Frequently Asked Questions
There are several DJ and Entertainment websites out there that offer some of those "Top Questions To Ask Your DJ" or "What You Need To Ask Before Signing". I am completely happy to answer any and all questions that you bring to me, but I thought I would be a little proactive and answers as many of them as possible here. Please feel free to use my Search bar below to search for specific questions. Some of these you will find on lists all over the internet, and some of these are questions that, apparently, we only get. Enjoy! :-)
Why is pricing not available on your website?
This is probably my number 1 question, and rightfully so. I do not place pricing on my website for a couple reasons. The first is that it is extremely difficult to just provide a flat rate for what I do. There are too many different factors involved (distance, venue location, load in and load issues, amount of equipment needed, etc.) that impact the actual cost. Having even a "starting at" pricing is something I steer away from because the actual cost will always change after I know more about what is needed. The second is, what I provide is 90% personality, so you are paying for equipment but you are also paying for my knowledge, skills and attitude with your guests. I offer a premium service at a premium price, and I love the opportunity to explain that, face to face, with a perspective client vs you reading a number on my website.
Do you offer a written contract?
The short answer, yes. Any professional that you hire needs to have a written contract. Not only for their protection, but for yours as well. I am happy and confident with my contract, and if you ever want to take a look through it, all you have to do is ask. :-)
Will you be the DJ at our wedding?
Yes. However, there are plans in place with other local DJs and Hosts in case something goes wrong. Always have a back up plan.
May we meet with you in person before we sign a contract?
Absolutely! I offer a completely free 30 minute consultation with myself to make sure that everyone feels comfortable moving forward. That can be done at my office or via a Google Hangout.
How long will you hold the date for us?
This is a question that I get a lot. I have a rule that if a retainer and contract are not turned in, a date will not be held. Reason for this is because I am a single operator, I can only book 1 event per day, unlike multi-ops that offer a cheaper price.
Do you work exclusively for yourself?
Yes. Not only do I work for myself, this is also my full time job in addition to owning and operating the Amalgam Podcast Network.
How long have you been a DJ, and how many weddings have you done?
2015 will be my 13th total year in the industry. Total amount of weddings, upper hundreds.
How many weddings to you do each year?
2013 alone, Jared did over 50 events. 40 of those were weddings. Every year is different, but the average now is around 40-60 events per year.
How many other type of events do you do per year?
It honestly depends on several factors. Some years, I will do a large amount of Corporate Holiday Parties, and other years, there might only be a couple. A few of the other functions that I do as well are Holiday Parties, School Dances, Game Shows (Corporate & Private), Charity Events, Car Shows and many more.
Do you perform more than one event per day?
It is EXTREMELY unlikely that I will do more than one event per day. Weddings, I will NEVER book another event on the same day.
What makes you different from your competitors?
Humor - Laughter is key for any event. Wedding, Corporate, Private or Public. Being able to know how to enjoy laughing, and allowing it to enhance your event is vital for it's success.
Passion - I honestly have a passion for what we are allowed to do. The only way that we are able to continue to do what we do is because of clients like you. Clients that take the time to research and find the perfect fit of Entertainment, Host and DJ for their friends and families. Thank you!
Drive - I am always wanting to be better than what I already am. Every year I sit down and think about what is around the corner? What is that next amazingly cool thing that Brides will want, vs, what used to be popular and having to rely on that. I want to honestly always be evolving... and I am.
Have you played at our reception site before?
Most venues in Indianapolis, I have been able to perform at, at one point or another. Just let me know where the venue is and I would be more than happy to let you know if I have performed there or not.
Do you act as the "emcee" and make all the announcements?
Yes. I will take care of all the announcements, introductions and updates for you and your guests. There are sometimes that a client would prefer for a family member to make certain announcements, and that is alright with me as long as it is OK with you. I am happy to accommodate your requests as much as possible.
How would you define your "style" when making announcements?
I approach announcements and mic work very organically and always try to make sure that nothing is "fake" or "radio", meaning that how I interact with you during conversation is how I am on the microphone. I feel that it is important to never "put on a show", and allow my true personalities to be able to be seen, and THAT is what people enjoy. Nothing fake, all real.
What do you do to motivate the crowd if no one is dancing?
This is a big fear for most clients (Brides and Grooms), but it shouldn't be. As much as I want everyone to dance the whole time, the truth is, it normally doesn't happen. There is a flow of different dancers, and I am trained in making sure to watch when those tides turn. As a professional Host and DJ, I can't force or "trick" your guests into dancing, that would be against everything I am. However, I do take time during the cocktail hour and dinner hour to walk around and get to know your family and friends. I will talk to them about the Ceremony, where they are from, who is the best dressed, their favorite bands and the like. I want them to feel comfortable being able to talk to me, as well as assured that we want them to have a good time. If I do my jobs right, tricks won't be needed... they will WANT to dance.
What is something happens and you are not able to make it to the wedding?
I am part of the ADJA as well as have an outstanding relationship with many other local DJs here in Indianapolis. If I am not available due to an emergency, you will be covered because I already have a plan B in place. As long as your Client Suite is completed, I am able to get that information to another professional Host/DJ who will be able to take care of you. I am very proud to say though, that has never happened, and I don't plan on it ever happening.
Will we meet again before the wedding?
Yes. After you book, I normally get back together at least 2 times. Around 2 months prior to the wedding, and then again 2 weeks prior.
Can we visit you at a performance?
Simple answer, no. I do not allow possible clients to visit me at another private event. If the event is a public event there is no problem with that. However, if you want to drop in on a wedding, I would not encourage that. Mainly due to it being a private event, and I would not be able to give you attention while I am focusing on another couple. The way I look at it is, would you appreciate an unexpected guest showing up and talking to your DJ/Photographer/Caterer while they were supposed to be focusing on you and your big day?
May we speak to your references?
Absolutely! Most past clients that leave reviews for myself also allow me to give out their contact information to allow you to call or email them with specific questions. I try my best to not give out too many contacts, simply to not overwhelm them, however, all you need to do is ask and contact information can be provided.
How do you keep your music collection up-to-date?
I use a service called Prime Cuts. This is a subscription service that sends me weekly music updates covering Top 40, Country, Hip Hop, Pop and Urban. I receive roughly, 100-150 new songs per month and are able to use them immediately. I are able to download and legally play music the same time radio stations get their new music... and sometimes sooner. For specific requests that are older or more unusual requests, I use Amazon for purchasing.
How involved can we be in selecting music for our event?
I encourage you to be as active as you would like, without planning every song played. I want to make sure that we capture the feel and emotion that you want for your event, but at the same time, it is encouraged to allow requests to come in from your guests. Your Client Suite is designed to allow you to choose your music in sub-categories: Must Play, Play If Possible, Dedications, Veto List & Non-Dance/Dinner. I will go over your music selections before your event, and talk to you about any concerns we might see. You will be able to choose from my entire library of over 100,000 songs!
When do we need to submit our music requests and event details?
Event details and music requests need to be completed by the 2 week meeting. That gives us plenty of time to find music and address any possible issues that we see. That will also give you 2 weeks of stress free, worry-less enjoyment of planning the rest of your wedding, knowing that your music and reception are taken care of.
Do you take requests from our guests?
Yes. Within reason. They are just as vital to your event being fun, as you and as myself. If they request songs that I honestly feel will enhance the environment and allow more to enjoy themselves, I will try my best to get them played. If they are requests that are made that don't fill those requirements, I will avoid them without hesitation. These are songs that might be on your Veto List or songs that we know will not work.
Can we submit a "Do-Not-Play" list?
Yes. I call that your Veto List.
When do you arrive to set up for our wedding?
For a standard venue that is handicap accessible (required for any event), I normally arrive 2 hours in advance to set up. If there is extra equipment like up-lighting, light totems or Ceremony equipment as example, I will need to arrive earlier. I will be able to tell you how long I will need after researching the venue, and once all add-ons are confirmed.
What will you wear to our wedding?
Depending on the event, determines the attire. My normal attire is black shoes, black pants and either a black tie with a colored button up shirt (or) black shirt with colored tie.
What will you wear when you set up and break down your equipment?
Depending on the time of year depends on what I wear. Please keep in mind that what I wear while setting up is NOT what will be worn for the actual event if Formal or Business wear is required. I normally wear tennis shoes, jeans or shorts (depending on weather) and a t-shirt/Polo.
How much of a retainer is required to secure the date?
I request the industry standard of 50% of the total amount due. This retainer is non-refundable, but it does go to the total final bill.
What is included in the cost of my event?
What is included is completely dependent on what all you would like. From lighting only, to DJ services only, or maybe everything and the kitchen sink?! Each item I offer has a different price that goes with it, and you will know what is included on the contract.
How much would you charge for overtime?
Overtime ranges from $100 per half hour up to $250 per half hour, depending on if you contract my services for 3, 4, or 5 hours.
What do you require from us?
I require 2, 6 tables, with skirting of your choice. Also, where I am to be set up at, I need to be at least 25 feet from an electrical outlet.
Do you require a meal?
During Cocktail Hour and Dinner is when I am able to walk around and speak with your other professionals and guests, so that they are always aware of what is going to be happening next as well as allowing them to speak with myself about anything they need to. For non-wedding, private and public events, if services will exceed 5 hours, a meal is required.
Are you insured?
Yes! You can actually find a copy of my Certificate of Liability Insurance Here
Do you take any breaks?
While performing any event, unless it is a marathon type event (a dance-a-thon for example) I do not take breaks other than the restroom and to get a drink.
What is your policy on alcohol or smoking during the wedding?
I will not smoke or drink while working.
What kind of equipment do you use?
All of my equipment is professional quality and grade. The models vary sometime due to application, but for the most part, brands remain the same. LD Systems Line Array Systems, QSC Powered Speakers, Line6 and Shure Microphones, American DJ LED Lighting, Scrim King Scrims, Ultimate Stands just to name a few.
Do you bring backup equipment with you to the wedding?
We will occasionally bring a back up speaker to the event, but I take several precautionary measures to making sure that all my equipment is working. All equipment is tested the Wednesday before the event date to make sure that all parts are working. I do bring a back up laptop in case computer issues arise.
Do you have a wireless microphone?
Yes, I will provide 1 wireless microphone for you and your VIPs to use if needed. If you would need more than that, please let me know!
Do you have a "Light Show"?
Yes, I provide a simple colored light show with all my DJ services. You are able to see descriptions of all the contents of all my services HERE.
Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?
For weddings, no. The most you will see is a small case with business cards in them. For very few private events, I will occasionally have a banner with our contact information on it and for most public events, there will be a banner or signage of some sort.
Do you belong to any professional associations or trade groups?
Yes, I am actually part of the American Disc Jockey Association (ADJA) National Chapter