What to ask your Wedding DJ
There are literally thousands of New Jersey and New York based DJs that specialise in providing wedding services, but how can you be sure you are selecting the best DJ for your wedding? These are the 40 most important questions to ask any professional disc jockey you are considering for your wedding, and will help you accurately gauge the professionalism, reliability, and honesty of any wedding DJ you are considering.
Do you offer a written contract?
Entertainment Explosion will provide you with a contract upon booking that will outline all the details of the event. The client must sign the contract and offer up a non-refundable deposit to hold the date. That said, we are a boutique agency and tend to be softies for rescheduling events if something serious comes up.
Who will be the DJ at our wedding?
This is the best question to ask your DJ. It’s obvious but you need to be careful. Many industries have been faded out due to larger corporations and chain establishments. The DJ business has not. Why? Because yes, you are booking a company, but the reality is you are booking a relationship with the individual who is working your event. Larger DJ companies are notorious for bait and switch. All we recommend is that you lock in who your entertainer will be and you deal directly with that person. There is no point in sending emails to a third party, especially when discussing specific details that relate to your event. Build the relationship with your entertainer. Entertainment Explosion will always specify who your entertainer will be. Sometimes acts of god can happen, but always be weary of bait and switch.
May we meet with you in person before we sign a contract?
Of course! We want to meet with you too. How else can we build a working relationship together? We want to know who we will be entertaining and try to understand the best ways to service you and your guests. So let’s meet up.
How long will you hold our date for us?
After initial phone contact or an in-person meeting, we are happy to hold a date for a week to give you a chance to make your decision. We will never attempt to pressure you with hard sales tactics but please understand that we can’t hold dates forever and certain dates tends to fill up very quickly.
How many weddings and events do you do each year?
We are a full-time entertainment company. We work events all year round, every week. That said, certain times of year are more popular for weddings such as spring and fall.
What makes you different from your competitors?
We take pride in our work. We enjoy what we do. We get to know our customers and their guests. We are available to our customers for phone and in-person meetings. We believe that every event is a personalized experience rather than a “gig”. We are fair, honest, and proud of what we do.
How much of a deposit is required to secure our date?
Deposit amounts will be discussed in detail during our initial conference. They tend to be 50% up front and the rest due in cash or certified check at the start of the event.
What is included in the cost of my event?
All pricing and packaging will be discussed ahead of time and detailed on your contract. In most instances we offer packages which will outline all included items. Additional services can include light shows, plasma tvs, photo booths, live performers, giveaways, facade choices etc.
What is your policy on overtime?
Overtime is always available for every event and standard overtime rates will be specified in your contract. Please let us know ahead of time if you are thinking of extending the event as it just helps to know in mapping out the performance.
Have you played at our venue before?
Experience is important, and so is familiarity with the venue. Every site poses different challenges – different load-in and security procedures, different room sizes and configurations, different acoustics, or electrical situations. We have played all the major venues and tend to know them all. But whether your venue is new or old, we always contact the event coordinator at the venue and discuss all specs well before the event date or even before we book the event. We are always happy to have a meeting at the venue if that makes you more comfortable.
How long have you been a DJ/MC and how many weddings have you done?
We enjoy the wedding business so much that this tends to be a favorite question. With over 15 years experience, it’s hard not to have a lot of great stories. Feel free to ask and laugh hard when we tell them. Experience is everything in the DJ business. Trends change all the time. Equipment changes all the time. But talent is talent and the best talent comes from experience. Anyone can know music but a wonderful DJ knows when and where to use that music. There is a huge difference. It’s the same idea with an MC. Polished MC skills come from experience which we have. Remember, It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
Do you act as the “emcee” and make all of the announcements?
Any professional wedding disc jockey or (working DJ for that matter) must be comfortable with making announcements and serving as the emcee for the event, it is a standard part of the job. We emcee all the events and we tell every client that the more personalized info you give us on your guests, the more we can personalize the emcee experience.
How would you define your “style” when making announcements?
Our answer is we are very flexible. We want to match our performance to your expectations. If you are planning an elegant event then we will be very classy and subdued on the microphone. If you want high energy, and a lot of party motivating, we will be more interactive and fun. Most events require a nice combination of both.
What if something happens to you and you can’t make it to the wedding?
Accidents do happen. If the DJ is injured or otherwise unable to perform on your wedding day, we always have a back up DJ available for any emergencies. That said, we have never had to use it.
Can we visit you at a performance?
Sometimes it’s possible, but for the most part, we’re sure that you wouldn’t appreciate a vendor inviting prospective clients to your wedding to see him in action. Video samples are always available.
May we speak to your references?
Yes, of course! References are available upon request.
What music do you have?
We subscribe to weekly music services for the most up-to-date music and our existing database has over 70,000 songs.
How involved can we be in selecting music for our event?
This is your event. You call the shots, we’ll execute. We can do it together or we can just follow orders. Requests are important but we would probably recommend a little flexibility on the night of. It’s typically impossible to dictate exactly how people will respond to every song. Strongly consider our 15 years of experience when we discuss playlists and such. We see a lot of events and tend to know what works best in every situation.
When do we need to submit our music requests and event details?
We ask that you submit all your requests and instructions about 10 days before the event. This gives us a few days to look it over and then let’s have one more phone or in person conference to confirm everything. Upon booking with us, we will email you a wedding form request
Do you take requests from our guests?
We are happy to take requests if you want us to.
Can we submit a “Do Not Play” list?
Sure! Knowing what you don’t want is just as helpful as knowing what you do want.
What should we know regarding Set Up?
We request that the venue be available to us up to two hours before the start time. We understand that this is not always possible but extra time is always better. There is no such thing as being late in this business. There is no margin for error in that department. We tend to be set up well before the start time. If you will not be there ahead of time, be sure to keep doors unlocked and hallways free from obstruction. If you have load-in instructions, please provide us with those.
What will the DJ wear to our wedding?
We will be in a black tuxedo unless you specify otherwise. If you have any color schemes that you want us to avoid because of conflict with the bridal party, just let us know. Please note that we often arrive to the event in comfortable but presentable clothes to allow for set up, but we will always be dressed in Tux by the time your guests arrive.
What do you require from us?
This should always be discussed ahead of time and will be detailed in your contract. The most common are adequate shelter, electricity, and a table for their equipment. Any outdoor events will require the client to obtain a suitable tent to protect the DJ and all equipment.
What are your meal or break requirements?
Typically food and refreshments are provided to the DJ and staff. It is in our contract but we would never hold you to it if it was an issue. There are breaks in the DJ business. Obviously an entertainment may step out to use the restroom but no formal breaks are required.
Are you insured and licensed?
We are members of NAME (National Association of Mobile Entertainers) as well as several other local and national business affiliations such as NACA and APCA. We and are fully licensed and insured.
What kind of equipment do you use?
We will not bore you with specifics, (if you want to talk specifics, just ask) but rest assured that we use the most cutting edge sound equipment and lighting effects on the market. All our equipment is covered with professional hard cases. We will always have a wireless microphone for every occasion. We also have CD and ipod/aux input if there is a rare song you want us to play. We always have back up equipment available as well.
If you are looking for a New Jersey or New York based Wedding DJ, look no further than Entertainment Explosion!