It’s a funny old time for everyone out there right now, not least us folks in the wonderful world of wedding planning. For us here at Tailored Entertainment, this time of year would typically be our busiest time of year seeing us sending out top notch wedding entertainment to literally hundreds of weddings a week.
But whilst we’ve all had to hit the pause button on summer 2020 wedding plans, we’re seeing a huge uptick in bookings for 2021 right now – whether that be people rescheduling their 2020 wedding or making the most of the down-time in their schedules by getting on top of next year’s wedmin way in advance!
For many happy couples, their wedding entertainment can represent one of the most exciting elements of planning your big day. But if you’ve no real experience in the music industry, it’s tough to know how much you should be spending on a wedding band. What really represents fair value for professional, high-end wedding entertainment of the highest calibre? And what do you get for that price?
Well we’re going to use our decades of collective experience in the music industry to help you get to grips with all this. Cause, well, we’re nice like that. Let’s get cracking by first answering the million-pound question….
How Much Should You Pay For Wedding Entertainment?
To answer this, let’s start with a little example.
Take your average rockers playing ACDC down the local pub on a Friday night. They’re probably taking home between £300 and £500, depending on where they are in the country.
‘Hold on…’, you might now be saying. ‘I can’t find a professional wedding band for anywhere near that cheap!’. Well, you’d be right. But there’s usually a few reasons why these kinds of bands go out at such a seemingly low price point.
They’re typically semi-pro or amateur musicians, performing in their spare time. The equipment they use can be a little older, and a bit battered (whilst this might not seem too crucial a point, it’s important to remember wedding venues have very stringent safety and quality standards they expect all third-party suppliers to meet). They’re usually used to fighting against the raucous atmosphere of a pub setting, so everything just ends up being very, very loud. They often don’t work to contracts, meaning any issues with the service provided cannot be disputed after the fact. Finally, they act as their own representation, and trying to get musicians on the phone to discuss finer details can be a bit of a challenge!
The very least we would recommend spending on your wedding band would be around £1000. At this price, you’re ensuring the performers are of the highest professional standard (these price points allow the UK’s very best professional musicians to enter the market). You’re ensuring concert-level sound and lighting production – the kind you’d expect from any touring artist. You’re ensuring that your band have all the necessary insurance and safety compliance certification to play at any wedding venue in the country. And finally, you’re ensuring that the band you book for the biggest and most important day of your life is equipped to absolutely blow the roof off your wedding reception. And why would you want to settle for any less?
Regardless of what you pay, booking a band through a recognised wedding entertainment agency is an absolute must as far as we’re concerned. That way, you’re signing a contract that binds the band and the agency to perform at your wedding – that extra element of peace of mind is going to make such a difference in the lead up to your big day. What’s more, when you book with an agency like Tailored Entertainment, you’re getting a personalised service from the initial booking right through to the big day – an expert agent will be on hand to deal with everything you might need from start to finish. Keep an eye out for agencies offering ‘online only’ services – they may be a tiny bit cheaper, but you’ll never be able to get anyone on the phone when you need them!
What Makes Some Bands More Expensive Than Others?
Whilst £1000 would be the base-rate price we’d recommend budgeting for; you can absolutely end up spending quite a bit more than this. But why? How come some bands are so much more expensive than others? It’s a fair question – but there’s a few valid reasons for some bands carrying a higher price.
- The bigger the act, the more you’re likely to pay. A four-piece indie rock act is always going to be a cheaper option than a big, glitzy ten-person soul band with two singers and a brass section. Simply put, there’s just more musicians to pay!
- The more popular the act, the more you’re likely to pay. We represent some of the busiest wedding bands in the country, some of which book in excess of seventy shows a year. These bands tend to carry a slightly higher price point than others of similar size and style.
- The more specialist the act, the more you’re likely to pay. Specialist acts like Gatsby-style bands, dance anthem bands and electro-swing acts have a more complicated setlist and production. This usually means a higher guide price.
Can Anything Else Affect The Price Of My Wedding Band?
It’s important to remember that all the prices you see listed on the websites of wedding band suppliers are guide prices. A few things can potentially push up the price. Things like…
- Travelling further than 2 hours from a band’s ‘location’. If you book a London wedding band for your big day in the Lake District, the band will usually charge a bit extra for travel and accommodation.
- Arrivals & Curfews. Our bands are super flexible. If you want them to arrive early or keep playing a bit longer, then they’re happy to oblige! Guide prices are usually based on 7 hours on site, so if your plans mean your band is required for longer you’ll usually have to pay a bit more.
- Optional Extras. Most of our bands offer a range of extra add-ons to their standard booking. The most common are afternoon acoustic set add-ons for your drinks reception, and a ‘band as DJ’ option where the band members personally DJ between sets. All our bands will provide a pre-mixed party playlist as standard.
What Do We Get For Our Money?
A band’s ‘style’ is often a good guide as to how much you’ll end up spending. As a guide, here’s a few examples of in-demand bands in some of the most popular styles.
INDIE ROCK – BRIGHTSIDE – £995
Indie rock style wedding bands have become a mainstay of the wedding entertainment world, and it’s not difficult to see why. Their style and setlist really does cater for a wide spectrum of ages and tastes, with most indie rock acts covering everything from 50s rock n’roll to contemporary stadium headliners. Brightside are a brilliantly budget-friendly option for indie rock wedding entertainment – a tight trio with a cracking repertoire and a genuine sense of star quality.
FUNKY POP – CHART ATTACK – £1280
We’ve come a long way from the cheesy pop wedding bands of previous decades. Long gone are the days when these highly popular acts would be found in matching shirts, ties and colour coded dresses. These days, funk pop wedding acts feel fresh and genuinely cool – with a setlist and sound to match. Chart Attack are the perfect example of this – a wedding band playing singalong pop favourites with real style and energy.
FESTIVAL-STYLE – FESTIVAL NIGHTS – £1880
The remarkable rise of the festival style wedding band shows no sign of abating – these bands are as popular now as they were when they first emerged onto the wedding market around five years ago. The appeal is easy to see – an acoustic-driven first set followed by a festival-headliner finale sounds like the perfect addition to a sunlit summer wedding. Festival Nights are arguable one of the UK’s most in-demand festival wedding bands, with bookings right across the world. If you like these guys, be sure to get in there fast!
SPECIALIST ACTS – GATSBY’S JUKEBOX – £2395
Post-modern jukebox bands, or Gatsby-style acts as they’re also known, play modern chart hits in the style of a 20s big band – turning your wedding reception into the dancefloor of a roaring 20s speakeasy. Gatsby’s Jukebox are easily the UK’s foremost post-modern jukebox wedding band. They come complete with everything you could possibly want from a night of vintage fun – tuxedos, flapper dresses, and even a tap dancer!
SOUL SHOWBANDS – OJ’S SOUL BAND – £3330
If you’re after some serious spectacle from your wedding entertainment, then a soul showband is absolutely the act you’re looking for. Soul Showbands are typically big, glitzy acts of ten persons or more, playing the biggest hits from soul and Motown to absolute perfection. An act like OJ’s Soul Band is as close to the real thing as you could possibly ask for. Their live show is truly unforgettable. If you want to really wow your guests, this is the band for you.
So there you have it! Hopefully you’re feeling a lot more relaxed about choosing your wedding entertainment. If you have any other questions, feel free to call and chat to our expert team. We’d absolutely love to hear from you.