Cost of Wedding Music: How To Make Your Budget Go Further

How much does wedding music cost? If you’re in the process of budgeting for your upcoming wedding it might help to know exactly how much the average couple in the UK spends on wedding music. What percentage of their overall budget goes towards the cost of booking a musician? I also want to go a step further and look at ways you can use your designated entertainment fund wisely to get the most for your money without compromising on quality. There are a few insider secrets, which will help your budget stretch that extra bit further and bring the cost of wedding music down.
How To Make Your Music Budget Go Further

Let’s start by looking at the figures. Having done my research on wedding budgets and breakdowns, it is becoming clear that the figures differ wildly and it’s hard to get a definitive answer. I’ve collated some of the figures and provided the key details below*:

  • Average overall wedding budget = £15,400-£25,000
  • Average cost of wedding music = £682-£850
  • Percentage of wedding budget spent on wedding music = 2.8%-4.5%

How To Cut The Cost Of Wedding Music

Number of Musicians

The biggest way to cut the cost of your wedding music is to reduce the number of musicians you book to play at your wedding. By paying fewer people, you save anywhere between £120-300 per musician**. Do you really need the 3 man horn section or would you be happy with the standard 4 piece line up? If you’re not dead set on a band then it makes sense to opt for a duo or soloist. Booking a decent solo musician costs anywhere from around £200-300 for a standard 1 hour performance. Compare that with the 4 figure sums quoted by most bands and you just bought yourself an extra week in Hawaii for the honeymoon.

I usually go out for around £220-350 depending on the number of hours required. I like to keep my prices transparent so you can get an instant online quote if you’re interested in my exact fees. As you can see this is well under the average overall cost of wedding music so there should be room left in the budget for another musician for the evening reception if you wish.

Daytime Music vs Evening Music

Wedding music can be split into two main categories; daytime music and evening music. Daytime music includes the all-important wedding ceremony, the drinks reception plus the wedding breakfast. Evening music covers the main reception when the party starts. If you’re on a strict budget you may find yourself having to choose between having daytime music or evening music. So which should you opt for?

Well, it’s very much down to you to decide what’s more important, the daytime part or the evening part. Some couples prefer to make a big deal of the ceremony, wedding breakfast and photographs etc, where as other couples are more interested in the evening celebrations. Generally speaking, you will be able to spend less on the daytime music as you there are so many viable solo/duo options and as mentioned earlier, fewer musicians equals lower cost. If you want live music in the evening you’re best option is probably a band (although the right soloist/duo can still put on a good show!). I’m not suggesting your budget should sway your decision here but it’s definitely a factor and requires careful consideration.

Negotiate

It’s not always possible to negotiate over the fee, especially if your wedding is during the busiest part of the wedding season. However if you’ve booked your wedding on a Tuesday in November, it’s fairly likely that the musician you’re keen on will be able to negotiate a little bit over the fee. Fridays and Saturdays are by far the busiest days of the week for most musicians and they will probably be less able to lower their fee on these days. Sundays can also be busy during wedding season however the rest of the week should give you a bit more wiggle room when it comes to negotiating the fee.

I hope this has given you some insight into the cost of wedding music for your big day. I also hope that the tips I’ve shared can help you to save a few pennies.

Do you have a hot tip for saving money on your wedding music?  Please feel free to share it by commenting below.

* Figures based on statistics from weddings in 2013 (source: various websites)
** Figures based on my own experience and knowledge of current gig rates