Will we meet before the wedding? -or- This is a destination wedding and I am across the country. How do we plan everything?
We can meet face to face as many times as you like before your wedding. If you are a destination bride or groom, I will schedule phone meetings at your convenience and make sure I'm available if you visit the area before the event. A large percentage of my brides and grooms are from out of State and never feel left out or forgotten. My model is two meetings before your wedding; one two to three months out and somewhat informal, with a more structured meeting two to three weeks out. If you need more meetings to get comfortable, or want to be in close contact with me the week of your wedding, that is fine. I am here to serve.
I have an iPod. Can't I just use that for music and have my cousin/ nephew/ friend emcee? -or- What makes you worth the money?
Before I say one word visit this link and spend a few moments watching the video. A professional, experienced master of ceremonies is a critical component of a successful wedding reception. The absence of a spokesperson for you and your new spouse, or the selection of an inexperienced emcee can be disastrous. You have spent considerable time and money bringing together a celebration that will last a lifetime. Don't miss out on having a trusted spokesperson to represent you and your spouse on your wedding day. Your guests will look to me to find out what is happening next. I will not leave them guessing.
I often tell friends and clients that music is only 25% of what I do. It's not a scientific number, it's just meant to illustrate how much planning and preparation I put into every event, and how seriously I take my emcee responsibilities on the day of your wedding.
Speaking of music, an iPod does not have decades of experience in reading a crowd, filling a dance floor, or choosing music that can keep a wide variety of ages and personalities involved and joyous. This extends to dinner music as well. Many DJs will pop on a Kenny G cd and take a break. I will discuss your preferences with you before the event, read my audience, and program enjoyable dinner music that will allow conversation if not serve as a conversation piece in itself and get folks ready for dancing.
The American Disc Jockey Association recently conducted a survey of hundreds of brides. One of the findings was that “nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their number one priority in hindsight.” While the survey did not state how many of those brides used an iPod or hired the cheapest DJ, it is a mistake that can easily be avoided.
Do you take requests?
Oh, yes. Absolutely. In fact, I go one step beyond and ask your guests for requests. I want them to know that I am approachable and there to serve. Before your wedding day we will also spend time on your request list and, just as importantly, your do not play list. I will diplomatically handle any requests that appear on your do not play list and do my best to send the guest away happy.
Are you insured?
This is not as frequently asked of a question from clients as it should be. Venues, fortunately, ask it all the time. I carry a one million dollar liability policy at all times, as well as coverage for my equipment. I can provide proof of coverage upon request.
Do you carry backup equipment to every event?
To be honest, in all my years of DJing, I have had exactly one critical equipment failure. That was an amplifier that went on to an untimely death, and was replaced by a backup amp within the space of one song. While critical failures of this type are exceedingly rare, they must be planned and prepared for without exception. I carry triple and sometimes quadruple redundant backups for every component and wire. I could field a second DJ setup out of the gear I carry.
Do you provide a written contract?
Yes. A good contract also leaves no room for omission or misinterpretation of critical details like location, date, time, set up time, disc jockey attire, even which disc jockey will serve your event in the case of a company with multiple employees. The contract also protects your deposit in the event of a cancellation or failure to perform as promised on the part of the disc jockey. Coastal Entertainment provides a contract written by an attorney with empathy for the non attorney. It's easy to read and protects all involved.
Will you be appropriately dressed for the event?
A business suit is my preferred work attire. I also wear a name badge so your guests know my name and recognize me as your representative. I am eternally cognizant of the fact that it is not my special day and, accordingly, I like to differentiate myself from the bridal party, while still looking professional. That said, I own a tuxedo, and I will not charge a penny more for the pleasure of going out looking like a million bucks if you ask me to.
Do you provide ceremony music?
Yes. I would be honored to be present at your ceremony and provide music and sound reinforcement. I have a smaller setup specialized for ceremonies. I will help you select traditional processional and recessional music that matches your tastes, or non traditional selections that uniquely represent you.
How do you work with other professionals at the reception (and ceremony, if applicable)?
This one is definitely worth some conversation, especially if you do not have a wedding planner or event coordinator. If you haven't hired a 'quarterback' for your event, in most cases the disc jockey becomes the de facto leader of your team. Make sure that you are hiring someone who recognizes and can handle this responsibility. I always have a plan for coordinating with and updating your other wedding professionals, even if there is to be an on site planner or coordinator. I always play nice with others. If you have hired a planner, I will quickly become their right hand.
Speaking of wedding planners, I highly recommend that you hire an experienced local planner. You will save money and make your life much easier.
Do you keep an order of events, and how closely do you stick to it?
The correct answer is 'yes' and 'as closely as your wishes allow me to.' You will have many, many other things to concern yourself with on your wedding day. Six or seven hours will pass like two as you enjoy your new spouse, and catch up with friends and family. You do not need the added responsibility of reminding your disc jockey that it's time to cut the cake. We will establish an order of events and I will make that list match fluidly with your previously expressed wishes and the changing dynamics of the event without tapping you on the shoulder every fifteen minutes.
What type of equipment do you use?
My gear is state of the art across the board. I use a Numark NS7 digital music controller with my music and software residing on a MacBook Pro. This combination of gear not only looks cool, but it sounds great and gives me more time to interact with your guests by streamlining the process of choosing and cueing songs. My speakers are FBT Maxx 2as, manufactured in Italy. This brand is not well known in the States, but provides unmatched fidelity and a great, room filling sound. My wireless mic is a Shure SM58. I use professional quality linens and a 'tabletop booth' so that your guests are not staring at a bunch of wires.
Do you take breaks?
Do I have to feed you?
No. I'm an employee, not a guest, and I know that those plates can be expensive. I will bring an energy bar. If you wish to invite me to get a small plate of food when it doesn't disrupt my work, I will be appreciative, but do not think that you have to.
Image courtesy of Randy Thompson Photography (see our vendor page)