Finding all of the vendors for your wedding can be crazy, but if you find the right ones the day can flow perfectly. I recently got to work with a super cool company at and industry insider event. Bugsie Productions is a premier disk jockey company, and they recently put together a FAQ list to ask your DJ before hiring them! I hope all you soon to be brides enjoy the great tips for 2014. 

How far in advance should you hire a DJ?
As soon as a couple has found a venue they need to start looking for a DJ company.  Great DJ’s who are well established are in high demand will book up quickly.
Are all DJs required to have insurance?  What type of insurance should couples check to make sure their DJs have?
Licensed mobile DJ companies in the State of Washington are not required to have any type of liability insurance.  However; it is highly recommended that DJ’s licensed in the State of Washington carry some liability insurance, usually not to exceed a million dollar policy.  This protects the company from a guest or family member who might trip over a cord or a tree light falling down upon the guest and creating an injury.
How far in advance of the event should the DJ arrive?
A DJ should arrive at least an hour prior to for set up of an event.  This time may fluctuate if the event includes multiple setups, requires up-lighting, or if loading needs to be precisely coordinated due to limited parking and/or time restrictions for vendors enforced by the venue.


Are there any setup or breakdown fees that the couple is required to pay?
All prices and fees need to be discussed ahead of time and established in the contract between the couple and the DJ company they choose.  Common fees to be considered are the following: parking in a covered garage for the evening, which can vary from $20.00 for the entire event to $20.00 an hour at others; setting up 3 hours early because the couple's wedding is in the same place and they have a live trio playing during the ceremony but want a DJ at the reception. 
Can couples typically request specific songs they'd like the DJ to play?
If the answer to this is yes, how and when are these requests made by the couple?
When it comes time to building a play list and taking requests from the bride and groom for their ceremony and or reception, couples can either email their DJ those lists or in most cases the DJ company will provide them with a Reception Planner Packet or a Ceremony Planner Packet.  This packet guides a couple through a typical wedding ceremony and reception including where the songs they choose can be placed in a specific order of their choosing.  The most common are the following: pre-ceremony music, Bridal party walk, Bride’s processional, Bride and Grooms recessional, cocktail music, grand entrance music, dinner music, cake cutting music, 1st Dance, (Father Daughter Dance, Mother / Groom dance, etc.) garter toss, bouquet toss, and Grand Exit. 
Do Disc Jockeys usually play requests made by the guests?  If yes, how is this typically done?
Within the packet a couple is asked ahead of time if they would like us to take request or play the music they have selected.  Some of the question couples will be asked are:
1) Would you like us to play many of the selections from your “Must Play” list while reading the crowd and choosing songs we know would get a good response?
2) Would you like us to play from our Top 100 dance songs for weddings?  These are the top rated songs for dancing and they give us the best chance of getting your guests dancing.
3) Would you like us to take request as long as they are appropriate for a wedding?
____ No thank you. Please inform guests that a custom play list has been chosen.
If no packet is given please make sure you discuss this with the DJ company ahead of time letting them know it is ok for your guests to request songs.

Can couples request specific songs that they don't want played at their wedding?  If yes, how is this handled?
In the process of creating a play list a couple will be asked to provide a list of songs they may not want played at their wedding – "The DO NOT PLAY LIST"!.  It is very important for a couple to identify styles of music or certain genres they don’t want to be heard so they do not make it on their play list.  
What are some extra services that a couple can add on to their wedding packages?
As most DJ companies are aware of these days, lighting options are one of the biggest add-ons a couple may request.  From up-lighting around the room to enhanced dance floor lighting which may make it more inviting for your guests to dance.  Lighting sets the mood for any event.   Other items a couple may want to consider are additional lapel microphones for the ceremony, creating a slide show, and getting a projector and projector screen from the DJ company.
How can a couple see a DJ "in action" at an event, prior to deciding whether or not to hire them?   When it comes time to hiring a DJ and you want to see them performing for another wedding is it appropriate for us to bring our future clients to your wedding for a sneak peek.
If a couple is wondering whether or not if they should ask the DJ to see them in action prior to their event – they answer is No (unless of course the couple are guests at a wedding the DJ company is already playing at).  A couple should look at videos or sample some of his or her music, but it is not recommended that they go and see the DJ at another wedding.  One couple's dream wedding is not the same as the couple the DJ may be playing for that night. For instance if the prospective couple prefers top 40’s and the DJ is performing at a wedding whose couples' playlist was primarily Classic Rock the prospective couple may think that’s all the DJ can play. So the best way a couple can get an all-round perspective of the DJ is to a) check out their website, b) ask for videos, and c) request some mix samples of their choosing.
What if the DJ's equipment breaks during the wedding?
During a wedding if for any reason the equipment should be faulty or have issues the DJ should have back up equipment onsite and ready to go.  Backup equipment could consist of another Laptop, CDJ’s, mixer, microphones, etc.  Like in most situations "you get what you pay for". Established DJ companies who charge a little more than the average Joe company have top of the line equipment and backups onsite, while a low ball DJ company quote will have inferior equipment with little to no backup; thus the greater the chances of something actually going wrong. 
How does it work with deposits?  Specifically, how much should a couple place down for a deposit and when is the balance due?
Deposits vary from one company to the next.  Deposits will range from $100.00 to 25% of the total price paid within 7-10 days after a couple has reviewed the contract.  This deposit is non-refundable for most companies.  The remaining balance is usually due prior to the event as most couples do not, and should not, be thinking about outstanding balances or even discussing money on their special day.
If the event needs to be cancelled or re-scheduled, when is the latest that the couple should notify the DJ?
If a date needs to be rescheduled or cancelled, it is imperative that a couple call their DJ company immediately to discuss the guidelines if they haven’t already seen them in the contract.  Most companies try to be flexible, if the date needs to be changed and the new date is still available the couple likely would not be charged any type of fee.  However; if for some reason the couple changes the date and the DJ company is already booked on the new date or the couple cancels the event altogether they will likely be out their deposit.

What should a couple pay attention to when interviewing DJs for their big day?
When it comes to interviewing prospective DJ companies it is important for couples to pay attention to how well the DJ communicates with them and responds to their questions.  The couple must feel comfortable with DJ as this is the person that will be facilitating (emcee, play music and create a flow) on their wedding day to make it a celebratory event that they will remember forever.  If a couple remembers only one thing from this article, it should be that in the years following their wedding their guests will not be talking to them about the flavor of their cake, but about the incredible time they had at their wedding eating, drinking and dancing. 
Is it extra for the DJ to also act as the MC/Master of Ceremonies?
Acting as an Emcee / Master of Ceremonies should come standard with any DJ a couple hires.  If the couple need or want an Emcee that can co-mingle with the guests and not be tethered to the DJ equipment, then hiring an additional Emcee is an option and yes it will cost extra.
How does a couple let the "Master of Ceremonies" know what needs to be said at their wedding?
During the initial consultation, the couple and the DJ should discuss what may or may not need to be announced by the Master of Ceremonies. Approximately three weeks prior to the wedding they need to meet with the DJ again to fill out any additional announcements that may have been added and again prior to the ceremony or reception if things have changed. 

Bugsie Productions is a premier disc jockey company that cares about our customers and has a reputation for excellence.  We were established in 2001 to offer professional DJ services at reasonable prices.  You will enjoy a reception that is exciting without being loud and overbearing.  Bugsie Productions will immerse your guests in beautiful music, controlled clear sound, tasteful guest interactions, and pack the dance floor with the ease and professionalism that only comes from experience.  We are professionally attired, charismatic, reliable, and insured. 

Please visit our website at for any additional information, or call us directly at 206-931-9361