A lot of people out there won’t have hired a wedding band before, so in today’s guide we thought we would take the time to break down the costs and options you have when it comes to hiring a wedding band.
Depending on the style, size, reputation and availability of the band, the cost in the North West of the UK will be somewhere between £1200 and £2000. Wedding bands come in all different shapes and sizes, and there will be a band out there for you. We’ve included some tips as well if you’re looking for the way to get the best deal from your band!
Is it worth booking a live band?
You might be wondering whether you need a live band for your wedding, and wondering if you can just use your venue’s system to play Spotify or Apple Music playlists .
We might be a bit biased, but we think you’d be missing out if you didn’t. Bands provide a level of interactivity and atmosphere that will create a long lasting memory for you and your guests. Great bands know how to read the room, and play the perfect setlist to keep your dancefloor packed all night long.
Plus, having all the sound and lighting equipment makes a focal point that can’t help but get your guests involved with the fun. A playlist just can’t compete!
Should I book a DJ instead?
This is a topic that deserves a whole post of it’s own. Simply put - if you want the best night of entertainment, you want a band and a DJ. The band can provide the fun, interactive element to the evening, and then the DJ can keep the dancefloor pumping when the band are having a break.
Most bands (such as ourselves) will provide a free playlist service for in between sets. With our service, we can download any requests for any songs you want to hear in advance so you can get all the songs you want played throughout the evening. If you’re looking to bridge the gap between band and DJ, we also offer a manned playlist option (roughly £300 extra) to make sure there’s a band member nearby to take requests from guests and read the room a bit more.
Otherwise, most bands should be able to provide some great recommendations for DJs that work well alongside the band sets!
It’s worth noting if you’re not in to band music, you might be worth booking a DJ rather than a live band - for example, you and your partner (and maybe your guests) love House or Dance music. DJs can cater to this much more than a band as they have a wide range of songs to choose from!
Book from a reputable band
Whichever type of band you decide on, make sure you book a reputable band. Check out the bands reviews and make sure the band is a professional outfit, with high quality musicians who know how to get the party started. Check out the band’s reviews to see if past clients were happy with their services and provided the party they were looking for?
What should be included in the booking?
Sound and Lighting Equipment
Good quality bands should bring their own high end, PAT tested sound and lighting equipment for your wedding. This should be suitable for most wedding venues, but if you’ve got a bigger wedding in mind, you might need to let them know so they can adjust their setup accordingly. Also if your venue has any noise restrictions or a sound limiter, be sure to let your band know as soon as possible so they can adjust accordingly. We have a full article on the topic here if you need more information. We are always happy to cater to any noise restrictions - we have an electric drum kit we can use with any of our 3 or 4 piece bands and our folk band was design to work at any noise restricted venue!
Most bands will be happy to learn your first dance (or a special request.) Talk to your band about this. If you need help with some first dance ideas we have a handy article here.
DJ or playlist service
We briefly touched on this before, but make sure your band includes a playlist service for when they’re not playing on stage. This is also a perfect time to chat to your band about DJ recommendations or a manned DJ service from your band if that’s something you’re looking to add.
This is usually included at the time of quoting but it’s worth checking that the band have included this. Here at The Pedal Tones we always include any travel costs (including any additional accommodation costs) at the time when you get your quote.
A clear and fully written booking contract
A professional band should always include this. The contract should include arrival and finish time for the band, all costs and any additional extras, plus it should outline what will happen in case of an emergency so your wedding will not be affected.
PLI (short for public liability insurance) covers your band in case of accident and gives you piece of mind for safety of your guests. It’s also a requirement for most venues, so make sure your band includes this!
How much do different wedding band line-ups cost?
So, how much does it cost to hire a wedding band in 2023? There’s all kinds of different sized band lineups to choose from: smaller 3 piece bands all the way up to 12+ piece show bands! It might seem obvious, but the more band members there are, the more people there are to pay! As a general rule of thumb, each musician added to the lineup is going to cost around £300. To help you decide on the type of lineup that’s right for you!
Acoustic Duo - Average price - £450 to £800+
This is the smallest lineup we offer and is perfect for the daytime of your wedding - be that entertaining your guests for your drinks reception, or providing the perfect soundtrack to your wedding breakfast. Most bands will offer an option similar to this, and you can often find some good deals as you don’t have to pay separate sets of musicians for this add-on.
3 Piece Band - Average Price - £1200-£1600
This smaller band size can still pack a punch and provide great entertainment for your guests. Smaller band sizes mean that it’s easier to adapt to any noise restrictions too! 3 piece bands usually entail at least one singing musician (whether on bass or guitar) and drums.
4 Piece Band - Average Price - £1500-£2000+
4 piece bands tend to be the most common band size and is our most popular lineup choice. 4 piece bands provide another level of interaction and also create a bigger, full sound. For our band sizes too, booking the 4 piece band option means we can cover a wide repertoire of songs, too.
Folk / Mumford and Sons style bands - Average price - £1800-£2000+
This style of band is still providing to be hugely popular in 2023! We love performing as the folk lineup as it means we can bust out the smart clothes, get the double bass out and play some uptempo fun folk-y tunes! This lineup can also work really well at venues with sound limiters!
5+ Piece band - Average Price - £1800 - £3000+
A full on party band with a 3 piece horn section, strings and multiple singers can be an unforgettable night of entertainment for you and your guests! If musical entertainment is a huge part of you and your partner’s lives, and you can stretch your budget, this is an experience you won’t forget!
What else affects the price of a band?
Arrival and finish time
Most bands will provide their services somewhere between 6pm and Midnight as standard, but if you need them to setup early for whatever reason, or your venue has a later finish time (such as 1am) your band may charge extra for this.
How long you want the band to play for will also affect the price. Most bands include either 2 x 45s or 2 x 60 minute sets, which provides a good amount of time for musical entertainment and dancing!
Some bands may have the option to provide a an extra set for additional fee. This is usually between the £300-£500 mark.
Our 3 piece band provides 2 x 45 minute sets as standard, but our 4 piece provides 3 x 40 minute sets if you’re looking to party a bit longer!
The date of your wedding
Peak times for weddings are usually throughout the summer months, particularly Saturdays across June, July and August. However, some bands (such as ourselves) will offer a discount for more off-peak days (such as mid-week) and off-peak months such as January, February and November.
If you haven’t booked a wedding date yet and you’re looking to stretch your budget a little further many venues will offer a similar discount, giving you more budget to play with, which is never a bad thing!
Popularity and style
Popular wedding bands will be booked months in advance, and the more in demand they are, the more likely they are to cost!
It’s worth booking early to avoid disappointment with unavailability (ideally two years in advance.) Booking in advance usually means a better price as well - here at The Pedal Tones we always honour the price at the time of booking and this can save you money in case of any price increases!
How do I get the best deal on a wedding band?
Here’s 4 tips to get the best deal on your wedding band!
1.) Book Early
As mentioned previously, take advantage of fixed prices if your band has it. It means you can save money and make sure your band is available for your date.
2.) Find a local band
Booking a local band near to you or your venue saves on travel costs (and potential accomodation costs) and also is better for the environment. Local bands usually play more popular local songs too, such as football anthems and will know how to work these into their setlist.
3.) Book off-peak
Booking an off-peak date not only means you’ll save money on your venue, but often on your entertainment too. Many bands offer great deals for off-peak or out of season dates.
4.) Book a smaller lineup
Booking a smaller lineup such as a 3 piece band is usually naturally cheaper than a larger band or something more specialist and will naturally save you some costs!
How do a book my wedding band?
Whichever type of band you decide on, make sure you book one with a clear, simple and professional booking process. Here at The Pedal Tones - it’s as simple as following the steps in your quote. If you haven’t got a quote yet - follow the link to fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
We’re always happy to answer questions you might have about booking a wedding band, so feel free to get in touch if you need help with anything at any point!