How do you hire the perfect live wedding band when you have a strict budget?
There are many different ways you can save money on a wedding band including booking them for the off-peak season, on a day that isn’t a Saturday, taking advantage of any freebies or extras they offer, combining your live band and DJ or even offering them freebies and perks at your wedding so you can negotiate a discount and stick within your wedding budget.
In this post, we take our 15 years of experience performing in the wedding entertainment industry to deliver the definitive guide on how to book a live wedding band on a budget. After reading this we’re sure you will be able to save money on your live wedding band and stick to that budget!
What wedding band can I even book with my budget?
It’s really helpful to first understand how much wedding bands generally cost so you can see how much you need to save or whats realistically in your price range. Over the last 6 months, we’ve been doing some in-depth research into the true cost of wedding bands in 2020 and below are just some of the results. From here you can get a rough idea on how much you need to spend and/or save in order to stay on budget.
So, here are the average costs of wedding bands in England in 2020.
3 piece band £1125.72
4 piece band £1510.50
5 piece band £1509.76
6 piece band £1849.11
And in case you’re interested, below are the average prices for our wedding bands in England as of 2020.
3 piece band £910
4 piece band £1117.57
5 piece band £1389.17
6 piece band £1597.54
There is something else we have up our sleeve that you may find very useful. We suggest you check out our post on how much live wedding bands cost in 2020 where all the data we’ve compiled over the last 6 months is laid bare for you. It’s a must-read!
Book with us if you have a budget to stick to
Yes, yes, of course, we are going to recommend you book your live wedding band with us but just look at the numbers above. We are on average £200 cheaper than everyone else out there because we don’t employ salespeople. No salespeople means we don’t need to include commission fees in our band pricing so you get the same amazing wedding bands you would do anywhere else but without all the extra costs. That’s how you book a live wedding band on a budget!
More wedding band numbers on the way
Keep checking back as we’ll soon be releasing all the data we collected. We’ve uncovered some pretty amazing results and with them, we will be able to share with you the average price for all types of wedding bands in every county or major city in England in 2020. It should really help all you future bride and grooms out there. Cool right!
Ok, that’s useful but now what?
So you now have a good idea of what type of band you may want and how much you need to save or spend. Let’s show you how to do that.
All that wedding entertainment costing too much?
If you are thinking of hiring a few live acts, like for example, an acoustic act for the drinks reception and the usual full-blown wedding band for the evenings partying but are struggling to fit it all into budget or are finding you may have to compromise on the acts you want, why not ask the act you like the most or their representatives if they can perform both of these shows for you? Good wedding bands can usually accommodate and will usually offer a discount if you book them for both shows. Many of our acts like the Usual Suspects (above) and the Avengers (below) do. It’s a really popular option with our bride and grooms.
I can’t afford my wedding band if I have a wedding DJ too!
Did you know that all our wedding bands and we assume a good few others out there usually offer a discounted if not free DJ service if you book them? The League Gentlemen below offers it free of charge! Not having to pay for that wedding DJ may be a great way to save some money and stay on budget.
Now might also be the time for reading our post on picking a live band or wedding DJ.
Wedding venue budget savers
What’s my wedding venue got to do with my live wedding band budget you ask? Well, speak with your venue and see if they have lighting, PA or even musical instrument backline. If they do, this can save bands a lot of time and effort when it comes to performing for you and you may be able to haggle a discount out of them because of it.
Talk your wedding venues ear off!
When visiting or talking to your venue, get a good idea of what they can accommodate musically too. Did you know that over 50% of bride and grooms said they wasted 30% of their wedding budget? Time and again we’ve seen couples book wedding bands that are way too big for their wedding venues and it’s sadly resulted in money wasted. If you speak to the wedding band or get the venue to liaise with them or their representative, you can hire exactly what’s suitable and exactly what you want without wasting any money.
We’re pretty sure that at least one of the 50 best wedding venues in the UK would be able to help you with some of this!
Seasonal wedding band discounts
As savvy wedding planners, I’m sure you will have noticed that wedding costs are highly seasonable. Glorious sunny summer months cost more and those autumn and winter months with their potentially nasty weather.
The difference between picking a Saturday or a weekday can also really impact on your live band budget too. Picking an off-peak time of year or just a day that isn’t a Saturday for your wedding could save you quite a bit with wedding bands usually offering discounts of up to £400 where appropriate.
Do you offer seasonal discounts?
All our acts generally offer discounts so it’s worth chatting to us.
Flowers (below) are a wedding band that really understand the stress of staying within your wedding budget and offer some great seasonal discounts.
Personally, when considering the randomness of English weather, I gambled on a Friday in September for my wedding and because of that, saved enough money to upgrade to a nicer wedding package with our venue. The weather ended up being pretty good too!
Wedding band freebies and extras
Why not ask a wedding band if they offer any discounts, freebies or extras? You never know?! Be wary of wedding bands that offer too many (see our wedding bands to avoid in 2020 post) but on the whole, musicians are a lovely bunch of people and they will try their best to fit into your budget. We certainly try to do that here so contact us for more info.
Talk you live wedding band or their representative
At Seventh second we come up with all sorts of creative ways to help couples book a wedding band on a budget. Wedding bands can downsize for example. Remove a keyboardist from a 5 piece band and you could already save yourself £200. Acts like Night and Day below do this pretty regularly.
What other money-saving tricks do we have up our sleeves?
We sometimes play slightly shorter live sets, arrive later or finish early so we can chip away at that final price for you. You could always look at booking a duo or solo artist like Rae (below) so you really bring those costs down. Wedding bands like Acoustic Captain are very used to performing simply as duos or even as strictly acoustic acts. It can sound amazing! If a band doesn’t have to bring PA or lighting and can simply perform at a wedding with minimal equipment, you could again be looking at savings of over £200.
Offer your wedding band a deal they can’t refuse!
Maybe you can offer them some free accommodation for the evening or photos of their performance from your wedding photographer? Maybe you can offer them future work? Get creative as all these little potential savings could really add up and keep your budget in check or even mean you have bonus money to spend elsewhere. Who knows!
Organized bride and grooms are money-saving bride and grooms
Weddings are hectic and complicated to organize right?! We’re sure you are trying to be as organized as possible so if you book a wedding band a year or two in advance you can sometimes squeeze a discount out of them or at the very least, you will save because you will avoid any of the inevitable annual price rises. You could save yourself £100 easily! The later you leave booking a wedding band, the more it will no doubt cost.
Booking a live wedding band based near your venue
This probably seems like a no brainer but because most wedding bands like Brighton based Good Fellas (above) are happy to travel all over the UK and the world, people don’t always pay attention to where these bands are actually based. Booking a band based near your venue will save you money for sure. For example, if you booked a 5 piece wedding band based near your venue they could actually cost less than booking a 3 piece band that’s based 120 miles away from your venue. Yup!
Making sure you get full, honest wedding band quotes and costs
We all like to be trusting of others but when booking any live wedding band, make sure you get a full and honest quote. No hidden extras, no last-minute fees, none of that! Make sure any band or agency you deal with gives you the full cost upfront just like we do. Large wedding entertainment websites have expensive overheads and they sometimes hide these costs in wedding band quotes or in “special one-off admin fees” that they suddenly ask you to pay. We don’t want to see you get ripped off so be organized and get honest quotes.
DIY your wedding
This brings me neatly onto one of our many real wedding stories. We had some friends who had a tiny budget for their wedding and they really couldn’t afford to go over budget. What did they do? They got super organised and went DIY! They organised as much of their wedding as they could, making the food and designing and creating wedding invitations amongst other things. Having a guest who could DJ helped and picking a Sunday in October for their wedding meant they had some wiggle room in the budget for a wedding band.
So they could afford some really fantastic live music, we managed to shrink a four-piece into a three-piece, organise slightly shorter live sets and get some free accommodation for the band to really bring the cost down for them.
If you want some more inspiration for your DIY wedding, check out the knots great resource here.
We really hope some of this helps you book a wedding band on a budget
Now, we get it, not everyone wants to toil in a kitchen cooking their own wedding food but we hope you can see that if you can use any of the tips and tricks we’ve covered here, you should be able to afford the live wedding band you really want. Combining all our ideas could easily save you £500 or more and maybe that simply means you stay in budget or maybe it means you can even add some extras to the wedding band you’ve booked.
With 45% of bride and grooms overspending on their weddings in 2017 alone, booking a live wedding band on a budget and sticking to it would be a major achievement!
Good luck and please do get in touch if you need any further help or advice.
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Jon and the Seventh Second Team