Frequently Asked Questions

This is a list of questions to ask a disc jockey service before deciding on hiring them, as quoted from, with additional answers from Musical Memories DJ Service.

Q: Do you provide a written contract for your services?
a. This should be YES with no exception! Never take their word for it. Get it in writing.
MM: Yes, I will explain the, “terms of agreement” with you upon signing.

Q: How many wedding receptions have you performed at?
a. The more experience, the more money the Disc Jockey is worth.
MM: I started entertaining weddings in 1988. Since then, I have averaged over 50 events a year. Two-thirds of those events being wedding receptions. That is a lot of weddings.

Q: May I see you perform at a wedding reception?
a. This answer should be NO. Should your DJ allow a stranger to “pop-in” and watch even a few minutes of your big day and give the impression that they care more about the “next sale” rather than the party in front of them?
MM: I am in total agreement with that answer. Your event is a private affair.

Q: How much do you charge?
a. Look for value for your entertainment dollar. Human jukeboxes will always charge less than Entertainers and/or helpful planners.
MM: Before I can quote you a price, I need to find out some details such as location, time-frame, what you envision, and any other special criteria. “Human jukeboxes” is such a cold title. Yes, I play music for you and your guests to dance to. But, I am also entertaining you with what I say and my presentation of music. “DJ Entertainer” is the preferred title.

Q: Are you limited to only 4 or 5 hours because you have another wedding?
a. In most cases this should be NO! The revenue usually dictates the number of hours at a reception.
MM: No. Most of the wedding receptions I perform at are six to eight hours long. There is only time enough for one wedding per day.

Q: How early do you arrive prior to a wedding reception?
a. Arrival time is generally 60-90 minutes prior and setup is complete before stated contract time.
MM: I arrive one and half to two hours before contracted start time. I will do a sound and light check before I begin. If guests arrive early I will happily start the cocktail music early too.

Q: What do you wear to a wedding reception?
a. The DJ should always dress in appropriate attire according to the event and the wishes of the client.
MM: Unless specified by the clients, I wear a tux shirt, pants, shoes and a vest. I do not wear a jacket. It becomes too hot and restraining. I move to the groove a lot!

Q. I’ve heard horror stories of drunken DJs and DJs that smoke like a chimney. Do you do either of those?
a. This should be ABSOLUTELY NOT! Professionals do their job. They don’t smoke and drink.
MM: I do not smoke nor do I drink during a performance. If a client offers, I might accept one, but generally I try to keep a clear mind and stay focused on the event.

Q: Will the DJ act as “Master of Ceremony?”
a. This depends on the style of services the client wishes to have.
MM: This is the way I perform. Acting as the “Master of Ceremony” keeps the reception running smoothly. Have you ever attended a wedding where there was confusion as to what events were going to happen next and when? I am there to help bridge the gap and create a flow to the event. Most banquet hall managers or caterers appreciate it when someone knows what they are doing and ties it all together.

Q: Are you able to play continuous music?
a. Yes… the music never stops.
MM: That is correct, the music should never stop. The only three situations where the music might stop: 1) if there is an emergency. 2) If it is planned or requested. 3) If the DJ set-up has to be unplugged and relocated.

Q: How much music do you have?
a. This should be a significant amount with over 5,000 songs as a starting point.
MM: Honestly, I don’t know how many titles I have. With over 18 years of experience, I’m sure I bring over 5000 songs to a performance. The fact is, if a wedding starts around 8:00pm, ends around midnight, the time frame only allows about 50 to 60 songs to be played.

Q: Do you use any theatrical lighting?
a. Depends again on the client’s wishes. You may get charged extra, you may not.
MM: Unless specified, a full light show is included with Musical Memories.

Q: Are there any special needs for equipment?
a. Other than the normal precautions for any electrical equipment, no.
MM: The contract for Musical Memories states that the reception hall must supply 1 (one) or 2 (two) 6 or 8 foot banquet size tables and have regular electrical outlets within 25 feet of the set-up area. This is the norm. If a hall can not provide those simple requirements, I personally think they should not be in the banquet industry.

Q. How many breaks will you take? How often and for how long?
a. Breaks are usually not taken during your reception as the music remains continuous.
MM: Once again, unless specified or the DJ set-up has to be unplugged and relocated during the event, music will remain continuous. That’s one reason why you hire a DJ and not a band. Bands take breaks.

Q: What is the payment schedule?
a. Find out when payments are due including the procedure for late fees and cancellation.
MM: A retainer is taken at the signing of the contract. The investment fee is due two weeks prior of the reception. (This is different for non-wedding events.) I prefer to settle the balance before your wedding event. The last thing I want I want to do is approach you during or after midnight, when you are saying, “Goodbye” to your guests and ask for payment.

Q: What happens if you get sick or some tragic event happens in your life? Do we have a backup?
a. Good disc jockey services always have a backup plan or two.
MM: I network with most of the other prominent DJ companies in the Madison area. I also belong to MAPDJ. A professional group of over a hundred disc jockey from around the Midwest. (Check out their website: I do have a very good friend who is semi-retired from DJing. (No, he’s not old.) He is also my back-up.

Q: Do you sub-contract your work out?
a. You want to make sure which disc jockey you are paying to service your wedding reception-This should be NO!
MM: Definitely not. This practice is greatly frowned upon with most of the DJs I know. You’re expecting Musical Memories, that’s what you’re getting.

Q: Do you need to be fed at my wedding reception?
a. This is usually decided between the clients and DJ. It is always nice to make sure your DJ is fed so they can give the best performance possible.
MM: I agree. Eight hours is a long time to go without food. (Typical performance time.) I always ask first. In fact, with special bond that I create with the clients, I’m usually considered somewhat of a guest.

Q: Why is your price higher to play on an island?
a. Any island that is not connected directly to the mainland takes a lot of extra time to prepare for and is costly to service. The price should include transportation to the wedding and any incidentals associated with that.
MM: I’m not sure why this question is included. I think it corresponds with question #4. There are many different criteria to consider and to charge correspondingly for. One thing I do ask extra for any event with a more than one and a half drive time is an overnight stay at a hotel to be paid for by the clients.

Q: What does your equipment consist of?
a. Only professional disc jockey equipment.
MM: Of course only professional equipment is used. This is no Radio Shack, or iPod operation. I could list off brand names but I don’t think they would interest you. When you go out to eat, do ask the server what type of stove or oven the food is being cooked on? Remember, it’s how it’s being cooked that matters. I will say that this is a very exciting time for DJing and Musical Memories. I have used CDs for almost all of my career as a mobile entertainer. As of October 2008, I have switched to a PC type, multi-media player. It uses an interal, as well as external hard drives. It plays MP3s as well as compact discs. It's truly a state-of-the-art music player. It's called a Numark DDS-80. You can look it up. It allows me to mix music together just like a duel CD player can, but without bringing all of the CDs I used to. It also doesn't make me look like a guy playing music on a laptop. There is no laptop. My personal opionion, I don't think people want to see someone at a wedding looking from behind a laptop screen.