Economy Impacts Wedding Entertainment


Today's budget-conscious couples are finding new, creative ways to entertain their wedding guests, according to data collected from 13,000+ couples who booked their wedding entertainment in 2008 and 2009 with Internet's #1 entertainment booking service, with the largest database of client-rated performers in North America).

These tough economic times require couples to seek more variety, performers to be more versatile, and weddings to be more unique.says GigMasters co-founder Kevin Kinyon. For better or worse? I say, for better.

The average amount couples spend on their wedding entertainment has dropped to $749 in 2009, compared to $816 in 2008. The range continues to be wide, from $10,000+ for a high-end, 10-piece traditional wedding band to under $500 for a solo musician. DJs continue to be a popular choice with bookings up 8% this year, costing on average $549.

2009 Highlights

  • MORE VARIETY: This year, 17% more brides and grooms-to-be have booked variety acts, like Elvis impersonators, magicians, and belly dancers, to perform at their wedding receptions. Also, tribute acts, like those that pay homage to Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and Bob Marley, are up 45%, saving couples, on average $500. ($2,000 average for traditional wedding band vs. $1500 for tribute band).
  • MORE VALUE: In an attempt to get the most value out of every wedding dollar spent, brides and grooms are asking their reception entertainment to break down into smaller solo and ensemble acts for the ceremony and cocktail hour. This is typically more cost-effective than hiring separate performers for each part of the wedding day.
  • MORE INTIMACY: As the size of the average wedding guest list continues to shrink, more couples are opting for smaller, more intimate music. Solo acts, like acoustic guitarists and harpists, are up 44% this year. (According to the Wedding Report, Inc. the average guest list in 2009 is 139, compared to145 in 2008; 166 in 2007.)
  • MORE RESEARCH: notes a rise in comparison shopping for entertainment. 20% more engaged couples have used this year vs. last to research and book their wedding entertainment, with each couple receiving an average of 5.4 comparative price quotes from various performers.

About the data:

13,029 couples booked their wedding entertainment with since January 1, 2008 — across all 50 states. The data points referenced herein are based on these bookings, and compare 2009 with 2008.© is the #1 online entertainment booking service, guiding party planners and hosts to the right entertainment for every event. With the Internet's largest nationwide database of client-rated performers for live music and variety entertainment, this Redding, CT-based business boasts a database of over 6,000 performers including live bands, wedding musicians, party DJs, impersonators, hypnotists, stand-up comedians, jazz trios, bagpipes, string quartets, soloists and more. has helped facilitate more than 50,000 bookings since its inception in 1997, including over 12,000 thus far in 2009. The site, which was founded by Kevin Kinyon and Michael Caldwell, attracts 20,000 daily visitors*, throughout North America. is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, TRUSTe, and is also a VeriSign Secured website. For more information, please visit

*Source: Google Analytics