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Wedding music - What you're paying for

A wedding is a special event which everyone hopes will only happen once in a lifetime. It's also one of the only times that a whole day is dedicated to you and what you want. The right cake, the right dress, the right music....

I get asked a lot about how I price my services and why weddings are so much more expensive than a typical public gig. Here's a few things to think about when hiring a musician or band for your wedding.




The most dedicated full time musicians are trained and have invested a lot of time perfecting their skills and services. Anyone in the higher end of the live entertainment market understand that a good reputation is built over a long period of time, and can be ruined overnight.

Their living is based on giving a good service and they have procedures in place to make your life easier and ultimately make sure you recommend them to your friends.

Long hours

A standard public gig is usually 2 X 45 minute sets with a break. If it's a local gig, you can expect to be out of the house for 3 - 4 hours.

For a typical evening wedding party, the band would have a specific timeframe to work with and fit in with the client's schedule. In my experience, it usually goes something like this:

  • 5:30 - Set up

  • 8:00 First set

  • 9:00 Break

  • 10:00 Second set

  • 11:00 Provide party music

  • 12:00 Pack up

  • 1:00am Leave

Factor in travel time for venues further afield, early set ups, afternoon sets, ceremonies and you end up with a 12 hour shift.

Special requests

Bands are not instantly amazing, they spend time perfecting a quality set and working with each other to improve. Any band or artist you book for your wedding would be learning a first dance song, which needs to be perfect, and could have any number of other specially requested songs to play. This involves finding time to practice together and paying for rehearsal space.


To ensure there are no equipment failures during a wedding, professional artists will only use the best equipment and get it regularly serviced and checked between gigs.

Imagine someone's budget 8 track mixer going down during a wedding and the band resorts to feeding one microphone directly into one speaker and a guitar directly into another because they don't have a spare.


Do you have a specific look or colour scheme you'd like the musician to adhere to? A full time wedding musician playing 3 weddings a weekend can't wear the same formal outfit to 3 different wedding ceremonies without starting to smell like a bloated corpse.


Did you meet your wedding band at a wedding fayre?

Did you see a sponsored Facebook video of a harpist?

It costs money to get an artist's name out there and make it easy to find on their own dedicated website.


So if you're thinking of booking any kind of musician for your wedding, keep in mind that it may say on the invoice - 2 X 45 minute sets, but what it should say is:

  1. Rehearsal room hire

  2. Time spent learning new songs

  3. Travel expenses

  4. Equipment PAT testing

  5. That red tie that took ages to find

  6. 2 X 45 minute sets

  7. Extra 15 minute set for encore

  8. Putting the client's needs first

  9. Years of wedding experience

  10. Not smelling like a corpse


If you like this...

Check out my other blog posts

and why not

explore my personal wedding entertainment prices.

#Weddingband #Playinglive #FestivalHeart #Gigs #Standardrate

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