Current New York State COVID wedding rules: Updated November 5
Erin and Tim's wedding at Marriott Syracuse Downtown Persian Terrace, August 2019. Photos by Peter Naughton
We had an amazing experience with Peter as our DJ and everyone at our wedding raved about the music.

Frequently Asked Questions

Brief answers to common question about Syracuse Wedding DJ Peter Naughton's services.

Every event is unique!
Let's discuss specifics pertaining to your event.


How do I go about booking you for DJ services?

Just click here to request a quote!  I'll respond within 48 hours (usually much sooner).

How much do you charge?

Weddings: See my Weddings page for up-front pricing on my Stress-Free All-Inclusive Wedding Package!  No hidden fees, no complicated tiers or upcharges.  Everything you need for an unforgettable celebration at one great price!

Non-Weddings: For corporate events, nonprofit fundraisers or voiceover work, pricing will vary depending on the specifics of the request... let's discuss!

What does "up to 5 hours of coverage" mean?

If you need DJ services for your wedding reception from 5pm to 10pm, that's 5 hours of coverage time.  If the party runs until 11, that would be 6 hours of coverage time.  (I tend to use the terms "coverage" and "performance time" interchangeably.)

Although I will arrive 1½-2½ hours early to load my equipment into your venue and set it up, I do not charge extra for this time.
Likewise, I do not charge extra for the hour or so it takes to tear everything down and remove it after the party ends.
UNLESS your venue doesn't offer ample time for me to set-up and/or teardown on my own... if I need to hire an assistant to accommodate a shorter timeframe, that may incur an additional cost.

How far will you travel?

How far will you travel? 1All DJ pricing includes travel up to one hour each way between my home in Fayetteville (near Syracuse) and your venue. This includes all venues in Utica, Rome and Oswego, even if the drive is slightly over an hour.

Venues significantly over an hour away may incur additional charges. Exact amount varies depending on the event location.  I can provide that information when you request a quote, so you'll know right up-front before you make any decisions -- no "surprise" extra fees later!

Since 2011, my weddings have taken me into the Finger Lakes, the Thousand Islands, the Adirondacks, the Southern Tier, Cooperstown and even as far as the mid-Hudson Valley.

What's your overtime policy?

Sometimes you just don't want the party to end!  My overtime rate is $75 per half-hour, payable by cash or credit card.  But check with your venue first -- most venues have their own overtime fees, and some venues don't permit overtime at all.

Which payment methods are accepted?

For contracted DJ services and voiceover work:

  • Check - in-person, by mail or online
  • Credit/Debit Card - in-person or online
    • Includes Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and other "contactless" systems (in-person only)
  • PayPal - online, invoice provided upon request
  • Money order - in-person or by mail

Overtime DJ service requested during an event must be paid by cash or credit/debit card before Overtime service begins.

Is it possible to meet with you before booking?

Definitely! Just tell me a little bit about your event plans and we can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your plans in further details and answer any questions you might have.

Meetings can be held in-person (I'm fully-vaccinated against COVID but will continue to wear a mask in accordance with current regulations) or virtually by telephone or video.  For video calls, I use Google Meet, which runs right in your web browser, without the need to install any apps or programs.

What if my timeline isn't finalized yet?

No problem! With more couples planning weddings 12, 18 or even 24 months out, there's bound to be timeline tweaks along the way.

As long as you have a date and a venue, the main thing is to lock-in your date before someone else.  Just make your best guess on the times when you request a quote. We'll use those times as "placeholders" on your initial contract.  We can revise your contract whenever you finalize your timeline, even if that means the price will go down.

Do you carry liability insurance?

Yes, and a certificate of coverage can be provided upon request.  Even if you decide to hire someone else, please make sure they have insurance. Never book an uninsured DJ; it could wind up costing you big time if anything goes wrong. Want to know how? Check out my Peter's Pointers blog post: "Why You Should Never Hire an Uninsured DJ."


What kinds of music do you have?

My library includes thousands of songs, including top hits from every decade from the 1950s through today.  I also have a limited selection of ethnic and international music, which I've acquired over the years for previous events.  If you request anything that I don't already have, I'll gladly purchase copies of any song that is readily available for purchase.

Due to copyright laws, I cannot "rip" or "scrape" or otherwise make copies of songs which are only available on YouTube, Spotify or other streaming platforms.  The music must be legally available for purchase and downloadable.

How many songs can we request?

You can request as many songs as you like!  But keep in mind, one reason people hire a professional DJ is to let the DJ "read the crowd" and pick the best mix to keep your guests dancing.  For weddings, I find it works really well when couples split their requests into two lists:

  • "Must Play" List - you can name up to 10 songs that absolutely, positively need to play at some point during open dance floor time, no matter what.
  • "Nice to Have" List - you can list as many songs as you want, and I will try to play most (if not all) of them anyway.  But... it's helpful to have a little "wiggle room" and to know you won't be devastated if I need to drop any of these songs because we don't have time for them all, or if the crowd seems to want to take things in a different direction, musically.

That being said, this my professional opinion based on experience, but if you would prefer more control over the playlist, let me know what you have in mind.

Can we submit a "Do Not Play" list?

Absolutely! The Do Not Play list is just as important as your must-play list.  Feel free to ban specific titles, everything by a certain artist, or even entire genres of music.

If anyone tries to request a song you've banned, I'll politely tell them I can't play that song -- even if the request is coming from your own parents or wedding party, and even if they try to claim you said it was OK.  I never ask why you've chosen to ban a certain song, but if it's on the list, I know there's a reason... and I will solidly respect that wish.  The only time I'll play a banned song is if you (or your spouse) personally tell me, face-to-face, that you've changed your mind about a particular song and you'd like me to play it.

How do you handle guest requests?

Unless you specifically ban guest requests, I am always happy to consider guest requests.  But that doesn't mean I will definitely play every request.  That's one of the reasons why you're hiring a professional DJ, instead of renting a jukebox.

A jukebox will play whatever people want, without any regard for how well one song might flow into another, or whether people are actually dancing to the songs.

A professional DJ will act as an effective "gatekeeper" when it comes to requests.  Some songs are great choices that will fit in with the flow and keep people dancing.  Other songs might not really fit in... I'm not going to play a request if I suspect it could wind up clearing the dance floor.  In some cases, I'll play a request but I might hold onto it for awhile because I know it will get a better response later, rather than immediately.

If you're asking in the context of requests during COVID-19:  I have a system which allows guests to make socially-distanced requests via their smartphones.  (It's web-based, they will NOT need to download an app.)

DJ / MC Performance

Do you serve as emcee as well?

Yes, I usually serve as both the DJ and the emcee. I'll make the formal wedding party introductions and any other announcements needed, basically providing "crowd traffic control" to keep the event flowing smoothly, and as close as possible to the planned timeline.  I'll also help facilitate events like the cake cutting, bouquet toss or any other events or games you want to include in your reception.

What kind of personality do you present as an emcee?

Similar to my presentation style on the radio, I aim for a pleasant, upbeat approach, without going "over the top" and sounding fake or gimmicky.  But I am not the type of DJ who speaks between every single song "just because."  Once the dance floor opens, the music takes the lead -- I'll make announcements as needed, but I also respect the fact that you and your guests are there to enjoy the music and each other's company, not to hear a DJ talking every 4 minutes all night.

What's your attire when you DJ an event?

Weddings: tuxedo or suit -- whichever is closest to how the men of the wedding party will be dressed.
All other events: Tux, suit, business casual or casual (to match the level of attire being worn by the event's organizers).

Do you require breaks?

I do not take any breaks that would cause the music to stop.  My only significant break is for dinner, but I always have plenty of dinner music queued-up before I head off to the vendor table.  Once the dance floor opens, I may occasionally step away to refill my water or coffee, or to use the restroom, but I am directly there and back as quickly as possible and I always have extra music queued-up just in case I don't make it back before the current song ends.

Do you require dinner?

Yes, if a meal is being served, I require a meal as well.  However, most wedding vendors (myself included) don't partake in cocktail hour or bar service while working.  Knowing this, some caterers offer discounted "vendor meals."  Ask your caterer before you submit your final meal count.

Can we see you performing before we book you?

Nearly all of my bookings are private, invitation-only events. Just as I am sure you would not want me inviting complete strangers to your wedding, it would not be appropriate for me to invite you into somebody else's wedding.

However, I'm proud to refer you to the many reviews previous clients have written about my services since 2011.

How many DJs are part of this company?

Just one: me.  When you book Peter Naughton, you get Peter Naughton. I personally handle every step of the process -- from answering your initial quote request to booking, planning, performing the event and packing-up all the gear at the end of the night.

Technical Stuff

Can you provide uplighting?

Yes!  In fact, it's included at no extra charge for weddings.  My uplighting is wireless so there's no worries about messy extension cords that pose a tripping hazard.

What if we're planning an outdoor event?

No problem!  I've done plenty of outdoor events.  Just one big thing to consider: overhead protection for my equipment is required for all outdoor performances, rain or shine.  If there will be a tent, gazebo, porch or any other shelter provided by you or the venue, that's awesome!  If not, I can bring my own canopy tent, but I just need to know in advance so I can arrive early enough to set it up.

If you're planning an outdoor wedding, check out my Peter's Pointers blog post, "6 Must-Haves for Outdoor Weddings."

Do you put up any signs or banners?

No signs or banners are displayed at weddings or other private events. (I think that's tacky.)  However, I may place a modest sign or two on or near my setup when doing public or non-profit events, especially if I am performing at a discounted rate or donating my time and services.

How much time do you need to set-up for an event?

Generally, I arrive 1½ to 2½ hours prior to the contracted start time to load-in and setup for an event.  It depends on a variety of factors.  Let's discuss the specifics of your event, and I can tell you exactly how early I'll need to arrive.

In the rare event your venue does not allow ample time for setup and/or teardown, I may need to hire an assistant so that the same amount of set-up work can be accomplished within your venue's timeframes.  Should this be necessary, the additional cost for the assistant would be added to your price quote.

Do you bring your own equipment to events?

Yes, I own all of my equipment, and it is never loaned or rented out to anyone else.  In fact, I bring extras of almost everything -- so in the very unlikely event of an equipment problem, I can swap it out with little or no noticeable impact.

What happens if your equipment fails?

I bring backups of all my sound equipment -- laptops, hard drives, mixers, amplifiers.  If something fails, I can just swap it out and keep the party rolling.

Any Other Questions?

Peter provided much more than we could have asked for and had every aspect covered. His professionalism towards his job makes him shine above the others!
Peter Naughton Productions is a mobile disc jockey and voiceover service based near Syracuse, NY.  Since 2011, Peter has specialized in Wedding DJ services for  Central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Finger Lakes and the occasional road trip to the Southern Tier or the Thousand Islands.  One price covers everything you need for an unforgettable celebration with Peter's stress-free wedding package!
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