Bridebook’s Ballpark Figure:
This can get you:
A two-piece, professional band for 100 minutes, or a three-piece hobby band for 100 minutes. It can also get you a professional DJ for the duration of your wedding, who will also provide lighting and mics for the speeches (travelling costs not included).
Band vs DJ
When it comes to wedding entertainment budgets, you should know that a band will usually be pricier than a DJ, which is due to a number of factors. First of all, there is more than one person who will need to get paid. Secondly, a band’s music is performed by them and they will need to learn new songs if you have any must-haves on your list, like a special song for your first dance. Lastly, a band will be carrying a lot more equipment than a DJ, including instruments and sound systems, all of which need insurance. Although, feel free to ignore all of the above if your DJ is David Guetta…
If budgets aren’t a primary concern but you still can decide who should provide the music on W-Day, read: How To: Choose Between a Band and a DJ.
Number of band members
If you want a bigger wedding band, with a brass section and backing vocals, which usually has six members, you will need to pay more. A duo can cost you £495 and up, while a six piece band can be £1500 and higher, depending on their experience and song range. The prices are higher simply because each of the band members needs to be paid separately from the overall amount.
The more experienced your entertainer is, whether a band, DJ, magician or artist, the higher their asking price will be. For example, professional entertainers will be working throughout the year, with many weddings and private functions every week, whereas hobby entertainers will usually have a different full-time occupation and will be performing mostly at weekends and in their spare time. While there are some excellent hobby entertainers, we find the advantage of having an experienced professional is that they will be prepared for any eventuality and will be able to adapt quickly and efficiently.
Hours of entertainment
When it comes to wedding entertainment, the timing is everything! Most bands will charge you for ‘sets’, of which there can be two one hour ones, or three forty minutes ones. However, if you want them to pay for longer, especially if it’s after midnight, the prices will rise: a four-piece band can charge you £250 for every extra hour that they stay. Similarly, a DJ can charge you double their hourly rate or more after midnight.
Just like with other wedding vendors, the season in which you want to book your wedding entertainment will have an effect on their overall price. For example, if you are getting married in the middle of the summer on a Saturday, the quotes given to you will be fairly rigid, whereas in winter months, bands and DJs show a bit more leeway in terms of pricing.
As most bands and DJs are flexible in terms of travelling to different areas of the UK, they might have to charge you extra if you are outside of their catchment area. This price will depend on the amount of equipment that they have to bring and how far away they are expected to travel.
In addition to equipment like instruments, mixing decks and amplifiers, a lot of entertainers will provide lighting, smoke, bubble or confetti machines and mics for the speeches, all of which will usually cost extra, with lighting adding a minimum of £100 to the overall cost.
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