The soundtrack to your wedding is one that you’ll remember forever. From the soft and soothing music as the two of you lock eyes for the first time on the big day, to the crowd-pleasing bangers your guests will dance to throughout the night, music plays a huge part in a wedding.

And that’s one of the reasons why wedding music can be so pricey. The average amount couples spend on wedding music is £900, which is a huge chunk of the £19,184 spent on the average wedding in the UK.

But, with music being such a vital part of your wedding, it might be a non-negotiable for you and your spouse-to-be. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can save money on wedding music without having to compromise.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at how you can save money on music at your wedding while still making sure your day hits all the right notes.

Why is wedding music so expensive?

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Music plays such a big part in your wedding day. There’s music playing as your guests arrive, at the ceremony itself, welcoming guests to the breakfast and of course long into the night. So, the costs quickly add up.

On top of this, when you’re hiring musicians and DJs, you also have to bear in mind that you’re paying for their skill and professionalism, their expensive equipment, their travel and their time. And of course, the more musicians you’re paying, the more expensive it’s going to be.

These costs are in addition to any non-musical entertainment you may also wish to have, so saving money on your music ensures you can have a wide range of entertainers at your wedding.

10 ways to save money on wedding music

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If music is important to you and you know it’s something that has to play a vital role in your day, then it doesn’t necessarily have to cost a ton. Below are 10 ways you can save money on wedding music.

1. Choose a DJ over a band

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A great wedding band can set you back more than £1,000, which is quite a big chunk of change. However, a DJ can be far kinder on your budget, with costs starting at around £360. Plus, there’s usually far less risk with a DJ, who is practically guaranteed to get your guests moving on the dancefloor. By choosing a DJ over a band, you’ll actually save up to £898 – the perfect amount for a post-wedding mini-moon.

2. Choose a solo artist

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If live music is important to you, the most affordable option is to hire a solo artist. Remember, while a band will set you back four figures, a solo singer will cost a similar amount to a DJ. Depending on what you’re going for, they may also play an instrument, such as a guitar or piano, or have pre-recorded backing music. 

3. Hire a band with fewer members

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The reason a band is so expensive is simply because there are more musicians that need to be paid, as well as instruments and equipment. When you hire a band, the more members there are, generally, so the more expensive it’ll be. So, to lower costs, why not choose a band with three or four members, rather than five or six? In this case, less is less!

The same applies to classical musicians, with a harpist or cellist usually being more affordable than a string quartet.

4. Go the DIY route

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It might not be the most glamorous way to entertain your guests, but it’s entirely possible to do your music yourself. All you need is a decent sound system, which your chosen venue might already have, and a smartphone with the right adapter. Then, with a few well-chosen Spotify playlists, you can ensure your wedding has music playing non-stop into the night.

5. Ask music students

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If there’s a performing arts school nearby, why not approach them and ask whether there are music students available to perform at your wedding? Not only will it save you money, but students are enthusiastic and are sure to put on a great performance.

6. Hire local musicians

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It’s important to remember that it’s expensive to travel. If you’re hiring a band that has to travel 100 miles to reach your venue, then that’s going to add a huge amount to their rates both in travel and potentially in accommodation costs. To keep costs down, make sure you hire local musicians and check how far their catchment area stretches.

To find bands and DJs close to you, check out our huge selection of wedding music.

7. Consider times carefully

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Be mindful that the longer you require a musician, the more you’ll have to pay. For example, if you hire a string quartet, you could ask them to play to welcome your guests, during the ceremony and during the breakfast. That means they’ll play for several hours, which can get rather expensive. Instead, why not have them play before and during the ceremony, then switch to pre-recorded music later on?

8. Have an off-peak wedding

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Wedding vendors will charge premium rates during busy periods, such as during the summer months and at weekends – this includes musicians and DJs, too. Instead of a Saturday wedding, why not think about having it mid-week instead? Not only will you save money on your music, but everything from your venue to your catering as well.

9. Ask a musical acquaintance

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Have you got a sister who can hold a note or a group of mates who formed a band in sixth form? Recruit them to perform at your wedding! It’ll be great for them to be involved, you’ll save money and you’ll have loads of fun too. Just make sure that they’re happy to perform and that their standards are high…and try not to rely on them TOO heavily. You could put together a cracking playlist for the gaps in between and after, or as a possible plan B. You could give your mates a thoughtful gift to thank them for putting on a show, or perhaps a drink or two to give them a little Dutch courage.

10. Don’t have live music at the ceremony

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Live music at your ceremony can turn a beautiful wedding into one that is truly memorable. However, that can come at a cost. To save money, pre-recorded music can be just as effective at creating a welcoming and romantic atmosphere – it just won’t be quite as unique. But, it’s important to remember that your guests aren’t coming to your wedding to listen to live music – they’re coming to watch someone they love get married. And you’ll probably be too busy calming your nerves and sharing a special moment with your spouse-to-be to notice!

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