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Is booking live music really necessary for my wedding day?

If you’re planning your wedding, you will already know that organising everything you dream about having on your special day is no small task. Of course a wedding planner or your wedding coordinator can help, but there’s still parts of your day only you and your partner can decide on… Such as, your dress or suit, will you have a theme, the flavour of your cake, who to invite, what song to choose for walking down the aisle and the list goes on…

It may seem daunting, but there are wedding experts who can make your wedding planning stress free and extremely enjoyable. And WE’RE here to help you decide whether booking live music is a must for you! 

We’ll be answering questions couples have about music in the most honest way including ‘is it really true that live music creates a better atmosphere than just playing songs through a speaker?’ and ‘will booking a musician for my wedding break my budget?’.

So find a comfy seat and join us as we answer the most popular questions about booking live music for your wedding day. Starting with question number one…

What does live music actually add to my wedding day?

We would say a number of things, some we will cover in other questions, and some here. 

Number one, live music is definitely considered to be a more ‘exclusive’ touch on your wedding day. DJs and a Spotify playlist are great, but are more mainstream. 

Number two, wedding musicians ‘get’ wedding venues. We know how the day works, and perform at different types of venues all over the country. There’s an art to being part of a wedding, and not just playing music ‘at’ a wedding. It’s all about the little touches; knowing where to set up, how much time you need for moving between the ceremony and drinks reception locations, what music is better for guests waiting in a church than at an outdoor venue, the list is endless.

And number three (although there are many more points we could list), a real live musician can tell what kind of music your guests are enjoying. Some musicians, like us can play requests from your friends and family. 

So overall, yes, live music really does add a LOT to your wedding day. Keep reading for more. 

Does live music create the perfect atmosphere?

We’ve all heard about live music creating an atmosphere that makes the whole day. But what actually is it? What’s it like to experience first hand? 

If you’ve never been at an event or wedding where there’s been a musician such as a harp duo, pianist, singer, it can be really hard to visualise how it feels. For us, live music gets rid of any nervous energy and replaces it with excited anticipation. We’re talking chilled vibes. For the ceremony, depending on what type and style of music you choose, music can create a relaxed, calm feel, or a more exciting buzz. And of course for your first dance, romance is key, whilst in the evening family and friends can dance to all your favourite party hits. 

As professional harpists who have been performing at weddings for almost ten years, it’s all about the interaction with wedding guests. Guests often approach us to ask about our instruments, or particular music they may want to hear, you can’t really have the same effect with a CD!

How expensive is it to book a live musician (harpist, singer, duo) and can I afford it?

Sadly there’s no set answer for this question, as there is no ‘set standard price’, but we strongly believe there is a wedding musician that is perfect for your budget.

First, consider the parts of the wedding day you would like live music for, because the time you want to book live music for will be reflected in the price. 

  • For the ceremony (walking down the aisle etc.)
  • For the drinks reception and canapés
  • For your wedding breakfast (main meal, picnic, afternoon tea, buffet, BBQ etc.)
  • For your first dance
  • For your evening party

Expert money saving tip!

When booking a musician, it may surprise you to know that booking live music for two parts of your wedding day (such as your ceremony and reception) isn’t much more expensive than booking them for one part. You may be thinking ‘ What? That doesn’t make sense!’ BUT, because your musician is already travelling to your venue, setting up and then packing up, adding another set whilst they are already there makes much more sense! Make sure to ask for a quote that covers different parts of your wedding day to help you decide. 

Going through a wedding music agency may save you time, but there are other ways to find the perfect musician for you. Plus, you won’t have to pay extra for agency fees! You can:

  • ask your venue for recommendations
  • ask some of your other suppliers for musicians they have worked with they would recommend
  • check out wedding Facebook groups 
  • attend venue open days to hear wedding musicians playing live

Top Tip!

When asking for quotes from musicians online, make sure to include in your message: 

  • the date of your wedding (they may already be booked!)
  • the location of your venue (they may charge for travel!) 
  • which parts of your wedding day you’d like music for (ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast, first dance)

If you don’t have the budget for a six piece band, why not consider booking a duo. As a duo ourselves, we know that a combination of two harps can provide a full and rich sound, still impressing your guests and creating a wonderful experience. 

Should I book live music for my wedding ceremony? 

This question is super easy to answer, and it’s YES. 

Yes, yes and yes. Here we’ll give you reasons why you should definitely allow a budget for live wedding music during your ceremony. 

  1. Imagine an empty room or location (garden, gazebo, woodland…) decorated for your ceremony and the first guest arrives. Yes, you could have background music playing through a speaker, but it does nothing to add to the atmosphere. Now imagine a harp duo or singer performing a selection of music as your guests arrive. Not only does it give that instant WOW factor, but the space isn’t tense, the atmosphere is warm and relaxed. Just how you’d want to start your wedding day. 
  1. Technology is amazing, but it’s not perfect. We’ve all heard stories of when the walking down the aisle song goes bad, it gets stuck, the wrong song comes on, it won’t play, there’s no signal and someone’s forgotten to download it. Aaaah! Nightmare. But with a musician there’s no stress or hassle, no glitches or WiFi worries!
  1. You don’t need to stress about timing yourself walking down the aisle. Many couples (and we’re talking 9 out of 10 here) ask us to tell them how long their aisle song is so they can practice walking in time. There is always huge relief on their faces when we explain that we will play the music in time to them and fade out at the right moment when they get to the front of the aisle. I mean, who wants to be counting steps, rather than just enjoying the movement. Yep, not us either!
  1. No matter how well you plan your wedding day, there’s always a chance of some delay. There is nothing worse for guests waiting than hearing the same tracks on a CD being played time and time again. With live music, like us, your musician will come prepared with a repertoire ready for moments like this. We’re not saying it’s going to happen, but if it does, keeping your guests entertained is our top priority. One thing less to worry about. 

Hiring live music for your wedding day eliminates the stress you could face. As professional musicians who have been performing for over ten years, we can guarantee that booking live music is 100% the best decision you’ll make. 

Thanks for reading and we hope that our blog helped answer some of the questions you may have about booking live music for your wedding. If you’d like wedding music planning advice, song ideas and more, check out our other blogs here…

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