ENTERTAINERS, MUSIC & LOCATION
LIGHTING SERVICES [DIFFERENCES, QUALITY, NECESSITY]
There are three important qualities to look for when researching an entertainment company: 1) experience, 2) reliability and 3) professionalism. An experienced entertainer will have the skill set necessary to keep your guests engaged in your affair, as well as the ability to coordinate any formalities associated with your event. In our industry, most referrals are by word of mouth. Ask your company for a list of references and speak with clients who have used their services firsthand. We recommend that at least 2 or 3 of the references have the same style engagement as your affair (i.e. a wedding, sweet 16, etc.) This will ensure that you are speaking to clients who were looking for similar services. The right combination of experience and reliability will enable the company to provide professional service.
It is always strongly recommended to confirm your company has a valid liability policy. If they do not have an active policy, you may be held liable in the event of an accident. If the service is professional and reputable, the company you select will be insured. Most DJ services will, at the very least, have liability insurance for $1,000,000 (We have it for $2,000,000). Not all DJ services have their equipment insured and it is always best to go with the companies that do.
In addition, most catering facilities are now requiring proof of insurance prior to any entertainment company entering their premises. In some cases they may also need to be listed as additionally insured on the policy. Please make sure you look into this ahead of time as some policies require a few days to get a copy of the additionally insured certificate.
You will most likely find a large discrepancy in pricing between companies. It is important that you make sure you are, as some say “comparing apples to apples.” Please make sure you fully understand and are comfortable with the services included in your package. If you need more clarity, be sure to ask!
Price is usually an accurate reflection of the services rendered. Chances are if a company is way underselling their competitors, they are either inexperienced, a part time company, are probably uninsured, or are simply not confident in the services they are about to provide. On the other hand, larger companies which typically have a higher rate, probably have additional expenses such as an office and staff, sales team, promotions, association fees, etc. This does not necessarily mean, however, that because they are bigger, their services are notably better than a middle of the road company.
As you will do your research, you will find that in most cases, an advantage of a larger company is they often have more services to offer and are equipped and prepared to handle a variety of different situations. Please understand that price alone does not determine the quality of the entertainment. Carefully looking into all aspects of a company before making your decision will determine which characteristics are most important for your event. Often the best recommendation is a customer referral.
We know DJs that are $300, $1,000, $5,000 and everything in between. It’s true, you get what you pay for. The question is, which “level” of DJ is appropriate for your wedding? Anyone that recognizes the entertainment as an integral part of their day probably needs more than they realize. A quality DJ will always provide so much more than music. It is a priority for us that you exceed your expectations and that you are completely satisfied that your money is well spent.
At Exclusively Entertainment, our style is to give you all of the required attention before and during your event. This ensures that we will know exactly what you want and need for your wedding to be a tremendous success. We will pronounce names correctly and orchestrate the right event at the right time, (announcing cake cutting, toasts, first dance, etc.)
You will always get what you pay for with us (a countless number of our Brides & Grooms have raved that they got even more than they paid for) – the utmost in professionalism, reliability, service, flexibility, experience, talent, and musical expertise.
It is for this reason that before we provide you with a quote, we like to meet with you in person to learn everything about your needs.
Absolutely! As a matter of fact, we find this necessary. We meet prior to booking in order to get an understanding, in person, of exactly the service we need to provide. We also prefer to meet approximately one month before the Wedding to ensure every detail has been covered including correct pronunciations, exact time lines, etc.
Many couples live out of state and are “coming home” for their wedding. By way of telephone and email, we will still be able to meticulously plan your reception with you. You will receive just as much attention and focus as a client who is able to meet with us face to face.
It is strongly recommended that you book your entertainment as soon as possible, especially if it is something you definitely want to have! In some cases you may be able to book a few months before, but for weddings or busy months, usually 10 to 12 months is sufficient lead time. Remember, booking entertainment (especially DJs) is like booking a catering hall or photographer: the really good and popular ones are booked very early!
As opposed to part-time DJs and entertainers who may consider what they do as their hobby or sideline occupation, a full-time company like Exclusively Entertainment will have the focus, energy, dedication, time and expertise to offer you the attention and resources needed to solidify the splendor and success of your event. We are proud to be a full-service, world-calss entertainment company, fully dedicated to your every need.
This is a commonly asked question. The correct question should be “how many events have you performed at”? As an example, a seasoned DJ may have DJ’ed for “5 years,” however if he only does one event per month, the number of years wouldn’t really give you much comfort regarding his experience, would it? At Exclusively Entertainment, our entertainment professionals have performed at more than 2,000 events (and counting) in over 14 years. We are seasoned professionals and are dedicated to turning your dreams into a reality.
Considering we have done over 2,000 events since 1997, we can proudly say that we have covered all of the most common ethnic weddings possible! The important thing to note is that we will never falsely represent ourselves for the sake of getting a gig. As we grow and keep gaining new clients, so does our invaluable experience with producing weddings from various cultures.
We can promise you that we will be the easiest company to work with, especially if you are looking to integrate music from your ethnicity and seamlessly transition it and mix it into American music.
Yes we always do! It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. All terms of the agreement should be in writing to avoid any complications at a later date. This is for the protection of both parties involved.
A professional entertainer will become involved with the planning of your special day and will be prepared to handle all announcement and special events on the day of your wedding. At the very least, an online planner should be filled out which includes a timeline, names of the wedding party for introductions & speeches, and song requests.
We do not offer a range of prices, and the reason for this is that we do not provide a range of talents and services. We set very high standards for all of our entertainers, as well as the equipment and services which we provide. Most importantly, we believe that if we were to offer a range of prices, then this would would mean that we also offer a range of services, which is not the case. We offer one type of service, and that is the absolute highest quality of services. As a result, our prices reflect that standard of service.
We would be more than happy to supply references to any interested clients. For the privacy of those previously satisfied clients however, we do not list their contact information on our wesbite, however, we will share that information with you upon your request.
Feel free to view our testimonials.
At no other time since our 12 year existence, have we been asked this question more than ever before. Let’s face it, we are living during a tough economy, and many other DJs, entertainers, and smaller entertainment companies simply can’t afford to turn away a client, and will do an event at any fee you are willing to offer them.
Fortunately, our loyal client base continues to refer us business and allows us to be a part of their memorable occasions. In addition, our customer service and production quality have set such a high standard in the industry, that we are able to stay firm, yet fair, with our pricing. The reason being is that at end of the day, we are confident that you will be absolutely thrilled and blown away by our services and will be raving about us to everyone, emphasizing how every single dollar is worth it!
We do not fluctuate our prices because we do not like to give any client the impression that they paid more than another client for the same exact service. And we are certain that neither would you!
If you have any doubts as to why we are 100% worth paying the difference, let us remind you that for your special day, you simply cannot settle for almost perfect. We deliver every time!
ENTERTAINERS, MUSIC & LOCATION
These two terms are usually used in entertainment package descriptions and it is important that you understand the difference between them. A DJ is the individual selecting your music and operating the sound and sometimes lighting equipment. The MC is the person who interacts with your guests and makes all formal announcements.
In some cases there may be one entertainer who handles both of these responsibilities. If you are looking for a party in which there is a large amount of interaction with your guests, it is usually recommended to contract a two-man team (DJ & MC) because it allows for greater flexibility. If you are looking for a more cost effective solution, consider having one entertainer provide both services.
A professional wedding DJ cannot possibly know everything there is to know about your musical preferences and entertainment needs. For this reason, they have to be willing to listen to your ideas and suggestions. They must make themselves available prior to your event, especially for a wedding (either by telephone or in person) to discuss selections. They should never play the songs you have asked them – in writing – not to play. Special requests should never be a problem and your DJ should be willing to play them for you!
However, we won’t play any of the typical “cheesy songs” requested by your guests, unless you (the paying client) specifically request them.
We usually suggest that our customers make a list of music with three categories. Music you definitely want played, music selections you would like played if time permits and selections you definitely do not want to hear. This will provide your entertainer with a basis from which to play. Understand that the ability of an entertainer to “read” a crowd comes with experience. Your entertainer should base his/her musical decisions on the guests’ responses, but should still respect your musical wishes.
Some clients have actually made complete play lists and requested their DJ to play directly from them. In some cases this works (especially if your guests have a very unique taste in music), but in most cases it prohibits the success of a party. We always suggest taking guests’ requests, as they are the ones we are hired to entertain. Make sure your company does not have pre-arranged set lists which they will not break from. If your entertainer is not going to fluctuate with your needs or your guests’ requests, then you would be better off playing your own cds!
As we mentioned above, your entertainer should take the time to find out your musical tastes and be open to your needs…it is also true that an experienced entertainer (whether it is a DJ, Band or live musician) also knows what works and what does not work. Listen to their advice.
A classic example is one where the bride and groom insisted on country music for the entire reception! They chose their own music even though the guest list included many people from different backgrounds! A good DJ and MC will program for your guests, blending the special requests of the bride and/or groom with the popular songs which the DJ knows (by experience) will “pack the dance floor.”
A DJ should have all types of music with him/her at the reception in order to please a diverse audience. The DJ should be able to play music from the big band, era, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, right up through today’s hottest hits. Your DJ should be able to provide even ethnic music to suit your event.
Keep in mind that we have bilingual Hispanic DJs for Quinceañeras as well!
Mixing is a term used for the transition of music. When a DJ can beat mix, it means they are capable of switching between two songs seamlessly, unlike a radio station where one song fades out and the next starts. You may ask what’s the benefit? Well usually this can keep guests on the dance floor longer and make the transitions less obviousand disturbing. It can help make a party more successful, but is not a necessity.
Inmany cases you can’t get the answer to this question. Especially if you don’t know what is considered professional in this business. However, you can ask if they have back-up equipment available or how they would handle an emergency. You can also look through their literature and/or website at pictures, to observe the condition of their equipment. Ask yourself does it have a professional appearance? Does their look fit the atmosphere I am trying to create?
If they talk about having versatile or multiple systems, yet all of their pictures are of the same setup or event, you may question the validity of their claim. If the company owns their own equipment, they should have no problem producing pictures of that setup. If they don’t appear to have a lot of support material, they are probably subbing these services out to another company. There is nothing wrong with this practice and it is commonly utilized in this industry. Just understand that companies who are subbing their services out are probably making money off of the top, thus adding on to your package price. Try to locate companies that have the equipment in house to keep your costs down.
We always suggest telling your entertainment company the type of atmosphere you are looking to create. This will help the entertainer dress appropriately for your event. For weddings, it is an industry standard for your entertainers to wear tuxedos. For most other formal affairs, entertainers typically where a black suit or black attire.
Yes, it is quite common to provide an additional system for ceremonies, as well as the cocktail reception! We would be more than happy to coordinate those special requests with you.
Fortunately, because all of our entertainers are in such high demand, and perform at many public events frequently, we would be more than happy to inform you on when your entertainer is scheduled to perform next.
With regards to seeing your entertain perform at a wedding reception, it does require some preparation and not to mention coordination with that particular bride and groom. Some couples do not mind if a prospective client would like to come for a “visit”, however, as you may be able relate, it may not be something that every couple is comfortable with. We can say that whenever possible, we will attempt to arrange this for you.
As an alternative option however, we have plenty of images and videos of our performances which you can view!
The best place for your entertainment is near the dance floor. Try to avoid having tables between the entertainment and the dance area as it will most likely disturb those guests and make for an unenjoyable evening. In addition, it is always a good idea to sit younger guests near the entertainment and older guests further away. This will enable the older guests to exchange in conversation without the music hindering them. Most likely your younger guests won’t mind or be sitting at their table.
Every company has their own policy when it comes to meals. Most companies do not require feeding their employees, but it is always appreciated (especially for longer and more formal events). If you do not provide a meal for them, their contract may allow them to leave to obtain food, if it is not provided for them.
Make sure you read their contract prior to your event. If you do not mind your entertainers eating, please let them know as they usually will not eat unless told to do so. Also, if you have paid for meals for your entertainers, at some point you might want to check if they received what you paid for. Some of the larger hotel chains are notorious for charging their clients for a full meal, but the venue may provide the entertainers with club sandwiches in another room where you can’t see.
As in any service industry, tips are always appreciated and a nice way of showing your satisfaction with the services rendered. At Exclusively Entertainment, our policy is to tip what you feel the entertainer has earned. Many clients choose to tip our entertainers, especially if they are more than pleased with the services. Some Entertainment companies now add a predetermined gratuity (18 – 20%) so you MUST tip the DJ no matter how good or bad they are, up front. Some competitors don’t tell you about adding their mandatory gratuity, and quote you a price without it, then send a contract, and now the price has just increased!
We recommend that you avoid any entertainment services who do this unethical practice. We let you decide the amount, based on your satisfaction with our service.
Lighting can be a great asset to a party as it can suggest a mood of sheer elegance to a chic club. It can also help define the dancing area. By dimming the remaining room lights you can create an atmosphere in which your guests feel more comfortable to dance. (Hint – Many guests, especially males, do not like to be seen dancing.)
When selecting your options, be sure to convey the atmosphere you are looking for. An experienced company should be able to explain the differences and benefits of the different types of lighting. Keep in mind some venues have a limited power source and certain packages may exceed their capabilities. You should also consider room size, number of guests, style of engagement and the amount of heat generated.
Intelligent lighting is computer controlled and offers more versatility than standard systems which run the same continuous pattern. As in all production, there are different levels of intelligent lighting from low output lights to complex rotating lights. This technology enables the lighting designer to adjust the colors, speed, patterns and programs to compliment the style of music being played. These systems offer more versatility as they do not keep repeating the same pattern as in non-intelligent lighting, which is typically turned on and off by a switch.
One example of the many possibilities with intelligent lighting is the tight beam of rich colors with brilliant optics coupled with Gobo patterns, (moon, stars, etc) which are programmed and synchronized in smooth movements on ceilings, against walls and on floors to compliment all tempos of music whether slow, medium or fast.
Another extraordinary display we can expertly due to our vast experience with intelligent light shows, is the enhancement of Bridal Introductions by using Robotic Follow Spots over the crowd (as many as six). This makes a terrific first impression and will generate a great response every time from your captivated guests. This gorgeous technique takes Bridal Introductions to a whole new level.
Intelligent lighting will add excitement, energy and a wonderful ambience to the elegance of your event. We know you don’t want your wedding to look like a nightclub, so rest assured that the lighting we provide will be classy and tailored exclusively for your occasion.
As in many aspects of this business, the technology ranges from basic to complex. An entry level light may cost as little as $150 versus a high-end light which may start around $1,500 and up to $5,000+. In addition, some companies do not use intelligent lighting to its full potential, as they only use the internal programs that come with the light. In such cases, they are charging you for computer controlled lighting by simply running preset programs similar to conventional lighting. When these lights are managed via a computer or controller and programmed by an experienced designer, (which is our specialty!) they can truly complement your affair and give the operator the ability to enhance aspects of your venue like for example, offering the intimate, romantic lighting at a first dance.