Southport, Merseyside, United Kingdom
Hiring me as your Wedding DJ
I have tried to cover some frequently asked questions covering what I do as a bespoke Wedding DJ. It is not just on your day but throughout the booking process and in the build-up to your Wedding Day that I will be involved.
A lot of what goes on in the build-up can make your Wedding Day special and personal and it is these little touches that I try to bring to your big day.
I hope that you find everything informative and that it gives you a guide as to how hiring a high quality DJ can make your Wedding Reception a stand out event.
If you do have any other questions, I am always happy to answer them.
What I do as a Wedding DJ
I am not just there to play music. I am there to present to you and your guests, ensure the lighting befits your room and makes your Wedding day photographs look fantastic as well as making sure I play the right music at the appropriate levels to give all of your Wedding guests a night to remember.
I am there to make all of the important announcements from speeches if you have hired me to cover your Wedding Reception through to the cutting of your cake and first dance in the evening.
It is also part of my duty to play the music at appropriate levels with a quieter sound during the early part of your reception and buffet or meal before turning the music up to a higher volume later on but not too much so it deafens your guests or sounds awful through the sound system.
Before you book me as your Wedding DJ
When you enquire to book with me, you are not booking or dealing with an agency. The person you speak to all the time will be me and I will not sell your Wedding Reception on to another DJ.
I am not locked into a contract with any Wedding Venue or hotel. I have worked at many major Wedding venues, golf clubs and hotels around Liverpool, Manchester, Southport, the North West of England and North Wales including Blackpool's Grand Theatre, Crosby Comrades Club, Elwy Hall (Rhyl), Floral Hall (Southport), Manchester Convention Cente, Meols Hall, Nottingham's CarPoint Arena, Norbreck Hotel (Blackpool), the People's Hall (Aigburth), Prince of Wales Hotel (Southport), Ramada Plaza (Southport), Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Royal Clifton (Southport), Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club, St. George's Hotel (Llandudno), West Lancashire Manor and West Tower (Ormskirk).
Having worked in these venues on many occasions, I am fully aware of how they like to organise your Wedding day and knowledge of working in venues which include sound limiters and speaker curtains - these are normally placed above a dance floor to curtail sound in residential areas at some venues.
I am an independent, full-time professional disc jockey, with real references from former Brides and Grooms, who ensures I dedicate my Wedding Planning for your Wedding Reception to incorporate your wishes and work with you to make everything perfect.
Once I have all of your details together, I can give you a personalised quote for you to hire me as your Wedding DJ.
This quote, which is based on how long you would like me for, set-up you would like and any travel costs, is valid for seven days from your enquiry. However, the date is not held without your agreement.
If you prefer, I offer a non-obligational personal meeting with brides and grooms - a bit like an interview. I will meet you at your home or a venue of your choice and discuss everything with you before you book so that you can be assured I am the right DJ for your Wedding Reception.
Booking me as your Wedding DJ
I do not hold the date on an enquiry so if you are looking to book, it is a good idea to confirm your booking as quickly as you can by verbally agreeing either in writing (including email or text message) or telephone call.
At this point, a contract will be sent out to you and requires signing and returning within seven days with your non-refundable reservation fee (deposit) paid by bank transfer. Please note, that as your verbal agreement removes my availability, your reservation fee requires paying even if you then decide not to go ahead with the booking.
Once you have booked me as your Wedding DJ
Once you have accepted my quote and have paid your reservation fee (deposit) and returned your signed contract, we can get into the major details.
I will send out a Wedding Reception Planning Booklet that you can fill in at your leisure and about two months prior to your Wedding Reception, we can meet in person to go through the booklet highlighting some of the key elements of your Wedding - From the pronunciation of your Wedding party guests to if you are going to have a bouquet toss.
I have to admit, the list can be a bit tedious for some, but it’s very important for me to know all the ins and outs so I can help ensure that you have a great night of entertainment.
Meeting me as your Wedding DJ
Once I have met with you for the first time, I can start to put in place exactly you are looking for:
- The kind of music do you like and dislike
- The lighting you would like at your Wedding venue
- The time for your first dance
- What interesting things have you experienced at other Weddings that you liked/disliked?
All of this information becomes the foundation of determining the things you want, and don’t want, from your Wedding.
It is also around this time that I will start to liaise with the venue to find any specifics and guidance. If I am unfamiliar with the location I’ll typically plan a trip to the site to determine things like establishing a line of communication with the venue, equipment placement and if there are any issues with some of the details discussed thus far. I will also speak to the vendors including your photographer and videographer if I have not corresponded with them in the past to begin our collaboration for your wedding.
While some planning meetings can be “done in one” the truth is changes happen all the time. Head counts can force changes to the floor plans, musical selections might be altered to accommodate a group of people, you may decide to enhance your experience that you didn’t plan before, the list can go on. I always keep in regular contact with my couples throughout the build up to see what has changed, and what hasn’t, and see if more preparation meetings are required.
It’s at this time that I want the couple to lock in their special songs just in case it takes a while to procure anything. Occasionally and obscure song can take a while to source so it's a good idea to ensure all your special songs are readily available in plenty of time.
In the week prior to your Wedding Reception, I begin finalise all your choices. I go over the details again and if there is a question about a detail that I don’t have an answer to, I am not afraid to ask. I want to make sure that your day is as stress free as possible!
I establish all your special songs in specific “crates” of music and onto CD so that they are easily available for me on the day.
I check through and test all my equipment to make sure nothing is missing or not working correctly.
I send the vendors and the venue some of the information I gather so they have a baseline document to work from for the night and they can double check that we all have the same information. There is a surprising amount of “little things” that I have to check off my list before your Wedding Day comes.
If you are arriving from your church or Wedding Ceremony venue at a Wedding Reception venue which has limited access or time for a room turn around, it is advisable to request at earlier set-up time.
This can often be the case if you have hired a marquee as the chances are you will be in there all day following your Wedding Ceremony.
I don't want to be coming around your guests with heavy equipment. It looks unprofessional and can be very disruptive to your special day.
There is a small fee for an earlier set up but it can be worth it in the long run for a smooth day.
Under no circumstances do I allow my equipment to be used whilst I am not on the premise.
If you would like to have use of my equipment for background music during your drinks reception and wedding breakfast as well as radio mics for speeches, I will happily provide this with a half day Wedding DJ Package.
The benefit of me being there throughout the day is that I will work as your Master of Ceremonies and will give your Wedding Reception 100% of my time. You will not be relying on a venue manager or events co-ordinator, who could be trying to do more than one job on your Wedding day.
Sound system / PA system
I use high quality Denon digital mixing desk, which allows easy transition between CD and digital music on laptop. I mainly use CD but the more current music is on laptop. The CD players I use are high quality Denon CDJs – they are old but great. My sound system can run to a maximum of 5200w for Weddings and consists of two top end 1000w speakers and two 1600w bass bins, which is powered through two 4000w amplifiers.
For an all day bookings or larger venues extra speakers can be brought in and situated to provide an all round sound to your venue.
My speakers for ceremony music are placed at your convenience and discussed at planning meetings.
Please be aware, that some venues have sound limiters fitted, which cut out the music completely if it gets too loud.
More sensitive limiters can really put a dampener on the night when you can hear your guests chattering louder than the music (trust me, it happens a lot).
It’s not only music that sets these off but an enthusiastic crowd will too so if you’re having a lively party try to check if your venue has a limiter before you book. It’s too late after you have signed when you find that a DJ can play at barely above background level.
Should any of my equipment fail, I always carry spare speakers, mixing desk, dual CD players, laptop and amp – so I can quickly have any problems back up and running.
At your Wedding Reception as your Wedding DJ
During the night, as a high quality wedding DJ, I can work as a co-ordinator and Master of Ceremonies.
Some DJs like to make themselves the centre of attention.
They will be all singing all dancing, wanting to take selfies and even come and join your guests to dance on the floor. I feel this is highly unprofessional.
My job is to ensure that you are the focus of the day and do this by not dragging myself into the spotlight.
Should I be announcing your cake cutting, I shall do it from a distance to enable guests to see your cake and you as a couple; for your first dance I won’t stand in the middle of the dance floor to announce you on. It may seem a very little touch but it highlights areas which, whilst in public, are intimate and special to you both.
It is very important that everyone needs to be working as a team, supporting each other where needed. This means working with the venue to ensure all the critical points on the timeline are met, notifying the photographer/videographer when things are about to happen so they don’t miss a shot, seamlessly fitting in with a singer or live band to ensure a smooth running order or if a change in plans happens that you can work that into the timeline to ensure nothing is missed.
Making sure nothing goes wrong is always one of the things on my mind as your Wedding DJ. As your Wedding DJ I do not get a second chance to get it right and I must react at a moment’s notice. If a microphone cuts out a backup is at the ready, if song fails to play or CD skips and another copy or new song is a ready to go - A tremendous amount of care for your event is given by the DJ to ensure that your entertainment goes as flawlessly as possible.
It is my job to play a great set of music based off all the discussions we have had prior to your Wedding Day. Trying to cross different age groups and styles to make everyone feel included. I take a lot of pride in my knowledge of music and my ability to seamlessly blend, transition, and mix track into track - although mixing track into track isn't always possible given the huge variety of music tastes at Weddings.
As a Wedding DJ, who has experience in clubs and bars, it is important to point out how different a party is compared to a night out.
You will have some guests who want to get straight into it having sat down for three or four hours. You will have others that may need an extra bit of coaxing to leave their comfortable seat!
I try, where possible, to keep songs mainstream and use clean versions so that it suits all age groups. I play songs from lots of genres, appealing to grandparents, parents, friends and children. It’s about keeping everyone entertained, and playing something that all ages know and enjoy. You and your friends may well love UK Garage or Drum n’ Bass but if it gives your other guests a headache they will make their excuses and leave. I know that there are some genres of music that are more specialist so I try to give a good balance to your evening by playing something for everyone. If you do have a favoured ‘must play’ type of music it can be beneficial to do a big finish at around 11.30pm turning the last half an hour into an ‘after party’ that way everyone gets to feel part of your day but you don’t miss out on what you really like.
It is important that the music is right for both you and your guests and the everyone has a great time. My vast music knowledge covers many, many genres including Rock & Roll of the 50s, the swinging 60s of Soul and Motown into the 70s Disco and Rock & Punk, the ever changing 80s music of nu-wave, rock and PWL, the 90s from indie and early dance/rave to the cheesy pop and Ibiza dance end to the decade and right through the RnB and Indie music of the 2000s up to today's current chart - There is one thing for sure you won't be finding me saying, "I don't play that type of music" but I do stick within your guidelines and steer well clear of any 'Don't Play' songs or genres you have listed.
Working with a band or singer
I have worked with many bands in my career from those with top 10 singles and cover artistes to Irish bands and cabaret singers.
I do not offer a cheaper price based on there being a band or singer. You are not just paying for a 'mobile disco', you are paying for my time as your Wedding DJ. I cannot pack up when the band start, go to another gig and set-up again when they go off.
I will be on site throughout the booking in case (as has happened in the past) there are any technical problems with your band. The last thing you want is your Wedding Day to be ruined by such an event.
In the build up, I will liaise with your singer or band and, where possible, have a rough set list so I don't play songs that they are about to sing. I will see if they require any special introduction or whether they will be singing the song for your first dance and make sure that I have a back up just in case there are any problems on the night.
The truth is, never leave anything to chance. When your band or singer is on I will be in the venue and on hand to support as and when required.
Is a Wedding DJ more expensive than a mobile disco?
When I first started DJing in 1997, I was paid £145.00 a night as a trainee and by 2006 I was earning £600.00 a night. These were for walk in jobs - no lifting of equipment with an hour or two either side to set-up and take down and by today's standards that equates to over £800.00 a night.
I understand that in the current economical climate, everyone wants to spend as little money as possible so where as some in the Wedding Industry are seen are 'hiking up prices', I consider myself to be giving you a bargain for charging a considerable amount less than what I was earning eleven years ago.
My price for a Wedding Reception is the same as for a birthday party, corporate event or any other function. Where prices will differ is based on set up and location. For a Wedding you will probably want a little bit more than a quick five minute telephone call and a couple of lights so all my prices reflect and incorporate meetings, travel and the set-up that you require and that is where you may find a difference in my prices.
I never charge for a product you are undecided about as these can be added on later rather than you agreeing to something you later change your mind on.
With me, you are booking a professional Wedding and Event DJ, who not only has an exceptional knowledge of music but is trained in presenting - not only for radio or television but confident to know how to address a room full of people - clearly.
In twenty years as a DJ I have never once missed a booking or been double booked. The Wedding DJ Service I run is reliable, professional and dedicated.
I am fully insured with Public Liability Insurance up to £10m, my vehicle is covered with business insurance, my equipment is tested and covered by a PAT Certificate, all of my music is legally sourced and I am a member of the Mobile DJ Network.
My Wedding DJ set-ups have been developed over the years to ensure you are getting good value for your investment and to make sure your Wedding feels perfect and personal to you and your guests.
As your DJ, I won't turn up twenty minutes before hand, quickly stick up some speakers and lights, plug in a laptop, disappear while their laptop plays a pre-selected run of songs and refuse to take requests - I've even heard of a DJ that didn't have a couple's first dance - Are you prepared to run that risk?
This why, as Professional DJ, I may cost more than you were originally considering.
It is not a case of hiking up prices, you are investing in my knowledge as a nation award winning DJ and a leading UK Wedding DJ with qualifications, experience, professional set-up including being dressed appropriately for your Wedding and my presentation skills.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me directly at [email protected] and I will endeavour to answer your query.