember to check space and sound limitations with your wedding venue before making a booking. 

The average cost for a wedding band will largely depend on the time they play for. The number of hours, and where they play. Apart from the reception, do you want them to play for the cocktail hour? Maybe an after-party? All these things should be taken into consideration.

Many wedding musicians offer packages to cover different parts of your day, including the ceremony, cocktails, and wedding reception. A band with more experience and pedigree will charge you more than an upstart will. Before you commit to payment, check out their sound clips by looking up their social media and website. Head over to our wedding video page to watch our roster of talented acts.

The other additional cost that most wedding couples do not consider is that with a full band and their larger base fees, they then have larger postponement and cancellation fees. This is because they are usually a percentage of the total fee.  

An extra cost that can also be forgotten is if the wedding band will be needing food on the big day. It is important to know as you will need to factor that cost into your budget and advise the wedding caterer. Having a wedding buffet can normally keep the catering cost down and help provide an easy option to supply vendor meals.

It is customary to show appreciation to the wedding band by offering gratuity at the end of the night. Additionally, taking the time to write a review on their social media handles and providing a reference would be greatly appreciated by the band. These acts of support can go a long way in recognizing their talent and hard work.

When looking for a wedding band, knowing their cancellation and postponement policy is equally as important as it can add a lot of extra cost to your budget without realizing it. If your wedding is postponed, a lot of bands charge a fee as part of their contract. 

Others may charge a postponement fee as a percentage of their base fee, and this usually falls around 10-30%. Like postponement fees, wedding band cancellation fees usually follow similar policies. However, a cancellation fee is usually set as a higher percentage of the base fee than a postponement fee and can usually be around 40-50%.

In the end, you do get what you pay for. Top-tier talent requires top-tier compensation- it’s as simple as that! There are no hard and fast rules, and many factors affect the price of a live wedding band. Hopefully, our guide has given you a good starting point! 

Are you looking for a top wedding band to work with?  

Contact us directly to learn how we can create the most cost-efficient package for you!