Interview as many DJs as it takes to find one that you’re really excited about. I won’t be the best fit for everyone and that’s fine with me. Rather than try to book any and every event, I prefer to do fewer events and know that they're each going to be raging successes. For engaged couples, the best advice I can give you is to try to make the planning process enjoyable. Use it as a way to learn to more about yourselves as a couple and the ways you make decisions together. Make an evening of it interviewing a DJ (or any vendor) and then go out to dinner and talk about what you liked or didn’t like about them. Interview as many vendors as you need to until you feel great about one.
I meet with you in person at least once for as long as we need to. We'll talk about your overall vision for your evening and how the music fits in with that. From this, we’ll draw up a comprehensive itinerary that will include the music, announcements and the flow of all the elements of the event. (Many couples tell me this meeting was some of the most fun they had in all their wedding planning.) Then, I enter this information into your personal on-line site and you can make any adjustments or tweaks that you think might be helpful.
Yes. Unless you request otherwise, I expect to handle all the introductions and other announcements. Behind the scenes, I’m usually working in close coordination with the caterer, photographer and other vendors, to ensure that the itinerary stays on track and that we help keep the evening flowing smoothly. I am a master at reading a crowd and understanding whether they need a little more time to mingle or whether they are getting restless for the next stage.
This can vary depending on the event, but my general MC philosophy is to serve as a host, make sure that your guests feel welcomed and involved. I am friendly and outgoing when I speak. But the night is not about me and I don’t feel a need to be the center of attention. This is YOUR special day, not mine. So you'll never hear me talking just because I really like my own voice. However, I’m a skilled and confident speaker, who has even MC'd at the Comedy Underground in Seattle. So if the groomsmen need some cajoling to get out on the dance floor, or a table needs to be reminded to get to the buffet, I can make these announcements with humor and good taste.
Within your on-line website, you'll have access to an on-line database of 70,000 songs. Usually, it works best if you give me a list which includes “must play” songs, “if possible” songs and “do not play” songs. We can create these lists when we meet, but because it's on-line, you can also do it whenever the mood strikes you.
That’s pretty rare. But in that instance, I will simply buy it from Amazon, iTunes or the Zune Marketplace..
Oh yes. Requests are a fun way to involve the attendees in your event. In fact, one of the most popular ideas now is to encourage your guests to make their own requests on-line prior to your event. (You can see the "guest login" at the top of each page on my site.) That helps them really feel like a part of the reception. If a song seems inappropriate or not a good fit for what you’ve requested, I’ll talk to the person and try to get another idea from them.
I’ll say it as diplomatically as I can (you are the customer after all), but I’ll definitely give you candid advice based on my experience and professional opinion.
I’ll play it. No question.
If you add them to your “Do Not Play” list, I’ll definitely honor that. But I don’t recommend banning every single novelty song. They are tools in a DJ’s arsenal that can be effective if used judiciously. If you’ve got a reception with a bunch of kids, for instance, playing Y.M.C.A. might be THE song that gets them and their parents out there.
Yes. Especially if the ceremony and reception are at the same place. I have two separate sound systems for this very purpose. If the events are at separate venues, it is more of a challenge, but it still may be possible depending on timing, transportation, venue setup and other such issues.
Generally, I coordinate this with the people at your venue, but one 6-foot banquet table with linen is fine.
I look at the big picture and do anything I can to make sure that all your professionals have a successful day. I help the photographer by positioning the toasts where the light is best. If the caterer needs some extra time to pour the champagne, I’ll play an additional pre-toast song. Being calm in the midst of chaos is a fundamental element of my personality, so it’s nice to be able to alleviate stress where I can.
I am a baseball nut, so if there’s a baseball component to your event, I would be a good person to talk to. (My wife walked down the aisle to the theme from “The Natural.”) Also, if you are a Springsteen fan, we will have a strong bond.
I arrive around 2-3 hours prior to the event to set up my equipment and make adjustments for optimal sound performance before any guests arrive. This also allows me to review your itinerary with other vendors in case there are any last-minute changes.
I use professional, high-end equipment for the best quality sound and reliability. My main music source is a specially-configured Toshiba Qosmio laptop with two harddrives, including an internal 1.5-terabyte with 60,000 songs. Much of my music is ripped at full quality (lossless) from CDs that I own, so the sound is terrific and exactly that of a CD. Being computerized allows me to be extremely quick and responsive as I queue up the next song or search for requests. My mixer is the Denon DN-MC600 and I keep looking neat in a case by Odyssey. My main speakers are Bose L1 and my supplementary ones are from the British company Wharfedale. For ceremonies (or when I'm integrating live instruments into my system), I use a Mackie 1202-VLZ4 mixer. As for mics, I use have a pair of Sennheiser Wireless Lapel mics that I typically put on the officiant and the groom for the ceremony and a pair of Sennheiser hand held mics for readings, annoucements and toasts. I travel with a backup system, so I’m prepared in case of any unforeseen circumstance.
The short answer is as soon as you know you'd like me to be your DJ. I book my dates months in advance and popular dates – such as summer Saturdays -- book up quite quickly. However, if you are looking for something on short notice, it is still worth contacting me. I may be available or would be happy to refer you to another local professional.
If you commit either verbally or via email, I will hold your date for 10 days and send you a contract signed by me. Then, a $200 non-refundable deposit will reserve your date. The remainder is due on or before the day of the event.
I accept cash, checks, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard and American Express. You can make on-line payments through your custom website.
Yes. In addition to weddings throughout Washington, I have done weddings in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and Kentucky.
I would be happy to provide you with references (and hope that after your event you’ll agree to be a reference for me). In the meantime, I encourage you to view my testimonials page.
Yes, I am more than happy to meet with you to get to know you and share some of my ideas with you about your event. It’s not a sales pitch. I enjoy meeting new people and realize the process of wedding planning can be intimidating, so it's fun to help.