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What you're paying for: Wedding Musician Insights on Pricing and Performance

Updated: Jan 29

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.



Wedding Musician Insights

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 & First Dance

  • 9:00 Break for buffet

  • 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.

These wedding musician insights are brought to you by a full time musician with thousands of gigs under my belt. If you want more information about my services, click this link.


Special Song 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.


Want to hear a wedding first dance horror story? - Read this Blog



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. 2X 45 minute sets

  2. Set up time

  3. Fuel

  4. Travel time

  5. Rehearsal room hire

  6. Time spent perfecting your first dance song

  7. Father daughter/dance

  8. Recording song samples

  9. Consultation

  10. Equipment PAT testing

  11. Public Liability Insurance

  12. That red tie that took ages to find

  13. Extra 15-20 minutes for encore

  14. Putting the client's needs first

  15. Years of wedding experience

  16. Not smelling like a corpse


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