Most people have never hired a Wedding DJ and have no idea of what questions they may/should ask prior to signing anything. Based on our experience and the recommendation of the American Disc Jockey Association, here are 10 questions for you to consider (our answers are provided so you can get a feel for our level of professionalism).
|1. Are you insured? Can you supply me with proof of liability insurance?
Yes! Many responsible business owners carry liability insurance to protect their businesses and the consumer. Many locations are beginning to require proof of liability insurance, ask for proof to protect yourself. All Colonial Disc Jockey’s receive a Certificate of Liability Insurance which can be used as proof. Colonial DJs carry $1 Million commercial general liability with $2 million aggregate coverage.
2. Will you be willing to play requests and discuss music ahead of time?
Yes! A versatile Disc Jockey is willing to listen to your suggestions, give you feedback and play from your desired song list. A professional Disc Jockey will also accept the fact you may not want certain songs played. A professional Disc Jockey cannot know everything about your musical preferences and entertainment needs without communication. Colonial DJ’s gives you the option of creating your music preference list on our interactive website prior to the event or your guests can make “on the spot” requests as long as it does not conflict with your musical preferences.
3. Do you use Professional Equipment?
Yes! Ask whether your prospective Disc Jockey works with professional audio equipment. If you are not sure, ask for their equipment list and check with a local music dealer or the A.D.J.A. to verify they are using professional-grade sound gear. Remember that professional gear does not guarantee an entertainer’s talent or service level, but is simply a tool for building an exceptional event. Colonial DJs only use professional grade equipment!
4. Do you provide backup equipment at my event? What if something happens to my DJ?
Yes! Colonial DJs are required to provide backup equipment in the event of failure. Although equipment failure is rare, do you really want your special occasion ruined because your Disc Jockey did not come prepared? It is also important to know if your Disc Jockey has a back-up plan in case of illness or an accident. Selecting a Disc Jockey who is an active member of the American Disc Jockey Association will provide you with the confidence that you have selected a trained professional. A.D.J.A. members are more likely to be involved with other Disc Jockey’s who can help them out with an unexpected situation. In the event something happens to your DJ, we will provide an equivalent or better DJ based on the package you picked.
5. Does the Disc Jockey know the proper etiquette for your type of party?
Yes! A professional Disc Jockey will assist you with the planning of your special day. Most professional entertainers will coordinate, emcee and provide the music that you desire. Ask if they have experience with your type of event. Colonial DJs are assigned to events for which they have been trained. We never place a DJ in a situation that he or she would not be able to perform!
6. How much time do you allow for set-up?
Punctuality is a necessity. Colonial DJs are expected to arrive at least one hour prior to the start time you’ve given them and should ideally be setup and in-place before your first guest walks through the door. Set-up depends on the type of function and equipment required. Larger parties usually require more equipment, load-in and set-up time.
7. Do you provide a written contract?
Yes! It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. Ask for a written agreement, especially if you are paying an initial retainer. Colonial DJs always provides a written agreement for each function. We require a signed agreement and retainer fee to secure your date. If you are expecting a specific entertainer, make sure you get it in writing as well. The DJ is assigned based on package, name request and availability. The DJ name normally appears on the agreement under “Assigned Entertainer.”
8. Will you be suitably dressed for our occasion?
Yes! Specify the type of apparel that your Disc Jockey is expected to wear for your occasion on your event planning form. Formal attire or coat & tie are the most popular forms of attire. If you are having a “themed” event, make sure your entertainer is informed. Colonial DJs will dress based on the type of function and the requirements of the customer. The DJ will ask you what is appropriate for your function.
9. Do you have a current business license and do you own your own music?
Yes! Colonial DJs own and operate fully licensed companies and are required to purchase their own music. This is important because any legitimate person operating a business should have a current business license and own their own music library that they purchased, not one that was copied or obtained illegally. Many DJs are starting to rely on “live music streaming” which is totally dependent on the Wi-Fi signal strength. If the signal is lost, reduced or degraded, your event may be dramatically impacted. If your DJ is live streaming music, ask him/her what their backup plan is in the event of lost Wi-Fi signal.
10. Do you belong to a professional organization or trade group?
Yes! Although belonging to an organization or trade group does not guarantee the talent or professionalism of a disc jockey, it may indicate the companies willingness to network, learn and grow. Disc jockeys can learn through local chapter meetings, national DJ conventions and seminars geared toward the entertainment professional.
Other Items to Note
Disc Jockey rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality.
Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $350.00 to over $5,000.00 with an average of $1,200.00 for a 4 hour booking. The best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. As a matter of fact, surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight.
A full-service disc jockey company will normally invest 12 to 30 hours to your special event but it may appear that you are only paying for “4 hours”. Consultations, music purchasing & editing, preparation, set-up and tear-down, education and other business related endeavors add up to the overall success of your special occasion.