The Cost of Hiring a Live Wedding Music Band


Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

If you’re ready to have the wedding of a lifetime with a live music band, then you’re probably wondering how much it’s going to cost you. From average costs to factors that determine them, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know.

Cost of Live Wedding Music Bands

In their 2018 Real Wedding Study, The Knot surveyed over 14,000 married couples in the U.S. to see how much they spent on weddings in 2018. To keep it diverse, they sampled couples from all over the country.

The study found that the average amount spent on a live wedding music band in 2018 was $4,247. But don’t freak out yet, that’s just an average!

While weddings in New York generally cost more than weddings in small towns in the middle of the country, there are still a bunch of factors that determine the cost of a live wedding music band.

Depending on these factors, the cost of your live wedding music band can be more or less than average, but before we dive into these cost factors let’s take a moment to shine some light on hiring a professional band vs. a hobby band.

Professional vs. Hobbyist

The local band that kills it at the bar on the weekends might seem like a good idea, but when it comes to the biggest and most important party you’ll ever throw, you should always stick with a professional.

A professional band plays live music full-time to earn a living, and because of that, they’ll have the tons of experience and talent that takes any event up a notch.

On the other hand, a hobby band is often a group of buddies with the same musical interest, who play a few gigs here and there. And while they might be talented, they don’t have the experience you want for your live wedding music band.


Of course, a hobby band will bring the cost of live wedding music down, but you get what you pay for.


A hobby band likely won’t have the right equipment for your wedding, and their gear might not be in great condition.

On the other hand, a professional band will have top-notch equipment and well-maintained, quality gear.

Dress and Composure

There are many stories of hobby bands showing up to weddings in wrinkled t-shirts and ripped jeans, and band members that take full advantage of the free bar.

Professional bands know exactly how to act and dress for a wedding; it’s part of their job. So when you hire a professional wedding music band, you can rest assured they’ll show up dressed to impress and ready to greet your guests.


A hobby band may have mastered the instruments they play, but there’s more to providing high-quality wedding music entertainment than knowing how to play.

A professional band will have the musical talent you’re looking for, and they’ll know how to read a crowd, engage your guests, help make announcements, keep the party lively, and your dance floor packed all night.

Reliability and Communication

You might get lucky and land a hobby band that’s super reliable and always ready to answer your questions…but the reality is that many hobby bands are flakey and too busy with their day jobs to always respond to your needs.


Last but certainly not least, a hobby band will be less prepared to handle changes, surprises, or issues that arise before or during your wedding.

With professional experience, a live wedding music band will be there to make things easier for you, not harder.

Cost Factors

Now that we’ve covered the value of hiring a professional live wedding music band, let’s look at the factors that determine whether you’re wedding music will fall below or rise above the average cost.

Performance Time

The length of time a live wedding music band will play at your wedding will be a big factor in cost. Having a band play only at your reception will cost less than having them perform through cocktail hour and an after party.

So make sure to get a few price quotes from your band choices depending on performance time to see whether you only want the band at your reception, or if it’s worth it to book for longer.

Number of Musicians

For the most part, the more musicians in a band the higher the price tag.

If you’re really set to a tight budget but must have live music for a personal touch and a night that won’t be forgotten, then a great tip to follow is sticking to bands with fewer members.

Sometimes a duo is all you need.

Your Wedding Date

With weddings, there’s a peak season and a low season.

In the U.S., generally high season for weddings is from late spring to early fall, so a live wedding music band along with other costs will likely be higher during this time.


Often travel needs to be covered for professional musicians, so the farther your band has to travel the more it may cost you.

Special Songs

Having a live wedding music band perform a particular song is a great way to make your wedding and first dance unique and memorable, but if the band has to learn this song, they might charge extra.


If you want your band to provide more than standard equipment to really wow your guests, like lighting, projectors, and more, you might have to pay a little extra.

Wow Your Guests With a Professional Band

Your wedding happens once in a lifetime, and live wedding music is a big part of creating an unforgettable event.

So for all your live wedding music needs, contact SPN Events and see how we can make your wedding music dreams a reality!


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