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How Much Does a Wedding Band Cost on Average in 2024?

Wedding planning

Wedding planning

We've sifted through the data to bring you the average, median, lowest and highest costs paid for a live wedding band last year. Here's our complete guide to wedding band pricing.

Mike Ausden | Director | Function Central
How Much Does a Wedding Band Cost on Average in 2024?

The key influencing factors for the cost of a wedding band are the time of year (winter and midweek bookings are cheaper) and the number of musicians in the band.

So if you like your rock and pop music, this could be to your advantage – you should have no problem finding a 3-piece guitar-based band for under £1000, and probably less.

If you're into soul or Motown, line-ups generally start at 6 members, so you'll be paying more on average. This is because most of these bands need to incorporate keyboards as well as guitar, sax and other instruments in order to create an authentic sound. You you can expect to pay upwards of £1750 for these.

OK – give me the figures

We used our own data – 1530 wedding band bookings in 2023, across all regions of the UK – to calculate the average, median, lowest and highest amounts paid for a band last year:

Average amount paid: £1675

Median (typical) amount paid: £1375

Lowest amount paid: £810 (for The Fade, a 3-piece wedding band)

Highest amount paid: £9250 (for Soul Club, a 10-piece band. OK, this wedding was also abroad).

Note that we only considered wedding bands booked for after-dinner dancing at evening wedding receptions, consisting of 3 or more members. We did not include any background music acts such as jazz trios or steel pan trios.

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How Much Does a Wedding Band Cost on Average in 2024?

Woahh, why so expensive?

Actually, when you consider that the average wedding now costs upwards of £18,400, the cost of a live wedding band for your evening reception is a small fraction of your total spend, and in exchange you’ll get a spectacular show and some priceless memories – not just for yourself, but for all your guests.

Like any business, a wedding band needs to cover their expenses and make a profit at the end. The general costs involved in running a band include:

  • the cost of rehearsals
  • maintaining their cars or vans
  • keeping instruments, sound and lighting equipment in good repair and replacing when necessary
  • advertising themselves to potential clients
  • recording promotional material: photos, audio and video
  • clothes and shoes (and dry cleaning!)
  • public liability insurance and equipment safety checks

Costs specific to each event include:

  • travel to and from the venue
  • a hotel or B&B if they’re travelling a long way
  • extra rehearsals if you’ve asked them to learn a new song

Whilst the first set of expenses can't be reduced, the second set largely depends on how far the band will have to travel to your event and whether they’ll need to stay overnight. This means it's worth trying to save money by finding a local band based in your area.

How Much Does a Wedding Band Cost on Average in 2024?

Is it worth it? Why not just get a DJ?

When it comes to sheer atmosphere, a live band wins every time versus a DJ. Live music is infectious, inclusive and has a way of bringing out the emotion in the proceedings. Watching musicians lose themselves in their performance will encourage your guests to free themselves up and hit the dancefloor.

Don't forget that you can get value out of your band by using them throughout the entire day, for example by providing a DJ service after their sets, as well as individual musicians from the band to perform background music earlier on in the day, during your drinks reception or meal.

How Much Does a Wedding Band Cost on Average in 2024?

How can I pay less for my wedding band?

There are a few things you could try:

  • Book a local band
    With fuel prices higher than ever, book a local band to save on transport and accommodation costs.
  • Consider a winter or midweek wedding
    In order to fill the quieter months, many bands offer great discounts between October and March, to ensure the bookings keep coming in. Some bands also offer improved rates between Monday and Thursdays throughout the year.
  • Book a soloist or duo incorporating backing tracks
    While an act performing to tracks isn’t quite the same as the full live experience, you'll get bass and drums included in the tracks – meaning you'll still be able to dance and there will still be a focal point for the night, with no compromise on the song selection. You can expect to pay around £450 for a soloist and £700 for a duo.
  • Book a duo incorporating a percussion instrument
    Typically these combine a guitar vocalist with a percussionist, playing cajon drum and hand percussion – enough of a rhythmic element to get guests up and dancing.

Featured act: Give It Up Duo combines guitar with a vocalist playing drums and percussion.

Why not just get my mate’s band?

Professional wedding bands and party bands are very different to the bands you’ll find playing in your local pub. They’ll have years of experience of playing at weddings and parties, and a huge repertoire of songs. This means that they will know how to get your guests dancing, choosing exactly the right songs at the right moment to create a fantastic atmosphere.

They'll also use high quality equipment and state of the art lighting and PA systems, with the appropriate certifications (PAT ensuring safety and PLI covering liability).

You also need to make sure that nothing goes wrong. As well as knowing how to keep your guests dancing and handle anyone who gets a bit rowdy, professional wedding bands booked through an agency is a much more reliable option – if a member of the band is sick or can’t make it to the gig for some other reason, they’ll be able to draft in a replacement band member straight away.

If you’re still not sure about booking a band, try and think about how you’ll remember your wedding in ten years’ time. What will be the highlights? The monogrammed napkins and matching chair covers, or the excitement and "wow" factor of an amazing live band, with all your friends dancing and singing along to your favourite song...?

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