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Are you looking for live Portland wedding bands for your ceremony or reception?
I have compiled a list of the most popular live bands in the city that are available for weddings of all sizes. The best part is that I have worked with most of the bands listed in this guide and can vouch for all of them.
From discussing the benefit of a wedding band vs a DJ to costs and a breakdown of the best bands + ceremony musicians in Portland, this guide is your one stop shop for choosing live wedding music that will elevate your event to the next level!
If you have questions about the bands I list below or want to chat more about how live music is great for photography, please contact me! I would love to chat with you. Make sure to also check out my other guides that highlight the best Portland wedding dress shops and Portland wedding cakes for more planning inspiration!
Is a Live Portland Wedding Band Worth it?
The experience of live music at an event is so different from hearing recorded songs play through a sound system. While there are many amazing Portland wedding DJs, a live band can provide your guests with an unique and energizing environment that they will remember for a long time.
A great wedding band will set the mood for your whole event. Live musicians are able to keep guests engaged and dancing to keep the party going long into the night. Dancing and singing along to your favorite songs being sung live feels like you are at your own personal wedding day concert. Your friends and family will have so much fun at your wedding!
Another benefit of hiring a wedding band is that you often get more than just reception music when booking. Most bands offer MC services as well as add-ons for live music during your ceremony and cocktail hour.
While bands do have to take set breaks which can dampen the mood, the energy and togetherness that live music brings during the majority of your special day definitely outweighs the occasional 15 minute break.
Finally, live music adds an extra element of fun to your wedding photography and video. The energy that is created from live music cannot be matched and your dancing photos will be so fun! You really can’t go wrong incorporating live music into your wedding day.
What is the Cost of a Portland Wedding Band?
The most prohibitive aspect of hiring a Portland wedding band is generally the cost. According to Wedding Wire, the average couple spends $4,500 on a live wedding band. However, a live wedding band can range from anywhere close to $1,000 to upwards of $10,000 or more.
When choosing your wedding band it is really important to check reviews and get preferred vendor recommendations. Since you will be having real performers at your wedding you want to make sure that the band has worked at weddings and events before and is able to accommodate a wide variety of songs. Because of this, most bands will be more expensive than a DJ and it is probably not the best idea to hire the cheapest band that you can find.
Wedding bands cost more due to the amount of time they will be performing, how many musicians will be present, any travel costs and extra services you add on (like MC, ceremony or cocktail music, etc).
A great way to save money on a band is to use them for less time, get married during the off season and consider smaller bands that use less people and instruments.
Who are the Top Portland Wedding Bands?
Blue Wave Band – This awesome group is always a crowd pleaser. They offer live music options for every part of your wedding day and always have guests dancing all night long.
Dancehall Days – They always bring the party! I have never been to a wedding that didn’t love signing and dancing along to Dancehall Days.
Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos – A unique live option that includes dueling pianos. What is not to love!
Bigfoot Mojo – This band is really cool because they specialize in bluegrass and vintage swing music.
Pressure Point Band – This band has been in business a long time in Portland and is very reputable.
Malea & The Tourists – A great cover band with a lot of great music choices.
Design Band – They play a great mix of songs and are very professional. They also offer MC services and other add-ons.
Top Wedding Bands Outside of Portland
If Portland doesn’t have what you are looking for in live music for your wedding you can totally bring another band in from another part of Oregon or state. Here are a few that I have worked with who are worth the travel fees!
Matchmaker Band – Although they are based in Austin, TX I have had muliple clients fly Matchmaker Band to Portland for their wedding. Their energy is unmatched. They specialize in motown, RnB and modern dance floor classics and I cannot emphasize enough how amazing they are. Your guests will be dancing until the very last second of the last song with this band!
Precious Byrd – This band is based out of Bend but have been voted the #1 band in Oregon year after year for a reason. Guests love this group and always rave about how much fun they had at events Precious Byrd performs at.
Wedding Ceremony Musicians in Portland
Are you looking for live music only for your Portland wedding ceremony? Many of the bands listed above will provide ceremony and cocktail hour instrumentals and vocals. However, if you don’t have the budget for a large band or just want to use a DJ for your reception these musicians offer great options ranging from group ensembles, soloists and vocalists.
Duo Con Brio – A Portland Staple! Specializing in violins, violas and cello.
Vancouver String Quartet – This company offers quartets as well as duos and soloists.
Katie Jane Band – Katie specializes in the fiddle. A unique addition to your ceremony!
John Ross – This is a very established DJ company in Portland. They also offer live music as well.
Stumptown String Quartet – A great option for a Portland string quartet.
Melegari Chamber Players – This company offers string duos, trios and quartets.