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How much does wedding music cost?

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

When it comes to planning your wedding, music is one of the most important aspects. Music helps to set the tone of the wedding day and can add a personal touch that reflects your unique and personalities as a couple. It can also be used to help create a special atmosphere that will be remembered by the guests for years to come.

Whether you’re looking for a live band or a wedding DJ, it’s important to know how much wedding music usually costs so you can plan your budget accordingly. When it comes to wedding music, costs can vary significantly depending on what you’re looking for. We’ve broken it down into a few handy categories - follow the headers to be taken to the different sections!

For the purposes of this blog, we’re mostly going to be talking about how much it costs in our home base in Cheshire, but prices are usually pretty standard up and down the UK!

Doing it yourself

If you’re planning to have a small wedding or want to try and keep the costs down, you can sort out the music yourself for a significant saving. One way to do this is to hire some PA speakers from a local company such as PA Hire Liverpool (as well as all the stands and cables you need) and simply use a streaming service such as Spotify to play the songs you want to hear throughout the night through your speakers. This option can cost as little as £100.

For anyone looking to make use of this option, we've embedded a party playlist which we often use at events! This has a wide range of tunes that will keep all ages happy!

Some venues may also have in-built speakers around the various rooms and you may be able to plug a phone or laptop into their system, again using spotify or similar! Usually, these sorts of setups are ideal for sorting the music out for the daytime of your wedding - for example, when you’re walking down the aisle, or signing the register. This means you can save money for the evening’s entertainment!

Here's another handy playlist we use whenever we're not on stage with our acoustic setups!

There are few problems with doing it yourself, however. Firstly, it’s an added level of stress as it’s something else that needs to be sorted (or delegated!) on the day of your wedding. It’s also a bit more inconvenient as obviously you’ll need to pick up and drop off the speakers before and after the wedding.

It also means that guests won’t really be able to make any requests throughout the evening’s proceedings - or it also might mean that your guests will be fighting over the aux cable all evening - trying to play their favourite songs instead of living it up on the dancefloor!

The quality of the music being played might also be a bit lower if using hired speakers or the venue’s in built sound system. This means that the volume of the music might be too low, meaning that no-one wants to get up and dance!

Hiring a Wedding DJ

This can vary greatly depending on the experience and reputation of the DJ, the type of equipment they use, the number of hours they are needed for, and the location of the event. Generally speaking, wedding DJs in Cheshire charge somewhere between £100-£500 per hour. Additional costs can include travel expenses, overnight stays, and set up fees. It is important to shop around and get quotes from a few different DJs to ensure you are getting the best deal, as well as making sure the DJ understands the type of music that you and your guests like!

Some venues may include a DJ as part of a package deal which is also fantastic to save you some money, too!

Hiring a Wedding Band

Having a Wedding band for the evening of your wedding can be an experience like no other! Booking a band really can be a unique experience for you and your guests, as a band can interact with your guests and provide the ultimate soundtrack to your evening. If your band also plays your first dance live, this can offer a really special experience as this will be unique to your day!

Wedding bands in Cheshire can vary greatly in cost depending on the type of music that you are looking for. Popular wedding bands in Cheshire can cost anywhere from £500 to £2000 or more depending on the size of the band and the type of music you are looking for.

For example smaller 3 and 4 piece rock and pop bands can cost anywhere from £500 to £1500 depending on the experience of the band, and any travel or accommodation costs they might have.

Larger bands may cost significantly more, with 7 piece plus bands often costing more than £2000, and this is usually down to the sheer number of members in the band. Bigger bands may also need to bring a dedicated sound engineer to ensure the best mix, which also adds to the cost.

More unique and specialist bands may also cost more money too, for example if they specialise in a certain genre of music, or have a different set of instruments that they use.

A good way to keep the costs down when hiring a wedding band is checking to see what happens when the band isn’t playing on stage. Most bands should offer a free playlist service, meaning that they will take care of the music in between sets. Some may also offer additional services such as a manned playlist service or DJ add-on, and may be able to create you a bespoke package you match your budget.

Solo musicians

Hiring a solo musician to play for the daytime of your wedding can really help set the mood for the wedding. Having a musician play you down the aisle is an unforgettable experience that will be unique to you and your partner and will be something people will remember for years to come!

Solo musicians may also have different packages in order to accommodate the different parts of your day, such as providing entertainment for your drinks reception, or setting the atmosphere for the wedding breakfast as your guests eat.

There’s obviously several different types of solo musicians to choose from, too. You may want to have an acoustic wedding singer, a harpist, a saxophonist or a pianist depending on the sort of music you and your partner like. Wedding solosists can cost anywhere from £100 to £500, again depending on their experience and the type of music they play. The cost may also vary depending on how long you’d like them to play for, too.

If you are planning on booking a wedding band, it’s worth asking them if they have options for the daytime too, as again, they may well be able to put you a bespoke package together that saves you some money!

Small ensembles and duos

Depending on your budget, you might want to consider having a smaller ensemble or duo for the daytime of your wedding, too. For example, string quartets are an absolutely beautiful sound and can really create a special atmosphere on your big day, especially if you’re going for a particular theme. This cost typically includes a one-hour performance and any necessary travel expenses.

If you are looking to hire a string quartet for a longer performance, such as for a whole day of music, the cost can go up to £1000 or more. For smaller weddings, or if you are on a tighter budget, it is possible to find more reasonably priced string quartets that may charge as low as £200 or less for a one-hour performance.

An acoustic duo or trio may be more suitable for a more ‘rustic’ type wedding in a barn or tipi. You can expect to pay anywhere between £300 and £1200 for an acoustic duo, and again, for more experienced musicians, the cost may be higher. Additionally, if you wish to have a longer performance time, such as sets for the drinks reception and wedding breakfast the cost might again be higher!

DJ sax and Bongos

The popularity of the Ibiza-style dj sax has exploded in recent years and continues to be an awesome way to unite all of your guests on the dancefloor!

For a standard performance of 3 x 30 minute sets, expect to pay around £350-£500 depending on your venue’s location and the experience of your chosen sax player.

For the ultimate combination, consider hiring a bongo player alongside your saxophonist to take your party to the next level! This is another way to add some fun interactive moments for you and your guests. Adding a bongo player is likely to cost around the same price as a sax player at around £350-£500, but you may be able to find a package deal.

It’s worth noting that Ibiza style sax and bongos work best in combination with a DJ as they can really bounce off each other to create the best party experience possible too. Make sure you consider this when budgeting!

We hope you’ve found this guide helpful in finding out how much wedding music costs! If you have any questions please reach out to us and we can help provide you with suggestions for musicians or maybe even help create the perfect package for your wedding!

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