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Ceremony Music on a Budget

These uncertain economic times have caused many couples to scale back on their wedding budgets. According to a recent MyWeddingMusic.com survey, more than 67 percent of couples are slashing their budgets, and nearly seven percent are postponing their nuptials. Many are moving forward with their plans, but they’re making changes to help cut down on costs – wearing mom or grandma’s dress, trimming the guest list, skipping the favors, using recorded music instead of live, or booking a less popular day of the week or month to save money with all vendors.

If you’re looking to save money on your wedding music, but don’t want to eliminate the beautiful ambiance created by live musicians, consider these options:

  • Go solo. Instead of hiring multiple musicians to provide music for your wedding ceremony, hire a pianist or guitarist who can play all of the instrumental pieces AND accompany the vocalist. Bonus points if the instrumentalist can also sing the solos or lead the congregation.
  • Consider talented amateurs. Seek out musicians from a local college. They’re usually very talented, and they’re more likely to work for less than professional musicians. You might also consider asking your Uncle John to dust off his guitar, or inviting your sister to sing. Friends or family members may not deliver professional-quality performances, but it’ll be more meaningful to have someone special contributing the music for your big day — and it’ll also likely be free.
  • Reduce the amount of time your musicians play. Download classical preludes to play as your guests are being seated and after the ceremony, and hire the organist or ensemble to play only for the processional through the recessional.
  • Have viola, will travel. Really want live musicians at your ceremony and reception? Book a quartet or ensemble that’s willing to play in multiple locations in one day and have them play for the ceremony and then perform at the reception. You could save even more money by hosting the ceremony and reception in the same venue, transitioning seamlessly from one part of the day to the next. This may allow you to double up on some other vendor services as well, and eliminate several transportation costs and headaches.

While watching the bottom line, it’s important to keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better. Regardless of whether your wedding music providers are professionals or eager, young college students, be sure to audition them (via live or recorded performance) so you know exactly what you’ll be hearing on the big day. If you’re unsure about someone, ask for references.

Your wedding music is something that your guests are sure to remember long after they’ve forgotten what was served for dinner or what your dress looked like. Be sure to book live wedding musicians earlier rather than later to ensure enough time for them to rehearse your desired music selections.