1. "How much do you charge?"
Ninety percent of the time, this is the first question couples will ask. It's a fair question as you may think DJs are all the same. The truth is ... they're not.
Club DJs, Radio DJs, Prom DJs, Bar DJs, Amateur DJs, Professional DJs and Wedding DJs are all different. Our prices are a reflection of our talents and our training. A teenager that DJs in his bedroom isn't going to charge that much. Those of us with decades of experience and thousands of shows behind us are going to charge a bit more. Depending on a variety of variables, your wedding day will most likely cost between $750-$2000 with the average client paying approximately $1300.
And it's a question that I can't really answer until I find out all the details of your wedding day. I will tell you that without doing the research I am pretty sure that I'm now the second highest professional DJ in the River Region. What you are getting for that is peace of mind. You are going to have the peace of mind that you have hired a DJ company that has been entertaining audiences for over 30 years and will still be in business by the time your wedding day arrives. The peace of mind that your DJ won't cancel on you the week of your wedding (it happens much more than you'd think!). And the peace of mind that you are going to have a wedding day that people will remember as one of the most fun times they've ever had.
Your wedding day is a celebration, a melding of friends from work and high school and college and childhood, a family reunion, and most likely the biggest social event that will ever be thrown solely in your honor.
My services compliment your wedding day and make it an even greater day for you and your guests. And my prices reflect that.
2. Do you offer a written contract?
Yes. We have an extensive contract that goes over everything in detail. The contract protects both you and The Music Guys.
3. How many "Music Guys" are there?
There are two Music Guys. Jim Dunham is the original owner since 1985 and Tanner Casey is the hottest up-and-coming Wedding DJ in the state.
4. May we meet with you in person before we sign a contract?
Absolutely! Not every client is able to do so due to locations but whenever possible, we encourage meeting in person first. If that isn't possible, we can meet via Facetime.
5. How long will you hold our date for us?
Once you have been given a contract, you have 10 days to sign the contract and put down a deposit to hold your date. After 10 days, if you have not returned the contract, the date is then opened back up for other potential clients.
6. Do you work exclusively for this company?
Yes we do. There are some occasions when we are asked to fill in for another DJ at another company when there is an emergency. If our calendar is clear, we will help a fellow DJ out. Some of the DJ companies we work in tandem with include DJ At Large, K&S DJ Services, DJ Oz, Rockstar Parties and Events, Hubcap Classics, Top Tier Entertainment and Fontaine Entertainment to name a few.
7. How long have you been a DJ and how many events have you done?
Jim became a professional DJ in the summer of 1985 working in nightclubs in the Southeast, most notably Stagger Lee's on Zelda Road (ask your parents!). He then began working private parties as well as clubs in the 1990s and made the full transition to private parties in 2004. If you combine every single time that he has played music for people to dance to, a rough approximation would be 5000 times.
8. How many weddings do you do each year?
We perform at an average of 45 weddings per year as well as other smaller events.
9. Do you perform for more than one event in a day?
We have in the past but that is a grueling task and is not fair to either client or myself. Once or twice a year we do find ourselves doing community events in the morning with private events at night but it's very rare.
10. What makes you different from your competitors?
Honestly, we do not have a very good answer for this question as we rarely get to see and hear our competitors in action because we are usually working when they are. Above all else, Jim takes pride in the customer service that The Music Guys provide. He tries to always be available for his clients as well as potential clients because every client and their concerns are important to the overall success of the business. We can say that our area of expertise has always been our overall knowledge of musical genres in that we have a knack for hearing a song and knowing which song would work well to follow it up with. Jim has a background in stand-up comedy which comes in handy when working an audience. Tanner was half of a very popular musical duo as the lead singer before progressing into the DJ world. The truth is every DJ in the area that we have met we also consider to be a friend. We are all family in that respect. So we are not so much competition as we are friends who happen to have the same occupation.
11. Have you played at our site before?
This, of course, depends on the site. If it is in the River Region area then we have most likely played there at some point.
12. I want to make sure all of the music is "clean" at my event. Is that an issue?
Not at all! All of our music are the clean, edited versions of the songs. However, just because a song has offensive words removed from the songs doesn't mean that the song's meanings don't change. We always cite "My Humps" by Black Eyed Peas as an example. We have a clean version of the song ... but that doesn't change the song's message!
13. Do you act as the emcee and make all of the announcements?
We will make any and every announcement that you would like us to make which is usually the norm. Occasionally a client wants someone special in their lives to make an announcement and we always oblige them.
14. How would you define your style when making announcements?
Confident and clear. We use our regular voice and do not "cheese it up" with insincerity. While we can use a booming radio baritone, we think that most people can see right through it and that creates a sense of distrust between the guests and ourselves.
15. What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?
Having done this for as long as we have, this is usually not a problem. However when it does happen, we have developed our own tricks on getting people to dance. Some are subtle while others are more to the point. I will point out that a DJ can never go wrong with a classic love song or a fun group participation dance to get people on the dance floor. Beyond that, we would much rather share our secrets with you while you are on the dance floor!
16. What if something happens to you and you cannot make it to my event?
Since 1985 we have missed one party due to a hospitalization and fortunately our friend El Erby with DJ At Large was able to step in at the last minute and rock the party. I've performed sick. I've performed hours after deaths in the family, Jim has even performed while passing a kidney stone (and nobody was the wiser)!. If it ever were to happen, like I said above, the local DJs and I are friends and we would have someone there with all the information, songs and documents about your day.
17. Will we meet again before the event?
If you need to meet for whatever reason within the River Region, it can be done but usually there really isn't any need to unless you just want to see my ruggedly handsome mug just one more time before the big day. Most of the correspondence after the initial meeting is exchanged either via email or telephone, text or even Facebook if you want to friend me there!
18. Can we visit you at a performance?
The only performances you can visit me at are the occasional public performances that we do for charities (and we always encourage potential clients to do that). we announce all public events on The Music Guys' Facebook page as well as this website. But as most of our performances are private weddings, we respect our client's privacy and do not have potential clients visit their parties. Plus, each performance we do is designed to fit each individual clients wishes so what you hear at one party may not be exactly what you are looking for at yours and will cloud your judgment on our abilities. If you want to see us in action at a wedding, click on the "Media" tab above and go to the "Video Reel" section of the website to see amateur videos of some of our wedding receptions.
19. May we speak to your references?
Please do! To protect my past client's privacy, we only provide references on request. Just contact us through the tab above and mention you'd like some references and we'll get them to you ASAP.
20. How do you keep your music collection up-to-date?
I subscribe to several different DJ Record Pools with the primary one being Promo Only. We check the weekly Top 10s on Billboard, Amazon and iTunes religiously. We listen to Sirius Hits One and we read music and trade magazines. Music is not only our job, it's a lifelong hobby and passion!
21. How involved can we be in selecting music for our event?
As involved as you like! This is YOUR party and you are allowed to choose up to 50 songs online as well as give us a Do Not Play list for songs you specifically do not want to hear. This is all done via our Online Event Planner. In addition, your guests are all given a password so that they can choose up to five songs apiece online as well. This usually provides us with more than we need so requests are based on danceability, popularity and your audience. For instance, we will usually play Cupid Shuffle over most Metallica songs!
22. When do we need to submit our music requests and event details?
Naturally, the sooner the better. However you have up until one day before your event to submit music requests. Wedding details are usually due two weeks before the wedding in order to draw up an agenda that fits your needs. In order to provide you with a stress-free event we do try to keep you on a weekly schedule, reminding you of what needs to be done each of the six weeks leading up to your event.
23. Do you take requests from our guests?
That's up to you! The majority of parties that we do include taking requests from guests. Some clients prefer no requests from the guests and we respect their wishes.. But when guests are allowed to make requests and hear the songs they like to dance to, they become more emotionally involved with the event and walk away with fonder memories of the evening. We do not play inappropriate requests at events and have developed subtle ways to satisfy the guest without offending them.
24. Can we submit a Do Not Play list?
Definitely! But please limit it to songs that would absolutely ruin your evening. For instance, if a new husband was married before, you probably do not want to hear the song that was his first dance with his first wife! But remember, just because you hate the Electric Slide does not necessarily mean that your guests hate it too. Please have some flexibility in your Do Not Play list.
25. When do you arrive to set up for our event?
We normally arrive between 60 and 90 minutes before the start of an event if we are familiar with the venue and two hours if this is our first time there to avoid any setbacks.
26. What will you wear to our wedding?
Ninety percent of our weddings are performed in a black suit or tuxedo. If any portion is outside during the summer time, we will usually switch the coat for a vest. All other parties are performed in either a suit or shirt and tie. If you are having a backyard pool party, we will most likely be wearing shorts. We try to dress either just like your guests or slightly better but never underdressed.
27. What will you wear when you set up and break down your equipment?
It honestly depends on the weather and the time of year. If you are having an outdoor event in July, we will most likely arrive wearing shorts and an oversized shirt as setting up equipment in 90 degree heat can get a guy a bit sweaty. However, while some of your guests may see us like this, we will be changed into our formal wear by the time the bulk of your guests arrive.
28. How much of a deposit is required to secure our date?
Currently I only ask for $300 and a signed contract to hold your date. The rest of your balance is due two weeks before your event date. If you would like to arrange a different payment schedule, Jim is usually happy to accommodate you.
29. What is included in the cost of my event?
You start by receiving several helpful forms to begin planning your event. You get all of the advice and support you need either via phone or email at any time before your event. You will receive an Online Event Planner that allows you to choose music as well as provide me with all the information I will need to make your event a success. You also get a Guest Request System that allows your guests to make requests. Before the event, we form your musical selections into playlists that will best utilize your choices for maximum enjoyment. The day of the event we arrive 60-90 minutes before your event to set up. We play for the allotted time that you have specified on your contract. We use four powerful professional DJ lights primarily to visually impact the dancing portion of your event. And it covers our tear-down time (normally 15-30 minutes). There are NO hidden fees. Whatever the contract says is your total amount of pay. For weddings, we also write a Love Story that describes the history of the couple together in a humorous and romantic fashion.
30. How much would you charge for overtime?
We have two basic packages which are a four hour package and a five hour package (Reception + Ceremony music). If you choose the four hour package and decide to go longer, it's $200 per hour. Overtime is paid in cash only and is paid before the fifth hour begins. If you feel your party will go longer than five hours at the contract signing, the cost of each additional hour is only $100 and will be added to your total cost on the contract.
31. What do you require from us?
At the event itself, we require a table (at least six feet in length or longer), and a table skirt that reaches the floor to hide our carrying cases and cables underneath the table. If you do not mind the unsightliness of such a mess, you can leave out the table skirt. We also ask that we are situated no more than 25 feet away from an electrical outlet. If we are going to be further than 25 feet from an outlet, we need to know this ahead of time in order to plan accordingly.
32. Do you require a meal?
Normally no. On occasion, if there is still food left after all of your guests have been served and we are starving, we may partake. We try not to eat unless it is offered to us but some of the desserts today are just too scrumptious-looking to walk away from!
33. Are you insured?
We certainly are. We carry a full liability insurance policy for up to $1,000,000.
34. Do you take any breaks?
Not at all. Unlike a band, you get nonstop entertainment from a DJ.
35. What is your policy on alcohol or smoking during the party?
We do not drink or smoke.
36. What kind of equipment do you use?
We have several different systems including Electro Voice speakers, JBL speakers, Mackie speakers, an HP laptop, Virtual DJ software, American DJ mixer and American DJ lights.
37. Do you bring backup equipment with you to the event?
We have backup sound equipment for every party.
38. Do you have a wireless microphone?
Yes, we have a Shure wireless mic. It has a range of about 50 yards on it ... "half a football field" in Alabama speak. We do prefer to limit the microphone use to those that you have already told us would need it (toasts or other announcements). We prefer NOT to share the mic with anyone that wants to have a few drinks and address the guests. Those moments tend to slow the momentum down or worse ... can be awkward and embarrassing.
39. Do you have a light show?
We bring four lights with me that all fit on my DJ table which include a mirror ball, a Moonflower, and two laser lights. We use the mirror ball during "special" dances and slow dancing while the others are used to light up the room during the dance portions of the evening. If you want uplighting or other lighting, it's available for an extra fee, as it includes extra men, vehicles, manhours, etc. Once we determine what you need we can provide an estimate for the lighting.
40. Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?
No, we do not. If your guests like us and want to hire us, they will either ask me for a business card or ask you for my information. This is YOUR day and we are there to make you happy, not promote the business.
41. Do you belong to any professional associations or trade groups?
Not anymore. We do attend the Las Vegas DJ Show each year which is a collection of the best of the best wedding DJs (which ... I know ... fascinating, right?). Over the years we've learned from the best through their seminars and workshops.
41. I have a question that you haven't answered here. What do I do? How do I get this answered?? I'm so confused.
Slow down, cowboy. All you have to do is pick up the phone and dial (334) 312-3991. Normally you'll be greeted with a friendly voice that is more than happy to answer your question.