I've been to a few weddings recently where the couple used an iPod for the music or asked a friend to DJ for them. They were great: the couple got the tracks they wanted and they saved money too. But I still think live music, if you can afford it, can add an extra-special element to your day.

Brides readers spend around £630 on their musical entertainment*, which made me wonder what kind of acts you can get for your cash, so I spoke to David Bevan at entertainment agency, Alive Network (www.alivenetwork.com). Rock and pop bands, he says, are the top choice for live music at weddings, but you'll need big bucks: think £1,000-£1,500 for a four-piece band.
Jazz and swing bands are second favourite, followed by solo and duo acts. The good news is these options are easier on the wallet: if Rat Pack is your thing, a solo jazz and swing singer will set you back from around £480 (or £1,400-plus with a band), and if your music tastes are more Stones than Sinatra, expect to pay from £250 plus travel for a solo guitarist and vocalist.

So don't worry if that rock band you have your heart set on is way out of your budget; there are plenty of other live music options to choose from. Failing that, you'll just have to keep your eyes peeled for a local upcoming band or great busker! 

*According to the Brides Reader Survey 2009