|BOOGIE ON A BUDGET - THE FRUGAL BRIDE'S GUIDE TO WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT
Every bride worth her weight in tulle knows - when all is said and done – your guests may not quite recall the centerpieces, but all will remember whether (or not) they had a good time. That elusive “fun factor” rides undeniably on the quality of your wedding entertainment. Of course, like everything having to do with weddings, the high price tag of wedding entertainment can intimidate the budget conscious bride. We don’t recommend sacrificing the vibe in the name of savings, so we’ve uncovered some creative budget saving tips that will ensure your guests dance the night away:
DJ Vs. Band
It’s the age-old argument, but when it comes to your entertainment budget – the DJ usually wins the price war (unless of course DJ AM is on your vendor list). That said, if your ideal wedding reception includes drums and a wedding singer, you can still fit live music into your budget. Limit the number of pieces in your band, and save about $150 per musician. Or hire a band for cocktail hour and the first dances, then switch to a DJ for the final foot stomping moments of your reception – a budget-friendly best of both worlds!
Be an Off-Peak Bride
A wedding does not necessarily have to take place on a Saturday night in the spring or summer, and if you're willing to be flexible with your date and time, you can drastically cut the costs of almost all wedding services - including wedding music. Most bands and DJs offer discounts for off-peak times.
Beware the Overtime
Most entertainment books for a four hour time block. Think your reception might run longer? Book ‘em for five, and be on the safe side. An extra hour of wedding music in advance is usually cheaper than a steep overtime fee
Ceremony musicians can tack on an extra $500-$1000 to your entertainment costs. Consider some musical alternatives, and pocket the extra cash. If your ceremony site boasts a respectable sound system, round up some classical CDs and someone reliable to cue the music – and voila – instant background music. Or better yet, ask a talented friend or family member to perform during the ceremony (a perfect job for that cousin you couldn’t quite squeeze into your wedding party). You’ll cut costs and give a special person a significant role on your special day.
Check out local universities for qualified and inexpensive musicians. Music professors and department heads can recommend the best students in the program. We do say this with caution – because a bad band can kill the party. Talented amateur musicians do exist, but be sure to hear them in person before making the hire.
For more inpiration on planning your wedding entertainment, visit our complete Wedding Music Planning Guide