Post # 1
I was fine with having a DJ at the wedding, but it turns out that having a live band is one of a few things that FI, my parents, and his parents all really care about. Since I’m going to get to make (and already have made) a lot of the other decisions about our wedding, I figured I should let the majority rule on this one and spent the last two weeks calling and emailing every independent band in the DC/MD area. I just sent in our contract and deposit and I am so excited! Plus they work with us to set up CD music on their brief breaks each hour, so any songs we want sung by a particular person/group can be played at those times – best of both worlds.
For anyone looking at bands (especially in big cities), don’t be fooled by booking agents that tell you that you can only get a good band through them. They charge a 10-20% markup on the bands. I only spoke with independent bands that could furnish multiple good references and still ended up with an array of options; plus we’re getting a pianist for the ceremony, pianist & saxophone for the cocktail hour, and a 6-piece band for about 50% of the prices I was quoted from the agencies for just the reception.
Post # 3
I am also getting married in Baltimore, and I was surprised by the cost of bands and DJs too! If you don’t mind me asking, what musicians did you choose, both for ceremony and reception, and how much did each cost? We have been looking on WeddingWire and there’s so many DJs and bands, it’s really hard to decide! Thanks so much 🙂
Post # 4
@Pomapoo: we just hired the mutual fun band, based out of elicott city. they will be playing our ceremony (just keyboardist), cocktail hour (keyboard & saxophone), and reception (full 6-piece band). originally i was going to call peabody about getting a student for the ceremony/cocktail hour, but their prices are so reasonable and it’s one less vendor to worry about. they provide the sound system and lights. all in, we’re paying $3K for everything. their packages start at $1900 i think (for just reception, with a 4-piece band). they’ve been super responsive, get great reviews, and seem very happy in their clips. they also only require a small deposit to book them, with the rest due by the end of the wedding.
the klassix were also recommended highly by a friend of mine. they quoted me $3850 for just a 4 hour reception. junkyard saints are not your typical wedding band, they play a jazzy new orleans-y style of music, but they are supposedly very well-priced and get good reviews. i never got their exact pricing.
as for DJs, i’d look at steve hoffman and mydeejays. if you’d like live music just for the ceremony and/or cocktail hour, try contacting peabody and see if you can hire a student (or a few students).
hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions!