FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
We hope that the information below serves to help answer all of your questions regarding DJ and Entertainment options for Weddings, Parties, and Events. These are the most frequently asked questions we receive on a daily basis. If there's something you can't find here, please contact us directly using the contact form. You can submit your Event Details so that we have additional info before reaching out to you, or simply use the links provided to schedule a phone call. You can message us on social media too; whatever works best for you. We look forward to speaking with you!
• Can you explain your pricing?
Of course. We have a flat rate and an hourly rate for all events and weddings that require equipment. Our flat rates are generally 5-10% of what it cost to purchase the equipment (most charge 10% to rent gear). Additionally, the hourly rate covers all communication (including consultations and format reviews, up to 1 hour each), booking the date, office work, preparing and acquiring music, transport/travel, setup, performance, breakdown, and travel home. This also allows adding additional hours to your event or wedding to be more affordable, and it prevents shorter time frames (1-3 hours) from being unprofitable for us and our business.
• Does My DJ Need Liability Insurance?
Yes. Most venues require a DJ to submit Liability Insurance documents 1 week prior to the Event Date. We carry DJ specific insurance that covers up to $2,000,000 in damages and/or injury that may be a result of our DJ equipment, performance, or any other unfortunate scenarios. Although we are covered by our insurance, we take every necessary precaution to prevent such events from occurring. We use black gaffers tape to secure wires and cables to the floor, we position equipment in tightly confined areas to prevent accidents, and we use high quality equipment at reasonable volumes to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience.
• How Early In Advance Should We Book The Date?
We book dates 1 - 2 years in advance. Booking your date early significantly lowers the stress of planning and preparing for a successful event. We do book last-minute dates even 1 week prior, as long as the date is available, however we found that customers are happier throughout the process when they start early. This gives you enough time to stay organized and to secure everything you want and need, without needing to settle for less.
• What Is The Cost of Booking The Date?
We require a 30% deposit to book the date. The deposit is non-refundable. This is standard practice for venues and event specialists. We do not recommend hiring a professional that does not collect a deposit. Doing so may result in hiring someone that might not be in business by the time your event date arrives. Non-refundable deposits ensure that the time and money invested into advertising is covered for each and every contact with a customer. If a date is cancelled, there's a likely chance that the service provider will not have enough time or resources to find a booking for that date, resulting in a loss of business for the week.
Make sure to consult with the professionals you want to hire multiple times before securing your date! We spend as much time as possible with each of our customers before we send them a Quote and Contract. The first step is determining whether or not we're a good fit for them and their event. If we do not feel we can provide what they want, we recommend other alternatives so that they can have the best experience.
• Do You Bring Backup Gear?
Yes! Some DJ's do not. We bring double the amount of equipment required for every event. Our backup gear is identical to the main set of gear we use. We bring backup cables, wires, microphone, laptop (music), lighting, batteries, and uniforms (dress clothes). After preparing the music for the weekend on our main laptop, we transfer the files to our backup laptop so that we have an identical machine with all of the music requests prepared and organized in the event of laptop failure. We can also connect any other playback device to our systems using a standard 3.5mm stereo cable, RCA cables, 1/4" TRS cables, and XLR cables. We have multiple inputs and outputs on our speakers, and the mixer, for bringing in audio, and also exporting audio for videographers. Take the time to review the high-end gear we use, listed here: How We Do It
• How Long Does It Take For Setup + Breakdown?
We typically arrive at the Event Location 1 - 3 hours prior to set up the equipment. Breakdown is typically 1 hour. Each package requires a slightly different amount of time for setup. For example:
– Standard DJ Package –
Wedding Reception / Party: 1 Hour
Ceremony, Cocktail, Reception: 2 Hours
– Platinum DJ Package –
Wedding Reception / Party: 1.5 Hours
Ceremony, Cocktail, Reception: 2.5 Hours
Let us know if your venue can only provide 1 hour of setup time so that we can bring additional help with us to setup the equipment within the 1 hour time frame. As long as you communicate with us and provide us with all of your information, we can make it happen!
• Do You Accept Song Requests?
Yes, of course! Song requests are the backbone to any successful Private Event. What is a Private Event? A Private Event refers to any event, including weddings, where guests are attending because they were invited. In these scenarios, guests are not coming to see a particular artist, band, or DJ perform. There's a likely chance that you will have a mixture of both young and old guests with a varying degree of different musical preferences. This is where song requests, submitted prior to the Event Date, hold an immense amount of value.
We supply an Entertainment Format for each type of event. It's a link you can bookmark and return to throughout the planning process to jot down notes, organize music requests, provide the names of certain people, add special requests, and put together a timeline for the sequence of events so that the event runs smoothly. We always recommend reaching out to some of your guests prior to completing the Entertainment Format so that you can collect additional songs from them. You'll be surprised by the amount of great songs you may have overlooked. It provides a great deal of valuable information to your DJ so that every guest enjoys the music.
We recommend dividing your music requests into two categories: Dance Music + All Other Music. The songs you request for Dance Music should typically be comprised of only the best, most popular "greatest hits" that people are familiar with. All Other Music can be played during a Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, Grand Introductions, Special Dances, Dinner, and any other formalities including Special Performances, Candle Lighting, Cake Cutting, Bouquet + Garter, and any other moments where the Dance Floor is not open to all of the guests.
This allows you the opportunity to play the songs you love, without worrying if the guests will dance to those songs, because the Dance Floor is closed during those moments. If we play any of those songs during Dance Sets, there's a likely chance that your diverse group of guests might leave the Dance Floor, because they are not familiar with the songs you've requested. Keep this in mind when adding music to your Entertainment Format. It makes a big difference!
• Do I Need To Hire An Emcee?
Not necessarily. It all depends on what you want and need. Over 90% of our events include 1 DJ / MC. There's a difference between a DJ and an Entertainer. DJ AFINO is a professional Entertainer. He is skilled at both selecting, playing, and mixing music, as well as providing Emcee services including announcements, crowd motivation, interaction, and direction; whether it be a classy, formal atmosphere, or a party with "nightclub" dance music energy.
We hear often from our customers that they do not want someone to talk and yell on the microphone the entire night. If you hire an Emcee, you might expect to have someone there who is being paid to talk the entire time. If that is what you want, we recommend that you hire an Emcee. We can help you find one. If you already have one in mind, we have experience working with them to put together the type of performance you're looking for.
If you rather have someone that plays good music, that can inject some energy into the crowd throughout the night with minimal amounts of talking and disrupting the music, you can rest assured knowing that 1 DJ / MC is more than enough. This is possible due to the advancement in technology over the years. Before music went digital, a DJ had to focus more time and energy into organizing their record or CD collection. An MC was necessary. It is no longer necessary, unless you want that type of experience. Let us know! We're happy to help.
• Which Enhancement Is Most Popular?
We have a large selection of various different add-ons (enhancements). Depending on what you want, we can help determine which additional equipment you might need added to your package. The most popular enhancement is Wireless Uplighting. Most venues can provide Uplighting as part of their package, however the cost and utility of the lighting is unmatched by what a DJ can offer. For example, most venues will charge anywhere from $500 - $1500 to add Uplighting around the room. Not only is this expensive, they usually only offer to set the lights to 1 color for the entire night.
Our Uplighting package consists of 10 Wireless Light Fixtures that are battery-powered with Wi-Fi built in. They require no power source. We can place the lights around the room symmetrically, in the best positions, to accentuate the decor and transform the space entirely. All 10 lights communicate with one another via Wi-Fi, connected to our iPad at the DJ Booth. Not only can we set them to 1 color, we can also trigger slow color fades for Slow Dances, Romantic Moments, and Dinner with the tap of a button.
The lights are custom programmed to produce sequences and patterns that dance to the beat of the music using Tap Tempo. This creates an experience like no other. The entire room will change colors and transform the experience for your guests, all while being controlled by the DJ, for a seamless, exciting "nightclub" experience. Most venues do not provide this. Ask about our Uplighting package before purchasing one from your venue. Take a look at our Uplighting Playlist on YouTube.