Here are a few things to consider when choosing a Sacramento or Northern California wedding or corporate event Disc Jockey service:
There is a difference between the audio equipment you have at home and the equipment a professional wedding DJ uses. Professional audio equipment is built to go on the road day in and day out. Make sure your prospective choices use only professional equipment to insure the music sounds as good as possible for all of your guests enjoyment. In the case of subwoofers and amplifiers, most DJs in Sacramento use only 2 speakers with just one amplifier. Your best scenario is to have 2 (or 3 amplifiers), a subwoofer, and 2 main loudspeakers (3 speaker cabinet minimum). Which leads to the next question:
Even professional equipment can fail on occasion, so it is important to know whether your DJ has spare equipment available to them, ON SITE. Any number of circumstances may arise between the time you book your DJ and the date of your event. It is important to know if your DJ company has a backup plan (a roster of competent backup DJs in the Sacramento area) in case of illness or accident, no matter how unlikely it could occur.
It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. All terms of the agreement should be in writing to avoid any complications at a later date. Typical retainer (deposit) should be at least 20% and no more than 50% of the total contract rate.
It is important that your Master Of Ceremonies looks the part by dressing in a businesslike manner (i.e. a suit & tie) for your important function. However, if you're having a "Hawaiian" themed event, it may be more appropriate to have an island shirt & lei.
A professional DJ will become involved with the planning of your special day and will be prepared to handle all announcement and special events on the day of your wedding. At the very least, an online planner should be filled out which includes a timeline, names of wedding party for introductions & speeches, and song requests.
A professional Sacramento wedding DJ cannot possibly know everything there is to know about your musical preferences and entertainment needs. They should be willing to listen to your ideas and suggestions. They should make themselves available prior to your wedding (either by telephone or in person) to discuss selections. They should never play the songs you have asked them - in writing - not to play. Special requests should never be a problem and your DJ should be willing to play them for you! However, we won't play any of the typical cheesy songs requested by your guests, unless you (the paying customer) specifically request them.
Some wedding DJ services in Northern California brag about a huge music library on their laptop computer. However, there is a substantial loss of sound quality that is evident when you "rip" a Compact Disc to MP3, about 90% of the data is lost. Quality is better than quanitity--Remember that for a typical five hour reception in Sacramento, the maximum amount of songs that could be played is around 75! (Average of 4 minutes per song played back to back).
Although its true (see above) that your Sacramento DJ should take the time to find out your musical tastes and be open to your needs...it is also true that an experienced DJ also knows what works and what does not work. Listen to their advice. A classic example is one where the bride and groom insisted on twangy country music for the entire reception! They chose their own music even though the guest list included many people from different backgrounds! A good disc jockey and emcee will program for your guests, blending the special requests of the bride and/or groom with the popular songs which the DJ knows (by experience) will "pack the dance floor."
Your DJ should have discussed that with you prior to your reception and at contract signing. It should also be part of your contract. However, you alone must authorize it. If the check you have prepared for the DJ does not cover the overtime then the DJ has the option of accepting cash or check. Usually, it is best to have the cash available and to pay the DJ Company when services are rendered.
Don't be insulted if your Disc Jockey turns down a free meal....he might be on a "NO Wedding Food" diet. However, some DJs might want to be fed and that should be discussed ahead of time! Under no circumstances should you have to pay extra to feed the DJ, because there are always guests who (for some reason) don't show up, and you should be able to feed these "no show" plates to your vendors.