FAQ's & More
How to Choose a DJ or Disc Jockey Service
Who would have thought that choosing a dj would be so difficult? Since there is no formal schooling or licensing needed to call oneself a dj, leaves the door open for anyone to call themselves a dj. Add the fact that the advancement of technology, downloading, computers, ipods, etc., entry level equipment is available to anyone.
So what does one do, what are the things to think about when you are ready to make a choice that will have a huge impact on one of the most important days of your life? First, take a deep breath and relax. This is written to help you sift through the fluff and unimportant selling points that many djs use.
Personality and style is very important. Is the person interested in you and your wedding or just the booking? Are they attentive to detail and have a good grasp of the English language? Do they have a style and image that feels comfortable to you?
Experience and professionalism are important. Like mentioned earlier, anyone can call themselves a dj, it’s that easy. You may want to know how long your dj has been in business. Do they have insurance? Do they attend trainings and workshops to upgrade their skills? In most professions in this day and age, continued education is mandatory, not optional. A dj calls him/herself a professional; shouldn’t he/she have the same standards?
Don’t get caught up in the bigger and better hype. Many djs sell their show based on how many songs they have in their libraries and how many watts their system is. Do you really care? What matters is playing the right song at the right time to create the atmosphere you desire. Very few people besides another dj will care how big a system one has, as long as the components are professional and the dj carries back-up is what matters.
Pricing is always an important consideration. To address this, read the following recent survey regarding "Post Wedding Statistics" from St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine:
During wedding planning, Brides say their highest priority is their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer - reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities. Within one week after their reception, 78% of Brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority!
72% of all brides surveyed say they should have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment. Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
The Truth about DJ Pricing
How much is a professional Disc Jockey's service really worth?
A recent bridal survey said that before the wedding, the entertainment usually fell to the bottom of the budget priority list and was considered one of the smallest expenditures, yet after the wedding, most surveyed brides wish they had spent more and made entertainment one of their highest priorities. Why do you think that happened?
Unless you have actually experienced mediocre or even disastrous wedding entertainment, many people make the mistake of thinking that it is “just the music”, all entertainers are the same and that a cheaper priced DJ is a better value for their money. Again, this is a big mistake!
Entertainment is a talent-based service and each Disc Jockey entertainer will bring a different level of talent, quality of service, experience, and expertise to your wedding day. Some entertainers DO an outstanding job at creating a fun, memorable, and worry-free celebration…unfortunately, the reality is that many DO NOT. Using price as a major consideration for hiring your entertainer will usually lead you to the latter.
In order to find the best fit for what you are looking for in a highly skilled entertainment professional, first realize that you need more than “just the music”! For a smooth flow of events, skillful and timely announcements, an atmosphere filled with fun and unique memories with perfectly placed musical selections, there will be a much greater need than “just the music”…a considerable amount of time will be needed to pre-plan the day’s details, complete coordination with your other vendors is a must, and to act as an energetic, articulate Master of Ceremonies to fill an overall leadership role for your party will be vital.
Since the entertainment you choose will have a profound and direct effect on the successful and memorable outcome of your wedding day celebration, it would be in your best interest to dig much deeper into the quality of service you receive, opposed to simply deciding based on price alone.
1. How early should we book you?
There are obviously busier times of the year than others. I take some bookings 2 years in advance and some last minute. A good rule of thumb is to book as early as possible.
2. What is the deposit and when is final payment due?
Typically a $250 retainer is due with the signed contract and final payment is due the day of the event, prior to the start of the event preferably. Money orders, cashier's checks, certified checks, cash or personal checks.
3. What kind of sound & lighting equipment do you use?
Only the highest quality commercial grade sound application & lighting equipment will be used at your event such as Denon, Bose, Chauvet.
4. Will the music be really loud?
I strive for the best possible sound at the appropriate level. During dinner the music will sound great even at a lower level and during dancing a more intense full sound directed toward the dance floor.
5. Do you provide a contract?
Yes, all the terms and conditions will be clearly stated.
6. What will you wear?
The dress depends on the event and your wishes. Anything from a formal tuxedo, suit & tie to a floral shirt & shorts, depending on your attire request.
7. Do you handle all the announcing duties?
Yes, all your announcing needs will be handled professionally without any undue chatter and to your specifications.
8. Are you Insured?
Yes, I am insured and will provide a copy of the policy upon request.
9. Do you provide backup equipment?
Yes, most events I tow a trailer with backup equipment.
10. How is music and planning handled for my event?
I make it fun and easy for you... My entire library is available to you on my site and you are able to select songs for your "Must Play", "Play if Possible" and "DO NOT play" list. I will suggest popular songs along with your selections. Music requests from your guests are also welcome the day of the event if you choose.
11. How much music do you bring?
I offer an extensive and diverse music library that contains all different styles and types of songs from the 50’s & 60’s to today’s hottest hits. You can search my entire music database of over 500,000 songs and create your own music request and do-not-play lists.
12. Do you offer free online planning?
Yes! To plan your event online, go to the Online Event Planning page and choose your type of event from the selection of planning forms. Just input all the information about your party on the form and get organized! You can pick music you would like, indicating songs that are “Must Plays” and also songs that are definite “Don't Plays”. The planning forms help you organize the party and I will work off of it during the event. If you need help with your planning. I am available for consultation as much as necessary leading up to your party - in person, online or by phone.
13. Do you have to tip the DJ?
Adding a gratuity to the final payment is entirely up to you. It is a very nice way of saying thank you for the great job! But in no way are you obligated to tip. Usually 10-20% of total when done.
14. Do you have to Feed the DJ?
You are not required to provide food for the DJ although it is a nice and welcomed gesture. It is a long day for me too.
15. When do you get to the event?
This depends on the package or options you choose. But generally, I like to arrive and set up at least 2 hours before the start time to ensure that everything is working properly and also have time to review the party plans. Setup time and breakdown time are NOT something that you pay for.
16. Do you take breaks?
You will receive non-stop continuous DJ services and music for the length of your party. That is a big difference between DJ’s and Bands.
17. Who will I get for a DJ?
I own Absolute Entertainment and perform at every event. During the entire process, including your wedding day, I will be there for you.
18. What area do you provide your service and how far will you travel?
Absolute Entertainment covers the greater Springfield, MA area. However, I do travel outside of this area to perform at events. Travel charges and/or lodging may be required for venues more than an hour away.
19. Will you work with my other vendors?
Absolutely. I will work very closely with your banquet manager, photographer, videographer and any other vendors you have at your event to ensure we are all working from the same script. I will coordinate with all of them so you can relax and enjoy your day instead of being asked the same questions over and over from every vendor. I am not just a DJ...I am an entertainer/event coordinator.
Please do not hesitate to call or email me with any other questions you have or to set up a FREE NO Obligation consultation.