Number cruncher: how much should you expect to spend on your wedding musical acts in Scotland?

Even if you’re just starting to plan your wedding, you probably have some idea of how much you’ll spend on big ticket items like the venue or your dress. But your music spending? That might be a little murkier. Olivia Simpson spoke to some of Scotland’s top wedding performers and asked them to break down their prices and packages

Sam MacAdam plays the harp in a garden setting
Sam MacAdam – Wedding Harpist specialises in ceremony music, but has packages to cover a range of occasions throughout the day (Photo: Mark Wild Photography)

Scott Barrie – Professional Piper

“My prices – £220 at the weekend and £175 midweek – include piping as the guests arrive, the couple’s entrance to the top table, the cake cutting, and my travel,” says Scott.

Skara Ceilidh Band

“Our fee would usually be £1,500,” says Mhairi Marwick from the band. “This is inclusive of a four-piece ceilidh band/DJ, accommodation, full PA/lights hire and insurance. Travel is largely covered, but longer distances may require further costs. The band consists of pipes/whistle, fiddle, guitar and drums, with an experienced caller who will make sure everyone knows what they are doing for the dances. Typically, we class an evening as 8pm – midnight.

“A bagpiper and a duo (usually fiddle and guitar) can be added onto our package to play at different stages of the day. We require a deposit of 25% of the total cost to secure the booking and the final balance is due one month before the wedding date.”

Three musicians from Amarone Music perform in a garden setting
Amarone Music typically perform as a three piece, but a fourth musician can be added (Photo: Gary Bonar Photography)

Amarone Music

“Our most popular package is our ceremony and drinks reception package, where we play from guests being seated for the ceremony through to the call to dinner,” says Amarone’s Siobhán Daly. “This includes three musicians (although a fourth can be added) and any special requests that aren’t already on our extensive song list. We take a £100 payment to secure the date, and the balance is due 28 days before the wedding. Prices start at £495 for our ceremony-only package, and may be subject to travel expenses depending on the location.”

Sam MacAdam Harpist

“I offer packages for throughout the day,” explains Sam. “These are priced at £290 for ceremony or drinks reception only; £390 for ceremony and drinks reception; £515 to play for ceremony, drinks and dinner. I would also charge additional travel costs. My ceremony performances start when guests take their seats and end when you leave as a married couple and can include all your own song choices, which don’t have to be from my song list.”

Craig Ward Piping

“Instead of offering packages, I work with couples to create options that best suit them,” enthuses Craig. “I love taking requests and playing tunes that are special to the couple. If I don’t know them already, I’ll happily learn them as long as there’s enough notice (I never charge more for this). I ask for a £50 deposit to secure the booking, with the balance due 14 days before the wedding.”

Craig Ward Piping leading a procession by a top table at a wedding venue
Instead of offering packages, Craig Ward Piping tailors his offerings to the couple