According to various online bridal magazines, the average wedding costs anything from £15,000 to £30,000. With the biggest chunk of the budget going on catering, venue and dress, the average entertainment budget is around £700.
Here are some tips to get the most for your money, without compromising quality.
It's worth investing in
A lot of the time, wedding entertainment is the last thing to check off the list but if you think about it, it's the one thing that adds the most to your wedding in terms of your guest's enjoyment and overall experience.
Yes it is your day but what happens when you leave your guests to get photo's taken of you and your partner releasing doves and frolicking in a meadow of daisies?
The ambience is what people remember. The sound of a harp in the background, the dulcet tones of an acoustic guitar playing a set that you or your guests have chosen.
Your ceremony is the most personal part of the day and the whole thing should be designed around your relationship. Your song choices should reflect you and your partner's feelings for each other and sometime this means hiring a musician to re-interpret a song which would otherwise be 'inappropriate'.
This service can cost anything from £300 - £600 depending on the instrument.
The instrument makes the difference
The more difficult the instrument is to handle, the more expensive it will be to hire. For example, it is a lot easier for me to set up a guitar and speaker than it is for someone to set up a much heavier instrument that requires two people to handle.
Hire less musicians
Do you really need a string quintet for the drinks reception? Or the 9 piece funk band for the evening?
If you are able to use a duo or solo artist, you can save up to £300 per musician depending on band lineup. For example, my evening solo package includes a mixture of acoustic and Dj sets as well as first dance for £350.
You can find out more here - Evening Package.
I try to keep my prices as transparent as possible so that people understand what they're paying for. I have a flat rate for anything in my local area (South Wales) and anything further afield incurs travel costs. The same goes for anything abroad but will include flights, accommodation and transfers etc.
Booking musicians or a band who are based close to your venue could save you up to £100 per musician depending on where they're travelling from.
Full time musicians often take more than one booking per day and may have a discount if they finish before a certain time.
Also, travelling musicians often ask for their clients to provide accommodation when finishing later in the evening. A five hour drive home in the early hours can be dangerous.
Purchase more than one service for a discount
If a musician is already booked to play at your wedding, they may offer a discount for a short set after the ceremony or even a band for the evening.
Don't save money by booking an unprofessional musician.
The word professional is used a lot in the wedding industry and quite often it's used by people who are not doing it as their profession.
When it comes to musicians, hiring someone respected and trustworthy is best way to be sure that your getting the best service possible.
You deserve better than uncle Alan banging out the hits on his french horn during cocktails.
Get a professional.It's your wedding day after all.
(there's nothing wrong with a french horn)