FAQ

Crow Entertainment - Professional DJ's

Our FAQ’s are unfiltered for your benefit. We look forward to answering your questions in person as well.

Booking a DJ/Service

When should I book and reserve a DJ?

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.

How much will I pay for a professional DJ?

First, you’re probably looking for a DJ or service for the most important day of your life. The old saying that you “get what you pay for” is true in the our industry. Beware of inexperienced people charging experienced prices. Rely on reviews and referrals and ask for references. In short, if you’re shopping by price for your DJ, photographer, or videographer, you may be asking for trouble. 4% of your wedding budget is usually the DJ while 80% of what everyone remembers about your event is the DJ. At the end of the day you want guests expressing how much fun they had at your wedding. You get the credit for the wise choice.

DJ rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment, music knowledge, and mixing. Rates, according the American Disc Jockey Association (ADJA) for the DJ industry vary, ranging from $350.00 to over $5,000.00 with an average of $1,500.00 for a 4 to 5 hour booking. The best price isn’t always the best deal, especially when planning a wedding. Surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it #1 priority in hindsight. A full-service disc jockey company will normally invest 12 to 30 hours on your event. Consultations, music purchasing, editing, preparation, set-up and tear-down, education and other endeavors add up to the success of your special occasion.

Meeting with us is the best way to find out pricing as it pertains to your event specifically.

Can I meet with a DJ before signing a contract?

You would think 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 DJ’s are part time. At Crow we recommend meeting with your DJ face-to-face before signing a contract. Given our reputation, most people book us and meet later. However, please note you’re welcome to meet with us as often as needed. That’s phone calls, emails, texts, etc. We’re happy to help and are always willing to give you our attention. That’s the advantage of working with a full time DJ service.

How available are you once I book your services?

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. Meet with us as often as you need to. Weekends can be challenging but not impossible. The best thing to do is contact us.

Should I use the lighting at the venue?

 The first thing to understand is that lighting is a key part of entertainment. It’s not part of the job description for venues, catering or anything else. It’s Entertainment. When done well, lighting can set the mood the way you intended it. Professional Entertainment services like Crow Entertainment will operate the lighting during the event and with pin point accuracy, design your color scheme to match your theme and even how you’d like the lighting to respond to music. There’s a huge difference between what venues offer and what you can get from your professional entertainment company. Never assume that it’s all the same. Most professional venues will advise you to consult your entertainment service for lighting. These are the venues that understand that when they focus on what they do well and are working with other services that do what they do well, the end result is a successful event with happy clients who leave positive reviews. You are welcome to come into our office and demo our lighting offerings. When choosing lighting for your event, go with a service that specializes in it. You won’t regret it.

Are you insured? Can you show me proof of liability?

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. ALWAYS ASK FOR PROOF.

When will you arrive to setup?

If possible on your end, we would like to arrive 2 hours before the start time of your event. This gives us time to set up, get dressed and do a sound check. Larger events requiring additional set ups, equipment and time will require us to be there earlier than 2 hours. Ask us based on your particular event. Also, you may want to check with your venue ahead of time and find out if there’s an event prior to yours. This can have an impact on the efficiency of our set up time and potentially your other vendors.

Is this your full time job?

Yes. True, DJing is traditionally something people did “on the side” or “part time.” However, being a full time DJ service adds that much more value to your event because we are always where you are when you need us the most. There’s more to it but that’s the foundation. Not being full time means your event is 2nd to a part time DJ’s day job. You benefit from a full time DJ service as they have time to prepare for your event. Crow Entertainment is a full time, full service employee based company. We work around your schedule for meetings, calls and anything you need during your planning. Our full time job is serving you.

Do you use professional equipment? Do you have backup?

Here’s what you should know. We use brands such as Pioneer, Denon, Numark, JBL, QSC, SHURE and APPLE computers to name a few brands. Between music and equipment (back up equipment included) our DJ’s 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 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. 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.

Is it normal for the DJ to have a few drinks?

Consuming alcohol on the job is prohibited. We are professionals and are there to provide a service. Deviating from that plan is unacceptable. However, you get what you pay for here as well. A lot of part timers and your karaoke bar style DJs who say “we do weddings” are actually not accustomed to being in environments outside of a casual bar setting and therefore may not fit the mold of your event and embarrass you by getting drunk. The horror stories are real.

Booking a Smile & Click Photo Booth

Is this a real photo booth?

The word “photo booth” gets abused quite often in this industry. Our photo booth is a real photo booth that is automated, offers privacy and unlimited pictures. Our photo booths come with an attendant who is there to assist you with your visit in our real photo booth.

What do you love about weddings with a photo booth?

I love the spontaneity it provides. I believe guests are able to really be themselves inside the booth. They have a great time with their friends and family taking really fun photos of themselves. After the wedding, the bride and groom have a chance to view the photo strips and I really think it brings them joy to know their guests had a blast. I’ve had a bride tell me she & her husband looked at the photo strips on the plane on their way to their honeymoon and they were cracking up. I love that it is a keepsake for the couple and their guests.

What props seem to be the most popular at events?

Will an attendant be at the event to run the booth?

Yes, there will be an attendant at every event to make sure your guests have a good time and all the equipment operates smoothly.

Are custom photo strips available?

Yes, we can add a personalized message or logo at the top of each strip for free. We will discuss a custom layout prior to your event.

How fast do photos print out?

Photo strips will print within 20 seconds.

Can I get copies of all the photos after the event is over?

Yes. You get a download link of all the photos the week after the event.

Does the booth print color and black and white photos?

Your guests can choose between color or black & white photos when they step in the booth. You can limit all photos taken at your event to be only color or only black & white.

Is there a limit on how many photos we can print at the event?

No, we provide unlimited prints during your event!

What size photos will we receive?

We have 2 x 6″ photos (2 sets of photo strips – one for your guest and one for you) or 4 x 6″ photos (1 set of photo strips) with four pictures and your personalized message or logo.

Do you have props?

Yes! We have a prop box of hats, leis, glasses, chalkboard signs, etc. Props can be a great way to bring out the “silly” side of your serious or shy guests. Offering a prop box for your guests is your decision and we will be flexible to provide the atmosphere you desire for your event.

Do you have power requirements to run the booth?

All that is required is access to one standard 110V outlet within 25 feet of the booth.

How big is the photo booth?

We require a 5′ x 5′ space to setup the booth and we recommend you provide enough space for your guests to comfortably form a line to the booth. The booth stands 8′ tall.  We do require a 6′ table for the props. Our booth is fully portable and is assembled on-site. We do not have any restrictions to get the booth up narrow flights of stairs or short doorways and we do not require any special equipment to haul the booth.

Can you accommodate outdoor events?

Yes, we can, depending on the outdoor event location. Due to the style of our booth we have to be careful where we setup.  Since our photo booths is a 5′ x 6′ structure with a canopy, the slightest breeze could cause a problem, not to mention all of our equipment is exposed if there is any precipitation. Please call us about your venue and we can discuss how to set it up properly.

Do you travel?

We travel all over the DelMarVa area and have been as far as New York with our photo booths. Travel is not a problem.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, we accept all major credit cards, checks and cash.

When is payment due?

A deposit is due at the time of booking and your balance is due the week of the event.

Meals, Gratuity & Etiquette

Does the DJ know the proper etiquette for your type of party?

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.

Vendor Meals Vs. Guest Meals

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.

Is gratuity/tipping the DJ proper etiquette?

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.

I have a family member who has offered to DJ my event. I don't want to be rude and say no. What should I do?

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.

What is your dress code?

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.

How involved should the DJ be at the reception?

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

How's the volume during cocktail hour and dinner?

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.

Should I choose all the music for my reception?

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.”

Will you be willing to play requests and discuss music ahead of time?

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.

How do you obtain your music?

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.

Do I use an iPod or a DJ?

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.

Do you provide a written contract?

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.

Can you provide wedding Ceremony music?

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.

Hiring considerations for a DJ - How much thought should you give it?

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.

Dealing directly with your DJ as opposed to dealing with an agency

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.

Vendor Lists

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.

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.

Vendor 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.

Is most of your work word of mouth?

Most of our work is referral based. Nothing beats a referral. If you found us because someone told you about us, go with your gut. It means that person is putting their name on our service. We will do a great job and honor that referral. We take referrals seriously. 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.