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"wedding" band booking question

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by nothumb, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. nothumb


    Sep 20, 2006
    I will keep this as general as possible so as not to bias responses.

    I asked a friend to bring a specific band that he plays in (he is in more than one) to play a couple sets at our wedding this summer. I would describe him as a pretty good friend (known him for 8 or 9 years and we were within the same close circle of friends for most of that time). His band is an old time swing / country band that does a mix of covers and originals, they are not a traditional wedding or cover band so to speak though they do them occasionally.

    The band in question plays out fairly regularly but is not a big regional success or anything since they are in more of a niche market.

    He said he could do it and quoted me a price per musician.

    Two questions -

    1. What price range would you expect for this gig (2-3 hours, same set as their regular bar gigs... i.e. not having to learn a bunch of songs, M.C., play the 'first dance' etc.)

    2. What would your reaction be if he sort of vaguely implied he was going to use some other dudes who are not in the band you requested?
  2. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Well if I was paying him alot of money I would expect to get the band I paid for. Where I live alot of bands charge the same for a wedding gig as they would for a whole weekend in a bar. The reason being for coverbands it is hard to b ook just a one-nighter so If you book a wedding on a Saturday chances are you will not be able to book a gig on Friday. Even if they are only playing 2-3 hours chances are they will newed to be at the reception way early to set-up then they have to wait while people eat, speeches etc. The 2-3 hour gig might take 8 hours or more of there time. My 4 piece band charges around $1500.00 for a wedding. For a friend we might go to $1200.00 If we have a lot of travel it is $1800.00, overnight at least $2000 and rooms. We also always get fed for free. EDIT- I see you live NYC I would expect your prices to be higher.
  3. First, ask him what he is planning to charge you. Second ask him WHY he is subbing musicians, there may be a very good reason, like the others are not in the band any more or they are also in other bands and already have a prior. $1,000.00+ is the going rate down here, I don't know about N.Y. If you do NOT like the answers to the questions, get someone else.
  4. nothumb


    Sep 20, 2006
    the wedding's not in NY, it's in the country.

    i checked the band's myspace and they have one gig booked between now and august.
  5. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    My band is a 17-piece swing band with two vocalists. We charge between $4,000 and $7,000 for a 3 hour wedding. Factors that affect the price include the length of the reception, whether we are providing music for cocktails, whether we are providing music for the ceremony, and the distance from Philadelphia. These prices are consistent with prices charged by 8-10 piece wedding bands in our area.

    Our standard contract requires us to carry a rhythm section consisting of "bass, drums, and piano and/or keyboards," 10 horns, and "at least one vocalist." It does not specify specific musicians. We almost always have at least one sub for any gig, including weddings.
  6. I dont think i ever did two wedding gigs on the trot with the same lineup - always needed a dep for someone in a 9 piece band (usually the gui**** or fem vox tho..)

    If you trust this guy to do the gig, perhaps you should trust his judgement on deps?

    You've asked him to sort a band out for the wedding, and maybe he cant get the people YOU want, so he's doing the right thing in my book.
    you cant make people play...

    as far as cost goes, we would generally charge £1000 ($2000) for a local wedding, maybe $1500 or so for a mate.

    you also have to consider that at a wedding gig, they will have to be setup a long time before the gig, cant be soundchecking whilst the meal/speeches are ongoing...

    also, I think its expected that at a wedding the band should be that bit tighter and pro than a bar gig.

    in my experience these things cost money...

    IMHO if you trust the dude to sort the music, let him get on with it. you'll have enough worry about with the wedding
  7. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    If he's sincerely a friend ask for advice on what to pay his guys.

    If this were MY band doing and I were doing this for one of my pals... I'd say "the guys all would appeciate $100 and I"m doing this for you - please don't include me in the envelopes"

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