When searching for live music to hire for your wedding, like a jazz band, you’re most likely to be thinking quickly about what the price may be. And exact prices are not always available on websites – in fact, they usually aren’t and here at Liquid Strings, we don’t put set prices either. The simple reason is that all events are slightly different in their requirements and some are radically different. So if one of our jazz bands says around £500 per booking and then you try and book at that price when your wedding is in Edinburgh, then there will probably be a quick ‘sorry no’ from the band. That’s because we’re based in London so the jazz musicians live in and around London. Location is not the only factor of course but it’s a good one to start with.
You may pay around £550 – £650 for a small jazz band in a local area. Maybe more – £750+. Or maybe less – it depends partly on how professional that they are. As in most things, you do to an extent get what you pay for. Bargains are more likely to be based around dates, locations and ease of booking. So for example if you book a band in a venue that they already know, is near to them and on a date where there is unlikely to be a lot of competing work (like a Monday for example), you may get a bargain there. If they’re just cheap for any date, place or time, then they may just not be much in demand or possibly they might be amateurs (by which we mean people who have other jobs and play music for a hobby without having had professional training).
The date of your wedding is a factor. June is much busier than January. December is busier than September. And the day also. As mentioned already, a weekday is better than a Saturday. The best bands will often charge more for a Saturday booked in advance, so they fully reserve it even if they are offered a longer, better-paid booking nearer the date. If they tell you this or that they can’t reduce their cost for this reason, it’s a genuine reason. If it means they’re not going to mess you around and will do an excellent job for you, in our opinion it’s worth spending more on. If you’ve made the move already to book a less popular date, you may anyway be doing without live music, or looking for a budget option.
In terms of the cost and location, we’d recommend getting a relatively local band, although a band based in London and driving to Surrey or somewhere like that is fine and should’t affect the cost much. But if your wedding is in the Midlands or the North, it’s probably best to find a band local to the area in a Google search or by your venue recommendation. The most simple reason that many bands won’t just charge a bit of extra petrol money is because time really is money when you’re a professional free-lance musician. The one day it can take to drive to a wedding, arrive earlier to set up, allow for traffic etc. can mean the equivalent of 2 or even 3 bookings in a local area. This is not money well spent in terms of extra budget if there’s a great local band you could hire instead. For this reason, we’ve kept Liquid Strings local and based in and around London (with a few international exceptions).
And finally there’s the requirements. These really vary from wedding to wedding. Some of our clients have just wanted the jazz band to turn up on time and do what they do best. Others have lots of requests and even make their own set lists. These require more work and therefore will likely cost more. So again expect a sliding scale depending on how much or little you wish to direct the band. Final tip – deciding quickly can help you get the best deal sometimes. When a band has a few wedding enquiries for the same date, the couple who get in there quickly, pay a deposit and sign a contract are in a stronger position.
Call us today to discuss the cost of your wedding jazz band – either in London or one of the surrounding areas.