Live music, whether it’s a DJ or band, can be expensive but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to bring down the cost of your wedding music.
Here are some helpful tips to save money on wedding music:
1. Get married during the off season. Wedding vendors are much more open to negotiation during the off season when their schedules are wide open. Typically, the wedding off season is October through March, but that may vary by region. Simply ask the musician or DJ upfront if their price is negotiable because of the season. Most will make accommodations for you when the alternative is no gig at all.
2. Don’t underbook your musician or DJ. Overtime fees can be outrageous. A simple way to avoid them is to book the musician or DJ for at least four hours. Otherwise, if the party keeps going and you end up asking the musician or DJ to stay longer than the contract states, it’s going to cost you a lot in fees.
3. Split the live music between a DJ and a band. Full bands are some of the most expensive live music you can hire. Cut back on the cost by also hiring a DJ to play in between the band’s sets and then have him or her take over during the last few hours of the reception. You’ll still have hours of live music and a band but you’ll save between 25-75% of your overall cost.
4. Ask your wedding planner or venue for a recommendation. Wedding planners and venues have lots of connections and can often get you a good deal on a musician if you ask.
5. Ask your musician or DJ if you can get a small discount for paying the full fee in advance. Some entertainers will knock 5-10% off the overall price if you pay upfront. Paying upfront saves them both time and hassle, which is well worth the discount to them.
6. Hire a DJ or solo performer. Full bands have a lot of members and they all need to get paid, which raises the price dramatically. Save money by hiring only one person, either a DJ or a solo musician who can entertain the crowd just as well as a band, but for a fraction of the price.
7. Hire your entertainer for both the ceremony and the reception. You can often negotiate a better rate if you hire the musician or DJ for both the ceremony and reception, instead of hiring a separate musical act for the reception.
8. Check local conservatories or colleges for musicians. Students often have less experience playing weddings but will often charge less as a result. If you don’t mind going with a less experienced musician, it can save you a lot of money.
9. Ask a friend or family member to perform. If you know someone who plays music or DJs, ask them to play at your wedding either as a favor or for a deep discount. Most family and friends would be honored to be a part of your wedding. Even if they agree to do it for free, be courteous and give them a nice tip after.