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How To Save Money When Hiring A Wedding Band

swing band

Planning a wedding is exciting, but let’s face it, it isn’t cheap. Entertainment is a big part of the day, but you don’t need to break the bank to have an unforgettable wedding band for your special day. 

At Encore Musicians, the UK’s largest musician bookings platform, we book musicians for around 8,000 weddings per year with bands for weddings accounting for around 50% of our bookings. As such, we are well-versed in the most cost-effective ways to cut down on one of the more expensive aspects of a wedding. Please see below some top cost-cutting tips for booking wedding bands from our experts. 


Top money-saving tips for hiring a wedding band 

wedding entertainment

  • Book off-peak 

On average, couples book musicians for their wedding seven and a half months in advance, but if your big day falls on a Saturday during peak season, you should book your musicians at least nine months in advance. 

Goes without saying that the best way to save money is to get married outside of peak season and if you can, ditch the Saturday night scramble and consider a Friday or Sunday wedding day. Venues often offer discounts for these dates, and entertainment might be more flexible with their fees.


  • Try to book local bands

Skip the national acts and seek out talented performers closer to home. You’ll be surprised by the hidden gems in your area! Local wedding bands often offer competitive rates and bring a personal touch to the celebration.

Booking local musicians has loads of advantages. You’ll save money on travel costs – paying a band to drive 300 miles round trip to your wedding isn’t cheap! Additionally, thee band will likely be familiar with your venue, so they’ll know how to work the space and maximise the acoustics.

As an added benefit, the musicians will be fresher and more energised after travelling a short distance to your wedding, as well as the possibility of them getting delayed by traffic or a late train is greatly reduced.

wedding band performing at wedding
One of Encore’s amazing wedding bands, The Alleycatz.


  • Book a multi-talented wedding band

Try to find a band whose singers also play instruments. A 3-piece band with a singing guitarist, a singing bassist, and a drummer, for example, will sound almost identical to a 5-piece band with two singers, a guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer. Despite having a similar sound, the 3-piece band will be a whopping 40% less expensive than a 5-piece band.

If stuck, speak to one of our experts today who can provide you with personalised recommendations.

Jazz Lane jazz band, available through Encore
Jazz Lane jazz band, available through Encore


  • Book one wedding band that can provide multiple line-up options throughout the day

Instead of hiring separate acts for the wedding ceremony, drinks reception, and evening bash, consider multi-talented wedding bands who can adapt their style throughout the day. Many bands can perform as a complete band for the evening celebration as well as acoustic soloists and duos for the ceremony, drinks, and supper.

Booking a single wedding band saves money on travel and generally costs less than hiring different musicians for daytime and evening performances.

The New York Brass Band First Dance

  • Consider a smaller lineup 

A lot of people don’t know that many bands offer the opportunity to downsize their lineups. This can be particularly useful if you like a certain band but their typical lineup is too big for your venue or if they are out of your budget. 

Usually, our wedding bands will include their lineup options on their profile but it’s always worth asking them directly or one of our bookings experts to see if you can get a lineup that best fits your needs. 

  • Don’t hire amateur or student musicians

Many wedding planners or couples try to save money by hiring cheap bands for weddings, mainly amateurs or students. We strongly advise this because it jeopardises the overall ambience of your big day. 

Professional musicians spend their entire working lives making music and playing at events, which means they have a lot of experience, are confident performing to crowds of all sizes and don’t get nervous. It also means they understand how to read a crowd and can alter their performance to ensure you and your wedding guests get the most out of the live music.

The same cannot be true for amateurs or students, who tend to be inexperienced and, if in a group, have rarely practised together.

  • Acoustics in unexpected places

Utilise unique spaces within your wedding venue for intimate acoustic performances. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, you may find a courtyard that’s perfect for a small ensemble or a soloist, such as a pianist, that can add a touch of magic without a full stage.

  • Local choirs or ensembles

Explore opportunities with local choirs, orchestras, or ensembles. Often, they offer lower rates than big bands and bring a larger, richer sound to your celebration. Hundreds of choirs and ensembles are available on our website, and our booking experts will make sure you only get the very best local talent. 

alt="friends in the garden drinking wine and chatting"

  • Limit performance time

We highly recommend carefully considering the duration of your wedding band’s performance you require for each part of your wedding day. While it’s tempting to have entertainment throughout the entire event, limiting performance time can be massively helpful if you’re on a tight budget. 

For example, instead of booking a wedding band for the entire reception, consider hiring them for a few hours during the peak dancing time. This way, you still get the entertainment value without the hefty price tag.

alt="two girls singing karaoke"

  • DIY entertainment acts

Get hands-on and showcase your talents or those of your friends and family by incorporating DIY entertainment acts into your wedding day. Whether it’s a comedy skit, a musical performance, or a dance routine, DIY acts add a personal and sentimental touch to your big day. Plus, they come at little to no cost, making them a great budget wedding entertainment option.


Final thoughts 

Remember to focus on experience, not just the cost. You’ll only have one wedding in your life so don’t be afraid to invest in quality options that align with your vision and priorities, even if they cost slightly more. 

Want to find out more? Look through our collection of professional wedding bands to get an idea of what we have available.


Ava-May Rooney

Ava-May is our specialist in SEO Content and Public Relations. Ava-May is a passionate music lover who appreciates various music styles, from neo-soul to Cambodian rap. She's worked at music festivals such as All Points East, British Summer Time, and Wide Awake and regularly attends gigs in her free time.

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