How much does a live wedding band cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a live wedding band cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a live wedding band cost?

$2,000 – $8,000average live wedding band cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$2,000 – $8,000 average live wedding band cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Jennifer Carlson
Written by
Jennifer Carlson
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Average wedding band cost

A live wedding band costs $2,000 to $8,000 on average for the reception and $200 to $900 for the ceremony. Wedding band prices depend on the music genre, location, number of pieces, and season. Hiring a wedding band costs more than a DJ but offers a more exciting atmosphere.

Average live wedding band cost - chart
Average live wedding band cost - chart
Average wedding band cost
National Average Cost $5,700
Minimum Cost $600
Maximum Cost $45,000
Average Range $2,000 to $8,000

Get free estimates from bands for hire near you.

Live band cost for a wedding

A live wedding band costs $1,300 to $25,000, depending on size and experience. A professional wedding band that performs regularly costs more than a small hobby band.

Live wedding band cost by size
Band size Average cost
Less experienced 4-8 piece reception bands $1,300 – $3,500
More experienced 5-8 piece reception bands $3,000 – $9,500
10-15 Piece Bands or Orchestras $7,000 – $25,000

Live wedding band quartet playing for the ceremony
Live wedding band quartet playing for the ceremony

The following cost factors affect wedding band prices:

  • Number of pieces / persons / musicians – The more musicians in a band, the more it will cost. Additional guitars, background vocals, percussion, horns, and keyboards are popular options.

  • Length of performance – Most wedding bands play for 4 hours at a reception or 30 minutes to 2 hours for a ceremony. Playing both or during the cocktail hour before a reception costs extra.

  • Overtime fees – Most wedding bands charge overtime fees of $300 to $650 per hour if the reception goes beyond the agreed-upon set time.

  • Services & extras – Some bands provide MC services, an optional DJ set, special lighting, or cocktail hour music for an extra fee.

  • Music genre – Some bands specialize in contemporary, classical, or other genres of music. Make sure a band knows how to play the music you prefer before booking.

  • Learning new songs – Wedding bands may charge an additional fee if they have to learn new material.

  • Booked through agency vs. independent – A band agency has more options and availability but often costs more than an independent band.

  • Last-minute bookings vs. booking in advance – Reserving a band well before the wedding date ensures your first-choice band has your date available.

  • Time of the year & day of the week – Saturdays during summertime are the busiest and most expensive time to book a band. Weekdays or other seasons cost less.

  • Region – Entertainment costs vary by location and demand. Booking a wedding band in or near a big city typically costs more.

  • Travel and accommodation fees – Bands often charge travel fees if the venue is a significant distance from them or if there are multiple venues. Remember to set aside extra food for performers.

  • Breaks – Live bands require a short break between sets, usually once per hour. During the break, musicians will either rotate performing solo or play pre-recorded music.

Wedding ceremony music cost

Live music for a wedding ceremony costs $200 to $900, depending on the band size, number of songs, and instrument type. String quartets, for example, cost more than a solo guitarist.

Wedding ceremonies typically last 30 minutes to 2 hours. Charging by the hour is not common. Instead, most wedding bands charge a flat fee for a 4-hour set.

Wedding band cost by location

Wedding band costs vary by location. Bands in major cities like New York City and Boston often have higher than average rates, while bands in smaller cities and towns charge less. Popular bands travel throughout certain regions or countries to perform but charge travel fees.

Wedding band cost by location
City, State Average wedding band cost
Atlanta, GA $2,200 – $8,900
Austin, TX $2,300 – $9,300
Boston, MA $3,100 – $12,200
Bridgeport, CT $3,300 – $13,300
Chicago, IL $2,500 – $9,900
Cleveland, OH $2,300 – $9,300
Columbus, OH $2,300 – $9,100
Dallas, TX $2,500 – $9,800
Denver, CO $2,600 – $10,400
Detroit, MI $2,300 – $9,000
Honolulu, HI $3,000 – $12,100
Houston, TX $2,400 – $9,700
Indianapolis, IN $2,300 – $9,200
Los Angeles, CA $2,800 – $11,300
Miami, FL $2,400 – $9,600
Minneapolis, MN $2,500 – $10,100
Nashville, TN $2,000 – $8,100
New Orleans, LA $2,200 – $8,900
New York, NY $3,200 – $12,900
Newark, NJ $3,200 – $12,900
Philadelphia, PA $3,100 – $12,400
Phoenix, AZ $2,200 – $8,800
Pittsburgh, PA $2,500 – $9,800
Portland, OR $2,600 – $10,400
San Diego, CA $2,800 – $11,100
San Francisco, CA $3,100 – $12,500
Seattle, WA $2,700 – $10,800
Washington, DC $3,000 – $12,000

Top wedding bands & prices

Many popular wedding bands cost more than average to book, while other popular bands and entertainment companies lower their prices to increase the volume of bookings.

  • Diamond Empire charges $2,000 to $6,000 for 3- to 10-piece bands.

  • Emerald Empire charges $2,000 to $7,500 for 3- to 14-piece bands.

  • Blue Wave Band charges $4,000 on average for a customizable 3- to 14-piece band.

  • The Bachelor Boys Band charges $3,000 to $10,000 for a 4- to 14-piece show.

  • Shades of Blue charges $3,500 for an R&B quartet.

  • Wilson-Stevens Productions charges $8,000 to $12,000 for a 6- to 11-piece band plus MC and DJ services. Bands include Beantown, Eye2Eye, Splash!, and more.

Live wedding band with singer, guitarist, and drummer
Live wedding band with singer, guitarist, and drummer

Cost of wedding band vs. DJ

A wedding DJ costs $800 to $1,600 on average, depending on the package, event length, and lighting add-ons. While live bands offer a more exciting experience, DJs cost less and play a wider range of music than a live band without needing to take breaks in between sets or songs.

Wedding music band FAQs

What services do wedding bands offer?

Wedding bands provide music during the reception, along with:

  • MC services

  • Song requests

  • Audio equipment

  • Lighting

  • Ceremony and cocktail hour music

  • DJ set during breaks

Most services beyond basic reception music cost extra. Verify the package details with the band before signing a contract.

How long does a band play at a wedding?

Wedding bands play for 3 to 5 hours at the wedding reception and typically charge separate fees for ceremony or cocktail hour performances. Additional overtime costs $300 to $650 per hour.

Do you tip the band at a wedding?

Get free estimates from bands for hire near you.

The standard tip for a wedding band is $25 to $50 per musician. If you enjoy the show, leave a good review and consider sharing the band’s information on social media.

Tips for finding and hiring a wedding band

How to book a band for a wedding

To book a band for a wedding:

  • Decide what style of music you prefer.

  • Come up with an ideal budget.

  • Search for bands in your area several months before the wedding.

  • Read their reviews on Fash and Google.

  • Watch their promotional videos.

  • Contact the bands to check availability and compatibility.

  • Negotiate and sign a contract.

How to save money on a live wedding band

To save money on a wedding band:

  • Book as early as possible.

  • Hire a smaller band with fewer pieces.

  • Consider ceremony-and-reception packages.

  • Have the wedding during the off-season or any day besides Saturday.

Questions to ask wedding bands before hiring

  • What type or genre of music do you specialize in?

  • How many instruments and vocalists will be present at my wedding?

  • Can you show us your song list?

  • How many hours does your standard package include?

  • Do your rates vary by season or day of the week?

  • Will you learn new songs for my wedding?

  • Can you help me choose music for my wedding reception?

  • Do you have a SoundCloud, video list, music list, compilation, or any collection of your songs?

  • Do you have a demo or video from a performance?

  • What equipment do you provide?

  • What is your full team like, and how many will be present at my wedding?

  • How many breaks do you require, and how long are they?

  • Will you do the setup and breakdown, and does that cost extra?

  • What other services do you offer?

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