Looking To Hire Musicians For Your Wedding? You’re Going To Want To Read Our Negotiating 101 Guide.

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Wedding Band Negotiating 101

Unless you happen to make your living as a talent agent, your wedding band or DJ is probably the first entertainer you have ever hired.  The good news is that by the time you finally say “I do” you will have dealt with so many different wedding vendors (florists, caterers, wedding planners, etc.) that you will be an expert negotiator.  There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when negotiating with your wedding band or DJ:

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Options

First and foremost – you should be asking for price quotes from multiple performers, not just one.  Even if you have your heart set on a particular performer, hearing from others will give you a better idea of the going rate for entertainers in your area.

Understanding Your Quotes

Keep in mind that a number of factors go into determining a performer’s quote.  A band with more members (and more gear) will naturally need to charge more.   Same goes for a performer in great demand or who has to travel a long distance to your wedding.  If you hear from enough performers these trends will become obvious.  Most performers will also be happy to explain how they determined their quote, so don’t be afraid to ask.

The Negotiation

If the wedding band of your dreams gives you a quote that is a bit out of reach for your budget, do not be afraid to negotiate.  There is usually some way to bring the price down, though keep in mind it may mean a compromise on your part.  For example you might not be able to afford the entire horn section, or the band may ask to shave a half hour off of their performance time.  Usually an agreement can be found one way or the other.  That being said – keep in mind the entertainment you choose for your wedding will set the tone for the entire event.  In my humble opinion, you shouldn’t be afraid to spend a little extra to get what you want out of your wedding entertainment.

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About the Author
Marta Segal Block has been studying weddings for years. She is the Editorial Director of GigMasters.com, the number one event entertainment booking service. GigMasters is thrilled to announce their new wedding section filled with info about wedding entertainment! Come visit and learn how you can win $500 in free wedding entertainment.

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  1. Los Willows Reception Site

    “keep in mind the entertainment you choose for your wedding will set the tone for the entire event”

    So true. And not only will it set the tone, but your DJ, should you choose one over live music, will act as your master of ceremonies, making sure that all your wedding and reception events happen, and happen on time so you don’t miss your grand entrance, first dance, bouquet toss, cake cutting, toasts, etc.

    At our wedding venue in San Diego, we have found that it makes such a difference if the DJ or musicians already have a working relationship with the venue staff, so that everyone rolls easily with the routine.

    Good blog!

  2. Jaclyn

    As a wedding musician, I can’t stress more that the initial quote I give is NOT the only possible quote. I like to ask brides what their budgets are and do what I can to work within it. So don’t be afraid to discuss your budget with musicians- we’re open to negotiation! :)

    Second point- Know your venue. Some venues already have a tuned piano and sound system available. If a musician doesn’t have to bring all of their gear, the price will likely be lower. Inquire with the reception hall or church on what they can provide as far as sound goes. You may be surprised on how much is already available to you!

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