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How to pick your wedding music (John Legend costs HOW much?)

The soundtrack to your wedding is a powerful tool. It can make people cry; it can make them dance; it can make them reminisce or indeed it can create entire new associations with memories of your day (like how every time we hear Green Day's Basket Case, we are transported back to a very specific moment in our teens best not discussed online!).

Your music can shape the mood, theme and atmosphere of your day, so choosing a band or singer that really gets the mood you're going for is essential. 

Choosing the right band or singer often ends up being the most time-consuming part of the planning process, so make sure you begin the hunt early - we recommend at least six months to a year before your ceremony (more if they're super popular and likely to be booked up ahead of time!). You will always remember good wedding music, so think about your own experiences - do you remember being moved by a particular song or musical style? Your own memories can help give pointers, even if you don't book the exact same crew.

Word of mouth is priceless when it comes to a wedding band. Ask around (newlyweds are a brilliant source) and search online forums to get an idea of how they are rated. While recommendations are invaluable, we definitely recommend seeing the singer(s) in all their glory before you let them loose on your own stage. Ask for a preview, or even to briefly attend one of their "gigs" to get a true sense of what kind of atmosphere they create. Just be sure to clear it with the bride and groom first!

Alternative wedding music is becoming increasingly popular, so don’t be afraid to mix things up by introducing some jazz, swing, blues, or even salsa. Guests will love the break from the ordinary and it'll ensure a memorable celebration!

Check out your band or singer's range, too; if you're sticking with one set of performers for the evening, you want to know that they can get people off their feet as well as setting the mood for your first dance as a newlywed couple and for the all-important father-daughter dance!

We recently asked our Facebook fans what music they wanted at their ceremonies, and the forerunner isn't a huge surprise: John Legend's All of Me came out top for first dance songs and for the song people wanted to walk down the aisle to!

So, just for fun, let's talk dream budgets: how much would you have to set aside for your dream performer?


John Legend $150,000-$200,000

Coldplay $750,000-plus

Josh Groban $350,000-$500,000

Madonna $1 million-plus

Christina Perri (whose Thousand Years came in a close second as first-dance song of choice!) $20,000-$35,000

Walk Off the Earth (the world's best cover band, hands down!) $20,000-$30,000

Foreigner $40,000-$50,000

Check out Princeonomics' full list of big-ticket artists and their even bigger prices!


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