Weddings are expensive! Between the venue, flowers, invitations, and many other expenses, planning a wedding can be stressful and costly. But what about wedding entertainment? Wedding music can be one of the most expensive parts of your wedding budget.
When planning a wedding, it might seem like there is no way to save money on music. This couldn’t be further from the truth! There are several ways to save money on wedding music and still have an unforgettable wedding experience. Let’s look at some to consider.
Hire a student band
You don’t need pros to keep the music going at your wedding. There are lots of university music departments with budding talent in need of exposure. Your first thought may be that a student band isn’t as good as a professional one, and you’re not wrong–but it still could be great, especially if you choose the right group.
Not only are student bands more affordable, but they’re also keen to impress (you could land them their first big gig!). Plus, these bands often have more energy and aren’t used to playing long sets yet. They may not even take breaks! If your wedding involves dancing, this can make all the difference.
Student bands are also likely to have more free time outside of class or other commitments compared to a full-time band that spends most weekends performing. This means they can spend more time rehearsing your special requests.
Have everyone bring a playlist on their phone to share
Here’s a less expensive alternative. Ask guests to bring playlists on their phones to share. In this way, you can have everyone contribute songs they’d like to hear and enjoy them for free. Your guests will appreciate participating in this way, and it will allow them to be active in your celebration, rather than just passively listening as a disc jockey (DJ) spins records or a band plays.
It’s also important to note that having everyone bring along the music they want to hear means you aren’t limited by one person’s playlists or preferences. Instead, you’ll get a wide variety of music from people who want different kinds of party tracks, keeping the celebration fresh for everyone involved. It’s more interactive too.
Don’t hire a DJ at all, just use Spotify
There’s a good chance you have a smartphone, so why not use it to save money on music for your wedding? There are many apps and services that allow you to create playlists of music, such as Spotify and Pandora.
If you’ve decided not to hire a DJ for your wedding, this is an easy way to ensure that there’s still music playing throughout the night. Simply create a playlist and connect it to any Bluetooth speaker. You can even plug in an auxiliary cord from your phone into speakers if you already own them.
Hire a solo musician or small acoustic band
Solo musicians are often less expensive than full bands–and they’re generally easier to book, since they aren’t dependent on the availability of other bandmates. They also tend to be more versatile. For example, if you have a song you want to play that’s not in their repertoire, they can usually learn to play it for you. Of course, there are downsides to hiring a solo musician: being less appropriate for larger venues with multiple guests, and the fact that their performance will almost certainly be quieter.
Smaller acoustic bands are cheaper than larger bands due to economies of scale, which results in smaller per-person prices for musicians at a wedding party or reception. These bands may also help create a more intimate atmosphere for your event, a better fit for certain venues and guestlists. All else being equal, an acoustic band is likely to accommodate more requests and styles than the higher-energy electric setup of full bands.
Choose a Disc Jockey over a Band
If you’re looking for wedding entertainment, skip the band and choose a disc jockey instead. The average cost of a wedding band is about $4,000–nearly as much as an entire reception for 100! Even getting just a three-piece jazz band to play during dinner can cost $1,500. A disc jockey (DJ), on the other hand, costs between $700 and $1,200 depending on the equipment provided.
DJs can play a wide range of music and work closely with you ahead of time to ensure the sound system is set up exactly how you want it. They will also ensure everything goes smoothly during your reception, including announcing cake cutting and other events as they happen. All these factors make a disc jockey a versatile and affordable option for your wedding entertainment needs.
The Bottom Line
Use these tips and strategies to save money on your wedding music, and you’ll have some extra pocket change to splurge on other wedding expenses. Hey, it never hurts to have a little extra cash when planning a wedding!