This is one of the first questions people ask themselves after they get engaged and decide to throw a wedding reception.
Here are some average cost breakdowns and pricing for wedding bands, and musicians Pricing is based on 4-hour blocks of time for events taking place in the Boston Metro area, Cape Cod, Newport, RI, New Hampshire/Maine Seacoast areas. Factors that can greatly effect cost are popularity/demand of the specific artist, events requiring extensive travel, overnight stay/accommodations, extra performance time, early load-in times, etc.
Dance Party Bands
3-5 piece bands: $3,500-$6,500
5-8 piece bands: $6,500-$10,500
7-12 piece bands: $8,000-$12,000
These types of groups will typically run you in the $600-$2,500 range depending on many factors. Groups in this category might include jazz quartets, steel drum groups, beach bands, etc. They can be hired for rehearsal dinners, cocktail receptions and wedding ceremonies.
Clients can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500 per musician to perform at a typical wedding ceremony (about 1/2hr to 1.5 hours of time). Groups in this category might include classical string groups, solo guitarists, small ensembles, harpists, etc.
Here are some additional things to consider…..
As with hotels and airlines, there are peak dates in the wedding industry. There are over 15,000 weddings in New England every year and 75% of them happen on the same 24 days. The Saturdays between May and October are when everybody gets married and couples are all looking at the same pool of vendors. Photographers, videographers, florists caterers, DJs and bands all charge top dollar on those dates, but are usually willing to offer a discount on less popular dates.
It is a customary procedure for purchasers to provide a meal for each musician that will be performing at your wedding. This is usually not required for musicians only performing a ceremony or for performance times under 2 hours. Since bands are performing for many hours (including load in and break down times) this prohibits musicians from going off site to eat.
Providing rooms for the band is uncommon for most weddings. Functions requiring extensive travel and/or late end times, which may cause unsafe driving conditions, will generally create the need for accommodations for the band. In these cases, policies in regards to “purchaser providing accommodations” may vary from band to band. Please ask us more about this if you think this will apply to your reception. A general rule would be if the band has to travel more than 3 hours to the reception location, providing hotel rooms for the band might be in your future!
Do bands charge for travel?
All bands have different policies and rates concerning travel. Some have a set distance they will travel, others may be happy to drive 2½ hours each way for no additional charge. Generally speaking, a band’s standard rates will include 1 hour of travel time each way, with increased charges for further distances. For ceremony and cocktail musicians you may find that they are driving much more than they are actually performing, which may impact their rates.
It goes without saying that destination weddings are going to cost you a lot more money than a wedding in your backyard. Some factors to consider are: flight costs, boat ferries, extensive driving, and vehicle rentals. Bands may need to rent PA systems, drums and back line equipment from a local source if they are are flying someplace (this type of equipment wouldn’t be able to be checked onto a plane). You may also encounter performance tariffs or restrictions from certain countries. Essentially purchasers are asking a lot from their vendors when they want them to be away from their homes for a few days. Musicians and vendors weigh the value of working at an event close to home versus an event that will require extensive travel.
Can’t decide what kind of music to have at your event? Send us a message or give us a call at 800.843.2263 and one of our experienced entertainment agents will help you plan an event people will be talking about for years.