TIPS FOR HIRING A DJ
Prompt return of your phone calls or Emails.
You should expect to get a call back or an Email back within 24 hours. The only exception may be weekends when most DJ’s are performing.
Is the price too good to be true?
It seems that the DJ is often the last service chosen, after much of the budget is expended on a venue, food and clothing. This often leads brides and party planners to shop for the cheapest price possible because of a lack of resources. This often backfires when holding out for the lowest price. However, if you have adhered to the guiding principals noted here, you will know to avoid services that have a rock bottom price because they will not be able to display the level of quality and attention to detail that EVERY client deserves!
Does the DJ use professional grade equipment?
If the DJ does not have pictures of his or her gear, you should ask to set up a time to see the equipment or see pictures of the DJ’s set up. The DJ should be able to tell you what he/she uses and characterize the equipment as professional grade.
Will the person that you interview be the person that will perform at your event?
This is THE most common complaint about the DJ industry today. The person you meet turns out NOT to be the person that actually does your show. Often, you are not made aware of this. Ask the DJ you interview if he/she will be the actual person performing, or will someone else perform the event. You need to know this UP FRONT before you sign a contract. At 3rd Coast Entertainment, the DJ that you meet with in the initial consultation will be your DJ.
Willingness to meet with you and present his/her service
Will the DJ try to meet with you soon, or is he/she just trying to book the date sight unseen? Is their material neat and professional looking, and is their presentation organized and informative?
Do you LIKE the person that shows up?
There is NOTHING worse in the world than having to do business with someone you do not like. Choosing the person who “feels” right is the most important factor in picking the right entertainer for your party or reception. The DJ you choose should be very open about what he/she can do for you and should volunteer information and show you that knowledge base.
Does the DJ have a music list that shows you what sort of music he or she has available?
In some fashion, you the client, need to be assured that the DJ you hire not only has a sizable collection, but has a variety of music, especially for wedding receptions, where many different styles of music and guests will be in the same room together.
Will the DJ offer to meet with you AFTER signing the contract to plan your event?
A professional DJ is ALWAYS willing to discuss your event at any time before the event starts, and should display the flexibility to accommodate changes and help you solve problems. Meeting or phone conferencing your DJ to plan your event is of paramount importance to a successful event such as a wedding reception.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A DJ / HOW MANY WEDDINGS HAVE YOU DJD?
It depends on who your DJ is. Make sure to ask!
WHEN SHOULD WE BOOK A DJ?
A good time frame would be 6-9 months before the event, although many of our DJs are now booking a year or more in advance. We do have DJs usually open for last minute
DO YOU DRINK ALCOHOL AT THE EVENTS?
Absolutely not. Drinking alcohol at any event is not allowed for any employee of 3rd Coast.
HOW DO YOU DRESS FOR THE EVENT?
All of our DJs wear professional attire.
WILL THE DJ PLAY OVERTIME IF NEEDED?
Absolutely. The charge is $150 per hour to be paid at the end of the event.
DO I TIP THE DJ?
We do not include gratuity on the contract, but 10-20% is recommended if you feel the DJ did a fantastic job. The decision is totally up to you.
WHAT ARE YOUR PAYMENT TERMS?
We ask for a 50% non-refundable deposit on all of our services. Final payment is due 1 weeks before your event.
CAN WE BRING OUR OWN MUSIC FOR THE DJ TO PLAY?
Sure, but we would like to get the mp3 file a week or more before the event! Also, make sure to consider your entire audience when submitting songs.
WILL THE DJ PLAY REQUESTS?
DJs do take requests that don’t go against any of your special wishes for your event and that are appropriate for the particular occasion.
DO YOU HAVE A BACKUP PLAN IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG?
All employees of 3rd Coast will know the other DJ's schedules and will be able to react in the event that something goes wrong. We always have backup cables and equipment available.
DO YOU CARRY LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Yes, we do! We want everyone to have a good, safe time.
DO YOU USE A CONTRACT?
Of course! It’s a simple two-page document that protects the client and us.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CANCEL?
The deposit is non-refundable and if you cancel within 60 days of the event, you would owe us the balance.
HOW MUCH IS YOUR RETAINER?
50% of the total
HOW MUCH DO YOU COST?
That totally depends on how long you need us and what add-on's you need. We hope that you’ll contact us so that we can find out more about your event.
The following 12 tips are essential for every bride and groom in the planning phase of their reception. By following this advice (most of which you have probably never even thought of) you are insuring yourself a great reception!
Don’t “micro-manage” the timeline. Give us the details, but let us use our experience when it comes to the day of. What we really need to know is the order of events, not necessarily the exact times.
Whatever the newlyweds do, the guests are going to do. If the hosts are outside talking for the majority of the reception, most of the guests are going to be out there too. If they are on the dance floor, that’s where you’ll find the guests.
Do not place your DJ in some out of the way corner, they need to be easily seen, and really need to see the dance floor to keep the crowd moving.
Darker is better than lighter for dancing. No one wants anyone to see them dance. A well lit dance floor is always less filled than one that is dimmed and romantic.
The bars should always be in the main reception room. If possible, the bars should be near the dance floor, but not in a way that the lines at the bar interfere with the dance floor. The same goes for dessert stations.
Do not seat your older guests in front of your DJ’s speakers. The farther away from the DJ, the more enjoyment they will have.
A party should end when it shouldn’t end… not when it has to. Ending a party just before it dies down leaves your guests wanting more and they will always remember a packed dance floor.
Keep in mind your audience (guests) when making your playlist. Just because you like obscure 80’s New Wave Pop doesn’t mean that everyone at the reception does.
If you have to cut corners, don’t compromise on the entertainment. Your DJ affects everyone in the room and can make or break the evening.
If you are going to have alot of kids at your wedding, offer them something to do. Have balloons on their chairs and “busy” packets at their table with crayons, coloring books, puzzles, etc. You could even set up a DVD player and TV in a corner.
When picking your music, don’t overdo it. Pick 20 or so songs that you really want to hear and some that you really don’t, and then leave the rest up to us. We can fill in the blanks.