Costs displayed in graph are based on spend from thousands of couples who recently reported pricing for this service within their WeddingWire review. Pricing varies based on factors including, but not limited to, vendor’s experience, level of expertise, event guest count, date, and geographic region.
While the cost of wedding ceremony music can vary widely depending on the type of musicians you choose, their level of expertise and a number of other factors, the average wedding musicians’ cost in the U.S. comes in at $500. Note that this cost is only an average and can increase or decrease depending on where you are in the country—the average wedding ceremony music cost in Atlanta, Georgia is $625 while the average cost in Portland, Oregon is $335. Wedding music prices for ceremonies have actually increased over the past few years, as couples are now focusing more on music and creating a unique and memorable experience for their guests.
The right wedding ceremony music can truly set the tone for the most important part of your big day. Whether you want your ceremony to be traditional and formal or modern and quirky, the music and musicians you choose will personalize your wedding even more—and it’s essential to hire professionals to ensure the day runs smoothly.
There are many different types and groupings you could choose—it all depends on your wedding venue, style, and budget. In general, there are a few options:
Be sure to consider your venue’s size and any space restrictions when selecting your ceremony musicians. If you’re getting married in a more intimate indoor venue, you might not be able to accommodate a large ensemble. On the other hand, if you’re marrying at a huge, grand venue, the music of a single musician might not create enough sound to fill the space, depending on the speakers and other audio equipment.
We recommend researching and booking your wedding ceremony music about 6 months before your wedding day. This will give you enough time to find the right pros.
There are several “musical moments” during your wedding ceremony where you’ll want to work with your music pros to choose specific songs. These include:
When it comes to choosing wedding ceremony music, there are lots of different songs to choose from, particularly for your processional and recessional. Your ceremony musicians will likely have a list of songs on their repertoire, but they may be able to learn a special song or two if you give them enough advanced notice.
Here are a few of our favorite wedding ceremony songs:
Of course, the more musicians who will be performing at your ceremony, the more you’ll pay. Typically, you will pay for the musicians’ time—meaning they will arrive with enough time to set up before your ceremony, play music for about 20-30 minutes before your ceremony, perform during your ceremony and during the recessional until your guests have exited. If you would like for your ceremony musicians to also perform during your cocktail hour, that’s an extra charge. Be sure to also factor in travel time—if your ceremony musicians are traveling a longer distance to be present at your ceremony, you may have to pay an additional travel fee.
If you’re getting married outdoors, your musicians may need amplification so that they can be heard. You can work with your ceremony musicians to arrange this amplification (usually a PA system with microphones and speakers)—but it may be an additional charge. You may need to provide your ceremony musicians with chairs to sit on (your venue can easily handle this), but they will probably bring their own music stands.
Be sure to factor tips into your ceremony music budget. Each musician should receive a gratuity of between $25 and $50. And don’t forget write an online review for your wedding musicians to help future clients find them.
If you’re getting married in a house of worship, an organist will likely be included with the wedding fee. Houses of worship may have specific rules as it pertains to live music and amplification, so it’s usually best to go with the provided musician if offered.
If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend hiring a soloist or duo as opposed to a larger ensemble. It’s a more cost-effective way to have live ceremony music without spending a huge amount.