Average cost of a wedding band (music)?

posted 8 years ago in Music
Post # 3
Member
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Hmm, I’m not entirely sure because we never really priced it out, but I live in Chicago.  When we met with the coordinator at the Intercontinental as a possible venue, he told us that the average band in Chicago would run up to $15,000!!!  We settled for Toast & Jam and will just do a string quartet for the ceremony/cocktail hour.  Even that is expensive…I’ve gotten quotes from $800-$1500 for 1.5 hours-2 hours.  I contacted David Rothstein for the string quartet and the sent pricing for all of their packages, which will run from about $2000-$12,000.  If you PM me and give me your email I can forward you what they sent me on pricing.  I’m pretty sure David Rothstein is one of the premier “big bands” of Chicago.

Post # 4
Member
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Does it have to be so big and do they have to be a wedding band?  What type of music are you looking for?  Just to give you another option – My Fiance and I have gone to bars for their live music nights and scoped out bands.  We look at how good is the music and how do the other people respond to their stage presence.  We’ve received quotes from those kinds of bands ranging from $1k for a guitar duo to $1,500 for a 4 piece band to over $2k for the one guy that called himself wedding.  If you look for up and coming bands or ones that do it on the side, you’ll save money.

Post # 5
Member
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@Talishazwi:  I think that’s a great idea, but one that you have to do with caution.  When you go to a bar for live music, it attracts a specific crowd.  But a wedding is a whole other ballgame.  You have a crowd ranging from (possibly) young children to adults 80 years old (or older!).  An experienced wedding band/musicians know how to read the crowd and play for a wide range of ears.  Plus, they are usually skilled at MCing the wedding reception if that’s what the bride/groom want.  Again, I think what you are proposing is a great idea to save money, but with the wrong “bar band” (for lack of a better term) could go awry.  

Post # 7
Member
13 posts
Newbee

Check with the Allan Kaye Orchestra in Chicago.  We used them for our wedding in March of 2004, and they were nowhere NEAR what you have been quoted!  At a wedding last month, another musician and I were talking about wedding bands, and she agreed that they were the best she ever heard when they played for our wedding.  This was awhile ago (and in the off-season for weddings), but I think we paid closer to $4000-5000 for a 6 or 7 piece band. 

Post # 8
Member
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Our 5 piece band was $1200. They set up at 2, hung around for dinner, jammed a bit, played their sets, packed up at 9, and left at 10. I think they gave us a great deal since everyone else was way more expensive (more like $3k) unless they were just getting into the business (then it was more like $900). Our live band was far and away worth this price – they are a bluegrass band, not your typical “wedding band” and everyone loved them, from my classical-music loving mother to the country-bluegrass folk, and even the caterer remarked how great they were. Ask your friends for recommendations and post on craigslist.

Post # 9
Member
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

That does seem about right, because we’re in NYC, using a really great band, and having 7 pieces, and we’re paying about $7k.

Post # 10
Member
29 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’m also in NYC and the pricing seems about right.  Other bands we priced out were as high as $16,000!  It all depends on how many people will play/sing in the band and how much in demand a band is (or how awesome they sound)!

I’m a huge fan of live cover bands at weddings, and they are fairly popular in the NY area.  They get the crowd pumped and it never feels like a band “concert”.  They play great covers of songs everyone loves.  Our band played old school R&B (Earth,Wind,Fire) for my parents’ crowd, and then played “Blister in the Sun” for our age group.  Good bands ask you what type of music you want played and even ask for a “do not play” list.  If it is within your budget and you love live music/musicians (especially horns) I would say it is totally worth the splurge.

Also, EVERYTHING, is negotiable.  You may be able to get that band for a little bit less money.

Post # 10
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

buffy:  I would suggest you go to a closeby university or college and offer to pay some students to play for you. Writing an email to a music professor to ask for help of selecting some talented students is also a good idea. I am sure they can settle for less than $1,000 per night for a quartet.

Post # 11
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: July 2017

rachelss:  Hi! I’m not sure you check this board anymore, but what was the name of your band?

Post # 12
Member
659 posts
Busy bee

We’re in a very musical city in Tennessee. We had a cover band that played funky stuff from the 70s, 80s, and today. It was a 4-piece band. And we paid them $2k. However, that was the lowest I found in my city. The average was closer to $4-5k. Still, definitely worth it because nothing gets people dancing like live music!!!

Post # 13
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: July 2017

rachelss :  Hi! Can you please tell me the name of your band?  We are interested in bluegrass!

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors