We've done it again. Bringing you amazing value and service. We believe that we best serve our clients by reinvesting in ourselves. Of course, that means we attend trainings, stay up to date on current trends, and carefully upgrade our system to bring you an excellent show.
SoundFire DJ is proud to make its first upgrade announcement for 2015. All customers who had selected the "Premier" service will see the following upgrades at their wedding:
2 more wash bars to really bathe the room in many different colors of light
An additional effect light (2 total) for creating the "disco ball" effect, laser effects, and white LED chase patterns and strobes.
2 moving head "spotlight" fixtures. They dance with the music and create exciting effects during upbeat songs, while helping to "set the mood" during the more intimate dances with appropriate effects. If your venue allows haze or fog you can see the beams of light as they move through the air, and it looks amazing.
For those that have selected our "streamlined" service we haven't forgotten about you, and your announcement will be coming later this year.
Stay tuned as we will have more announcements throughout the year for the exciting things we are bringing to SoundFire DJ. Thanks for reading, and if you, or someone you know, need the right DJ for your wedding please give us a call 920-403-0827 or Contact Us through our website. Thanks again!
We have had lots of great response and compliments to our 2014 "New Rig". In fact several of our 2015 clients complimented us on how clean, polished, and professional it looks. It provides an amazing light show experience in the hands of a qualified artist.
However, we are always finding ways to improve, and maintain our leadership in providing high quality wedding entertainment. So, at the beginning of April we will be announcing our updates for 2015. The updates will apply to both our Premier and Streamlined services.
Stay tuned, as we will be announcing these changes April 2, 2015.
Follow us on Facebook:
The very first question couples ask these days when looking for professionals to help them is, "How much?" Instead of calling vendors to find out how much they charge first, you should evaluate and forecast what your potential budget can be.
So, the first thing to do is make a budget for your everyday life. If you haven't done this already this is a good time to start. We recommend using a spreadsheet program such as "Excel" or "Numbers" (If you have an iDevice that's less than a couple years old you probably have "Numbers" for free.). Use the spreadsheet to write down what your average monthly income is, then subtract what you pay out for bills each month (figure averages for utilities as best as you can). Be thorough! Even if it's something you pay annually for, like magazine subscriptions or Xbox Live, break down the monthly cost and stick it in the expenses side. For necessities such as gas and food try to give yourself a reasonable allotment for these things. Once you've factored in your necessary expenses, then you should have your surplus. This is what you can potentially put into savings for your wedding.
Now is also the time to throw a number out there for the amount of guests you want to have. Just pick a nice round number as this is what you're going to shoot for on your savings goal. The average wedding guest costs $130-$160.
Let's create an example: If you want to have 200 guests at your wedding you should save $26,000. If you figured that you should be able to realistically save $800/month it would take you 2 years and 8.5 months to save that amount.
Of course if your parents are helping you then that's less time you need to save. Let's say that from your parents you receive $10,000 to help with your wedding. That leaves $16,000 to save which would only take 1 year 8 months.
Naturally this also puts into perspective how many guests may be appropriate for your budget too. The average wedding in Brown County is in the middle of the $20k-$30k range. However, the majority of weddings are $10,000 or less. If your budget is $10,000 then a realistic number of guests is 75 from the figures given. Also, please note that these numbers came from www.costofwedding.com. We didn't make them up.
Of course, there are those out there who are reading this that will say, "I had 200 people at my wedding and only spent $7,000." Of course, that begs the question of what did they skip or do themselves to accomplish that. We won't say you can't have an enjoyable wedding that way, but we will say that in our experience in attending weddings the ones where the guest list was smaller with better quality all around seemed to be less stressful on everyone.
Here's the last part of step one. Once you figure out your budget based on the number of guests you want to have; then the next thing you want to do is break down how much of your budget you want to allocate for your major providers. Here they are with a recommended percentage to allocate:
Venue (includes catering [food & drink] and cake): 35%
DJ (to possibly include ceremony and additional services such as lighting design and photo booth): 15%
Florist & decorations 8%
The other 28% can be divided between things like, favors, bridal gown, accessories/pampering, wedding rings, transportation, invitations, etc.
So, you're looking to begin your journey to the day you say, "I do." Congratulations, you are about to embark upon a wonderful experience. There will be fun occasions, and stressful ones too. Because 85% of couples are getting married for the first time they've never experienced planning for something like this, and who wants to read a whole book on how to plan and prepare for your wedding? Also, where do you start? With that in mind we decided to give you a simple guide to get you to your wedding day.
Step 1: Evaluate
Step 2: Set your date and your venue(s)
Phew! That first step is pretty involved, but you have to know where you are to know where you're going right?
Now that we have an idea of what to allocate for each of our major vendors we can start to do our shopping. Of course the first two things needed are a reception site and a ceremony site. Usually the ceremony site is easy for couples to determine (especially the bride). They always knew they'd get married in a church, on a lakefront, at a relative's house, etc. Just take one thing into consideration: if you are having a good amount of out-of-town guests attending your wedding it may be prudent to have your ceremony and reception all at the same site. At the very least try to have your reception at a location that is close to hotels where you can block off rooms. Another thing to consider: if you are having your wedding during football season be prepared for hotel room prices to be higher or for rooms to not even be available.
Also, if you are going to have your reception and ceremony at two different places, try to pick places that are close together. Ideally it should take no more than 10-15 minutes to travel between the wedding site and the reception site. For your out-of-town guests have a place for them to kill time between the ceremony and reception if this lag time spans for more than an hour. Perhaps a relative's house is a possibility.
If you are thinking of having an outdoor ceremony ALWAYS have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. If you have a harpist, violinist, or guitarist the elements can affect their instruments negatively, and they may not be able to play. If you have a DJ, and it starts raining, they may unplug their system to protect their equipment. So, be prepared with a secondary indoor option in case the great outdoors doesn't work out.
Here's a couple tips to help for those on tighter budgets:
If a venue has their own kitchen (no need for an outside caterer) then it's usually far less expensive. This alone can help free up a significant portion of your budget.
Having your ceremony and reception at the same location can help you save as well.
Step 3: Book the rest of your professionals
You have a budget, a place, and a date. Now's the part where you get to add the fun stuff.
No matter which vendor you call never ask "how much" right out of the gate. Give a description of your wedding, and your needs. Let the vendor ask questions to help narrow things down. If the vendor asks to talk on the phone it's because they most likely want to save you time by asking their questions verbally instead of texting or IMing through Facebook. Set a phone appointment time. Phone calls are still the quickest way to exchange information. Also, a phone call, or face to face meeting, gives you much more information about a vendors personality so you can decide if this is a person you want to work with.
From this point start with your DJ. I know, it sounds biased that we list this first, but entertainment is the single most important thing remembered for guests and brides when they look back on their wedding day. Don't take our word for it, ask the good people at St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine about the huge survey they did. (We've posted these statistics on our website to make them easy to find.)
So you have 15% of your budget to work with. Now, for those of you with a $26,000 budget you're probably thinking, "Woah, $3,900 for a DJ?" Well, we would hope that your DJ should be worth way more than the cake and the chair covers. However, you're likely to find lots of options that are very good for less than that amount. All we're saying is have it set aside so you're prepared. Whatever you don't use you can put toward another part of your budget. At the same time, if you are looking to have the DJ start from ceremony and play through the rest of your day, also be at the rehearsal dinner, do full-room uplighting, photo booth, slideshows, a great dance floor light show, and be a great entertainer then you may come close to that amount if you're looking at proper professionals. If you've budgeted properly, it just makes it easier.
Always meet with your DJ prior to booking when possible. If you happen to live a few hours away then do the best you can by phone or using some type of video chat service. Good DJs should be willing to meet with you as often as needed, and you should be able to get a hold of them during the day.
Be skeptical of DJs that charge very little (starting under $1,200 for 100-300 person events, and $800 for 100 guests or less). If the price is too good to be true then it is. Don't fall for it. We get too many calls from couples every season who get scammed by the low-ball DJ that cancels last minute, and now the couple is frantically trying to find a replacement. In nearly all cases the DJ that bailed also kept the deposit too. What's worse, is the couple didn't properly prepare room in their budget for a professional, and either end up with no one, or something less than desirable. Don't join that club.
Once you have the provider who is going to help create the atmosphere to make great memories with you and your guests, you want to get the provider that's going to help record those memories.
The photographer is important, and just like DJs there are lots of great photographers, and there are lots of amateurs looking to make a quick buck.
Here's a couple big tips to help you spot a good, or a bad, photographer:
Color/white balance - all photographers are shooting digital now. If they're using film chances are they are either a purist who is very expensive, or someone new to wedding photography that can't afford a decent digital camera.
So, look at the three images below (hover the mouse over each one):
Provided that your computer monitor is close to true color, you'll notice in one image the colors look pure and balanced; while one looks a little too yellow/amber, and the other too blue/purple. This is white balance. To put it simply, light isn't a perfect white color, so in order for the colors in a photo to turn out properly the camera has to compensate for the color of light. An easy way to notice this is to look at these two light bulbs in the pictures below. One looks orange, and one is pure white. The wall is also painted white, so you can see how the light affects the color of the wall in the image. Also, note how white balance compensation (second image) can change the color of the light (again, hover the mouse over each image).
A few more things to take note:
If the photographer has pictures where the subjects are out of focus, or looks like objects in the background are growing out of people's heads, then that's an instant sign that you're dealing with an amateur (see image below).
Some tips for brides on a tight budget:
Find the absolute best vendors you can for your budget allocations. If you have a $10,000 budget then having $1,500 for your DJ and $900 for your photographer is still enough to find someone decent. If you were able to reduce your venue costs you may be able to use that here to get your ideal vendors if they cost a little more.
Decorations are definitely a place to consider going the DIY (Do It Yourself) route if you're looking to save. There are many Facebook groups where recent brides will sell their recently used decorations at great prices. Not only that, but chances are these decorations have only been used for one day! So they are likely to be in "like new" condition.
Don't stress too much about decorations. No guest has ever said, "Those decorations really made the night memorable." At best someone will say, "These center pieces were a nice touch/looked very pretty."
Brides, if you're going to do a "trash the dress" event after the wedding make sure you get a great looking dress for less money. If you're going to preserve the dress to possibly hand it down then factor in preservation costs to your overall dress cost.
Grooms - you have it easy. If you get so many groomsmen in your wedding party to rent their tuxedos often times your tux rental is free. So, work on that circle of friends!
Step 4: The details
Congratulations! You have your vendors booked! You have a major chunk of work out of the way.
Now come the details - which happens to be the most stressful part.
If there is one thing I can say to sum up this entire section it is this:
Be decisive, and know what you want. If you don't know what you want take the time to get as much figured out as early as possible. Talk to the professionals you have hired for suggestions if you're stuck.
I can't begin to tell you how helpful it is for yourself, and your professionals, to know what you want early on. The more you can get out of the way the better, even if you're not entirely set on something.
A couple examples:
Think you might want to select a few different songs on your "must play" list for your DJ? That's ok since the popular songs change month to month. Start filling out that list 6-8 months before your wedding, and you'll have an easier time switching out a couple songs vs. having to come up with the entire list one month out before your wedding.
Not sure which flavor of cake you want? At least narrow it down to a few selections instead of the entire range that your baker offers.
What people do you want in your formal photos (typically taken between the ceremony and reception)? Let your photographer know as well as the people involved.
The fewer decisions you need to make about your professionals when it gets close to the time of your wedding, the better. There will be plenty of other things to worry about such as people who don't RSVP, making sure the bridesmaids and groomsmen get their fittings finalized for their garments, etc. In fact we could dedicate a full essay about the possible difficulties with "people wrangling". Bottom line is, you'll have that to deal with which is stressful enough, try to get the details with your professionals out of the way before that time comes. That way if last minute changes come up it's just a minor adjustment.
Proper professionals will get in touch with you at regular intervals to make sure things are going well.
Ideally speaking, by the time you send out your invitations you should have 99% of your plans with your professionals set. The other 1% are the changes that will inevitably happen close to the wedding day.
One month prior to your wedding you should also have a very good idea of how many guests are attending.
Ok, we've stressed this (no pun intended) enough. Ok, maybe pun intended. At this point, it's definitely pun intended.
Step 5: Have fun, then get ready...
If you've been diligent about getting your planning done as much in advance as possible then this time is going to feel weird. You'll be thinking to yourself, "I feel like there's something I should be doing to get ready for the wedding, but there isn't anything I can do right now." When you've double checked and triple checked everything, and you're still saying this to yourself, then this is the time to come up for air and take a breath. During this time is when the pre-wedding festivities happen. So hopefully your circle of support is doing nice things for you (i.e. bridal shower, golf outing, spa outing, etc.).
Keep enjoying this time, up until about 2 weeks before your wedding. Then be ready for a few last minute changes. Sometimes they're big, and sometimes they're small. Either way, roll with it, and know that if you hired the right professionals they will be able to help you compensate.
The week of your wedding everything should be ready to go. Now you just enjoy the bachelor/bachelorette parties, the rehearsal dinner, and, of course, your big day!
Contact SoundFire DJ at 920-403-0827 to learn how we can help you with great entertainment for your wedding day needs.
We've told you before that professional musicians and touring groups the world over use the same speaker system we use. We don't cut corners, and neither do these other professionals. Why does this matter? It matters because sound clarity is so important to how pleasurable your experience is at an event. You can have the best DJ/emcee in the world, but if they're coming through what sounds like a tin can, or a crumpling paper bag, you won't stick around long to listen to them.
Recently Daryl Hall from Hall & Oates opened up a club for live performances to be broadcast on VH1 and Palladia. Here's the article that talks about it.
Even if you're not familiar with the name Hall & Oates, you no doubt have heard their music. Here's a few of their hits (They were big in the 80's hence the mullets.):
Either way you cut it, Daryl Hall is a veteran in the music industry, and knows his stuff.
I know what you're thinking. DJs play music! Ok, you're right, but only partially right.
There seems to be a huge misconception that has been growing over the past few years about what a DJ does, or at the very least, what they are supposed to do. If you only think about it for 10 seconds when asked, "What does a DJ do?" 99 out of 100 people will say play music, have cool lights, and make remixes. That's your 10 second answer.
Here's the thing - doesn't a special occasion deserve more than a 10 second answer? We believe it does. In fact, we notice that most people don't think beyond these 10 seconds, and then when they are calling around looking for the right DJ they don't know how to differentiate between any of them other than the price. This has led to people getting duped into buying cheap entertainment that either ruins an event, or said cheap entertainment doesn't even show up to the event (and even worse, may keep any money you've paid them).
So, what does a real DJ do? I'm going to tell you so you know the difference between a professional that cares about their clients and their craft, and the person that's just trying to make a quick buck on the side from you as part of their hobby. Instead of a 10 second answer, I'm going to give you 10 solid answers.
1) Real DJs help you throughout the planning process. Ask our recent past clients. We didn't just show up to play on the day of. We were there to help throughout their journey to their day. This primarily goes for school dances and weddings, but we are here to help for the casual parties too.
2) Real DJs know other real professionals. Let's say we're talking about a wedding, and you need recommendations on a cake baker or a photographer. Someone who has been in the business will have a network of connections to help you find those that will help enhance your day, and even, on the rare occasion, help you avoid those that may not suit your needs.
3) Real DJs know how important their role is in your night, and they don't take the responsibility lightly. If your DJ doesn't have any method of planning that involves breaking down the various parts of your evening and giving it some kind of organizational structure, then they don't take your event seriously. "Just winging it" is never acceptable. The DJ is responsible for the flow of different events, the energy level in the room, coordinating with other service professionals you have hired and acting as a central hub of communication between them. The music is maybe 40% of what a DJ does. Especially for a wedding. Does the photographer need white lighting at a certain picture opportunity, does the catering staff need a musical cue to bring out dessert, or if there is a buffet service does the DJ need to call the tables - these are just a few examples of how the DJ is central to the success of your event. The details make up the whole.
4) Real DJs invest time in education, practice, and study of their craft. Ask your DJ if they have ever gone to a DJ convention or bothered to learn from a nationally known DJ either through video learning or seminars. This is important. Being a DJ & Emcee is a performance art just like playing an instrument or being a public speaker. It needs to be given proper instruction, practice, and execution with evaluation & feedback. DJs need to be comfortable speaking in front of an audience without the use of vocal pauses, and without talking too much. DJs also need to be good performers with musical knowledge and turntable/mixing skills.
5) Real DJs invest in high-end equipment, and know how to properly use it. Now, this is an area that is hard for someone not in the business to identify, and no DJ is going to tell you their equipment isn't quality. Unfortunately you either need to know this yourself - which means you'll spend A LOT of time researching something you'll never need to know again, or get a second opinion from another professional that knows the industry and the equipment used. If you've asked your DJ what brands they use and you can't make heads or tails of it feel free to give us a call. We will give honest feedback on your findings: 920-403-0827
6) Real DJs have insurance and a backup plan. If your DJ does not carry liability insurance then that leaves you vulnerable in case of a mishap where the DJ is directly involved. There are a million scenarios that could be described, but the bottom line is if they don't carry insurance then pass. Also, ask what their backup plan is. Real DJs should know and be networked with other real DJs in case something happens. Also, real DJs carry backup equipment in the event of a failure, and they test out their equipment before an event.
7) Real DJs should not have an ego, unless that ego is channeled into how well they can take care of you and your guests. Just go on wedding wire and look at DJ reviews. You're bound to find some that talk about how a DJ wouldn't take requests, or how a DJ was cheesy or rude. This is not how a professional acts, and this is usually the result of a DJ with the wrong ego, lack of education/experience, or both. That doesn't mean the DJ plays a request right away every time someone asks for it, but instead they fit it in with the music and the flow of the evening. They use their knowledge and expertise to keep the party going and keep as many people happy as possible.
8) Real DJs don't throw you under the bus. Did you put a popular song on your do not play list for an event? It's your event, and you have your reasons. You should not be pressured by a guest to go against this. That's why it frustrates us when a DJ says, "I can't play that because so-and-so said not to." That is the wrong answer, because the first thing that person is going to do is go bother "so-and-so" (you) to let the DJ play it. The correct answer is the DJ takes the blame for either "not having it," or just politely says, "No, that song won't fit in with what the crowd is into right now."
9) Real DJs work on a contract that guarantees services will be provided, and they have a higher retainer. If a DJ only takes a $50-$100 retainer/deposit then it's not hard for that DJ to back out if they want to. It's easy to refund a small amount like that... if they do refund you. If there was no contract outlining the terms of the agreement they could easily take off with your money, and you would not waste the time or effort to try to get that money back. A real DJ will provide a contract stating what services are provided, and, just in case, what happens should one or the other party cancels the agreement. If the DJ cancels they should refund ALL of your money, and it needs to state this in the contract. The retainer should also be in the neighborhood of $300 or more, or some professionals do 50% of the total.
10) Real DJs know their value, and don't undercut to get an event. We've been conditioned by a world of never-ending sales and discounts, that when an honest price is given we always view it with skepticism. We try to shop DJs like retailers, but DJs don't operate like retailers. DJs are not the same product at a different store so you buy the one with a lower price. DJs need to be shopped like picking out a band. This is an extreme example, but it's like deciding between your neighbor's garage band that can barely play "Smells Like Teen Spirit", and having Aerosmith perform. You know the neighbor guys will do the job for $100, but they're going to sound awful. You know Aerosmith is going to cost more, but will be epic. You would be foolish to say to Steven Tyler's agent, "Hey can you come down in price, my neighbors will do the job for $100." DJs need to be approached the same way, and if they are willing to lower their price point to compete on a level that they've already surpassed then that's not a good sign. In fact, you can use that price to tell if the DJ is any good. I'll just be honest with you - for a spring/summer/fall wedding in this area if a DJ charges less than $800 they are the garage band. Now, every once in a while a DJ might give a small discount, run a promotion, or they have lower rates for certain events out of season, and that's ok. Real DJs know their market, they've put together a business plan, and they charge accordingly. You're probably wondering how it helps you when you get charged more, and here's your answer: It ensures that the DJ you hire stays in business to serve you. When you book a DJ a year out for a wedding, sweet 16, school dance, or graduation party you don't want to be caught by surprise when that DJ goes out of business. We get 50-100 calls per season from brides that have DJs who they hired for a few hundred bucks that back out on them, or don't exist anymore. These clients thought that they were saving a few dollars, but what ended up happening was an expensive mistake. That's why if a DJ is willing to cut their price just to undercut someone else, or they are really cheap to begin with, that is a red flag to walk away from. They are racing to the bottom, and you don't want to crash and burn with them.
We are proud to announce a new way for us to setup to add that extra "oomph" to your reception. Therefore, we'd like to take this moment to share with all of our followers, and future customers what they may have to look forward to.
Before you look at the following pictures know a few things:
We can only use this rig under certain conditions. One of those is that your venue must allow us 3 hours for setup, and 2 hours for teardown. We had it done in less time than that, but just to be on the safe side that is the time that we will require. The second condition is that you have chosen our Premier Package, and the third is that your venue has to be able to have room for us to set this up. So no less than 10ft ceilings, and a 10ft deep by 15ft wide area for us to setup.
So, if the above described paragraph is you, then here is what you have to look forward to as an upgrade for the Premier Package:
That's right. A DJ booth that combines classy and cool. We here at SoundFire DJ are always looking for ways to make our presentation better for our clients at every turn. Stay tuned. We're going to have some more great wedding tips, as well as announcements for any future upgrades we will be adding. Thanks so much for reading, and as always, if you want to "set your night on fire" give us a call. 920-403-0827
When it comes to wedding planning 85% of couples are doing it for the first time. Some couples are lucky and happen to have close friends who are able to help with their planning, and some couples don't have that advantage. Planning can be a daunting task, and leaves most brides confused as to what's important and what isn't.
St. Louis Bride & Groom found the following for when it came to brides and their wedding planning:
So in the spirit of these statistics here are the top 5 ways to control cost and stick to your budget while still giving yourself and your guests an amazing reception:
5. Real flowers for you and your wedding party's bouquets/boutonnieres, fake flowers for the tables & decor.
This one doesn't take much explaining. Real flowers are expensive, they can fall apart easily, and unless you preserve them they will dry out, turn brown, and decompose. If you watch your local crafts store for a good sale you can pick up beautiful silk flowers for a fraction of the cost of real flowers to adorn your table centerpieces, and other areas you may want flowers. I guarantee you no one is going to say anything about your flowers being fake. Most people won't even remember in a month.
4. Make your own table centerpieces.
Table centerpieces are great, and it's nice to have something pretty to look at in the middle of the table. Two things to consider though: 1. Make sure your centerpieces don't take up so much room that there isn't space for food & drink (especially important if you have a "family style" meal service). 2. Keep it simple for the staff at your venue hall to break down your centerpieces, and remove them from the table. Especially helpful if tables need to be removed from the dance floor after dinner.
Again, your local crafts store is a great resource for finding great decorations that will help you save money and create something unique and elegant. Here are a few ideas we found on another website.
3. Skip the chair covers.
This is one of those things that's really not needed 90% of the time. Most venues have nice looking chairs, especially if they focus on weddings. It's also one of those things that your guests are not going to remember in a month or two. Unless the venue has really ugly chairs, or if you can get them for an extremely low price (like 75 cents a chair) they are not worth it. Think about this for a second. Let's say you have 200 guests at your wedding, and chair covers cost $2 per chair. That's $400 that could have gone toward spending money on the honeymoon, extra pampering, a better photographer, or ideally a better DJ.
2. Open Bar - don't do it.
We've been to countless weddings, and here's what we see. When there's an open bar people order drinks like prohibition is coming back tomorrow, and then they don't even finish them. You literally see half-consumed cocktails sitting everywhere, and when someone can't figure out which drink is theirs' they just go order another one. At most consider providing soft drinks and one or two kinds of beer. For the beer most venues will just have you pay for the keg(s) which aren't that expensive. Sometimes you can even do just a half keg if you have a smaller guest list. Again, open bars are a huge waste of your budget, and it also has a tendency to bring out the demons in certain people. Your wedding isn't the place for this.
1. Control your guest list!
This is the number one way to control cost at your wedding. In another article on our site we showed you an exploded pie chart of what your budget break down should look like. Your guests are the most expensive part of your budget (the 35% part), and that's why this is also the best area to help control your budget.
On average the cost of each wedding guest ranges from $131 to $160 in Brown County (source: www.costofwedding.com). If you take 10 guests off of your list that saves you $1300-$1600! Again, this is money that can go toward your honeymoon, pampering, or better vendors to have a better quality reception.
If you're looking for a quality DJ to make your night fun and exciting call SoundFire DJ for a no obligation audition. We'll put together a package tailored to your needs and budget. Call us today: (920) 403-0827 or Contact Us through our website.
So you're searching for a DJ. You call several entertainment companies, get quotes, they all tell you what they do (or some just tell you what equipment they use), and you're left with a list that leads to more questions.
Why does this DJ cost $1500+, but this one only costs $150 (and everything in between)? What's the difference? Don't they all just show up and play music?
The simple answer to this is quality and value for the first question, and for the second question the answer is, "No." It's ok, we've run into these questions thousands of times, and we don't blame customers for not knowing what a good DJ should bring to your event. Most people have never shopped for a DJ before. Take couples getting married for example: 85% of couples are getting married for the first time, spending the most on one day than they've ever spent on anything (except for maybe a car or a house), and the only thing they know to think with is their pocket book. "How much do you charge?" is usually the first question we get asked 95% of the time.
So why wouldn't you want a DJ who will play all night, have great reviews & a great reputation, is reliable, knows how to smoothly run your night (the DJ will control the flow of your evening), looks nice (does their setup look clean, does the DJ look clean and dresses to your specification), and of course have a GREAT sound system? Talk about a rhetorical question! Of course you want this, so why not have this be the first question you ask a DJ? After all isn't this of highest importance?
Now as I have already mentioned; DJs will talk about their equipment. In fact, every DJ will talk about their equipment at some point. Chances are you don't know or care when it comes to knowing the technical specs of professional sound equipment, effect lighting, and whatever else goes on in the DJ booth. That's ok. This is why you pay for a professional. You're buying their knowledge & experience. In fact, knowledge & experience are the main things you buy with any service professional. They need to know what to use and, more importantly, how to use it. If the DJ can't convey their value past what equipment they are using then it's no different than putting someone in the pilot seat of a 747 who's never flown a plane before. The DJ has to have a value on their knowledge, talent, experience, professionalism, and poise. So this is one place where you should look directly at that quote that you're given, and use it as a way to know if the DJ you're looking at truly has any value. For example, if a DJ quotes you a price of only a few hundred bucks for a standard wedding package just walk away. They are telling you that they do not provide a decent value or true professionalism, and if they don't value themselves and their business how are they going to value you? Remember, there's always someone who will do it "cheaper", and seeing that the DJ is the vendor that makes or breaks your night this is not the area to cut corners.
So now you're looking at a reputable DJ company because you're looking in the right price range of what professional companies typically charge in your market. You may be wondering, "Why do they charge this?" It comes down to cost of business. A serious DJ company is not doing this "on the side". It's a passion, and they put time and effort into learning their craft. They invest in professional training, quality gear, a website that looks up-to-date, advertising, insurance, and more. They are properly prepared to handle your event the right way on the first try. Here's a good metaphor: If you had to buy a parachute would you rather buy from the guy that just does sewing as a "side job" and cuts corners in his materials, or would you rather buy from a company that invests in quality materials, quality workmanship, proper product testing, and a strong safety record? You may say this is an extreme comparison, but it's not. Just like a sky dive, your party/wedding/celebration is a one shot deal. If it doesn't work the first time it's a big mess. Your wedding/party/special event is not the place to "crash & burn".
Next, it comes down to reviews and personality. Check customer reviews on a DJ's website as well as third party sites such as "YouTube", "Wedding Wire", "Yelp", "Thumbtack", and more. Look at what the majority of their reviews say. If their reviews are 95% positive or higher, and they also take time to respond to negative reviews, then that is a reputable company. If they do not respond to negative reviews, and they have lots of bad reviews then that speaks for itself.
Lastly, you want to meet with your DJ, or, at the very least, have a phone consultation. Your DJ does a lot more than play music for you and your guests to dance to, and if "managing a playlist" is all they say they do then that's another sign to move on. Your DJ will be interacting with your guests, facilitating events on your timeline, emceeing, and working with your other vendors. If your DJ seems to have a bad attitude or a personality conflict with you then don't feel bad saying that you don't think it's going to work out, and if they try to offer a lower price to compensate for this don't fall for it. It's not worth it.
The best thing you can do is pick a DJ based on value, quality, and compatibility. You may think that finding a cheap DJ means you're getting great value, but when that cheap DJ skips your gig because someone else offered them $50 more and makes off with your deposit too you won't think they're much of a value anymore. Meanwhile, when you look in the price range of more serious providers you have to weigh the value you feel you're receiving. For more help with your wedding planning check out our article on what your wedding budget should look like, and why price should be the last question to ask a DJ. Thanks again for reading, and if you want to set your night on fire give us a call at 920-403-0827 or Contact Us here through our website.
I know the first thing that came to mind when you read this headline, "What are you even talking about?" Most people when shopping for a DJ service don't even know to look into what this is when shopping for a DJ, they just hit up Google for "DJ in (insert your city here)".
Here's the difference:
Multi Op. - This is a DJ service that has multiple performance systems and personnel. This is a company that handles multiple events on the same day. Here's the catch - often times these DJ services say that they are "full-time", and they are partly telling the truth. Typically only the owner, and maybe one other person, is full-time while the rest of the DJs are part-time. Chances are the owner only does the highest paid jobs while their part-time people handle the smaller, or lower-paying jobs.
Single Op. - This is a DJ service that has one operator and one setup. The vast majority of DJ services are single operator where the service is independently owned and operated. These DJ services may be part-time or full-time, but it's easier to tell because if the owner has a 9-5 job they go to during the week then they are part-time when it comes to DJing.
There's more difference to each DJ service than just the name, and here is a very basic question you can ask when you are interviewing a DJ service for your special event:
"Will the DJ who is going to be performing at my event be the person I will primarily communicate with throughout the planning process?"
By asking this question you are asking if your experience will be as seamless as possible. There is always the possibility for miscommunications to happen between human beings. However, the more human beings you put in that chain the greater the chance for miscommunication to happen.
Here is where it is a good idea to check reviews about the DJ service you're dealing with too. Even under good reviews you may read something like this, "The (owner of multi op.) was great to talk to, and the DJ they sent to do our reception did well too." Ok, that's all well & good. However, keep looking through their reviews and a lot of times you will find examples where the second half of that review is not as complimentary.
With Single Op. you get the planning and execution of your event handled by the same person.
Let's break this down into some simple Pros & Cons about both:
Multi Op. Pros:
Multi Op. Cons:
Single Op. Pros:
Single Op. Cons:
So which one is the best? Well, in a perfect world a multi op. that operates like a single op. would be the ideal. However, this kind of business model is very rare, and I'll choose not to bore you at this point as to why that is. What is more common are single op. service providers who network with each other, and there may be some multi op. providers who participate as well in this network. Some will say they are part of a national association that network DJs together such as ADJA or NAME. However, it is not necessary for a DJ company to be a part of these associations to network with other local service providers, and DJs who pay for membership in these associations aren't necessarily higher quality than DJs who don't. The best advice we can give is check reviews, and ask for referen
SoundFire DJ does network with other DJ service providers in the area, and we strive to deliver every single one of our customers an amazing experience. You will get that personal level of service from start to finish with the same person helping you through the planning process and executing that plan on your special day. Any last minute changes? We're flexible enough to work on-the-fly while sticking as close to your plan as possible. After all that's what you get when you hire an experienced & talented entertainment service like SoundFire DJ. Give us a call today, and experience the difference.
So, you're planning your wedding, and when you get to the part where you choose your wedding DJ & entertainment you think to yourself, "Hmmm, I was at a wedding where there was a photo booth, and I really liked that."
Photo booths have been a popular option for a number of years now. However, photo booths have a lot of limitations. For starters they don't work with all of the great technologies we use today. They are also a bit of a distraction from the party since only so many people can fit into them at once, people usually have to leave the dance floor to use them, and they often times don't match your decor which can make them a bit of an eyesore.
Photo booths don't capture the story of your night. There are no candid moments in a photo booth, and the candid pictures that show genuine expression are always the best pictures. So who or what does capture the story? Most hired photographers don't stay past the first couple spotlight dances of a reception. If you remember, people used to get disposable cameras and rely on their guests to just pick them up and start shooting with them. Usually what would happen is that people took a few shots then set them down and forgot about the disposable camera. If you were lucky a couple people actually used up the all of the film in the cameras, but the pictures typically didn't turn out very well.
We now live in the times where most people have smartphones, and most people are shooting pictures and videos with them constantly. Especially at parties! Think about it. As soon as something interesting starts happening at least 10 people have a smartphone out recording video or still pictures.
Your wedding day is a day where you want to soak up every moment, and be able to recall those moments for the rest of your life. Not only that, but people want to be able to share their moments on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
At SoundFire DJ we see the value in bringing the photo booth concept into the 21st century. That's why we've partnered with Eversnap to bring our clients the best solution for capturing the story of their night.
Eversnap makes it easy for your guests to automatically upload the pictures they take with their smartphone throughout the evening to a dedicated album for your event.
What's also great about it is that you can start using it as soon as you start the journey of planning your wedding. Dress fittings, cake tastings, venue scouting, engagement photos, and more can all be captured to preserve those memories, and capture the story. Also, for the night of your reception, we can run a live slideshow of your photos that not only include the pictures leading up to your wedding night, but also updates LIVE as people take pictures at the reception! Eversnap also moderates every slideshow to ensure that only appropriate pictures make it into the album as well. So just in case a certain former Packer quarterback shows up at your wedding and gets too happy with his camera phone . . . Eversnap makes sure that picture doesn't make it onto the big screen.
Eversnap is one of the great finishing touches we offer for your celebration.
There's so much more we could share with you about this awesome service, so give us a call, and experience the difference!
Contact us online
SoundFire DJ is a leading professional in DJ entertainment here in Northeast Wisconsin.