How much to charge for a wedding gig?

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VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2123

We've been asked to play at a wedding - set will last 1 and a half hours (duo, to backing tapes) plus mp3 music for rest of evening.  Gig is in Somerset so travelling costs have to be added.  What do you regular giggers think is a reasonable charge?



I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • I'm never quite sure what our actual overall charge is, as I am not privvy to what our "agent" takes out of the fee before it reaches us, but I would guesstimate we normally charge about £800-1000.

    Each member of the band expects to take home between £150 and £200+, again depending on the exact requirements.

    FWIW we met a magician at a recent gig and he says he charges about £450...just for one person.


    Bearing in mind how much the average cake, photographer, car, catering, flowers etc will have cost them, I don't think a figure of, say £500 would be unacceptable for a duo at a wedding. There will be plenty of duos who charge more, I dare say.

    People think it's just 90 mins work, but the day's a lot longer than that! For us, a gig in Somerset is the best part of a 12 hour day x 4 people.

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  • A couple of things though that I would add:

    Stipulate an arrival time and an end time in the price you quote - anything above and beyond those times is negotiable but at an extra fee, you don't want any of this "I don't care if it's midnight, I'm paying you and the bar's open til 2am" BS.
    Likewise, we usually arrive to start setting up after the wedding breakfast. Some couples have asked us to arrive and be set up and out of the way BEFORE they sit down to eat. Adds several man hours onto the day, so it costs more. 's only fair!

    Stipulate that soft drinks and food will be provided - make it clear you're not expecting a three course meal, sandwiches will be fine or if they're having a buffet or hog roast you will need to be included in that. It's a long day with no refreshments, and you can't be leaving site to find the nearest McDonalds if (a) there might not be one and (b) you want to come back and find your gear intact.

    We include a first dance in the fee - we've learned all sorts of wonderful stuff - but huge song lists and excessive DJ music requests come at a premium if we have to source new music or learn a whole new setlist!

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  • I would never charge less than 1k for a wedding (assuming 4 guys) and if I didn't think I was worth 1k I wouldn't do it.

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  • not_the_djnot_the_dj Frets: 5934
    We're dead cheap  :((

    (but then we're not really a function band, we're a pub band that do the odd party or wedding, usually for people we know and never more than a 30min drive away).


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  • I know what you're saying, Mr Fiddle, and I don't disagree per se...but ..It's not so much that the band is/ isn't worth £1k, but if the budget isn't there for the client and they can/ will spring to £800, what do you do? I'd rather get 80% of that £1k than none of it.
    I am, however, I should add, a shockingly bad businessman and if these things were down to me the band would be bankrupt by noww :)

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  • I know what you're saying, Mr Fiddle, and I don't disagree per se...but ..It's not so much that the band is/ isn't worth £1k, but if the budget isn't there for the client and they can/ will spring to £800, what do you do? I'd rather get 80% of that £1k than none of it.
    I am, however, I should add, a shockingly bad businessman and if these things were down to me the band would be bankrupt by noww :)
    Depends whether you're trying to be a hobby band or treating as a business. If A then 800 is fine and it's no problem. If trying to make it almost a brand and a regular money making thing then it's often better to decline (or rather, offer yourself at 1200 then suggest a discount of 200 for goodwill..)
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  • DesVegasDesVegas Frets: 3543
    Do you know the bride and groom? the two weddings we played for we knew them so we charged £400 for the first and £500 for the second.  We were a four piece so a hundred bucks each and a hundred for the band kitty (meow meow) for mic leads, drum skins etc .. 
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  • RocknRollDaveRocknRollDave Frets: 4215
    edited October 2014

    I know what you're saying, Mr Fiddle, and I don't disagree per se...but ..It's not so much that the band is/ isn't worth £1k, but if the budget isn't there for the client and they can/ will spring to £800, what do you do? I'd rather get 80% of that £1k than none of it.
    I am, however, I should add, a shockingly bad businessman and if these things were down to me the band would be bankrupt by noww :)
    Depends whether you're trying to be a hobby band or treating as a business. If A then 800 is fine and it's no problem. If trying to make it almost a brand and a regular money making thing then it's often better to decline (or rather, offer yourself at 1200 then suggest a discount of 200 for goodwill..)
    That's fine if you turn down the lesser gig and you replace it with one that's at a higher price, but what's the point of turning down a gig if you end up sat at home that night earning nothing?

    EDIT: Thinking about it, I guess it's the difference between gigs that come directly to the band - in which case, yes, dictate your fee and stick to it, or gigs that come through a third party..in which case you're offered the gig, that is the fee, take it or leave it....More often than not, we'll take it. ..I know that leaves us open to being undersold but our particular agent/ booker relationship is a complicated one and not one I'd necessarily expect to see reflected elsewhere!


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  • DesVegas said:
    Do you know the bride and groom? the two weddings we played for we knew them so we charged £400 for the first and £500 for the second.  We were a four piece so a hundred bucks each and a hundred for the band kitty (meow meow) for mic leads, drum skins etc .. 
    Drum skins?! You pay for his drumskins?!

    If our drummer is reading this: don't even THINK about it.

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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3662

    About £1400 would be the lowest, £2400 is the most I can remember us getting. Sounds a lot but it's not when you have to pay 7 people a professional wage. If you ever get anyone challenge why hiring a decent wedding band cost so much tell em hiring 7 plumbers for some of Sat afternoon and all of Sat night would probably cost more.
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • DesVegasDesVegas Frets: 3543
    edited October 2014
    Drum skins?! You pay for his drumskins?! 

    If our drummer is reading this: don't even THINK about it.

    That was all in theory of course as the band split within a month of said wedding so one of them has the kitty as i sure as hell didnt see any of it .... drummers can read?
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  • DesVegasDesVegas Frets: 3543
    Danny1969 said:

    About £1400 would be the lowest, £2400 is the most I can remember us getting. Sounds a lot but it's not when you have to pay 7 people a professional wage. If you ever get anyone challenge why hiring a decent wedding band cost so much tell em hiring 7 plumbers for some of Sat afternoon and all of Sat night would probably cost more.
    i'd rather hire 7 plumbers than pay £2,400 for a band
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  • DesVegas said:
    Drum skins?! You pay for his drumskins?! 

    If our drummer is reading this: don't even THINK about it.

    That was all in theory of course as the band split within a month of said wedding so one of them has the kitty as i sure as hell didnt see any of it .... drummers can read?
    Words? yes. Music? Hahahahahahahahaha




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  • I would never charge less than 1k for a wedding (assuming 4 guys) and if I didn't think I was worth 1k I wouldn't do it.

    This is what I used to say. 
    The sheer number of hours it takes really reduces what you earn per hour. 

    We did used to play 2 sets though. 
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3662
    DesVegas said:
    Danny1969 said:

    About £1400 would be the lowest, £2400 is the most I can remember us getting. Sounds a lot but it's not when you have to pay 7 people a professional wage. If you ever get anyone challenge why hiring a decent wedding band cost so much tell em hiring 7 plumbers for some of Sat afternoon and all of Sat night would probably cost more.
    i'd rather hire 7 plumbers than pay £2,400 for a band
    Yeah people just don't value bands I spose, which is strange because It takes a lot longer to master a musical instrument than it does to complete a plumbing apprenticeship

    I'm getting married next week, I've booked a band and I think they're worth every penny
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • mike_lmike_l Frets: 5671

    @Danny1969condolences Congratumalations Sir.

    May it be wonderful.

    Ringleader of the Cambridge cartel, pedal champ and king of the dirt boxes (down to 21) 

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  • mike_lmike_l Frets: 5671
    DesVegas said:
    Do you know the bride and groom? the two weddings we played for we knew them so we charged £400 for the first and £500 for the second.  We were a four piece so a hundred bucks each and a hundred for the band kitty (meow meow) for mic leads, drum skins etc .. 
    Drum skins?! You pay for his drumskins?!

    If our drummer is reading this: don't even THINK about it.

    Distract him with a copy of Razzle

    Ringleader of the Cambridge cartel, pedal champ and king of the dirt boxes (down to 21) 

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  • mike_l said:
    DesVegas said:
    Do you know the bride and groom? the two weddings we played for we knew them so we charged £400 for the first and £500 for the second.  We were a four piece so a hundred bucks each and a hundred for the band kitty (meow meow) for mic leads, drum skins etc .. 
    Drum skins?! You pay for his drumskins?!

    If our drummer is reading this: don't even THINK about it.

    Distract him with a copy of Razzle

    because the ZZ bit will make him sleepy? Congrats to Danny1969 , great bit of hidden information. :)
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3662
    mike_l said:

    @Danny1969condolences Congratumalations Sir.

    May it be wonderful.

    Lol :) thanks
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • I would never charge less than 1k for a wedding (assuming 4 guys) and if I didn't think I was worth 1k I wouldn't do it.

    This is what I used to say. 
    The sheer number of hours it takes really reduces what you earn per hour. 

    We did used to play 2 sets though. 
    ..? Don't most bands do that?


    Congratulations @Danny1969. Have a great day!

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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2123
    Congrats danny! Thanks for thoughts guys. As we are a duo not a full band i think £500 has to be the minimum. For hour and half playing plus mp3 music for eve I dont think anyone would reasonably expect to pay less.
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • The playing you do for free 'cos you love it. However, the early start (so that you're set up before all the guests arrive), the waiting about, the late-night equipment take-down, the journeying, and all the shite that goes around your 90 minutes worth of fun is what they're paying for. Like Danny said, whatever a bunch of plumbers would charge for most of Saturday and all of Saturday night, you'll do it for half.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Oh yes, @Danny1969 and best wishes for your big day, and the rest of your happily married life :)
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3662
    Thanks Phil and the rest of you guys.
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • @Danny1969 congratas and good luck

    @voxman have you got the PA sorted for the wedding? If not give us a shout! 

    Also your price should also depend on where the wedding is, round here we have a number of very exclusive wedding venue's ( as is the case all over the country) where the price the band charges goes up simply because of the venue and what it and the organisers expect to pay if you get my drift 
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2123
    @Danny1969 congratas and good luck

    @voxman have you got the PA sorted for the wedding? If not give us a shout! 

    Also your price should also depend on where the wedding is, round here we have a number of very exclusive wedding venue's ( as is the case all over the country) where the price the band charges goes up simply because of the venue and what it and the organisers expect to pay if you get my drift 
    Many thanks but we have PA (with excellent Mackie powered speakers) - good point though re venue, don't know yet.
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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