When are ceilidh bands, jazz bands & string quartets cheapest?
So, to get back to your budget wedding and the things that you can do to control pricing. If you book your jazz band 9 months or a year ahead, most jazz bands will still be available. Those who are extremely good but don't charge quite so much I still there being offered. Very importantly, you are likely to find a jazz band that is relatively close to you who suit your needs. If they're close to you, travel costs are low, and you will know that the price of petrol and car maintenance and travel time, which has to be included in the price, can add substantially to the overall cost.
As you move close to your wedding day bands get booked, you have less choice, the lower cost bands or as some people think of it, the cheap jazz bands and cheap string quartets, become booked. You end up with only the more expensive groups still available and probably have to get a group that travel a significant distance, adding still more to the cost. This is under your control, this is about planning and thinking ahead.
Getting your live band at the lowest cost
Going back to the theme of supply and demand and products with infinite supply, which is what most of us are familiar with, we can get fooled into thinking that a barn dance band price is much like the price of a television set. You can buy a television set in the January sales, you can pick up cheap televisions set in the special offers before Christmas. There is an endless flow of TVs coming from Korea, Japan and China so the marketeers have to tempt the buyer with reduced prices. In the hotel business in countries where there's a huge supply of hotel rooms, such as in Spain, or where tourists stopped going, such as Tunisia, which is such a tragedy for the country, their economy and their people, then the closer you get to the date when you would go on holiday, the cheaper the prices are. They have to fill up their spare rooms somehow and it is a matter of contribution pricing.
Consider now a product that does not have Infinite supply such as airline seats. Ryanair is a master at this, but it does not just applied this airline. Buy your tickets months in advance and you get them for a few pounds. As seats get booked and their supply decreases the price is automatically raised. The brother and wife of one of my daughter in laws flew over from Canada to the UK for Christmas. Around Christmas and New Year prices for seats changed by £500 for each day closer to the major Travel days, increased upwards of course, not downwards as with TV sets or hotel rooms.
So don't expect to get cheap deals on bands as you get close to your wedding day. You won't pick up a cheap string quartet or a cheap jazz band the week before your wedding. Not that we indulge in Ryanair star style pricing. We don't.. We don't increase price for short term bookings, but importantly neither do we reduce them.
So what else can you do to get your budget under control? Go for a smaller band is one thing. A 6 piece jazz band is obviously a lot more expensive than a 3 piece Trio. It won't sound the same, but in many venues a large band can be quite overpowering and a smaller and conveniently less expensive jazzband can be much more appropriate. With a string quartet it's a little different. The instruments are relatively quiet and although you could conceivably go to a trio, there are not many trios about and sometimes it can be difficult to hear them above the surrounding charter of people. For a Ceilidh Band or barn dance band sound level isn't important, because they are amplified and if you're not loud enough you'll just turn up the amplifier. The difference between a small band and a bigger band is the tonality of the range of instruments and whether or not you have a bass guitar or double bass, which can make quite a difference to the rhythmic aspect of dancing.
So there you have it, it isn't just a matter of finding a cheap Ceilidh band or a low price string quartet or shopping around to get hundreds of quotations to try and get the lowest price. You have a lot of control over your budget and over the price of your live music group by applying a bit of logical advance planning and by thinking about where you want to spend your money well in advance to committing yourself irrevocably to the big outlays. Some of the most delightful and enjoyable weddings I’ve performed at have been a low-cost venues with simple food which hasn't cost an arm and a leg and lots of music for people to enjoy. After all everybody is used to eating food every day, everybody is used to being in buildings, whether it's a hotel or pub or their own house, everyday. But not many people are used to dancing to a live barn dance band or hearing a live string quartet. This is something very unusual and memorable for most people and can be well worth the cost of hiring a live music group or live band hand with judicious planning can even lower the cost of your wedding day.