How much does a wedding musician cost?

Average cost in 20149: $225 See National

$130

low cost

$225

avg cost

$380

high cost

The average cost for a wedding ceremony musician is $225. You are likely to spend between $130 and $380 total. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated June 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

A professional musician or band can take a wedding to another level. Various solo musicians and bands specialize in pop, classical, standards, rock, R&B, big band, jazz or a combination of some or all of the above. Karaoke bands are also available for weddings. Costs vary depending on the specific day of the week and date, distance the musicians must travel, their skill and experience, food and drink, gear, special requests, and how in-demand the performers are.

Flat fee or hourly

Wedding musicians and bands often charge a flat fee for each gig. For example, MarkOHarps of Arlington, Virginia, charges $350 for a large wedding and reception. Others charge by the hour. Tucker Dale of Redondo Beach, California, charges $200 for up to two hours and $50 an hour thereafter. Scotty Paulk of Austell, Georgia, charges $100 an hour for weddings.

Number of musicians

Generally speaking, the more musicians, the higher the cost. For example, Sweet Harmony of Plainfield, New Jersey, charges $450 for a soloist, $650 for a duo, $850 for a trio and $1,150 for a quartet.

Skill and experience

Generally, the more skilled the musician or band, the higher the price. But that’s not always true. Talented musicians who are just starting out generally charge less. Customers can usually listen to musicians’ music on their website, SoundCloud or Bandcamp site to determine if they are a good fit. Many highly skilled musicians and bands develop a repertoire and stage act specifically for weddings. These acts are generally in high demand, so the price is generally higher.

Sound gear

Most bands and musicians provide their own sound gear as part of their price. Sometimes the sound gear is listed as separate charge from their performance fee. Some musicians do not provide sound gear, in which case customers will need to rent equipment. Some wedding venues can provide sound and lighting gear on a rental basis or as part of the overall fee for the wedding.

Food and drink

Wedding bands and musicians generally request to be fed during the wedding reception, so account for this cost.

Day and date

Prices for wedding entertainment fluctuate based on demand. More weddings are held at certain times of the year, so demand for musicians and bands is at its highest. Also, prices for Saturday performances are usually the highest because the majority of weddings take place on that day.

Union musicians

Members of the American Federation of Musicians union have defined minimum rates. While this may be more expensive than hiring nonunion musicians, the experience is likely to be highly professional in terms of booking and logistics.

Special requests

Most musicians and bands provide a list of the songs they are prepared to play. Customers who have a special request that isn’t on the list may have to pay an additional fee to cover the musicians’ time learning and practicing the new material. For example, The Ocdamia Strings of Anaheim, California, charges $25 per song not in their repertoire.

Distance

Some musicians charge a travel fee to attend weddings that are relatively far from them. For example, Acoustic Guitar for All Occasions in Burbank, California, charges an initial flat fee but adjusts that price based on travel expenses and the gear needed to perform the job; he also charges by the hour for overtime. The Ocdamia Strings travels free to weddings within Orange County and Los Angeles County but charges $1 per mile in excess of 20 miles from Anaheim.

Consultation

It’s always a good idea to meet with the musician or band manager in person or over the phone to plan for an event and set expectations. This service should be free.

Deposit

Some musicians require a deposit upfront to secure services. For example, The Ocdamia Strings requires a signed contract and a 25 percent deposit to book a specific date and time. The remaining balance is due the day of the wedding before the performance.

Cost-saving strategies

Hire a tasteful solo musician or DJ to save over the cost of a full band. Have talented friends or local music students play. Schedule your wedding for a day other than a Saturday or at a time of year when demand is lowest.

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Recent reviews

Sweet Harmony

I'm so glad we booked Sweet Harmony!! Tara, the owner, was lovely to work with during the planning stage. She helped guide us which songs work well for the instrument duo we picked, and they have wonderful sample programs that guide you. They offer fun contemporary pieces as well as the classics. The musicians who played at our wedding were wonderfully professional, showed up with ample time in advance. We were on the fence due to budget constraints about whether we would do musicians but I can't tell you what a difference it made. It elevated our outdoor garden wedding ceremony, bringing it all together. They were affordable but professional and good quality.

518guitar.com

We hired Andrew for our Wedding Ceremony and cocktail hour on July 1, 2016 - about 3 weeks before the event. He was amazing. To start, even with three weeks before the wedding (and it was really a week before the wedding that I gave him my music selection) Andrew was able to custom arrange three pieces of music for us. Not only that but just days before the event he agreed to make arrangements to perform with a female vocalist who is a family friend of ours and offered to sing at our ceremony. AND Andrew surprised us with a professional violinist/fiddler to perform at our ceremony at no extra cost to us. Needless to say we put Andrew through the ringer and he delivered in a big way. I had tears in my eyes when I heard his arrangement of the bridal processional (La Vie en Rose) and the vocalist performing with him. The music was stunning. He communicated regularly with us even sending mp3 recording of his arrangements to make sure we liked them and was able to practice with the vocalist without ever meeting in person before the performance. We can not reccomend him enough, he was professional, timely and accommodating. He made our wedding day so memorable and unique at a reasonable price.

Lorusso Guitar Studio

Mr. Larusso helped provide a great experience for the wedding guests. It was a lovely afternoon with beautiful classical guitar music. Highly recommended.