How Much Should My Wedding Band Cost?

I get asked this all the time. While there is no question that the cost of a great band will impact your budget, I want you to ask yourself some questions when deciding to book a band and what part of your overall budget should be allotted.

  1. Will anybody remember what they had for dinner at my wedding?  
  2. Will anybody remember if the flowers were really exceptional or just nice?
  3. Will anybody remember the custom linens I ordered from New York?
  4. Will anybody remember if they sat on the chairs included with venue rental or I brought in custom chiavari?

You get the picture…there is always a place to spend a little more, make things a little more elegant, add those little touches that maybe only you will really notice.  Now ask yourself this:

Will anybody (everybody!) remember a great party spearheaded by that band that knows exactly how to move the party along through the different phases of the evening, play with energy but not earsplitting volume, handle those special moments gracefully; first dance, father daughter, mother son, bridesmaid toasts, etc. and most importantly:


All your guests will remember that type of experience long after they remember if they had filet mignon or chicken.

I have played literally thousands of events of all kinds.  Here’s what the most successful ones have in common and my Top 3 places to be sure you’ve utilized you budget wisely (and no the band isn’t #1).

  1. You need a top shelf, experienced planner to captain the ship that day.  Not the caterer, not the venue’s person, certainly not a relative or friend, and definitely not the Mother of the Bride. Somebody to crack the whip when necessary, so you only have to worry if your champagne glass is full (and the right planner will be sure it is).
  2. You need a first class photographer who understands your style. Remember, when the day is over, there is nothing left but the fabulous pictures and your memories.
  3. Your band. The band with a leader who spends plenty of time with you in the planning process, the band that plays your first dance to perfection, the band that understands your musical tastes, but also your friends’ your parents friends’, and even your grandparents. This is a celebration for all your guests.  Read reviews of your band, especially recent ones.  Ask the leader if the musicians for your special day are for the most part the same every gig or if he utilizes “pick up” musicians frequently, and most of all try and get a feel if the band really likes playing wedding receptions or do it just because that’s where the money is.

Of course Big Ray and the Kool Kats wants to be your wedding band. Of course we understand weddings are expensive. Of course we know hiring a wedding band or booking a band period only happens a couple of times a lifetime for most folks.  Even if you don’t book us, read through this and feel free to utilize it, if you need tips, check our other post, How to Hire a Wedding Band or DJ.  Or even give me a call and ask me anything you like about live bands for weddings even if we’re not the right style or price for you. Really. 


Big Ray

434 960 4595


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