The 5 Factors That Affect How Much A Live Band Will Charge For Weddings

You’ve decided to get married.  And you’ve decided to book a live band to play at your wedding.  And now you’re going through the process of selecting a live band by asking your friends, using Google etc.

Before you get a quote from live bands that you’re interested in, you’ll need to know the answers to these questions as it will affect the quote that you get.

 1.  Location Of your Wedding

There’s a good chance you know where your wedding is going to be held!  (Though we’ve had enquiries from people who haven’t worked out that detail yet!).

As a general rule of thumb the further away your wedding reception location is from where the live band are based, the more expensive your quote is going to be.

Most London based bands probably don’t add on much within the M25 – Carte Blanche certainly don’t – but as you start getting outside the M25 this does change.

And if you’re more than a two hour drive away from where the band are based as well as expecting greater travel costs you may also need to provide accommodation for the band.

2.  How Long You Want The Band To Play

Most bands play either 2 x 60 minute sets, or 3 x 45 minute sets as their ‘standard’ play time.  If you want more live music than this, most bands will charge you extra for that.

3. Finish Time Of The Event

What time your wedding finishes can also have an effect on the price.

The majority of weddings that Carte Blanche have played at have finished around 11.30 pm – 12.30am.  But there are weddings where the Bride and Groom want their live entertainment to end at 1.30 am. Or 2.00 am.

If this is how you see the timings of your wedding reception panning out – and remember it’s your big day (and night!) – then make sure you tell any bands you are asking for quotes.  Trust me, they’ll want to know, and it will make a difference.

4. Set Up Time For The Band

This is an important detail that many people overlook.  Here’s why – the ideal set up for a band is to set up and soundcheck before anyone arrives at the venue.

For corporate events or charity balls this is not a problem, usually people don’t arrive until 7.30 pm or 8 pm.

But at a wedding reception – and especially if you’re holding your wedding reception at your house in a marquee – the guests will arrive at the venue at 3.30 pm. Or 4pm.  Or 4.30 pm.

So to be set up and soundchecked before guests arrive means arriving at the venue at 1 pm.  Or sometimes earlier.

Now Carte Blanche are unusual in the live band industry – when we contract to do a wedding part of our service is that we will arrive and set up and sound check before you and your guests come back from the church.  (There are some venues where this can’t be done though.)

But most other bands won’t do that.  They prefer to arrive later – and they’ll charge extra for arriving and setting up earlier.  I’ve seen quotes of  £50 to £100 for every hour or part hour they have to set up early.

 5. How Many Songs/Requests You Want Your Live Band To Learn

Most bands have a good-sized repertoire.  But you might have some requests that you want played at the reception – one of those is your wedding dance.  And most bands will commit to learning a wedding dance as part of their service.

But if the number of songs that you want to learn grows…you might suddenly find that the band factors this into their quote (learning time, rehearsal time etc….).  So make sure you know what songs you absolutely must have at your wedding…so that you can let the band know when you’re at quote stage.


Before you ask a band for a quote make sure you’ve thought through the detail of your wedding first so that you can give all these pieces of information to the band and get an accurate quote.

The relevant information is:

  1. Location of your wedding
  2. How long you want the band to play
  3. Finish time of the event
  4. Set up/arrival time for the band
  5. How many songs/requests you want the band to learn








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