Your Guide to Hiring a Mariachi Band for Your Wedding

A lively mariachi band adds a festive touch to any celebration.
Heather Bien - The Knot Contributor.
Heather Bien
Heather Bien - The Knot Contributor.
Heather Bien
The Knot Contributor
  • Heather contributes wedding, honeymoon, travel and relationship content for The Knot and WeddingWire.
  • Heather also writes for publications including Apartment Therapy, StyleBlueprint, MyDomaine, HelloGiggles and The Everygirl.
  • She holds a degree in Art History and Architectural History from the University of Virginia.
Updated Apr 02, 2024

Mariachi is one of the most instantly recognizable musical traditions with its lively beats, memorable harmonies and glittering costumes. But it's also a Mexican wedding tradition that is beloved by couples looking to set the stage for an upbeat and fun wedding reception.

"A mariachi band wedding brings a delightful fusion of cultures and vibrant Latin melodies," says Sarah Klingman, Founder & CEO at Mostest. "Many Latin couples choose to honor their roots by incorporating mariachi bands into their weddings, particularly during the cocktail hour."

This classic Mexican folk music has roots dating back to the 16th century as the indigenous and Spanish cultures merged into new traditions. By the 1860s, it had become commonplace at Mexican weddings, and, by the 1920s, the Mexican government looked to promote this musical custom as a core tenet of the country's culture.

Today, the sight of a mariachi band is associated with laid-back celebrations filled with the sounds of harmonious voices, guitars, trumpets, violins, trumpets, vihuelas and guitarróns. And, at weddings of Latin couples or couples celebrating in a locale that fits with mariachi, a talented mariachi band is the perfect festive touch.

Ready to start your search for the perfect mariachi band for your celebration? You can search mariachi bands by region on The Knot Vendor Marketplace.

In this article:

Do Mariachi Bands Play at Weddings?

A spirited mariachi band is a joyful addition to a wedding, and they have a rich history of performing at celebrations going back over a century. "Mariachi creates a lively atmosphere, and their performance, often scheduled during the cocktail hour or at the start of the reception, warmly transitions guests from ceremony to celebration," explains Klingman.

Mariachi bands are most often seen at weddings in Mexico or with a connection to Mexican heritage, though any fan of Latin music can incorporate this tradition into their big day. The sound of classic mariachi songs instantly puts guests into a celebratory mood, though the songs can range from the well known upbeat tunes to slower, more romantic melodies.

How Long Should a Mariachi Band Play at a Wedding?

How long the mariachi band plays at your wedding depends on when they hit the "stage," but typically a set will last between 30 minutes and two hours. Mariachi is often just one part of the larger musical lineup throughout the evening.

If the mariachi band is serving as a transition between the ceremony and the party, then a 30-minute set could be a perfect warm and lively welcome to the celebration. They'll play timeless mariachi songs while guests find their way into the reception location and grab their first cocktail.

In other cases, a mariachi band playing through cocktail hour could have a one hour set, which is then followed by another band or DJ at the reception, for example, a bilingual DJ to continue the Latin influence. If the mariachi theme is carried throughout the entire evening, then a band playing through the reception could be two to even three hours.

How Much Is a Mariachi Band for a Wedding?

The cost of a mariachi band for a wedding will vary on how long they're playing and whether the band is in demand. If it's just a short 30-minute set between the ceremony and cocktail hour, it could be charged hourly at $350 to $650 an hour. If it's a longer set throughout the reception, it may cost $3,000 to $4,000.

You should plan to tip each member of the mariachi band, though it is not required. A generous tip is $25 to $50 to each person in the band.

How to Find a Mariachi Band for Your Wedding

Not sure where to start in your search for a lively Mariachi band? The Knot Vendor Marketplace lets you find mariachi bands in your region by entering your wedding location, then filtering "Music Genres" to "Mariachi."

If you find a mariachi band that looks like the right fit for your wedding, hurry up and snag them! Bands and other music professionals typically book nine months to a year out.

Mariachi Band Wedding Songs

If you plan on having a mariachi band play for a short interlude as the evening transitions from ceremony to celebration or throughout the cocktail hour, you'll need roughly an hour of songs chosen. Most mariachi bands know the drill, and they'll come prepared with a set list of wedding ready songs. But, if you want a few ideas to guide you, these are a few of the most beloved mariachi love songs.

  • "Hermoso Cariño," Vicente Fernández
  • "Volver, Volver," Vicente Fernández
  • "Sabes una Cosa," Luis Miguel
  • "En Tu Pelo," Javier Solís
  • "La Mitad Que Me Faltaba," Alejandro Fernández
  • "Paloma querida," José Alfredo Jiménez
  • "Sin Que Lo Sepas Tu," Vicente Fernández
  • "Serenata Sin Luna," Pedro Infante
  • "Amanecí en Tus Brazos," José Alfredo Jiménez
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