How Much Do You Charge?

More often than not we are contacted by prospective clients who just want to know, “how much do you charge?” Unfortunately, that is not as simple of an answer as you may think. There are far more details that go into giving an accurate price for a DJ for any type of event. We’re not saying that pricing isn’t important, because for obvious reasons it is extremely important, but when is the right time to ask?

Most Bride & Grooms are getting married for the first time and have never done this before. So they are ignorant to the actual responsibilities and worth a DJ, Photographer, or Cinematographer has to their wedding. There is a lot more that goes into DJ Services for a Wedding rather than just pushing buttons. The DJ/Entertainer is Solely Responsible for the Great Time, or the Crappy time, your guests are having.

There are many, many other Qualifying Questions to ask to see if the DJ is in fact a Professional or a Hobbyist. When we hear you ask the question “How much for a DJ or Photographer or Videographer?” What we are hearing is, “Give me the Cheapest option you have. I don’t really care about Quality, but only finding the Cheapest Price like a Blue Light Special at K-Mart!”

Now you may be reading this and scared to ask “How much?”, Don’t Be! Just don’t make that your first questions when sending an Inquiry Email or making a Phone Call.

Think of finding a DJ this way, when you call for a New Car Insurance Quote, they can’t give you a cost right away. They have to find out more about you and your history like did you have 4 accidents, and 2 speeding tickets? Well your rate is going to vary, right? Same thing for your DJ/Entertainment. If you are having an outside Ceremony, we have to bring more equipment. If you’re having cocktail hour in another room, we have to bring more equipment. You want video screens, up lighting, monograms, and more… We have to bring more equipment. Now you see where I’m going with this, right?!

Now that you understand a little more into our world and now you’re asking yourself, “So what questions do I ask then?” GREAT QUESTION!

Here are some questions that will help you figure out if you are dealing with a Full-Time Professional, or a Hobbyist that only cares about your wedding after they worked their 40-50 hour Full-Time job!

  • First off, are you free for my wedding date?
  • Are you able to meet my needs? (Insert the vision of your Dream Wedding Here)
  • How often do you update your equipment, and what is your backup plan? (Most Full-Time DJ/Photographers/Videographers will update their equipment every year or two)
  • How many people work for your company?
  • How is your staff trained, and educated? (Did they just start being a DJ by learning over YouTube, or buy a Digital Camera at Best Buy and started calling themselves a Professional to get business?)
  • Do you have any Recommendations, Referrals, and Reviews? (Most Professional Companies are Recommended by MANY Venues, other Vendors, and a long list of past clients)
  • ***Important*** Do you have Workers Comp Insurance, and Liability Insurance, and what are your Minimums? (Check with your Venue, but most Venues require a minimum of One Million Dollars in Liability Insurance)
  • What is your backup plan in case the DJ/Photographer/Videographer gets into a Car Accident, has Food Poisoning, or even a Death in the Family on the Day of my Wedding? (The company should have an On-Call Staff of Employees, not Contractors from another company, on stand-by just in case something unforeseen happens)
  • Do you have Professional Written Contracts? (Not something that is written on a Napkin, or that just says “I’m your DJ”)
  • Do they have an Online Planner to help with your planning process and take the stress out of planning your wedding?
  • How many years have they been in business?

These are just some questions to get you on the right path. These questions will help you figure out who is legit or who is just running a game on you. Unfortunately, technology has made it easier to get into the DJ Industry and people create an easy website which may look great, but there are 2 important things they lack – Education & Training! Now a day anyone can download thousands of songs illegally and call himself or herself a DJ. But what makes the Professional’s stand out are their years of knowledge, training, and Hundreds to Thousands of referrals. So do you research, and ask more questions than just, “Hey, How Much?!”

Here are some Questions that are in Wedding Blogs that are not as relevant as you think:

  • Can I come see the DJ perform at a Wedding before I make my decision

The Answer should be No. Think about this. Your needs are not this Bride and Grooms wants and needs for their day. You are going to show up to someone else’s PRIVATE Wedding wearing Jeans and a Nice Top, and stand in the corner of the room for about 10 to 15 minutes looking like creepers. You can’t get a full experience of a Wedding in 10-15 minutes! You don’t want to stay longer than that because you already feel under dressed and out of place. You walk in at the exact time the DJ is doing the Cupid Shuffle and let’s say and you HATE the Cupid Shuffle. You don’t think of anything else besides the DJ playing the Cupid Shuffle and he is for sure the WRONG DJ for me. Not thinking that this is NOT YOUR wedding, this is someone else wedding, and that Bride LOVES the Cupid Shuffle! So you now have a horrible taste in your mouth for no reason at all, because you can’t get that vision out of your head. So even if that was one of the Best DJ’s around, you are going to miss out on that because you are being close-minded.

The other option instead of going to see the DJ is to see what Venues Recommend that company. No Hotel is going to recommend a company that is going to make them look bad. The Venue obviously works well with this company and they have probably seen Hundreds of DJ’s through their doors every year. If they made the Preferred Vendor List, then they are somebody!

The Other Question and we get a lot of is this:

  • Do you have a sample clip of the DJ so I can see what he/she does?

The Answer should be Maybe to No. Why you ask? Let me use the same example in the previous question. You hate a certain style of dancing, or even Line Dancing. Then we have it in the sample video of one of our DJ’s teaching the Wobble or Cha-Cha Slide. You don’t like that, and now you think that is part of everything we do, and we HAVE TO DO THAT at EVERY Wedding we perform at! Which is FALSE! Think about this… Anyone that knows what they are doing with video editing can make ANYONE and I do mean ANYONE Look Good on Video. Heck, I can make my Grandmother look like an Amazing DJ. So be Leary of what you might see, it could be all Smoke and Mirrors compensating for the lack of knowledge the DJ/Entertainer really has to offer.

We understand that pricing is very important when planning one of the most special days of your life. But starting the conversation by just asking how much isn’t the route to go. Make sure to ask more questions about the quality of services you will be receiving and if the DJ/Entertainer will be able to create the vision you have for your Wedding. Ensuring the company has the proper insurances, back up plans as well as great reviews from vendors and clients is a huge help in making the right decision as well. Think of what you are looking forward to for your Wedding before sending the inquiry asking, “How much do you charge?”

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The DJ Sets the Tone

Nothing can set the mood for the reception better than the music being played, because it captures the spirit of all in attendance, and the disc jockey helps to carry them along on a wave of good feeling for several hours.

When a couple makes their selection from among all Pittsburgh DJ services, they always have the opportunity to convey what kind of music they prefer to be played at various times during the evening. To some extent, the music played is simply a reflection of their wishes – for example, some couples might prefer more lively music most of the evening that will encourage enthusiastic dancing, and some may prefer more ‘slow songs’ for romantic dancing.

However, it is not an exaggeration to say that a really good Pittsburgh wedding DJ can influence, and almost dictate, the overall atmosphere on that special day. Even if much of the music has been pre-selected by the wedding couple, the personality of the DJ can go a long way toward setting the tone for the whole evening. Quite often, the DJ even becomes the de facto announcer simply because he/she is the person at the microphone, and has professional experience in that area.

A fun-loving DJ who is very comfortable with telling jokes and poking good-natured fun at himself and the crowd can have the wedding crowd laughing all through the evening, and when people are laughing they are enjoying themselves. Contrarily, a DJ who is fairly quiet and businesslike may find that the hall has frequent lulls where table chat is the only thing happening other than the music.

Wedding receptions are traditionally times of great fun and great feeling for everyone, and the format of the reception lends itself very nicely toward those moods. There are many opportunities during the evening for humor, for affection, and for serious exchanges, and the DJ who can pull off all three with equal flair is one who probably has steady business during the heavy wedding season.

For many weddings, one of the highlights of the evening is that first dance between husband and wife, all alone on the dance floor and in the spotlight before the whole crowd. This is a time when a good DJ has either selected the perfect song or announces it like the beginning of new life, which it is. He also knows just how much or how little to say about that very special moment, and then recedes into the background, giving center stage to the stars of the evening. This may be the greatest talent of the skilled DJ – knowing which times he needs to be the star, and at which times the real stars should be featured.

Give yourself and your guests memories that will last a lifetime with help from the Pittsburgh wedding DJ services from Steel City DJ. Steel City DJ goes above and beyond the traditional DJ role to make your event a one of a kind experience specifically tailored to fit your special day. If you’re looking for a way to make memories that last, hire your wedding DJ services from Steel City DJ.

Alternatives to Wedding Clichés

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you should do what you can to make it special for yourself, your spouse and your guests. Unfortunately, it is also very easy for a wedding to fall victim to some horrible clichés. People seem to have an idea of what should be at a typical wedding, and the sad fact is that many of these ideas have become trite and dated. If you want your wedding to be truly unique, you would be wise to take heed to these 4 Alternatives to the Worst Wedding Day Clichés.

Using the Same Tired Music

If you’ve been to at least a few traditional weddings, you’ve no doubt heard the Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. Even if you’ve never been to a wedding in your life, you’ve probably heard the Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. It is a beautiful piece of music, but it is also played at a lot of weddings. The same goes for The Wedding Marches by Richard Wagner and Felix Mendelssohn. They are forever associated with getting married, and it’s a safe bet that nobody really wants to hear them anymore.

Instead of the same old music that gets overplayed, pick out songs that actually mean something to you and your spouse. Even if your favorite songs don’t sound like traditional wedding music, there are bound to be some Pittsburgh wedding DJs who can find some nice arrangements that will still sound beautiful and suit the occasion.

Musical clichés don’t just apply to the wedding ceremony, either. Often, it seems like there is a standard playlist for wedding receptions as well. This includes alleged crowd pleasers such as The Chicken Dance, The Electric Slide and Every Breath You Take (a song about a creepy stalker, incidentally). You can almost set your watch by what gets played at a typical wedding reception, so find some Pittsburgh entertainers who aren’t afraid to dig up some more obscure yet memorable music for your reception, especially if it fits you and your spouse’s personalities.

Smashing the Cake Into Your Spouse’s Face

Not only do a lot of people find this kind of tacky and cliché, but it could ruin makeup, hair and clothing. Sharing a piece of cake with your spouse is cute, but there’s no need for you to shove cake into each other’s faces.

Too Much Posing for Photographs

The best part about photography is how it captures a moment in time. Some setup and posing before a wedding photo is fine, but going too far to achieve the perfect wedding photograph just makes things look and feel awkward. A few candid photos of the happy couple and their guests having a good time is much better.

“Ball and Chain” Jokes

This isn’t always on the wedding planner or the couple getting married, but jokes about “the ol’ ball and chain” went out of style years ago. And yet, people still think they’re hilarious when they imply that the groom doesn’t want to be at his own wedding. If you’re planning your own wedding, don’t try to make this joke in photos or anything else. It stopped being funny years ago and comes off as kind of tacky and offensive now. No good Pittsburgh wedding DJ or entertainment service would make those jokes, and neither should you.

Make your wedding one of a kind with help from the Pittsburgh entertainers, photographers and wedding DJs at Steel City DJ. Featuring some of the best entertainers in the industry,Steel City DJ has the knowledge and expertise needed to take your wedding day to a whole new set of heights and leave your guests raving for years to come. Contact Steel City DJ today, and discover how we can make your special day truly a once in a lifetime affair.

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Start your Wedding Planning Early

Don’t wait until the last minute to call vendors and check pricing and availability for your Wedding Day. Recently we have received a number brides call us during the final 3-4 months before their Big Day because the DJ they originally booked realized they were double booked and had to cancel! Any professional entertainer is going to check their schedule before booking anything and that should be a given. In the slim chance that the DJ decides that he will not be able to fulfill his contractual obligation in providing great entertainment for your special day there should be some sort of back-up plan so that you are not stuck in a bind.

Be sure that you not only require a contract for your professional services, but also understanding the contract is just as essential. Once that contract is signed there should be no reason to back out of it. Sure, things come up such as family reasons, an unexpected accident or anything unforeseen. However, any professional will have back up staff and equipment so that in the event that something keeps your DJ from entertaining your guests at your wedding reception you shouldn’t have to go scrambling looking for a replacement. They should already have someone lined up with the same amount of training and experience as who you choose. Why would you want the added stress in trying to find a DJ in such a short amount of time when you thought you already obtained someone and made payments to them?

When you are getting information on the services you want to book be sure to ask questions. Insurance, back-up plan, song selections as well as contract terms and conditions are all topics you want to discuss with your vendor before moving forward. Give us a call at our office if you have questions regarding any services. We also have some really good tips under the Resources tab on our website.

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Book your Picture Perfect Wedding with Steel City DJ during our Valentine’s Day Special! The Open-Air Photo Booth is a great addition to any party. Let your guests put on TONS of props and act silly in front of the camera! You even get a scrapbook as a great keepsake gift as well!

Call us today to book your DJ at the special rate of $900 for 5 hours! This includes access to our online planning site with plenty of song suggestions for your upcoming event! Add the Photo Booth to your event for just $200 per hour and only $100 for the Idle Hour.

Check your date availability at Steel City DJ, just be sure to include‪#‎BeMine‬ in your online inquiry!

These Special Valentine’s Day rate will only be good through the end of February so hurry and book Awesome services for your next Big Party!

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to all of our friends and clients. We hope that you enjoy your Holiday with friends and loved ones. Thank you so much for all of your patronage throughout the years and we look forward to working with you, and new clients, in 2016! Wishing you a safe and wonderful holiday season and a very happy and healthy New Year!

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Start Planning Your Holiday Party

The Holiday Season is quickly approaching; don’t wait until the last minute to book your Company Holiday Party! We still have dates available through the coming months for anything from Halloween, Holiday or even New Years Parties! Having a professionally trained DJ can make or break your corporate event so be sure you hire someone with a great personality as well as friendly and of course quick on their feet. Additional lighting or even a Photo Booth can be added to your DJ Service to create the perfect package just right for your needs. The Photo Booth is a great way to give your employees a nice keepsake from the party. Try photo strips with customized graphics to highlight your event and date, or we can even create a 4×6 or 5×7 with the same customizations. Try something new to create a great atmosphere for your employees and company party this year. Call us today to get more information on available dates and pricing at (412) 951-4323 or send us a direct inquiry request online at Steel City DJ.

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Wedding Perfect Playlist

Planning the Perfect Playlist for Your Wedding Day  

The music that you select for your wedding day should be as perfect as every other aspect of this occasion. From the music played during the ceremony to the songs played at your reception, your choices should reflect the theme of the day. Your wedding playlist should be an accurate reflection of the kind of music that you and your betrothed appreciate. The trained professionals at a DJ service can offer much assistance as you plan the details of your playlist. A trained professional may be able to provide insights based on experience, so consulting such a service before you start planning could be a wise strategy. Additionally, a DJ service can help to set the tone for your wedding and even keep the party going well into the night. The following are a few points worth considering as you organize the music for your special day.

Stay True to the Theme

If you want an elegant theme for your day, then all of the details should correspond with that wish. This includes the style of music you choose for the day. Selecting classical or mellow jazz pieces would be quite appropriate for such a wedding. If your wedding theme is casual and fun, then your music choices might be more modern and upbeat. Playing the latest hip-hop singles at a wedding with a formal tone would probably seem odd to your guests, and doing so would be incongruous with your chosen theme.

Choose a Theme and Music That Make You Happy

No one should dictate your wedding theme and the music you play except you and your beloved. You should both be happy with the tone of the event, and you should each approve of the music that is played. If you both want to play upbeat country music on your wedding day, you might consider planning a wedding with a ranch or country theme. If you dream of playing romantic ballads at your reception, then a more romantic theme would probably be appropriate. Just be sure to do what makes you and your partner happy – this day is supposed to be a celebration of your love for each other.

Consider the Season, Date, and Time of Day

If your wedding is in the winter, seasonal holiday songs could be appropriate. If it’s during the week of the Fourth of July, you might ask the DJ to play several patriotic tunes. The time of day should also be taken into consideration. If your wedding reception is a sit-down luncheon, you might want to plan for music that serves well as a background for conversation. If your reception is at night, then music that people can dance to for hours could be the perfect choice.

Think About the People Who Will Be in Attendance

While you should certainly choose the types of music that you and your betrothed appreciate, it is also polite to consider your guests when organizing your wedding playlist. If elderly relatives and young children will be at the reception, you should abstain from playing anything too risqué. If you have a song or two in mind that may not be appropriate for mixed company, save them for the late-night dancing when only those who would not be offended will still be present. Alternatively, you could host another party when you return from your honeymoon, and invite only your peers who will appreciate a trendier tone and music.

A fun option is to play a few popular songs from each of the last seven or eight decades. Doing this may ensure that all of your guests are able to enjoy music they identify with and remember. A professional may be able to help you plan this kind of a playlist seamlessly.

Select the Right Tunes for the Most Special Moments

Don’t forget to discuss the various noteworthy moments during the wedding that should be matched with suitable music. You’ll want to choose a piece for the ceremony that is meaningful to you and your beloved. Other significant moments may include the first tune played at the reception, the song that accompanies your first dance as a married couple, and the piece that is played when you cut the wedding cake. Your DJ can help you to explore some viable options for these moments.

Like all of the other details associated with your wedding, you probably want the music to be perfect. A professional DJ service can help you to accomplish this goal. By discussing your preferences and expectations with your loved one and the DJs at Steel City DJ, you should be able to devise a Wedding Perfect Playlist that suits your wedding day beautifully.


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