Category Archives: Music

Play That Funky Music, White Boy…

Or, how we found our totally rocking DJ!

A long time ago, I wrote this wonderful post about interviewing DJs.  If you haven’t booked your DJ yet, go there now.  Go on, click it!  It’s got a lot of great info about what to ask when you are interviewing possible DJs.

For us, the DJ decision was a pretty simply.  We started by interviewing DJs that were recommended to us…namely, two specific companies in our area.  The first company came recommended to us by our venue.  The second company I interviewed was recommended by the fabulous White Box of Wedding Design, a Milwaukee wedding planning studio.

(Side note: sadly, The White Box is no longer open.  This was a seriously cool concept, however—brides visited the studio or called their “White Line” hotline number and were able to troll through listings of local vendors, get advice about planning, and ask obscure questions about weddings—for free!  They also did full service wedding planning and consulting.  I am so sad that this business closed its doors—it was chic and smart and stylish, something that I sometimes feel is lacking in the bridal industry here.  This is the land of cheese and beer, people—just sayin’!). 

ANYways…I interviewed the head DJ/owner for both of these companies.  While both had competitive rates, great personalities, and smart business practices, in the end, we went with the DJ recommended by our venue.  Dun dun dunnnn…we chose a company called Sound By Design to be our DJ.

So why did we choose them?  Well, there were lots of reasons, but mainly these:

If you’ll take a moment to remember, our venue has some seriously tall ceilings:

Wedding Venue 004       Wedding Venue 009

(Photos by me)

I was really concerned about the sound quality in here.  If you’re not using the right type of speaker or system, the sound is going to carry, carry, carry and be gone with the (proverbial) wind.  We chose our DJ not only based on his fun personality, but also because his company just happens to be the company that installed the sound system here.  Meaning, he already has all compatible equipment and he’s familiar with said sound system. 

This wasn’t the only reason we chose Sound by Design, though.  We also chose them because not only do we get the owner, Paul, as the DJ at our wedding, but he also plays weddings at our venue on a regular basis, and thus, he’s familiar with our wonderful venue manager, Maria.  They work together so often that they had already discussed our wedding by the time we decided to go with Paul.  It makes me feel a lot more comfortable entrusting the evening’s events to the two of them knowing that they enjoy working with each other and do so on a regular basis. 

And lastly, we chose Sound by Design because it eliminated the need for another vendor.  See those columns up there?  Well, they look fantastic all lit up with a pillar light, which Sound by Design just so happens to have available for rent.  Hooray for not having to go through a separate lighting company!  A little finagling on my part got those lights (we’ll need 6 of them) tossed into our DJ contract for free.  One less expense and one less vendor to go off and find.   Take this as a lesson learned, ladies—it never hurts to ask!  Most vendors are happy to throw in the little things if they truly want your business.

In the end, we are really happy we chose Sound by Design.  They are a young, fun, hip company with responsible-yet-still-cool management, and they have a pretty neat website system worked out as well.  We can go online, pick and choose songs, set the event schedule, and more, all on our own “private” website (each customer gets their own log-in and password for their wedding).  It’s neat because it makes the music an ongoing thing for us.  We can set some songs, change some songs, etc. all the way up until our wedding day!

You can find Sound by Design by visiting their website.  And check out their YouTube page:  http://www.youtube.com/soundbydesigndj 

Are you having a DJ or a band at your wedding?  How did you decide who to book?

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Interviewing DJs

This week, I am interviewing DJs! I’ve got to admit, the DJ business is something I know NOTHING about.  Sure, I’ve seen DJs “perform” millions of times, but it’s not something I ever thought seriously about until I got engaged.

I met with one DJ tonight and I am meeting another tomorrow.  Both come highly recommended by my venue, which is important to me because the room is very large and I am concerned about acoustics.

While preparing for my interviews, I searched high and low for tips and info about interviewing vendors.  Surprisingly, there wasn’t a lot out there (not that I was looking that hard, but nothing really popped up).  So, without further ado, here’s my tips about what to ask when interviewing your DJ:

1) Discuss package prices in detail.  Are service charges, taxes, travel costs, and set-up time included?  How much do they charge for overages?  Is there a charge for tuxes, if that’s what they choose to wear? (Shocking, I know, but there could be a fee for that).

2) Speaking of apparel, what do they wear when they are DJing?

3) How many years have they been in business,  and do they have education or training in DJ and Music Services?

4) Get back to basics when discussing your event.  Will they emcee?  What is their philosophy in running weddings?  How will they get people on the dance floor, and how do they envision the night flowing?

5) Do they have back-up equipment onsite?  Who will be your DJ?  Can you meet with your DJ before the wedding (usually about a month before)?  Have they worked at your venue before?  Will your DJ do a walk-through of the venue if they’ve never performed there before?  When will they be set-up–before guests arrive?

6) Lighting and extras:  what are their lighting packages?  Do they have extra multi-media packages you can tack on?  Is there an extra charge for special lighting?

I’m sure I’m missing some, so pipe in, gang–what are some more important things to cover in your music interviews?

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