How To Hire A DJ

Need a DJ in the Harrisburg | Lancaster area? You should ask your prospective DJ these questions.

We have provided DJ Services in the Harrisburg and Lancaster area for many weddings and corporate events. Often the couple or business who reaches out to us has never needed a DJ Service before now. This article is designed to make that process a bit easier and provide answers about our company.

When you have never needed a service before it can be daunting and downright nerve wracking! This is a natural reaction. How do you know what questions to ask? How do you know if it is any good? Most importantly, how do you know if it is worth it?

This is certainly true when selecting a DJ for your Maryland, Central PA, or Northern VA wedding or corporate party. Most people have hired a DJ about as many times as I have hired a roofer to replace the roof on my home. Exactly, zero times!

The DJ is one of the most important choices you make. The DJ Service is the only service other than the venue that your guests will experience from the moment they arrive. After the one-hour ceremony, the one-hour cocktail hour, and the one hour for dinner and special dances; the DJ and only the DJ, will be responsible for entertaining your guests. 

There are no fun dance shots from the photographer. There are no great Instagram posts of the Best Man doing “The Worm” without a DJ who not only plays the right music but plays it at the right time. If that doesn’t happen, that 120-person guest lists drop to 30 faster than you would believe!

We know that most people don’t make a habit of hiring DJs, so we’ve made a list of important questions that you should ask all potential DJs. Not only have we listed the questions to ask, we have provided our answer so you can see if we are the right DJ Service for you.

What is your style?

With DJs it can be a bit difficult to determine a person’s style. Unlike a band, the focus is not on the DJ. There are generally two types of styles. One is the DJ Kahlid style who represents the club style or “Hype DJ”. This DJ Style is often on the microphone during and between songs attempting to interact with the guests. This style of DJ draws more attention to themselves than the next style of wedding or event DJ.

Wedding DJ in Washington D.C.

The next style of DJ is typically a more polished speaker and using the microphone when necessary. This certainly means acting as the MC and announcing the formal events such as the First Dance and Cake Cutting. They typically will only use the microphone when needed during their dance sets. Examples would be for a song dedication, a sing along song, or to reset the dance floor.

Before your initial consultation with him/her, ask yourself what you want in a DJ. Do you want someone who interacts with the guests between every song? Someone who encourages people to get on the dance floor. Or someone who announces key formalities like toasts and your cake cutting ceremony, and keeps quiet the rest of the time?

Perfect Harmony Entertainment is a professional company who believes that the bride and groom should be the center of attention and not the DJ. Our mission is to make professional announcements and then rock that dance floor! Not a single person at your wedding came to see or hear us talk all night long. They came to party with YOU!

Can we provide a Must Play and Do Not Play list?

Every couple has different musical tastes. It wouldn’t be a good idea to give your DJ full reign to play whatever they want. Ask how you can submit a must-play list, play if possible, dedicated to a specific person, and a do not play list. Does the DJ offer an online system or another way to submit songs?

If you become overwhelmed ask him/her to provide sample lists or suggestions for good songs to play based on actual wedding experience.

Perfect Harmony Entertainment provides access to a smart phone and online web portal for all our couples. With the swipe of a finger our couples can listen, select, and create playlists for every portion of their celebration. Songs and be marked as must play or do not play with the press of a finger.

Have you already started creating a wedding playlist on “Spotify”? That’s awesome because you can sync it right to our wedding planning application and save even more time. And, in case you are wondering, no we do not rely on Wi-Fi to DJ a wedding or corporate party! We own our music.

 

Q: How do you handle requests from guest?

A: The short answer to that is, it is up to you. If you would like us to accept song requests from your guests, we will. If you would prefer that we stick to your playlist and our experience to fill in, we won’t.

Let’s be upfront and honest. After a few glasses of champagne, your guests are going to get loose, and they just might think they’re dancing at a club, rather than a wedding. This means they’ll beeline for the DJ to request whatever comes to mind.

Your wedding DJ has limited time to play all the songs that you provide to them, so adding in extras could get in the way. Not to mention, you don’t want inappropriate or terrible songs to be played at your wedding just because someone who is under the influence of alcohol requested them.

We never forget that our most important our loyalty is to you and producing the best result possible.  We abide by your playlists. We strive to be current with all the music trends and know what will and will not fit the style and vibe of the party you want to create.

 

Q: Do you play at Ceremonies and Cocktail hours too?

Wedding DJ Services in Fredrick, MD

A: While there are a percentage of couples who have the traditional church wedding ceremony and the reception at a different venue, most now opt to hold the entire event at the reception venue. I would estimate that we provide the Ceremony Sound Service for about 85% of the weddings we perform at each year. For Cocktail hour service I would estimate that the number likely increases to about 95% of the weddings we perform at we provide the Cocktail hour entertainment.

Weddings that are taking place at the venue typically require either two or three sound set ups. The Ceremony Service is typically the only event taking place on that part of the venue property that day. We bring a dedicated sound system for that service. If you prefer to use them, we provide wireless lapel and/or wireless handheld microphones.

The next two portions of the event are the Cocktail Hour and Reception with the reception including Dinner. Those most often take place in the same area of the venue property. For this portion we bring a larger sound system that is designed for dancing.

In some venues the Cocktail Hour takes place in a location that is not where the Reception is taking place. At those venues we bring a 3rd sound system to use in that location.

We provide our couples with non-stop music. The only breaks are during the times you want it to be quiet such as during the exchange of vows or during toasts. We don’t inconvenience your guests by attempting to relocate sound equipment as they move from one area of the property to another.

Q: Can we meet with you before we hire you?

A: We are happy to meet with our couples and clients over coffee or wherever they might feel comfortable. If an in-person meeting is not convenient we offer on line meetings thru Zoom.

Q: Do you serve as the MC?

A: For most weddings we serve as the Master of Ceremonies. We utilize a two person DJ team to endure that the MC is directing the attention where it should be focused. We don’t want the guest’s attention to be focused on a DJ tucked behind their booth as the wedding party makes their Grand Entrance.

Another benefit to the two-person team is that the entire equipment tear down is done outside of the view and at no inconvenience to your guests. Many times, there is an outdoor ceremony and depending on the weather forecast we may not be able to leave that set up until the end of the event.

We work for our client. We have had occasions where a family member of the bride or groom served as the Master of Ceremonies. It is your party! We are there to serve you and create the event you want.

Our team at Perfect Harmony Entertainment does far more for our couples than provide great music and fun activities such as our photo booth. Our focus is to help our couples and corporate clients create the events they have envisioned. We do that in part through offering tips and advice and sharing our event experience.

Music serves as the driving force behind an unforgettable wedding experience! Perfect Harmony Entertainment provides our couples and clients with exemplary service to help them create fantastic events!

If you are planning a wedding or corporate event in our service area, we would love the opportunity to learn more about your plans. Our DJ’s routinely travel to all areas within a 90-minute drive from Chambersburg PA.

This convenient location permits us to offer wedding DJ services to clients from Washington DC to Frederick and Baltimore MD, as well as wedding DJ’s for couples celebrating in Lancaster and Harrisburg PA.

Our demand is as large as our service area! If you would like to check our availability for your date or chat about your event, click the link below or simply send us a text. 

Wedding DJs in Lancaster, PA

Should I Hire a DJ or a Band for my Wedding?

Should I Hire a DJ or a Band for my Wedding?

Choosing the right music for your special day can be tricky. Learn the secret to deciding whether your event calls for live music or a DJ.

DJ Cost Guide: Your Guide To Pricing In Lancaster | York | Frederick | Leesburg Markets!

This is our second article in our short series that covers how to hire the right wedding DJ or a DJ service for your corporate event or private party. I strongly suggest that you read both of our articles on how to choose the right DJ and not just this article which will cover DJ pricing and more importantly, value.

Located at the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania we are in a position to serve not only couples and corporations in those two states but also in Virginia, and West Virginia as well. We provide five star rated services in larger locales such as York, Lancaster, and Harrisburg as well as smaller towns such as Frederick, Leesburg, and Purcellville.

“I just need a DJ!”

In the aforementioned article, you can read it here; I covered the various roles and skill sets that a Wedding DJ or Corporate DJ must have and have mastered in order to produce the result everyone wants: a dope party! That is a learned skill set.

Does it require years of college and a PHD?  Of course not! What it does require is a level of experience, knowledge, and quality equipment. Thus it is a trade (auto mechanic, carpenter, or plumber) and not a commodity (cake, flowers, chair covers).

“What does a DJ Service cost?”

That is by far one of the most common questions and understandably so. Most people we work with have never needed a DJ service. Once in a lifetime events like weddings or major milestones like a graduation don’t occur that often so it makes sense that they haven’t.

 As in real estate, location does make a difference. A major metropolitan area such as Washington DC is going to have a higher average rate than Oakland MD which has a population of 1,920 people.

As mentioned earlier, our office location puts us within easy driving range of a diverse area. We provide wedding DJ services to couples in Frederick MD, Leesburg VA, Lancaster PA, Harrisburg PA, and anywhere within a 90 minute drive of Chambersburg PA.

In our service market we’ve seen people (they are not DJ Companies) offer to do an event for as little as a few hundred dollars. We know of legitimate DJ Companies that charge in excess of $4,000 for an event. To be fair, this is includes other services and this $4,700 package includes more than simply DJ Services.

The average rate for a wedding in the market  I have outlined above is between $1,000 and $1,500 for a legitimate DJ company. Please note that this is for DJ Services and not DJ plus additional services such as ceremony sound, lighting and photo booth services.

“What about that $300 guy?”

Let me preface this by saying, for every rule, there is an exception. That is true for every profession. It is possible to find a deal? Yes. Can you also find a person who works on cars in his drive way on weekends to repair your car? Yes, you probably can.

Will he work cheaper than the mechanic at the local auto repair shop? Yes, he probably will. Does the fact that he will work for less make him a bargain? Maybe and maybe not and here is where you should start to feel a little uneasy.

That local shade tree mechanic who is working for cash on the side, paying no taxes and has no overhead can afford to work for less than the reputable mechanic who not only pays taxes but pays for:

·  Rent

·  Advertising

·  Labor

·  Health Care

·  Liability Insurance and a host of other items.

 The reputable mechanic likely isn’t making any more money than the shade tree guy. He is simply playing by the rules and supporting himself and his family.

Now suppose your event is a car.

That shade tree mechanic may be the perfect choice to perform routine tasks like oil changes and replace brake pads. However, when you hire a DJ for that major party, wedding, or corporate event, it isn’t a simple oil change. It is a total engine rebuild!

Is a shade tree mechanic off of craigslist who doesn’t even own a car lift the person you want rebuilding the engine or transmission of your Toyota Camry?

You are inviting people who are important to you to share this occasion. You will put great care into the selecting the venue. You will spend hours deciding on the décor. You will agonize over the food to serve. You do these things because it is important and you want your guests to be happy.

In my opinion there is far too much at stake to trust those types of events to a hobbyist.

“What is a legitimate DJ Company?”

I used this term earlier and it does warrant some explanation. A legitimate DJ company is going to have a number of items in place:

1. Equipment – Not simply speakers and microphones but quality equipment. Brands such as EV, QSC, Shure, Chauvet, etc. These are top tier manufacturers who produce quality product. Why it is important is for sound quality.

Sure, you can buy other speakers and microphones and you will have speakers and microphones. Have you ever purchased $5.00 headphones? Have you ever listened thru a set of quality ear buds like Bose or Beats? Do they sound the same? Exactly!

2. Backup – This means back up equipment and it also means back up staff. Dealing with the hobbyist means dealing with a single person. With that comes some risk that you must take into consideration. Part of that risk is what happens if that person has an issue such as a back injury, a major cold or illness, a death in the family?

No matter how much planning you do, there is always a level of stress involved. What is having the peace of mind over the six months leading up to the big day worth? The peace of mind knowing, that you and your guests are going to be taken care of no matter what.

3. Insurance – A legitimate company is going to have liability insurance. Many venues require it and the number of venues who do require it grows every year. The $300 DJ won’t invest in quality equipment. They certainly are not going to invest in insurance.

4. Professional – This quality covers many areas:

· Personal Presentation – Attire, Vocal Skills, Behavior

· Physical Presentation – Equipment Age, Quality, Set Up

· Attitude – Working With Others, Handling Requests

· Taste – Not Using Your Event As a Marketing Opportunity

5. Dedication – This likely will not make most articles dealing with this topic but in my opinion it is a very big deal. Ask any DJ company, again, I use the word company; “Tell me about a last minute wedding you did.”

If you ask that question you will hear some version of a story where the bride or groom called in a panic at the last minute. They booked a DJ because he was cheap and he has now:

·  Stopped Returning Their Calls And Kept The Deposit

·  Says He Received A Better Offer For The Same Day And Wants More $.

·  Has An Illness Or Family Issue And Is Unable To Make It

Sadly, every DJ Company receives these calls on a regular basis. What looked like a sweetheart deal when they signed the contract turned out to be a ripoff. Often the DJ keeps any money they have received (they know you aren’t going to court over a few hundred dollars, especially if you live out of town). The couple ends up spending more than they would have had they hired a reputable business.

“Can I just get a price?”

This is the second most frequently asked question. The most frequent being “How much do you charge?” The honest answer and it ruffles some people’s feathers is: “It depends.”

Some folks when they hear the “It depends” reply immediately sense that the DJ is trying to take advantage of them. While there is certainly dishonesty in every profession in this case “It depends” is the correct response.

A DJ Service Is Not A Commodity!

Would you ever call a builder and ask “How much will it cost to build a house?”

Would you ever call a swimming pool installer and ask “How much is a swimming pool?”

If you were to make that call or send that email to the home builder would you expect a firm quote? “Yes, your house will cost $125,000.” Of course you wouldn’t!

“What does it depend on?”

Like the house or the swimming pool examples above it depends on several factors. The two major factors are you needs and your wants.

Needs are:

·  Do you need ceremony sound?

·  Do you need microphones for your ceremony?

·  How many people are coming? (You will need a larger sound system for 300 people than you will for 150 people.)

·   Do you need 4, 5, 6, or 7 hours of music?

·   Do you need a generator because there is no power in the ceremony area?

·   Do you need the DJ there more than 90 minutes early because you plan to stick them in the loft which has no elevator and they must lug every piece of gear by hand in a non air conditioned barn in mid August?

·  Do you need cocktail music in a different area than the ceremony & reception?

Wants are:

· Dance Lighting

· A Photo Booth

· Monogram Lighting

· Custom Music Mixes

· Uplighting

· Dancing On A Cloud

 It is only fair to note that some of these wants and one of the needs (Ceremony Sound) are actually additional services. While DJ Companies often offer additional services there is a tendency to lump those services into the DJ Service itself which they are definitely not a part of!

 As an example: many DJ Companies offer the option of a Photo Booth. This makes sense because it is an entertainment enhancement. However, there are Photo Booth companies who make their living on providing Photo Booth services.

When you book the photo booth thru the DJ you are booking two services. It is not an apple’s to apple’s comparison to look at one quote from a DJ Service only company and another who is able to offer both DJ & Photo Booth Services.

By the way, that $4,700 package I mentioned earlier includes Lighting and Photo Booth Services.

Our philosophy…..

We believe in providing honest and fair pricing that represents an incredible value to our couples. We do this in large part by learning about what our clients really need and what they want.

Time and equipment needs have the biggest impact on cost. We provide quotes based on only the needs and wants and we have no hidden charges for things like set up or breakdown.

We provide for our clients what we expect when we invest our hard earned money on a product or service. We expect to get what we paid for. If we were to have a meal at an all you can eat buffet on “Steak Night” we don’t expect to have the same quality of meal would enjoy at “Longhorn Steakhouse”. Conversely, when we do decide to book that 2 star hotel for the 8 hour stay to our vacation destination, we keep our expectations in check and hope for the best.

There will always be demand for cheap anything. It makes sense because all of us like a deal. Sometimes though we want and hope that the cheap thing is a bargain or a deal but instead we got what we paid for, inferior quality. For the most important events in my life I don’t rely on hope and our clients don’t either.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this blog post and found  it informative or of value, I hope that you will:

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· Bookmark Our Page: To read other useful of interesting tips for event planning.

 We are a full service DJ | Photo Booth | Lighting Company. Most weekends we spending performing as wedding DJ’s in Lancaster, Harrisburg, and Frederick.

If you are planning a wedding or corporate event in our service area, we would love the opportunity to learn more about your plans. Our DJ’s routinely travel to all areas within a 90 - minute drive from Chambersburg PA.

This convenient location permits us to offer wedding DJ services to clients from Washington DC to Frederick MD, as well as wedding DJ’s for couples celebrating in Lancaster and Harrisburg PA.

Our demand is as large as our service area! If you would like to check our availability for your date or chat about your plan’s click the link below or simply send us a text. 

Perfect Harmony Entertainment

DJ|Lighting|Photo Booth

717-552-1438

john@perfectdj.net

Lancaster|Harrisburg|Frederick