December 23, 2010
I am going to tell you something that no other DJ will probably tell you.
After 20 years in the biz, alot has changed in the DJ market. From heavy crates of records and multiple cases of cassette tapes to CDs and now mp3. From when you had to buy an album for one song and now for the same price, get all the music you want and more than you will ever need.From when professional grade equipment was not only heavier but more expensive to multiple companies marketing to DJs, making equipment less expensive , more efficient and with more capabilities. From major advertising
being the Yellow Pages (thats a phone book for you young folk) serving mostly your local area only, to the internet where the potential to target a larger audience is immense.
At the same time though the appreciation and awareness of what exactly is a good Wedding DJ has gone unnoticed. WHY ? Cause nowadays almost anyone can buy some equipment, has access to free music and go out there and call themselves a DJ when all they really are, are human jukeboxes. These are usually the ones who advertise with appealing low rates but lack in customer service because they are usually hard to get in touch with due to the reason that DJin is a Part Time gig for them.
Showing up and just pressing buttons IS NOT DJin`.
A Professional Wedding DJ should have one thing in mind and that is YOU - the bride, the groom, the client.
A professional takes the time to go over all the details of your event to make sure your important day goes as stress free as possible,allowing you to enjoy your precious moments and your guests to have a fun & memorable time. A Pro DJ will play YOUR music requests and Most Important - Has what I call a "sixth sense". That is, to be able to read a crowd and be aware of the momentum of the event.He will incorporate you & your guests music input and play the
Right Songs at the Right Time AND at the Right Volume.
The music program should be seamless with no uncomfortable pauses or what broadcasters call "Dead Air".Nothing is worse when a DJ clears a dance floor because he couldn`t tell what to play next or that the next song he played wasn`t timed properly to keep the party going.
A Professional DJ with a keen sixth sense doesn`t allow these things to happen.I have also have heard the horror stories of young inexperienced DJs blasting inappropriate music at dinner time,when it is a time for your guests to socialize and enjoy their meal. What are they thinking ?
This gets to another point that most wedding couples are unaware of. There are different types of DJs. You have Radio DJs,Club & Bar DJs, DJ/Producers and Wedding DJs.Within these groups are DJs that may specialize or are only familiar with certain types of music.You have the Top 40 DJ, the Hip Hop DJ,the Club or House Music DJ, a Country DJ or even DJs that just specialize in the oldies. To some oldies are the 80s : ).
So here it is...What most DJs won`t tell you is ...
that they are NOT versatile to your style.
They will promise you the world instead of telling you exactly what they are capable of doing. In most cases, weddings require a knowledge of a variety of music but if you wanted more of a dance club feel to your wedding you wouldn`t hire a DJ that doesn`t know how to beat mix or can`t provide the proper lighting and or effects.
If you and your guests wanted MOST of the night to be Country music and line dances, you wouldn`t hire a Club or Top 40 DJ.
You would be surprised if I told you that some DJs are very uncomfortable with the formalities of a wedding and don`t like using a microphone.These DJs are usually what I call Bedroom DJs.They have the music but hope to get someone else to talk and make a quick buck.A Radio DJ has no problem at all with a mic and a program but you also need someone live, in person mixing up the music.
So my advice to you is... Know your vision for your wedding. Know exactly what you want for your biggest day.
What type of music you want. How much or little interaction from your DJ.How important is lighting,effects and other extras to you.You should also a have a reasonable budget in mind. Many make a mistake of putting too little aside for what can be the most important part of the reception besides the food and that is the entertainment.So when you contact different DJs, maybe you should first ask them what they don`t do and then see if they can do what you need to be done. And remember..
A Cheap DJ is NOT good and a Good DJ is NOT cheap. and yes the old adage applies - You get what you pay for.
DJ / Owner
Eternal Sounds - Serving PA, NJ, & the New York City area
When We Go To Work, Its Always A Party !
For further help you can contact me @ 570 402 1133 or Email: djjj@Eternal-Sounds.com
We`ll play the popular country tunes if you want, but we are NOT Country DJs but We ARE Professional.
November 4, 2009
WEDDINGS…by the numbers
How does your wedding reception stack up?
A Professional DJ provides the positive catalyst for your party. Skillfully selected and played music will add the important "feel good" element that helps everyone interact, rekindle relationships faded by time away and form new friendships. Music is relaxing, exciting, romantic, and inspirational. Dancing keeps everyone at your event longer and contributes greatly to the enjoyment of your guests.
Your choice of entertainer is an insurance policy against bad memories of a disappointing occasion. Unfortunately, the DJ is often the last service chosen, after much of the budget is spent on a venue, food and clothing. This “backward planning” often forces Brides and Party Planners to shop for the cheapest possible price. Many people will pay far more for a cake, flowers, or a veggie platter than they will for the most crucial ingredient of a party – the entertainment. The DJ you select will be taking on the responsibility of over 80% of the success of your party and often gets paid less than 3% of the total budget (based on the average $35,000.00 Wedding, 3% would equal $1,050.00), yet if the DJ is a poor performer or worse, doesn't show up, your entire investment is wasted, not just that 3%.
$35,000 – average total investment on a wedding in all of the U.S.
$500-1000 – average cost of hiring a professional reception coordinator
$400 – cost for just the RENTAL of professional DJ equipment (no DJ or music library included)
$500-1000 – average cost of hiring an experienced professional Master of Ceremonies by himself/herself (no music experience)
$175 – average cost to hire professional sound & lighting contractors to set up the equipment and make sure it works & troubleshoot
80% – the average amount of responsibility that the entertainer has in making your reception successful
24 – average number of hours a full-time DJ/entertainer will work to research, prepare and perform at your event
18% – typical gratuity you will invest in on top of the price for the meal
$7.50 – average investment per person for just the veggie platter (broccoli sticks, carrots, cauliflower, Ranch dressing). At $7.50 per guest x 200 guests = $1500 you will invest on just the veggie platter, or 8% of the budget!
5 hours in a typical wedding reception, the number of hours you will have to create wonderful memories that last forever
2 people celebrating their special union of love in front of their family and friends
1 year or more usually taken to put together and plan your special day
"A cheap DJ isn’t good…and a good DJ isn’t cheap!"
-- L & M, newlyweds
After The Vows...
72% of all brides surveyed said they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment. Almost 100% said they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
During wedding planning, brides said their highest priority is their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer – reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities...Yet, within one week after their reception, 78% said they would have made the entertainment their highest priority.
When asked, 81% of guests said what they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
65% of all couples that chose a band to entertain at their wedding said, if they had it to do over again, would have chosen a disc jockey.
Entertainment is 5% of your Wedding Budget, but TWICE as many guests will remember the entertainment more than anything else.
Reception Hall & Catering 37%
Wedding Ring 23%
Bridal Attire 10%
Photo & Video 9%
Reception Hall & Catering 8%
"The entertainment you choose for your wedding is responsible for 80% of the event's success and the memories you will have for the rest of your life," writes Martha Stewart
"Don't just hire the cheapest companies! Insist on references and take the time to call other brides to learn from their experiences. Every year we get complaints from consumers angry over poor services after they hired the "cheapest" company," writes Ken Vander Meeden, reporter, Holland (MI) Sentinel
October 14, 2009
Let's fast forward the calendar and imagine you are at your wedding reception …. (insert your own harp sounds and blurry screen effects as we time-travel...) This might take a
couple minutes to read through, but bear with us as we paint a picture for you to consider.
You did it! You have finally made it through the ceremony and you are now married!
You are so excited for the next phase of your wedding day, the reception.
You have put so much time and effort (and, yes, money!) into your wedding day, now it is time to have a party!
You have your first dance, you are seated to eat, and you stop and look around. What a wonderful sight -- friends and family, many of whom have traveled long distances just
to be with you today. You have dreamed about this day - wanting this to be the best party you have ever been to so that you can both cherish these memories for a lifetime. You have high expectations for this day that you will remember for the rest of your lives.
The DJ is trying to get the party started and get people dancing. But people are not responding as you hoped they might. He is trying but somehow does not seem to have much of a flair for being able to read the crowd and create a fun atmosphere with everyone getting involved.
You look around. Friends and family that you had hoped would be part of your wedding memories by dancing and celebrating with you are, instead, sitting down at their tables. You notice some of them looking at their watches. You sense that they are not just checking on the time out of curiosity but rather are likely trying to figure out how long they need to stay before they can leave without being impolite.
The handful of people who are dancing (mostly your bridesmaids) seem to be doing so more out of obligation and feeling badly for you because nobody else is dancing. This is NOT the atmosphere you had hoped for. The DJ sees that people are not responding so he thinks
that the answer is to play some group-dance songs. He puts on the "Macarena," "Chicken Dance," "Hokey Pokey," figuring these are simple dances that people surely will respond to - perhaps that will be what gets people out of their chairs. You see a few people get up to dance but the majority of guests rolling their eyes. You can almost read their minds: "oh no, not this cheesy music!"
The DJ puts on other fun dance songs - even specific songs that you had requested -- but by now the crowd has been "lost" and people are still not dancing. It's not just about the songs that are played. It's also about how the DJ interacts with the guests. It's about the DJ's ability (or in this case, INABILITY) as Master of Ceremonies to shape and create the environment and atmosphere you desire. The DJ has not read the crowd well and has not effectively been able to
create a fun celebration atmosphere.
You had had visions of your wedding reception being THE best wedding reception that everyone would be talking about for weeks, months, and even years later. But instead, your guests are now looking for a polite way to depart. They find their opportunity, smile, shake your hand, thank you for inviting them, and say, "but we have to get going." One or two couples you might understand, but people are now leaving in droves. You feel the energy level of your reception slipping away. You get an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach. You think of all the planning, all the details, all the money spent on so many different things, all the effort that you have put into making your wedding day something you always dreamed it would be. Now you realized that the reality of your wedding day is very different - disappointingly different - than what you had hoped it would be. You had tried to be wise in your selections of the facility, the food, the dresses,
the photographer, the DJ, the flowers, etc.
Your decision to hire, not necessarily the cheapest, but a "budget DJ" is something that you are now regretting.
Now stop. Freeze.
Think about this...
How much would it be worth to you AT THAT VERY MOMENT if you could have had, instead, a more competent and experienced Disc Jockey and Master of Ceremonies who WOULD be able to ensure that everyone was involved, celebrating, having a fantastic time from the very beginning? How much more would it be worth to you to have people not just politely thanking you for a pleasant time but coming up to you saying, "this is the BEST Wedding reception they have ever been to!"? Would it be worth a couple hundred dollars? The few hundred dollars
that you thought you were "saving" by going with the cheaper DJ?
Out of the thousands of dollars that you have invested into your wedding day, people will not remember as many of the particulars about the cheese-and-cracker table, the flowers, the centerpieces, and many other details. What they WILL remember is how much fun they had. The Disc Jockey and Master of Ceremonies is THE person who will, to a large extent, help shape the atmosphere for your reception. Many couples have said they realize that the DJ is going to either "make or break" the reception. To cut corners with such an important element is something that some couples do and, unfortunately, many live to regret.
10 Years from now...
Ten years from now, when you are reflecting back on your wedding day and your reception, will you be willing to say, "Well, it was an OK party, it wasn't great... but at least we saved a few hundred dollars on the DJ"? Or would you rather have the confidence to KNOW that you are making an investment into memories that you KNOW you will cherish for a lifetime by hiring someone of Johnnee's caliber?
Johnnee is not a "budget DJ." Nor is he the most expensive you could hire. But you will probably find that his rates are higher than many other DJs. We are equally confident that you will find that the overall value of the services he provides are worth every penny. To have the confidence
knowing that you are hiring an experienced and gifted Disc Jockey and Master of Ceremonies who WILL be able to make your reception into a COMPLETE SUCCESS is PRICELESS.
Bryon & Marie Williams, a couple who hired Johnnee as the DJ for their reception, perhaps sum it up best with this, an exact and direct quote:
" John, Thank you very much for your help in making our wedding wonderful ! You are not only a great DJ, but you have really helped everyone have a great time as well. "
We would encourage you to read through some of the other recent comments that we have received by clicking on the "Testimonials" on our website.You will see a common thread throughout -- that with Johnnee Johnson's services as Disc Jockey and Master of Ceremonies, their events have been huge successes. He would be honored, as well, to be part of your event -- and your lifelong memories of your wedding day.
Whether you decide to hire Johnnee's services or not, we encourage you to make your decision for this important role based on the person:
(1) with whom you feel most comfortable,
(2) in whom you have the highest degree of confidence,
(3) whom you are going to be able to trust to take over the reigns of control for your reception, and
(4) whom you know will be able to help skillfully turn your reception into the best celebration it could possibly be, and to NOT make a decision based on price alone.
Some factors to consider about Johnnee's services::
His 20+ years experience and proven ability as a Professional Disc Jockey and Master of Ceremonies;
Clients such as New York Magazine, State Rep. John Siproth, Family Promise and 23 years serving UMDF, an organization that offers events for adults with social & learning disabilities.
recommended by peers and other DJs as a top DJ/MC (in fact, having been hired by other Disc Jockeys to DJ their weddings!)
Voted DJ of the Year 2008 for Lehigh Valley
Majored in Radio & TV Broadcasting & had his own College Radio Show that reached thousands.
Worked for AVR (Audio Visual rental Company) who sent up audio & video for Ford Motor Co.,Billy Idol Music Videos, & Model shoots
Extensive Music Library (Thousands of Song Titles)
High Quality Professional Sound & Lighting Equipment;
Fully Insured; Member of ADJA & BNI
part of an emergency response network with other DJs in the area; recommended by other professionals (photographers, videographers, wedding coordinators, and function managers); and
the confidence to KNOW that you are going to be treated to a fantastic party!
The axiom that "you get what you pay for" certainly holds true.
But Johnnee's philosophy and approach is to give each and every client MORE than what they paid for and to EXCEED their expectations!
With DJ Johnnee's services you will NOT be disappointed. I am confident that you will be THRILLED!
Once again - if you have any questions or would like to book your date. (We recommend booking early - dates get booked up fast). Please call
DJ Johnnee Johnson
570 402 1133
Contracting entertainment for your wedding is one of the
many critical decisions you will make when planning your
wedding. It’s your special day and everything should be just
the way you want it to be. Here are some tips from yours truly.
First and foremost, trust your instincts when assessing the
potential wedding disc jockey!
Does he/she instillconfidence?
Are they enthusiastic about your upcomingwedding?
Do they offer a lot of ideas and assistance?
And,are all of the charges spelled out clearly and in full?
Clearly specify the music you want for your event to be
certain they can fulfill your requirements.
Ask for a list of their wedding music selections, age of the
wedding DJ, and DJ experience performing at weddings.
Does the DJ service offer wedding singers, musicians and/or singing DJs?
Make sure the contract outlines all of the times, date,location and dollar amounts for the services you require.
See their performance on video if possible before hiring them.
Ask for recent references of people you can call, or view recent customer recommendation letters.
If you would like karaoke, be aware that a good karaoke show should have a minimum of 5,000 karaoke songs available.
A good wedding DJ service will handle all of your announcing needs, such as:
Introducing your Bridal Party
Announcing the first dance
Announcing the Father/Bride dance
Announcing the Mother/Groom dance
Specialty dances (Kids dances, interactive, etc.)
Announcing the cutting of the cake and more.
As trends and technology change, many of the top DJ services are now integrating slide shows and wide screen video productions into their services. Here again, your instincts about their service, experience and track record are key.
Bad vibes can be very telling and prophetic.
Providing entertainment for a wedding reception is so much more than just playing music.
It means seamlessly becoming a part of the event while being sure to let you shine your
brightest. It is vital to hire a Disc Jockey with solidexperience in helping to make weddings the best they can possibly be.
When choosing a Wedding Disc Jockey there can be many factors that come into play.
Disc Jockeys have a huge gap from one another when it comes to price, experience and
professionalism. It is up to you to fill up this gap with what you are looking for in Disc Jockey entertainment. Are you looking for a DJ that is interactive with games and dance instruction?
Or, are looking for the more laid back DJ that is really good at setting the mood while remaining in the background? These are all factors why the DJ price fluctuates.
If you are just shopping for prices be mindful about observing the quality against the price you receive.
Let us take a look at price. A Wedding DJ can cost anywhere from $200-$2500.
Now that is a huge gap in cost, would you agree?
A DJ should charge from at least $100 to $300 per hour.
The DJ can make or break an event.
The $200 wedding DJ probably does not have any experience, It takes a pro be able to program the music and enable guests to have a great time on the dance floor.
Anyone can push play and the song will play, but it takes a pro to be able to make the dance floor come alive. The $200 DJ may not know how to perform any microphone work (Emcee).
Maybe you will not hear him/her as they mumble or perhaps they just cannot get anyone to listen to them. Again it takes a pro to be able to get people’s attention and make then feel comfortable. The $200 DJ may use home stereo equipment, quality of equipment is vital.
DJ equipment must be made for the job of performing a wedding or a party.
DJ equipment costs $1000’s and if you book with the $200 DJ you could just be asking for problems.
Usually more experienced wedding DJ Companies will have a lot more experience.
Have you ever been to a wedding that just flowed really well?
That’s where the experience plays a huge part of the entertainment.
The better qualified DJ will be using top notch professional sound equipment.
He/She will purchase legal music and belong to at least one pro DJ music subscription service. Some DJ companies will include travel costs and set up/tear down within their price and some will also include lights. Most should meet with you at least once to go over all the details of your special day. The DJ will know how to program music and the events of the event that makes the room and dance floor come alive .
As far as EMCEE duties are concerned, the higher end company will be well spoken over the
microphone and wont offend or talk too much.
A great wedding DJ is worth every penny and a quick term saving now may be a loss every day after your wedding day. If the entertainment did not deliver the party to you, where are you going to find fun for your reception?
So if you want a Professional, experienced DJ who is interested how YOU want your event to be a success, please give me a call. I would be glad to answer any of your questions.
DJ Johnnee Johnson
Eternal Sounds - Wedding & Party DJs for PA, NJ, NY
570 402 1133