How many and what kinds of songs should I put on my request list?
When it comes to requests lists, the more the merrier. Think of every song you put down as 5 songs to your DJ. Seem's weird, but think of it this way... If you put down Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars, your DJ already knows that you're likely to enjoy Can't Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake. So instead of putting down all 40 of your favorite top 40 pop songs, put down a few and add a variety of music you think will get you and your friends on the dance floor.
If there are songs you absolutely want to hear, be sure to include them and maybe make a note next to them labeled "Must Play". DJ's will often use discretion when you give them request lists, so if it's a song that brings back memories for you and your guests, but maybe wouldn't be something a DJ traditionally plays, be sure to label it a "Must Play" and you'll be sure to hear it.
Perhaps even more importantly, if there are songs you absolutely do not want to hear, be sure to make note of them in a section labeled "Do Not Play". What could be worse than when your Wedding DJ plays the song that reminds you of the dreaded ex? There is no way for your DJ to know unless you explicitly tell them. So do just that.
As a general rule of thumb, shoot for around 30 songs. That gives the DJ sufficient information in regards to your musical tastes. But remember, the more information the better! So feel free to add as many as you'd like. But too few, and you'll make the DJ's job a lot more difficult.
Does the DJ need a timeline for the event?
Absolutely. Most of the time, your DJ/MC is the one facilitating a smooth flow for your event. It is their job to let all of your guests know when to do what. So it is crucial for Wedding DJ's, and Bar Mitzvah DJ's especially. Essentially, if you want your event to run smoothly and go off without a hitch, you need to get your DJ a timeline with at least two weeks of notice. That way they can tell you if they see anything that sets off any alarm bells. As event professionals, trust the expertise of your Wedding DJ or Bar-Mitzvah DJ, they know what works and what doesn't when it comes to events, so go ahead and run ideas by us! We'd love to help and provide suggestions throughout the planning process if you are open to them.
Why are some DJ's more expensive than others?
It can be hard to pinpoint why some DJ's cost more than others. A lot of times, it has to do with years of experience, the quality of the equipment, how "in-demand" a DJ is, their skill level, or their name recognition.
There are a few things you should be aware of before going out and hiring that Craigslist bargain DJ. Not all DJ's are created equal, and some will do and provide a lot less than a full-service entertainment company like us. Do they provide MC services? Lighting? DJ Games? Many do not, so be sure to ask! Have they performed at the kind of event you're having on a regular basis? For Bar-Mitzvah's especially you want to see how that DJ interacts with kids. We are always more than happy to have potential clients see us in action. All you gotta do is ask!
If you are on a budget, that is totally understandable. But remember, no one cares how pretty your center pieces are or how much you spent on flower arrangements. At the end of the day, if you're looking to cut corners and save some money on your event, we recommend, that hiring a bargain DJ isn't the place to make those cuts - but obviously, we're biased. Truthfully, If you want people to have fun at your event - if you want all the time, effort, and money spent to be worth it at the end of the day... Don't hire that Craigslist DJ, you'll thank yourself later.
If you can't afford the DJ you really want, ask who they might recommend in your price range. DJ's often trade referrals to other DJ's without hesitation. It's all about making sure you find the right DJ for your budget and your event.
What are some ways to save money and still put on a great event?
Most of the time, the two most expensive parts of putting on an event are the venue and the caterer. Obviously, they're both very important aspects of your event... But remember, you can have a backyard wedding with home made food that people will talk about for years to come, so long as the DJ had everyone dancing the entire time. On the flip side, you can have the most extravagant water-front wedding with the most expensive 7-course meal and all of your guests sitting around bored because you hired the wrong DJ. So we know we're biased, but we mean it when we say that hiring a Craigslist DJ is not the place to cut corners.
Here are a few ways you may be able to save on your venue:
1) Ask your venue if they provide discounts for days of the week that aren't prime time. You'd be hard pressed to find any event vendor willing to give you a discount if you plan to book on a Saturday. That's because they are most likely to book that day, and if you don't want to pay the full rate, it's likely someone else will. Since that is an event vendor's primary source of income, it's important that they can save Saturdays for folks willing to pay full rate. So consider having your event on a Sunday, or even Friday night! Of course, any weekday you are very likely to have vendors be flexible when it comes to price. It's likely they won't book anything else that day. For example, we offer a 30% weekday discount, (Sundays included).
2) Consider having the event at a friends place or at home. If you can convince someone with a nice house, or a big backyard to allow you to have the event or wedding at their place, you can save a ton of money and spend instead on things that will actually contribute to the amount of fun people have at your event. A great venue with a stellar view doesn't guarantee a fun event if there's no money left in the budget for a great DJ. You don't want to spend all that money to have a boring event...
3) If you are a member of any kind of athletic club or cultural society, find out if they have an event space! They usually offer them at a discounted rate to members.
It can be argued, that good food should actually out-rank a premier venue. Things people can associate with their sense will actually be the most memorable to them. For example, the delicious food, the incredible music, the smell of the floral arrangements, a spectacular view. All of these things help make your event truly unforgettable. Here are some ways to save some money on your caterer, without compromising on the overall quality of your experience.
1) Food Trucks. Food Trucks. Food Trucks. One of the most popular money savers when it comes to caterers is hiring your favorite food truck! Everyone loves food trucks. The food is fresh, made on demand, and they help add to the unique flavor of your event, pun intended.
2) Buy your appetizers from Costco, or make them yourself. Most of the time, caterers are more than happy to pass out home-made or pre-purchased appetizers they don't have to make. Just tell them it's a special family recipe that absolutely must be a part of your special day. Your vendors want to make you happy, so if you aren't sure if they're willing to do something for you, just ask!
3) Find out if your favorite local resturant caters events! Many do, and often times it can be less expensive than hiring a catering company, and the food can be just as delicious or better!
When it comes to both venues and caterers feel free to ask us for suggestions! We eat a lot of catered food at events and trust me when I say we have our favorites.