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How much did your band cost?

Just went to the  unruly wedding show in London. I heard about it in the Bridechilla podcast, which always you don't need to spend TONS to have a beautiful wedding. So we were surprised to find out how much all the services cost. However the one that worried me the most was the cost for a band.

There was a music agency. He was going to take down my email address but asked me for our budget first. When I said 700£ he snapped his book shut. Then told us we need to factor in 200£ per band member. An extra 200£ for the lead and then 100£ for travel. At least. He said the minimum budget they usually work with is 1500£.

So that made me wonder. Is our budget too low? How much did you spend / are you budgeting?


  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    The cheapest band we found was £900, the one my H2B wanted and was our first choice (until we got the price) was £1600, and that was with a dscount due to us knowing the lead singer haha

    In the end we have a singer/guitarist who also does DJ work for £600, that is to sing through our drinks reception acoustically and then a mix of him singing/guitar and DJ for the evening reception. But that is just one man.

  • JdotJJdotJ Posts: 196 New bride

    Honestly? Yes your budget is very low for a band. You could potentially get a duo for this price but that's the most you're looking at unless the band are semi professional. It depends on what standard you're after, if you want Joe Bloggs who plays in the pub every Friday night with his mates, then yeah you could find a band for that amount. You get what you pay for after all.

    I see a lot of people complaining on here about the price of bands, but you have to remember this is their job, and they need to make a decent living wage from working potentially just 2 days a week. So £700 between say a 4 piece would be around £175 each (if the lead or an agency isn't taking fees), you can't really live off that a week. I work with a lot of bands (no i'm not an agency or anything like that before anyone starts) and I'd say £1500 is a fair price for a 4 piece. Of course some people do take advantage and go crazy charging £££ but £1500-£200 isn't unreasonable, it's just a lot of money to pay all at once so people probably are a bit shocked by it. 


  • £1795 for a 3 piece ceilidh band (this covers their overnight accommodation, travel costs, DJ set and equipment)...they are meant to be amazing! Fingers crossed haha! 

  • Your budget is DJ money, not band money. 

    I was advised that a good DJ (in London mind, so could vary for Scotland) starts at £600. The DJ we're looking at is £800, as a good quality DJ is very important to me. Band quotes were approx. £1700 - £2200. A quite wanted a band, (I very much didn't but was willing to compromise), but when we saw how much one would cost he reconsidered very quickly. So now we're just going down the DJ route, which is what I wanted all along, so I'm very happy! 

  • MrsL-GMrsL-G Posts: 86 New bride

    Our wedding is in Oxfordshire and we're using one of our venue's recommended suppliers. Three band members who will play for 2hrs and DJ for the rest of the evening. £1,100 in total but we're also required to provide them with dinner so an extra £45.

  • Libby13Libby13 Posts: 244 New bride


  • Thank you, everyone, who has responded. By the sound of it I might need to re-assess our budget for entertainment and juggle a couple of things about. Not sure if we would go quite as much as 1500£, but it seems that 1000-1200£ is more appropriate.

    I should say that we are planning a wedding in Scotland. So I do think prices will be a little cheaper than London. Just purely based on living costs.

    Also, we were originally thinking of getting one of those ceilidh / dj groups in. And when I had a look at prices they were much cheaper.

  • JdotJJdotJ Posts: 196 New bride

    Jon31 I know a lot of bands who do charge less, but is this your only source of income?


  • Go to your local pub and watch live music or contact pubs in the area of the wedding if it is different and see who they have gigging regularly. Then Google them for Facebook or websites to see their style. We used a local band (actually booked them before the church as we knew whatever we did we wanted them haha) As they were local they charged less than a grand and played 2 45 min sets plus encore. The rest of the time we had a phone plugged into speakers! I have been told to get a price for the night before you use the word wedding tho, not that we did, I booked them then asked how much they charge, was pleasantly surprised but it may also be as they had had a few changes and were re-establishing themselves.

  • Mrs-17Mrs-17 Posts: 89 New bride

    We had a duo at our wedding for £575. I do a lot of pub work and I'd seen them doing that live music scene and loved them! They went down incredibly well at our wedding. It may be worth looking at some bands that do the local pub circuit as i found that these tend to be cheaper as it's not usually their only source of income! 

    GL x

  • SadSack83SadSack83 Posts: 1,700

    £1,500 for 2x45 minute sets.

    5 years ago in the Midlands.

    At the time that wasn't the cheapest we looked at and I think with your revised budget you should be able to find a band you like. 

  • Jon31Jon31 Posts: 1

    all the band are in the music business we supplement our live music with Teaching instruments during the week. 

  • MrsStobe4MrsStobe4 Posts: 282

    2k for 2 45 minute sets, 5 piece band. That was last week so should be indicative of what to expect.

  • MrsTraceyMrsTracey Posts: 837 New bride

    Ours is £1650 and to be hones, I get it. We're having a five piece band who each play instruments, who all have to be paid (OH also performs at weddings so I know the going rate for a musician) and then they need to make money overall too. They're also bringing sound system and lighting for the whole evening so I do think the price is justified.

  • I would agree with trying to find a local band to save some money. Ask friends/family or approach local pubs/social clubs to see if they know any function bands.

    We found our band through a friend as we saw them play at her birthday party. They normally change £1000 for weddings but we got a friend discount to £800 which was nice!

  • The absolute cheapest I could find the ceilidh band/dj set combo was £1200 but live music is a passion of mine so sought a well established and highly rated band. I also think it’s worth paying more if you want an experienced caller. Half of our guests are not Scottish so I didn’t want to save a couple of hundred pounds if it meant guests would struggle to follow the ceilidh dances and enjoy it less. 

    I agree though, you can definitely do it cheaper by finding some gems through locals venues/pubs/clubs! 

  • Your budget will need to be at least £1200 if you want a professional band from an agency.  

    We booked a pub band and they were fantastic!  They were normally £500 for weddings but charged us £600 as they had to come to Perthshire from Edinburgh.  We chose to go with 50s, 60s and 70s music.  They are called the Rattlers and they were honestly fabulous.  

  • CFWCFW Posts: 234

    Wow, i'm really surprised at some of these prices for bands!! We paid £600 for our band (we live in Scotland). I think naturally if you are going to go for a band through an agency it will be higher as the agency will knock a bit on for their share. I would look out for local bands who play at weekends for extra money, etc. rather than as their sole source of income! You can get some really great ones! Good luck with your search!

  • MayTMayT Posts: 7

    I am on my second time around and one piece of advice from a mildly disappointing reception was the band. Do not cheap out on the band and make sure you hear them and agree how many band members. We booked from a Celidh band from a nice website with videos of large bands. On the night only two guys turned up with a keyboard and an accordion... looked a bit light! maybe we negotiated maybe too hard as we only paid 300 quid... sometimes its better just to get a DJ and requests from the guests in advance.

  • We have paid £1200 for a 6 piece band for March next year (We are West of Scotland based). They are highly recommended and we love their set list. We knew a high quality band wouldn't be cheap but we know how important it is for the reception to have a great sounding band :)

  • There are a couple of websites which may help you out - if you have a budget in mind, work with that rather than your dream band!

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    Our max budget for a band was £1,500. We managed to find a band (5 piece, doing DJ set with requests till 2am) for £850. We do have the benefit of the venue being a gig venue - so it has lighting and sound systems in place already. 

    I know weddings are expensive - and people do get carried away, but shop around, haggle and prepare to compromise on certain aspects. 

    We chatted to the band, listened to demos and read reviews! Don't rule out local venues near you either, they have covers bands on and they will do weddings! They just might be very good at SEO :-) and don't worry if they don't say the word wedding either, chances are they do weddings they just don't want to advertise it!

  • Mrs_BadgerMrs_Badger Posts: 1,440 New bride

    Ours is £1200... Would have been less if it was a nearer venue

  • AmyrosieAmyrosie Posts: 134 New bride

    We used the Alive Network and paid £1300 for a 4 piece band in Lincolnshire 

  • EpiphanyEpiphany Posts: 718

    £200 for a local band who often play at open mics and small venues around our town. They were fantastic!




  • Hi, i booked my band for 1350. We used EliteBands and it gives you a list of who is available and the price next to them 😊 we are getting married in Scotland xx

  • If your going down the Dj route you need to give E4 Sounds London a call they have played at a few parties ive attended and they were spot on, the crowd didnt stop dancing all night on both occasions, they read the crowd really well.The Equipment they used turned the hall into a nightclub look with impressive sound and light show. I think my friend paid £600 but was worth it. this is their website

  • We used a site called FixTheMusic to compare quotes directly from available bands. In the end we booked a great 4-piece band called The Manhattans (based in Hertfordshire). They kept the dance floor packed all evening! Cost was £1,200.

    Hope this helps :)

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