40 Things You Should Ask Your Dj
40 Things You Should Ask Your Dj
When planning an event where music and dancing is involved, the DJ is often the most overlooked item. Why? Because most people feel that the DJ is the least important aspect of the whole night. Think again. You could have the most perfect wedding ceremony, the most beautiful church or hall, the best dinner ever, and the most entertaining MC. The thing that most people will remember about your wedding is the reception, because aside from your immediate relatives and best friends, that is what most people look forward to when they are invited to a wedding. The food, the party & music and dancing! The fact is, if the food and/or the DJ is bad, this is what most of your guests will remember.
But if these things are good, your wedding or party will be forever remembered as one of the really great times a group of people had together. How does it happen that the DJ is so overlooked? One word…budget. By the time money has been put out for the "must haves", such as the wedding dress, tuxedo rentals, bridal party clothes and gifts, rings, flowers, church/hall rental, limousine, decorations, photographer, hair, invitations, food, wine, and honeymoon, there's not much left over for a DJ. You get what you pay for, are you willing to risk that for your special day?
1) Do you offer a written contract?
Yes we do. We require a signed contract and 50% retainer to hold the date, the services, the gear and our staff, also so both parties responsible to each other. Armed With Harmony Music Services is responsible to show up and perform, and you are responsible to pay the remaining 50% balance along with full event details 2 weeks/14 days before the event. All retainers are Non refundable/non transferable.
2) May we meet with you in person before we sign a contract?
We highly recommend it and offer a consultation; this way we will have a mutual understanding as to how the night should run. We prefer face-to-face consultations, but we will happily accommodate those who desire a skype/facetime, phone or e-mail consultation.
3) Who will be the DJ at our wedding?
Armed With Harmony Music Services has 20 highly qualified djs that can play all types of music and all types of functions; Please refer to our Dj Roster on our website. The dj for your event will be chosen based on many factors including: your music style, your preferences and our availabilities. The earlier you book, the better chance of getting the dj you want.
4) How long will you hold our date for us?
We only hold dates with a signed contract and 50% retainer. If you happen to have a death in the family get pregnant or for reasons out of your control, and want to push your event date, we will hold it for 1 year from your original wedding/event date.
5) Do your DJ’s work exclusively for this company?
The dj industry is growing as is the demand for djs. The community is small and depending on the number of bookings, we do allow out staff to freelance on their own but not be employed by another company. We have yet to rely on other DJ companies to provide staff for us but we have helped out 2-3 other trusted dj companies when they have been in need of staff.
6) How long have you been a DJ company and how many events/weddings have you done?
We were founded in 2005. We have done thousands of events and weddings. All of the Djs on the roster regularly play Fridays/Saturdays at weddings, schools, corporate events, clubs, lounges, concerts, fashion shows, and festivals. This means that we have djs for every occasion who are always in good practice and up to date with music trends.
7) How many weddings do you do each year?
Wedding season usually runs from May-Sept (20 Weekends) we normally have 5-10 weddings per weekend. Approximately 200 weddings per calendar year.
8) How many other types of events do you do per year?
We stay busy 52 weeks a year with schools, corporate events, clubs, lounges, concerts, fashion shows, and festivals and service about 1,500+ events not including weddings per calendar year.
9) Do you perform for more than one event in a day?
Our djs will never play at another event in a day when he/she is scheduled to perform at a wedding. We know how hectic your wedding day can be which is why your dj will be available for the entire day; your wedding day is too important. Our djs are however allowed to play in the afternoon if they are booked for a non wedding that evening. Meaning they could do multiple events in one day, but NOT if they are booked for a wedding.
Example Of A Non Wedding Event:
Our djs may be able to perform at two separate events in one day depending on the contract and event requirements. For example, a dj may be at a clothing store in the afternoon and a nightclub in the evening.
10) Have you played at our reception site before?
We have played all over Saskatoon and area; hotels, legion halls, small town rinks, etc. We can accommodate any event. If it requires us to a site visit and check out the venue before the day of the show, we will do it. We are a preferred vendor for many Saskatoon Venues.
11) Do you act as the Master of Ceremonies and make all of the announcements?
Armed With Harmony will NOT be your event MC. Typical announcements we make are: Grand Entrance, 1st Dances, Bouquet/Garter Toss, Late Lunch, Last Call, Song Request solicitation and end of night. Depending on how interactive you want us to be, we can do a lot of mic work or very little. We can also work with your Master of Ceremonies throughout the evening if he/she wishes.
12) What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?
Changing the genre of music will usually do the trick. We have request forms placed on all the tables to help us gather some ideas about music your guests will enjoy. We can also get on the mic and tell people that they have full control over requests and this usually prompts people to approach us with their favorite dance songs. We don’t typically do games as we find that a bit dated and tacky, but if during the consultation it is requested, we are open to discussion.
13) What if something happens to you and you can’t make it to the wedding?
The agreement states: in the event that Armed With Harmony Music Services becomes unable to provide services due to complications beyond their control, a reputable replacement shall be provided at no more than the original price agreed upon.
14) Will we meet again before the wedding?
This is up to you. We will meet if you like, but after the contract is filled out and signed with a 50% retainer it is not mandatory to meet again as all of the details will be confirmed at this time. We will give you a courtesy call/e-mail before your event to confirm any changes or final details.
15) Can we visit you at a performance?
You are absolutely welcome to attend one of our nightclub shows or other events open to the public. Please keep in mind that we play to our crowd so this event may not be the most accurate representation as to how we would play at your specific event. We do not permit you to visit us at weddings/corporate or private events as you would not want uninvited guests at your event.
16) May we speak to your references?
Absolutely! Just ask and we will provide.
Wedding Wire: http://www.weddingwire.com/reviews/armed-with-harmony-music-services-saskatoon/ee93e3705a298db2.html
17) How do you keep your music collection up-to-date?
We are constantly doing events, so this is very important to us. We pay for legal subscription based services for our audio and music video downloads. Xtendamix is our favorite. All files are Canadian Disc Jockey (CDJA) & Connect Music licenced. At Most events we play many of the same popular hit songs. We are part of many dj pools and have special access to different edits & remixes that many “traditional” dj companies don’t even know about. We carry all genres of music Polka/Waltz/Country/Pop/Rock/70’s/80’s/90’s/00’s/10's/Hip Hop/Electronic + More
18) How involved can we be in selecting music for our event? Can we submit a “Do No Play List?”
As much as you want, in fact the more the better. During the consultation we discuss your “must play list”, your “do not play list”, and we also talk about the music you think your guests will enjoy. Remember you may dislike a certain song, but it may be a song that will get the party going. The event is as much for you as it is for your guests. You can 100% submit a do not play list just be aware just because you dislike a song does not mean your guests will not enjoy it.
19) When do we need to submit our music requests and event details?
Basic Event details are required at the signing of the agreement and 50% deposit. Full event details and music sections are due at least 2 weeks/14 days before the event.
Keep in mind, we do NOT accept CD's/USB's/Files on the day of the event, we need this 2 Weeks/14 days ahead of time. We only accept .mp3 or .mp4 formatted files via USB Stick, E-mail, Download Like (Dropbox/Google Drive) or in digital format.
20) Do you take requests from our guests?
Yes! Remember that a request is a suggestion and something that benefits the whole party and not just one individual. Should one of your guests request a heavy metal song at an all country music event, we may politely tell them that it probably does not fit with the crowd, or we may simply play it at a later time in the evening that is more suitable.
21) We need specific music/ethnic music for our wedding, do you have it?
The best way to ensure we have the exact version/edit/remix of the song you want played is to send it to us. This can be done in 3 ways. 2 weeks/14 days before the wedding in .mp3 format you can a) e-mail the file to us b) send a dropbox/google drive/download link c) drop off a CD or USB Stick with the files. Please ensure to label the files properly with Artist & Title of songs. We do NOT accept any media/burnt cds/usb’s or other formats on the day of the event.
22) When do you arrive to set up for our wedding?
The contract states we will be set up prior to your guest arriving for cocktails at 5pm (package 3+) or during supper/speeches (package 1 or 2) If the event is out of town we will be set up 30 minutes before the event starts. We require at least 1 hour to tear down, longer for our larger packages. Armed With Harmony will NOT be held liable for Venue surcharges for extra time needed, and you can be charged $150 staff fee if our DJ has to remove equipment at a later time.
23) What will you wear to our wedding?
You can select our attire right from our agreement. Casual, Semi Formal, Formal, Black Tie. We will wear a collared shirt and slacks or shirt and tie with dress pants, unless told otherwise.
24) What will you wear when you set up and take down your equipment?
Set up will be done in casual clothes before your guests arrive for in town evens. If the event is out of town, it may vary depending on how far the drive was. We will tear down in those same clothes.
25) How much of a retainer is required to secure our date?
50% with a signed agreement.
26) How much would you charge for overtime?
The industry standard TIP is $150 per/hour of overtime. Early/Double Set Up $50per/hour: Dj For Early Ceremony/Cocktails/Speeches/Supper etc $50 per/hour
28) When is the balance due?
2 weeks/14 days prior to the event. That way we don’t have to spend time of talk money on the event day.
27) What do you require from us?
The contract states: One 6 foot table (with clean stage/work area near outlet)
TWO dedicated 110v outlet power supply with known location of breaker (or generator if outdoors) Also access to the venue at least 2 hours prior to event start time.
28) Do you require a meal or accommodations?
If we are not present during supper we do not require a meal. If we are present from set up throughout cocktails, supper, speeches and the dance then we require a meal. If the event is 2 hours or 200km away from Saskatoon we do require you to book us a hotel or can pay us $150 and we will handle the booking and reservation.
29) Are you insured?
Yes. We have a 2 million dollar event liability insurance policy. Plus separate gear insurance.
30) Do you take any breaks?
No, we may sneak off to the washroom quickly but will be back before the end of the song.
31) What is your policy on alcohol or smoking during the wedding?
We have a ZERO tolerance policy. We are working to provide a service to you and feel that drinking looks unprofessional. We also understand that you may be offended if you offer us a drink and we do not accept. We are protecting you & ourselves by NOT drinking to provide the best service possible.
If a Dj is a smoker, he/she will not interrupt the event to take a smoke break.
32) What kind of equipment do you use?
All professional grade. Technics, Rane, Pioneer, Shure, Sony, Apple, Allen & Heath, DB Technologies, Turbo Sound, Martin, Serato.
33) Do you bring backup equipment with you to the wedding?
We do not. We always check the gear before we leave for the event and when we come back from a show. We also always have 1 dj on call during show nights with extra equipment just in case anything should happen they will be able to run the gear should anything happen.
34) Will you need a tablecloth or linens for the DJ table?
No, but it is always nice to have the dj table match the colors of your event, therefore it would be greatly appreciated if you let the venue staff know.
35) Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?
Yes we do. It is the same as the logo at the top of the FAQ sheet and is 6x2 in size.
It is also used to cover up any cables that run from our gear to under the table. We can remove it, if you feel it is intrusive.
36) Do you belong to any professional associations or trade groups?
Yes. The Canadian Disk Jockey Association and Connect Music Licencing.
37) How much time do we need to set up?
It depends on the size of the event, but normally 1-2 solid uninterrupted hour. Some of the bigger events with trussing, lights & video screens can take up to 4+ hours.
38) What format is your music in?
.mp3/320 and .mp4/320 stored on hard drives. We feel this is the best way to carry a large variety of music while being able to easily organize and search for your music.
39) What is your cancellation policy?
Deposit is non-refundable. If the event is cancelled less than 90 days before the final balance is owed. If the event is cancelled with more than 90 days’ the final balance is NOT due.
40) What is your refund policy?
If any event we do not live up to the contractual obligations a refund can be mutually negotiated if there is just cause. All deposits are Non Refundable / Non Transferable.