Booking a DJ/Service

We recommend booking the DJ right after you book your venue. With weddings, we typically book about 1 to 2 years in advance. We suggest giving us a call as early as possible during your planning.
First, you’re probably looking for a DJ or service for the most important day of your life. The old adage that you “get what you pay for” is true in the service industry. Shopping for a DJ isn’t like shopping for the cheapest product at Wal Mart. A product is a product and a service is a service. With a service you are dealing with people and every person has his/her own pricing structure based on their experience, confidence and other factors. Beware of inexperienced people charging experienced prices. Rely on reviews and referrals and please ask for references. In short, if you’re shopping by price for your DJ, photographer, videographer or other service provider for the most important day of your life, you may be asking for trouble. Look at it this way. 4% of your wedding budget is usually the DJ while 80% of what everyone remembers about your event is the DJ and how much fun they had because of the DJ. At the end of the day you want people coming to you (the bride and groom) and expressing how much fun they had at your wedding. You get the credit and we help you look good. It’s that easy and we’re happy to oblige. The same principles apply to any event where the expectations are high.
Disc Jockey rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality. Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $350.00 to over $5,000.00 with an average of $1,500.00 for a 4 hour booking. The best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. As a matter of fact, surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight. A full-service disc jockey company will normally invest 12 to 30 hours to your special event but it may appear that you are only paying for “4 hours”. Consultations, music purchasing, editing, preparation, set-up and tear-down, education and other business related endeavors add up to the overall success of your special occasion. Meeting with us is the best way to find out pricing and what’s included.
You would think that all DJ companies allow for a face-to-face meetings between you and your DJ. Most don’t have time and can’t arrange it because most DJs are part time. Most are contractors and have day jobs. At Crow we recommend you meet with your DJ face to face before signing a contract. Given our reputation, most people book us and meet later. That’s fine too. However, please note that you’re welcome to meet with us as often as you need to. That goes for phone calls, emails, texts, etc. We’re happy to help and we are always willing to give you our undivided attention. That’s the advantage of working with a full time DJ service with actual employees.
We can meet with you at a time that’s convenient for you. Being a full time company allows us to cater to your schedule and not the other way around. Meet with us as often as you need to.
Yes we are insured and your venue may require that we show proof and name them as an additional insured during our time on their property. We can do this as this is standard operating procedure for us. DO NOT HIRE AN UNINSURED DJ AND ALWAYS ASK FOR PROOF.
If at all possible on your end, we would like to arrive 2 hours before the start time of your event. This will give us time to set up, get dressed and do a proper sound check. Larger events requiring additional set ups, equipment and time will require us to be there earlier than the 2 hour mark. Ask us about this based on your particular event.
Yes. Unfortunately there are a lot of part time DJs in the business who lack the experience and skill to be full time. Not being full time means that your event is 2nd to their first priority of a day job. You will benefit better from a full time DJ service as they have more time to prepare for your event. Crow Entertainment is a full time, full service employee based company. We can work around your schedule for meetings, calls and anything you need during your planning.
Here’s what you should know. We use brands such as Pioneer, Denon, JBL, QSC, SHURE and APPLE computers to name a few brands. Between music and equipment (back up equipment included) our DJs are bringing an upwards of $5000-$15,000 worth of equipment to every event we do. We buy only the most reliable and durable pieces of equipment available and spend extra money to make sure it is protected in professional cases. The more appropriate question to ask is whether or not we have a plan B. The answer to that is yes.
Great question and yes, we have back up. However, it doesn’t stop at our equipment. We have back up people. Being one of only a few full time and employee based DJ services in the tri-county area, we have the resources and experience to make sure that the show goes on. WE WILL NOT FAIL.

Meals, Gratuity & Etiquette

A professional Disc Jockey will assist you with the planning of your special day. Most professional entertainers will coordinate, emcee and provide the music that you desire. For example: Hiring your favorite bar DJ to do your elegant wedding may not be a good idea since there are many age groups at weddings and many musical tastes. Hiring your favorite karaoke DJ could also yield the same bad results. Ask if they have experience with your type of event. More importantly, use your intuition and assess their personality. If they are dry and overly salesman-like, then it’s likely they will act like that on the day of your event.
It is possible to send the wrong message to your vendor by the meal you provide for them if it’s different than what the rest of your head count is eating. Your vendor does not mind talking to you about this and it’s totally fine to ask. In fact, we hope you do.
Yes. Your Crow Entertainment DJ is a service provider and no different than a server at a very nice restaurant. It is appropriate to extend the blessing of gratuity to your DJ. The same percentage you may follow in most restaurants is an accurate guide as DJs are very much a part of the service industry.
Family members who DJ your event will probably not hold themselves accountable since they will mostly feel like a guest. This person will probably spend most of their time at the bar and mingling since he or she is family. They’re also least likely to have all the songs you want and their emcee skills will probably be less than adequate. The best way to avoid this disaster is to politely say you would rather have them enjoy your event as a guest.
Most of our events are weddings. We typically wear suits and ties unless you are having a less formal event. We will ask you about this during a meeting.
We can be as involved or as low key as you want us to be. It’s not an issue at all. We are known for how well we handle crowds and especially for not being cheesy or obnoxious. We don’t turn your event into comedy hour. We know our role. We stick to the itinerary in a fun and professional way.

Music, Playlists & Volume

The volume is always at conversation level. During cocktail hour and dinner your guests will want to enjoy conversation and shouldn’t have to yell across the table. We take all of this in consideration when putting together your play list.
You can if you want but consider this. Your Crow Entertainment DJ will inquire about your musical tastes and ask for a list of songs that you would like to have played. Your DJ is really only looking for about 10-20 songs. Your Crow Entertainment DJ knows how to work the crowd as well as what to play. We often use your list of songs as a guide to select other songs that will compliment the event. Your Crow Entertainment DJ also avoids what you don’t want to hear. The key words here are “Crow Entertainment DJ.”
We are willing to listen to your suggestions, give you feedback and play from your desired song list. We will also honor your “do not play” list. Don’t worry. Your do not plays are probably the same as ours. Also, taking requests from your guests is no problem but understand that we have common sense enough not to deviate from the direction we establish long before your wedding day.
Many people don’t ask this question but we wish they did. So many DJs download illegal music and then charge you to play at your wedding. It’s wrong and most of all illegal. If the RIAA arrests your DJ, he or she will not be at your wedding. We purchase our music from iTunes, Amazon and other paid sites governed by the RIAA. We also subscribe to Promo Only® media which is designed for DJs. These subscriptions help to keep us current with music. All of our songs are crystal clear and appropriately compressed for the best sound quality possible.
iPods cannot emcee the event, coordinate the reception, or interact with your guests. Add to that, iPods don’t know how to mix the music in the right order and gauge a crowd. iPods are great for working out at the gym so use them there.
Yes. We provide a contract which shows all the details. If you’re considering hiring a DJ without a written contract, think twice. Our company is called on multiple times per season to help people who have hired a DJ without a contract. It is unfortunate but a lot of DJs are not accountable for their actions and rarely commit. Ask to see the written contract first.
We provide wedding ceremony music on location and coordinate the wedding ceremony as part of our service on your big day. We provide music for guest arrival as well as the songs you choose for your entrances. Assistance with this is always part of the package. You can also book musicians for your ceremony through us as an additional option.
There are different styles of DJs out there. Some specialize in playing at bars while others are specialists in the field of Karaoke. Though these are fun things to do, it isn’t always good to have these types of personalities at your wedding if you’re looking for more of a professional Emcee and radio edited music so your guests aren’t offended. It’s also unfortunate that this style of DJ often sees your open bar as an invite for them to indulge. After all, it’s what they do at the bars where they often work. Karaoke DJs and wedding DJs are two completely different personalities. Know your DJ before you let he or she into what is supposed to be the best day of your life. If it’s a wedding, get someone who specializes in weddings and preferably someone who is full time at weddings and not someone who squeezes your event in on the weekend. Lastly, find out a little background on your DJ. If he or she has a criminal record, DUI’s or other issues, you may not want them around your guests. Like any employer would have to do, these are just normal steps you would take. Since the DJ is 80% of what everyone remembers, we suggest giving this area a lot of thought. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK DIRECT QUESTIONS WHILE MEETING WITH YOUR DJ.
One on one contact with your DJ is crucial because you get a chance to see your DJ’s personality and talk specifically about your event with the actual person who is going to be working your event. Agencies can sometimes tack on fees for meeting a specific DJ and often can’t tell you who the DJ will be. We think you should always have a one on one connection with your service providers.

Should I Solely Rely on Vendor Lists?

There was a time when vendors earned their way on what’s called a “preferred vendors list” as being the best choice for a product or service based on the opinions of the leaders at the venue. These opinions were based on having several experiences with each vendor. From there, a relationship was established and each vendor embraced the idea of being the very best every time they set foot in a venue because they knew that no matter what, their performance was a direct reflection of the venue and the people who referred them.

Today’s Vendor List:
Some venues have found a way to generate profit from vendors who can afford to advertise. This method, a twisted version of what was called “payola” back in the early music industry days, is a direction that a lot of venues seem to be embracing under the auspices that each vendor selected (by the publishing company) will be a great asset to the venue. The end result is that the publisher of the list and the venue make a profit. It seems simple enough. The downside, however, are those customers who innocently walk into a venue expecting to be able to trust the leaders there are being tricked into selecting vendors who may not be the best fit for them. To add insult to injury, there are venues where the owners want a finder’s fee each time a vendor works there even though they are making a profit on the rental of the venue. Sadly enough, these venues aren’t far from your backyard. The traditional earned placement on a preferred vendors list is a thing of the past thanks to shady publishing companies and venue owners who often only see the bottom line.

Facts:
Every Vendor list that has our name on it was 100% earned and not paid for. We encourage you to confront the person you are working with and ask them directly about us. Some will squirm because they know that if you choose us and we aren’t on the list, they won’t get their finder’s fee.

Keep it simple:
Fancy advertising is one thing but nothing beats a referral. Go with your gut. People book us because they want their guests to have a great time and trust us to do our job. It’s why we have meetings and spend a great deal of time educating ourselves in the industry. Regardless of our leadership in the industry and the many copycats we encounter in our own region, we are constantly evolving and staying ahead making it harder for those who are less than adequate to keep up with us. Keep in mind; we do appreciate the flattery of their attempted imitation.