If you need DJ services for your wedding reception from 5pm to 10pm, that's 5 hours of coverage. 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 will incur an additional cost. However, this is extremely rare -- most venues now book just one wedding per space per day, there are very, very few that still book back-to-back receptions on the same day.
Regular wedding 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!
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. Even if your reception is at a private residence, it is your responsibility to be aware any local noise ordinances, which often take effect at 9pm, 10pm or 11pm. These ordinances are usually set at the local (city/town/village) level, so the cutoff time varies from place to place. Once overtime is purchased, there are no refunds, even if you or the police determine the music needs to stop before the overtime period is complete.
For contracted DJ services and voiceover work:
Overtime DJ service requested during an event must be paid by cash or credit/debit card before Overtime service begins.
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.
Most of my meetings since 2020 have been video calls via Google Meet, which runs right in your web browser, without the need to install any apps or programs. However, "regular" phone calls and in-person consultations are also available upon request.
No problem! With more couples planning weddings 12, 18 or even 24 months out, it's pretty common for couples to revise their wedding day timelines as more of the pieces fall into place. I only book one event per weekend, so once you have me booked, you can slide things an hour this way or that way... or heck, even shift everything from the evening to the afternoon, or vice versa, and I'll still be available for you.
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.
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."
My library includes thousands of songs: top hits from every decade from the 1950s to present, plus plenty of classical, international and religious selections. If you request anything that I don't already have, I'll do my best to find it, buy it and download it into my library.
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. To ensure the best quality, I don't "live-stream" music, either. The music must be legally available for purchase and download.
You can request as many songs as you like! But keep in mind, a primary reason for investing in a professional DJ is to let that DJ "read the crowd" and maintain the flexibility to pick songs that will keep your guests dancing.
Still, I know there may be certain songs that hold special significance for you and/or your families. So, here's a strategy I came up with several years ago and it's worked really well at all my weddings:
There's nothing worse than being at a wedding where the dance floor's empty because nobody likes the music, but the DJ is "trapped" with a strict request list. The above strategy ensures your most important requests will play, while also providing me some flexibility to be responsive to the dance floor crowd.
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.
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.)
I have been a wedding DJ at more than 70 venues throughout Central New York, the Mohawk Valley and beyond -- even taking some road trips to the Thousand Islands, the Southern Tier and even into the Hudson Valley. Even if I haven't played at your specific venue before, that's not a problem! I am always eager to add new venues to my list and my detailed planning process ensures everything will run smoothly, even if your event would be my first at that particular venue.
Here's a map showing all the venues where I have performed. In addition to these 74 commercial venues, I have also worked several weddings at private residences, not shown on the map.
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, toasts, or any other events or games you want to include in your reception.
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.
For each event, I'm happy to do my best to match the level of attire as everyone else at the event. For weddings, I specifically aim to match the formality level of the gentlemen of the wedding party.
For most weddings lately, I've worn a black suit. If preferred, I can wear a tuxedo. If your wedding is more casual and the guys of the wedding party will not be wearing suits, I'm happy to dress however you prefer (shirt and tie with dress pants, polo shirt and dress shorts, or similar).
Barn venues and other venues without climate control often tend to get much too hot and humid to be comfortable in formalwear. For weddings in such venues, I may opt to dress casually.
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.
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 drink any alcohol while working. Knowing this (and knowing it's good for word-of-mouth), many caterers offer discounted "vendor meals." If your caterer doesn't present this option to you, make sure you ask about it.
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.
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.
Yes! It's included at no extra charge in my Gold Wedding Package. It can be added a la carte to any other DJ package. My uplighting is wireless so there's no worries about messy extension cords that pose a tripping hazard.
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. There's no extra charge, 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."
No signs or banners are displayed on my setup at weddings or other private events. (I think that's tacky - your wedding is about you, it's not about advertising myself.) 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.
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.
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.
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.