40 Things You Should Ask Your Dj
The feedback we hear from our past client’s time and time again are the things that most people will remember about your wedding is the food and the party! Aside from your immediate family, it 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, the wedding/party will be forever remembered as one of the great times a group of people had together. We have prepared for you a list of 40 questions you should ask your DJ (many of these apply to all type of vendors also) before you hire them to facilitate your wedding.
1) Do you offer a written contract?
Yes we do. We require a signed digital agreement and 50% retainer to hold the date, the services, the gear, and our staff. Both parties are 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 the agreement?
We highly recommend it and offer an in person or virtual planning meeting; this way we will have a mutual understanding of your expectations as to how the night should run. We prefer face-to-face consultations, but we will happily accommodate those who desire a virtual zoom or phone planning meeting.
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 Team on our website. The DJ for your event will be chosen based on many factors including: your music style, your preferences/expectations, and our availabilities. The earlier you book, the better chance of getting a specific DJ.
4) How long will you hold our date for us?
We only hold dates with a signed agreement 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 last minute.
6) How long have you been a DJ company and how many events/weddings have you done?
We were founded in 2005. We have facilitated over 1,000 Weddings, 7,000 Nightclub/Pub Events, 100’s of School Dances, and 100’s Major/Marquee Corporate Gala’s, Full Event Production & Sporting Events. Many of the Djs on the roster regularly play Fridays/Saturdays at weddings, schools, corporate events, clubs, lounges, concerts, fashion shows, festivals, audio visual rentals, outdoor pop up drive in movies. This means that we have DJs & Staff for every occasion who are fresh, 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, festivals, audio visual rentals, outdoor pop up drive in movies and service about 1,500+ not wedding events weddings per calendar year.
9) Do your DJ/Staff 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 performed at our reception venue/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 do a site visit and check out the venue before the day of the event, we will do it. We are a preferred vendor for many Saskatoon and area Venues.
11) Do you act as the Master of Ceremonies and make all of the announcements?
Armed With Harmony is NOT a replacement for 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. Your MC should be introducing the head table, assisting with calling of tables for supper, welcoming up family for any prayers, speeches, toasts, shoe game etc. Depending on how interactive you want us to be, we can do a lot of mic work or very little. We typically check in with your Master of Ceremonies throughout the evening to ensure we are on the same page/timeline.
12) What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?
We have many steps to help avoid this that starts from the first contact with us. We discuss your musical likes and dislikes, including parents, relatives and friend’s long before the dance happens so we know the expectations ahead of time and we can prepare accordingly. We also offer Must Play and Do Not Play Lists. We also offer over 25 Spotify Playlists FREE (click HERE) to generate ideas so we can collab to curate the perfect playlist for you. If after all this, guests are still not dancing, changing the genre of music will usually do the trick. We have request forms placed on all the tables (and contact free Scannable QR Codes) 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 do not 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 agreement is filled out and signed with a 50% retainer it is not mandatory to meet again as all the details will be confirmed through our online planning form that you have access to 24/7. We will give you a courtesy call/e-mail before your event to confirm any changes and final details to put your mind at ease.
15) Can we visit you at a performance?
You are absolutely welcome to attend one of our nightclub/pub/lounge 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) Do you have any reviews?
Absolutely! We can also show you why over 350+ past clients have given us 5 star reviews!
Wedding Wire: https://www.weddingwire.ca/wedding-dj/armed-with-harmony-music-services--e660
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 do not even know about. We carry all genres of music. We do not boast of 100,000 songs because it does not matter. What matters is we play the right songs at the right time.
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 in person/virtual planning meeting we discuss your “must play list”, your “do not play list”, and we also talk about the music you think your guests will enjoy. We enourage you to think about all your guests and the success of the dance floor/party, you may dislike a certain song, but it may be a song that will get the party going. Weddings always have a wide age range and most successful dances play older music earlier and newer music later to please the majority of guests. The event is as much for you as it is for your guests. You can 100% submit do not play songs and we will follow it even if a guest does request it. If you are looking for music help, we have over 25 free custom made Spotify playlists for you HERE.
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% retainer. 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. Especially for specific version, covers, and cultural music. We only accept .mp3 or .mp4 formatted files via USB Stick, E-mail, Download Link (Dropbox/Google Drive) or in digital format. With Wi-Fi and hotspot being accessible almost everywhere now we can usually grab 1 or 2 songs last minute on the fly, but highly suggest the prior preparation method for the most success.
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 later in the evening when it is more suitable. Similar timing is key, we probably wouldn’t play “Turn Down For What” at 9pm when the party is just getting going and usually older guests are still present and wouldn’t play a slow waltz at 12:30am when the dance floor is poppin’! We can take requests verbally, on our pen and paper request forms we place on all the tables, or our contact free scannable QR code.
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 (Harmony package or higher) or during supper/speeches (Memories/Happy Ever After packages) If the event is out of Saskatoon we will be set up before the event starts. We require minimum 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 date/time.
23) What will you wear to our wedding or event?
You can select our attire right from our agreement. Casual, Semi Formal, Formal, Black Tie. We will wear collared shirt and slacks or shirt and tie with dress pants, unless told otherwise. For our corporate events, our staff wear our company branded black polo golf shirts and black pants. For our production events we have branded black t-shirts and hoodies.
24) What will you wear when you set up and take down your equipment?
Set up will be done in casual clothes or our company branded t-shits, black polo golf shirts or hoodies before your guests arrive for events in Saskatoon. If the event is out of the Saskatoon, it may vary depending on how far the drive is. We will tear down in those same clothes. For our production events and/or set up & tear down we have branded black t-shirts and hoodies.
25) How much of a retainer is required to secure our date?
50% with a signed agreement or a $500 save the date with signed agreement.
26) How much do you charge for overtime?
The industry standard TIP is $150 per/hour of overtime or added time. Early/Double Set Up $50per/hour: DJ For Early Ceremony/Cocktails/Speeches/Supper etc. $50 per/hour
27) When is the final balance due?
2 weeks/14 days prior to the event. That way we do not have to spend time to talking money on the event day, you can just enjoy all the hard work of your planning.
28) 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 access to & known location of breaker (or generator if outdoors) Also access to the venue at least 2 hours prior to event start time (longer for larger packages and event production as needed).
29) 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 (and send us the reservation #) or we can add $150 to the invoice and we will handle the booking and reservation ourselves.
30) Are you insured?
Yes. We have a 2-million-dollar event liability insurance policy. Plus, separate equipment insurance.
31) Does the DJ take any breaks?
No. We may sneak off to the washroom quickly but will be back before the end of the song.
32) 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 know that drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana is 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 cigarette smoker/vaper, he/she will not interrupt the event to do so.
33) What kind of equipment do you use?
Since we are a DJ and Production/Audio Visual company we use pro grade gear. The durability and life span over DJ grade sound/lighting is superior.
Audio: DB Technologies, Turbosound, Allen & Heath
Lighting: Chauvet, Elation
Video: Christie, Da Lite
DJ: Pioneer, Serato, Technics, Rane, Sony, Apple,
34) Do you bring backup equipment with you to the wedding?
We do not. We have a weekly inventory staff who always checks the gear before we leave for the event and when we come back from a performance. We also always have 1 DJ on call during event nights with extra equipment just in case anything should happen they will be able to transport the gear to the DJ who needs it.
35) Will you need a tablecloth or linens for the DJ table?
No. We supply a black and/or white 6-foot DJ spandex to cover up any cables and to keep a clean aesthetic as it has holes to run our cables into. It is always nice to have the DJ table match the colors of your event. When the venue supplies a standard tablecloth, our wires are not able to go through and can make for a messy appearance unless done right.
36) Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?
Yes, we do. It is our company logo, in black 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.
37) Do you belong to any professional associations or trade groups?
Yes. The Canadian Disk Jockey Association and Connect Music Licencing and are in excellent standing with both.
38) How much time do you require need to set up?
It depends on the size of the event, but normally 1-2 solid uninterrupted hours. Some of the bigger events with trussing, lights & video screens can take up to 4+ hours.
39) What format is your music in, do you stream?
.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. We do not stream music at events, but technology has allowed us to have access to huge databases that integrate into our DJ system, we download them first and then play them at your event if we have access to Wi-Fi/Hotspot. We do not stream/rip from YouTube.
40) What is your cancellation & refund policy?
Retainer is non-refundable. If the event is cancelled less than 90 days before, the final/total balance is owed. If the event is cancelled with more than 90 days’, the final balance is NOT due, but we keep the retainer. 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.