How Do We Save Money On Our Cocktail Hour Music?

cocktail hour playlist
Photo by Arte De Vie

Q: I’d love to hire a 3-piece band to play during our outdoor cocktail hour, but our budget is pretty much maxed out. What are our options?-Lesley

A: While I think your cocktail hour music should be fun and lively, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make it happen! You have a couple of options, each of which should save you¬†hundreds.

Option 1: Use Your Wedding Ceremony Musicians

If you’ve already hired musicians to play during your ceremony, the best option is to see if they can extend their time by an hour (so they’d be at your wedding between 2-3 hours). Most ceremony musicians offer package deals of a couple hours, so it shouldn’t be TOO much of an added expense. If your musicians are set to play classical music during the ceremony, talk to them about how they might be able to switch it up during the cocktail hour. Or, if you really want, say, a bluegrass band to play your cocktail hour, see if they might be able to do their own take on classical music for your ceremony, too.

Option 2: Make Your Own Cocktail Hour Playlist

This is another great option, and one that I used for my own wedding. I knew I wanted a blues-y cocktail hour soundtrack, so I used some of my favorite blues songs and also researched new ones I loved as well. I made a CD of the playlist and gave it to our DJ to play during the cocktail hour. (I also made these our wedding favors! More on how we made our Mix CD wedding favors here.) Our Cocktail Hour Playlist is below!

When it comes to your Cocktail Hour Playlist, don’t overthink it, and definitely don’t go overboard when it comes to your budget for it. You’ll want it to be pure background music, and definitely not something that will be distracting while guests are trying to mingle…so don’t spent too much money OR time on it!

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