Sticking to a strict wedding budget can be a trying experience.
It may seem fine at first, when you sit down with your partner and organize everything into nice clean columns. And then of course, swear to stick to it, promising that every cent will be accounted for. However, things may get messier when you start to apply what you’ve written, to reality.
To avoid completely blowing your wedding budget, it’s crucial that you are in the ball park in the first place. Try to do some research before you start planning your budget, to ensure that your spending expectations are realistic. Also, even more importantly, make sure that you are honest about what you can really afford – if you get too swept up in financing your ‘dream’ wedding, you may find that you run out of money very, very quickly!
When it comes to hiring your wedding entertainment, the following are some examples so you know what you can expect for your money:
Unfortunately, there isn’t a huge range of wedding music options available for under $500. However, you will be able to hire a solo musician, such as a harpist, cellist or guitarist, to play at either your ceremony or the first hour or two of your reception.
$500 to $1000
- A string quartet to play before and during your wedding ceremony, with the option of continuing for an hour after the ceremony (this works well if you are using the same venue for your ceremony and reception);
- A contemporary duo to play during your ceremony, with the option of continuing for an hour after your ceremony. Options include a vocalist and guitarist, or a vocalist and keyboard player;
- A jazz (or lounge) duo to perform background music for the first few hours of your reception;
- A solo musician to perform throughout your entire reception (eg. a singer/guitarist);
- A DJ to perform throughout your entire reception.
$1000 to $2000
- A trio to perform throughout your entire reception. Versatile groups will be able to perform a range of jazz, groove, soul and r’n’b;
- A duo to perform at both your ceremony and reception;
- A quartet to perform for the first few hours of your reception. Options include a string quartet, a jazz band, or a groove/soul band.
$2000 to $2500
- A 4-piece band to perform throughout your reception. A versatile group will be able to perform jazz and lounge music earlier in the evening, followed by covers/party music later in the night;
- A trio to perform for the first few hours of your reception, followed by a DJ.
$2500 to $3500
- A 5 or 6-piece band to perform at your reception. A 6-piece band is able to perform from a more extensive repertoire, as there is generally a horn player in the band, as well as a keyboard player;
- A 7-piece band to perform under 3 hours at your reception. This works best later in the night, for example 9pm to 12am, when you and your guests will be dancing.
- From here on, the world is your oyster! With $3500 or more, you can afford a 7 to 10-piece band to play for your entire reception, which will ensure an unforgettable wedding experience.
Of course, having said all this, the above prices are just a general guide. Entertainment is a service industry, and you will encounter large differences in quality, which is almost always reflected in the price! However, by simply figuring out how much you’re willing to spend beforehand, and being upfront about your budget from the start, you can’t go wrong.
NOTE: The above prices are in Australian Dollars (AUD)