Live Wedding Music Pricing and Band Rates for 2019 and 2020

The following pricing rates were gathered from dozens of the most heavily trafficked wedding websites on the internet.  They are averages based on current and competitive rates for professional musicians, bands an DJ's for 2019 and 2020.  Although there are always exceptions to rules, these are generally true and should be considered as guidelines when choosing your wedding musician. 

So how much should you expect to pay for live music on your wedding day? 

 

Full Band/Group 

less than $2000       Very low price (an indicator of likely non-professional or part time band; can be risky) 

$2000 to $3000        Lower price band 

$4000 - $6000         Average price of a wedding band in the US in 2018 

$6000 - $10,000      High price bands (high quality, very professional, usually larger bands with more people) 

$10,000 +             Highest cost, largest and highest-level performing bands in the country (worth it if you have the budget) 

 

Soloist 

Less than $300     Very low price (possible part timer or non-professional; can be risky) 

$300 - $500           Lower price solo performer 

$500 - $800           Average price of a professional solo performer in the US in 2018 

$800 - $1000         High price performer (Usually w/ music degree, many years experience, highly skilled) 

$1000 +                 The highest cost and highest level performers (world-renowned performers, recognized names) 

 

DJ 

Less than $700     Very low price (proceed with caution, possibly not a professional) 

$700 - $1000        Lower price DJ’s 

$1000 - $1500      Average price of a DJ in 2018 

$1500 - $2500      Premium DJ w/ the best equipment and playlists 

$2500 +                Top line w/ the best equipment and playlists

(sometimes Live Set DJ’s and DJ’s who have instrumentalist perform with them will have higher rates) 

                             

What questions should I ask the musicians? 

- What genres of music do you play? 

- Can I see your set list? 

- Can you learn new songs for my wedding? 

- Do you come with sound/lights? 

- If we are really loving the performance, how much do you charge for overtime? 

- Can you help me pick out music for my wedding? 

- Do you have videos/audio? 

- How do you factor in your breaks? 

- How much space do you need? 

- What are your rates? 

- Do you have any other services that I might be interested in? 

 

Should I feed the musicians? 

Yes.  Absolutely.  Often during all the craziness of the big day, providing meals for the musicians gets forgotten.  It’s hard to go hours and hours of driving and performing without eating so it’s greatly appreciated when planners have meals for their performers.  You will make them very happy by providing a meal. 

Should I tip the musicians? 

Yes.  There are two ways to do this.  A cash tip at the end of the night and a detailed online review indicates you were well pleased with everything and lets the musician know you were happy with their services. 

What’s the best way to save the most money without hiring musicians who aren’t professional? 

Hire an instrumentalist for the ceremony/cocktail hour and a DJ for the reception.  You can save a hundreds, possibly thousands, and you’ll get the mellow emotional music in the early part of the day and a dance floor packing energy for the end of the day.  A great professional soloist is about $800 and a great DJ is $1500.  This will run you about $2300.  Compare this with a professional band which start around $4000 and you’re looking at $1,700 in savings.  BOOM!  Now you can get those origami swan napkins your aunt kept pestering you about.

Dylan Galvin (Dylan like “Bob Dylan”, Galvin like “Calvin and Hobbes” with a “G”) is a singer/songwriter and live performer in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on Instagram, Youtube and Facebook.       

 

 

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