FAQs 2014-01-26T05:33:08+00:00

We’ve compiled a list of our frequently most asked questions. If you have any other questions not answered below, please feel free to Contact Us and we will be happy answer them for you.

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Wedding FAQs

Q:   Will the person I am speaking with on the phone be the actual DJ at my reception?

A:  Most of the time yes.  In the event I cannot personally entertain your event, you will be informed at the time of calling.  The names of the available DJs will be given as you may have a preference on them.  At the pre-wedding consultation, you will meet with me AND your actual DJ.  When looking at prospective entertainment, ask the representative on the phone if he/she will be the entertainer at your event.  If the answer is something like “All of our entertainers are matched to our clients’ personal tastes” then you probably won’t be meeting your entertainer until the day of the event.

Q:  Can you perform my ceremony too?

A: Yes, we can provide music and a wireless microphone for your ceremony.  We can help you choose pre-ceremony music for when your guests arrive as well as songs for your bridal party entrance, bride entrance, unity candle lighting or special ceremony and recessional.  We even use compact Bose brand sound systems specifically made for the purpose

Q:  My cocktail hour is in a different room, can you help us?

A:  Yes, we use smaller sound systems by Bose or QSC that provide great quality sound in a small compact space.  We routinely use these outside or in a satellite room from main reception area.

Q:  Do you offer cake or ice sculpture pinspotting?

A:  Yes.  We can do either with LED pin spots that will not melt ice or deform a cake.

Q:  Do you offer Uplighting?

A:  Yes.  We offering uplighting and can get you nearly any color(s) that you want.  We can do tighter color columns called spots or wash the room in a color or two as well.  Recently, we have had some couples use a hybrid approach with a little of each.  Uplighting is priced per fixture.

Q:  Will you meet with me prior to the reception?

A: Yes, in fact, we will even meet with you prior to booking us (if you choose) to make sure we are the right fit for you.  Once we are your chosen entertainment, we then visit with you again between 1.5 and 2 months before the reception to plan all the details.

Q:  How do you go about all your reception planning?

A:  We use our reception planning guide designed in house from years of wedding expertise and input from past wedding clients.  The ultimate goal of the planner is to give you a mental picture of your reception before it even happens.  We take all the guesswork out for you and have many tips and advice that we can offer you.

Q: Do you offer custom monograms or pattern projection?

A:  Yes, we have 75 watt LED projectors and can have a monogram made for you.  We can even do colors.

Q:  Do you have music for all ages?

A:  We feature a vast music library with music from the 1940s to current Top 40 hits to keep your guests dancing all night long.  All music is radio edited so it’s safe to play for all audiences.  We can also acquire any music you need for your reception to make it extra special. Music is also updated weekly.

Q:  Do you offer dance lighting?

A:  Yes, we offer a small lightshow and a larger programmable show to suite your individual needs and creative desires.  Pictures are available.

Q:  Do you subcontract DJs?

A:  No!  In most cases today, owner’s of DJ companies will try to save costs by “1099-ing” their DJs.  This saves the owner money on taxes (Illegally) and puts more risks on you as the consumer.  Standard liability insurance required by most venues does not cover contractors (as they should have their own business and insurance) so in the event something happens, you cannot pursue the company you actually hired.  This is very abused in the industry. With us, all DJs are employed by the company, covered under our liability insurance, and even have workers compensation if they get hurt.  We are legitimate to better serve you.

Q:  How do we know what entertainer is right for us?

A:  Your entertainer should be someone that you feel comfortable with, matches your personality, and will perform the show the way you want them to.  Think about this…How do you feel about trusting the most important day of your life to someone you don’t even feel comfortable with, let alone writing them a check for several hundred dollars or more?

Q:  Do you interact with the guests?

A: Yes, when we entertain, we love to get your guests involved in the activities without making them feel like they are forced to participate.  We encourage the fun and offer creative solutions to make sure everyone at your wedding has a great time even if they aren’t dancing.  If you know your guests will not enjoy interaction, we will gladly tone the performance down. You can specify EXACTLY what you want at the in home consultation.

Q:  Why are you different than other DJs?

A: Our personalized service and sincere interest in making your wedding what you’ve always dreamed of is the most notable difference. We love what we do and it shows. Additionally, we fill the role of entertainer, emcee, coordinator, and DJ at your reception.  We coordinate the event with all your vendors so that there is a seamless, error free, and no hassle flow to your reception. We care!

Q:  What do you charge for setup and teardown?

A:  ZERO!  Our packages are all inclusive!

Q:  Are there one or two DJs at my reception?

A:  For most weddings, we do send a teammate DJ; however, we are fully capable of performing a wedding solo. If a second DJ is sent, there is no additional cost to you.

Q:  Do you consume alcohol on the job?

A:  No, we do not drink on the job unless you personally ask us to participate in your champagne toast.  If an entertainer is under 21, he/she would not be able to participate in the toast.

Q:  Do you take breaks?

A:  No breaks!  We entertain from the start of the contracted time to the end.  There is continuous music.

Q:  What time do you arrive at our reception?

A:  Approximately 1 hour before the contracted start time for a basic package. Larger sound and lighting packages take longer to setup

Q:  Do you use professional equipment?

A:  Yes, all gear is by industry standard manufacturers and is maintained for proper performance.  Some of our best brands include Bose, QSC, Electro-Voice, Shure, and Martin

Q:  How much do you charge?

A:  This is the most common question we receive and the answer is quite in depth.  According to many professionals, the entertainment makes or breaks the event and in post wedding surveys, 85% of brides and grooms wish they spent more time in choosing their entertainment. The Perfect Wedding Guide states that of all the brides and grooms surveyed post reception, nearly all of them agreed that the entertainment makes up the majority of the receptions success.

Today, the national average spent on a wedding is $29,000.  Wedding planners and other bridal professionals will advise you to spend approximately 10% of your entire wedding budget on entertainment.  Many will also attest to the fact that your entertainment will contribute to the vast majority of the success of your reception.  So, $2,900 for a quality entertainer who will contribute the most to your event seems like a great deal, right?  Well, the good news is that our best package which includes every single option available and a photobooth is around that price point. Most weddings are between $925 to $1100.

Q:  We are a young couple; will we have an age appropriate disc jockey at our reception?

A:  While we believe age is really just a number, we can say that all of our entertainers are younger, energetic, and fun people that will relate to you and make sure all your guests have a good time.

Q:  Are you also a radio DJ?

A:  No, we are mobile DJs and we have been that way since the early days of The Party Express DJs. Today there really are few radio DJs; many are called “On-Air Personalities.” While there is nothing wrong with being an on air personality, it’s entirely different than being a mobile DJ/Entertainer.  On-Airs today typically do not even choose the music that is played on the radio; they are the voice.  Many DJs today started out in radio and moved to being a mobile DJ.

Q:  We’ve been to many of our friends and families weddings, and some of the DJs didn’t seem very “professional”, why are you different?

A:  Today, it is easier than ever to start a DJ business as there are few barriers to entry and some DJs are in the business to simply make some fast cash.  With The Party Express DJs, many of our entertainers are well educated with many possessing a bachelor’s degree.  We are event professionals in everything from event planning, music programming, and of course, entertaining your guests.  You won’t have any worries about your entertainment after meeting us.

Q:  What do you wear to my reception?

A:  The minimum attire for us is shirt and tie for your reception.  A Primary Entertainer attired in a Tuxedo is a no cost option.  Today, destination weddings are becoming very popular.  Some couples have chosen to have us attired to the theme. In that case, we will do our best to fit your mood.

Q:  What if something happens to you on our wedding day?

A:  We always remain positive and hope for the best, but “Acts of God” are out of our control.  In the event that something happens to one of our entertainers such as a severe car accident or illness, we can typically have one of our staff perform your event or we can get a qualified professional to perform your event.  We network with some of the areas top mobile DJs and we are always there for each other when we are in a bind.  It’s nice to have friends in the business…but in the event there we cannot perform, we would offer a full refund.

Q:  Do you have some references?

A:  We sure do!  Check out our weddingwire.com review widget or our more traditional references from the early years of the company.

Q:  Do you offer party props?

A: Yes.  Party prop packages and pricing are based on your input and the types of props that you would like at your event. We do not use props unless you request them.

Q:  What do you use to DJ?

A:   Today, we primarily use laptop computers running powerful DJ software. Virtual DJ professional is our preferred choice for its reliability. Software allows us to instantly access your requests and make custom playlists for your cocktail and dinner hours.

Q: Do you take requests from Guests?

A:  That is up to you.  We encourage this since the reception is a party for everyone; however, we respect your wishes if you do not want to honor guest requests. Should you choose to have requests, we will not play what we deem as “selfish requests.”  These are requests that totally go against what we planned for and are typically not wedding friendly or controversial. Typical requests in this category are hard rap and death metal.  While we do have these genres in our library, it is rare that we play them at weddings.

Q: The venue hosting our reception requires insurance. Are you insured?

A:  Yes, we are a licensed, registered and insured LLC to standard commercial limits and can perform at any venue and are covered for multiple events per day.  We can email your venue proof ahead of time.

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High/Middle School Dance FAQs

Many customers want to know how and why students have so much fun at our dances.  Here are the answers to some of our most asked questions.

Q: What do you use to DJ?

A:  We use Virtual DJ Professional along with dedicated controllers for mixing.

Q: Our school requires insurance. Are you insured?

A:  Yes we are insured under a commercial general liability policy to standard commercial limits.

Q:  Why should we hire a DJ when our students all have iPods or other portable music players and our school has an audio visual department?

A:  There are many reasons actually.  Most important is that our music is radio edited.  No vulgar or explicit content slips through.  Additionally, our DJs are entertainers trained in music programming, microphone skills, technical abilities, and audience participation.  This enables us to perform a school dance with energy, excitement, and professionalism.  After your students dance all night long to the newest music under the hottest dance lighting; they will want to come back again.

Q:  At our last dance, we had poor attendance and everyone left early.  Does that happen with your dances?

A:  No.  The only reason people will leave a dance is if they are not having fun.  Most likely, they are not having fun because the DJ is not playing the right music or does not relate well with the mentality of the students.

Q: What kind of music do you have?

A:  Our music library consists of thousand of songs of all genres updated weekly.  All music is radio edited and playable at your dance.

Q:  During a recent dance, a DJ who was not age appropriate arrived and played all the music he liked, but none of the music the students requested.  What are your DJs like?

A: Personally, we believe that age is nothing but a number; however, younger DJs are typically more in tune with the newest music and trends.  With our service, you will always have an age appropriate DJ who will relate well with students and faculty alike.  Music played and mixed is typically fast and danceable.  While we cannot stop “Grinding” or “Twerking” we try to avoid playing a lot of music that will encourage it.

Q: Do you have lights?

A:  Yes!  We have a smaller lightshow for smaller dances and a nightclub style show that is included with the Club Xpress package.

Q:  I saw Club Xpress on the website, but what exactly is it?

A:  Club X is our new concept in school dances.  We combine the best in programmable lighting (like you see at concerts and in nightclubs) along with chest-pounding music all energetically mixed by the hottest DJs.  Our goal is to bring the experience of a teen nightclub to your school in a safe mobile package.

Q:  Do you perform activities like the Cupid Shuffle, Wobble, YMCA, Macarena, and Cha Cha Slide?    

A:  This depends on the students.  Every student body is unique, which makes each and every dance we perform different.  Typically, Middle school dances feature many more activities than high school dances.  High school dances are typically performed with all danceable music because students seem to dance more than middle school students do.  A few activities in the mix keep middle school students happy!

Q:   Do you DJ Proms?

A:  Yes!  We are your solution for a prom you will never forget!  Since we are borderline DJ/production, we can make things happen that go beyond what typical DJs can do.  For instance, we recently performed a prom with a fire and ice theme.  We used our professional simulated fire lighting all around the room for added effect.  The students and teachers loved the aura we created.  We can also do uplighting to your schools colors or create a custom monogram with your schools insignia to add that extra personal touch.

Q: Do you ever meet with the faculty and students to discuss details of the dance?

A:  If your school is local, we gladly stop by and visit to go over details of the event. We can also do this over the phone so you get a chance to ask any questions and address any concerns.

Q:  Do you DJ Homecomings and other formal events?

A:  Yes.  A good portion of our school dance business is in formal events such as Homecomings and Winter Balls. We are available for any dance theme you would like.

Q:  Are your services available for school sponsored after-prom parties?

A:  Yes, in fact, we can offer various themes, ideas, and solutions to make the event a success.  You tell us what you are looking for and we can make it happen.  We can even add in karaoke with the newest music.  Glow parties are our most popular new option.

Q:  Do you offer discounts if we book both the prom and after-prom?

A:   We do offer special rates when booking multiple events. Please Contact Us for details.

Q:  Why do DJs charge several hundred dollars or more to perform an event?

A:  We have to charge a fair price because we are a business with real expenses (taxes, workers compensation, accounting, music, vehicles, equipment, insurance, etc.).  A hobbyist will not have the resources to perform a dance on the level that we do.  Remember, the success of your event rests in the hands of your entertainment.  If students are not happy with the dances, they will find other places to spend their entertainment dollars.

Q:  How long is the typical dance?

A:  Middle school dances range between 2-3 hours, High school dances are 3 hours, Proms range from 4-5 hours.

Q:  Do you have a fog machine?

A:  Yes! Fog is used to enhance the look of the lightshow and is free.  The problem with fog is that many newer buildings use particulate based smoke detector systems which are sensitive to any airborne particulate.  Basically, fog machines can set these off inadvertently.  Your school will need to sign a release if they would like us to use fog.  It’s also a good idea to talk to your local fire department ahead of time as many schools have automatic fire signals that go directly to the fire company.  They may be able to assist you.

Q: What does the average school charge students to get into a dance?

A:   $5-$7 is a good range depending on what package you choose.  Today, you cannot even go to a movie for $5 let alone get into a teen nightclub (average cover is $10).  Students will easily pay $5-7 once they know they are getting their money’s worth.

Q:  Should we be using school dances as fundraisers?

A:   Yes.  A good school dance can be an excellent fundraiser but only if you have good entertainment and can draw a large crowd at every dance.  The logic behind this is that you may pay more money for a good DJ; however, when 500-600 students arrive and pay $6 a head to get in, you will easily make over $2000 after paying the DJ.  The best part: Your school made the money in 3 hours!

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Bar and Bat Mitzvah FAQs

Here are some questions we are usually asked regarding Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.

Q: We have a lot of children coming to the celebration, do you keep them occupied with games and activities?

A:  Yes!  During the event, we typically play a variety of games and activities throughout the evening for children of all ages along with popular dance music.

Q: We also have a good portion of adults invited to the event, will you play music for them too?

A:  Yes, we play a variety of music for all ages; however, from past experience in our market, the adults often prefer to socialize more than dance.  This does not stop us from trying to get them out on the dance floor and even if they don’t dance, our activities will get them some great photos and we gladly accept requests for fast and slow songs.

Q:  Do you just arrive at the event or do you do pre-event planning?

A:   We always offer pre-planning and depending on how elaborate your package is, we may be able to help you plan over the phone for a simple event but a more elaborate function may require an in person consultation.

Q:  Do you offer props and toys?

A:  We can get you anything you need from various glow products to Mitzvah maracas!  You can tell us what you are looking for and we build the props and toys into the final fee for the event.

Q:  What do you wear to the event?

A:    Standard attire is a shirt and tie; tuxedo is available upon request for no additional charge for the primary entertainer.

Q:  How many DJs/Entertainers will be at my son/daughters Mitzvah?

A:  Typically two entertainers at the celebration if it is deemed necessary by us. This is usually determined by the level of interaction desired and package chosen by you.

Q:  Our family recently attended a mitzvah in a big city and want a similar show for our child, can you do that?

A:   Yes, but not on a $500 budget.  Philadelphia and New York style Mitzvahs are very pricey affairs with bands starting around $10,000 and good DJ/Entertainers with dancers and such starting around $3,000.  We will gladly work with your budget to create an event that suits you.

Q:  My son/daughter likes all the new music, but I’m concerned about the content?

A:  All the music we have is radio edited and if we feel something is questionable for an event, we would rather not take any chances, so we don’t play that song without your approval.

Q:  We noticed that only a few DJs in the area advertise that they do Mitzvahs.  Why is that?

A:   It takes a lot of training and expertise to properly entertain at a Mitzvah.  For a DJ to be a good fit for a mitzvah, he/she needs to be patient, good with children, personable with the adults, and overall, just be a fun person.  Additionally, they have to be good with time management so that they can properly plan the mitzvah with you and then execute everything the day of the event while working in conjunction with photographers, videographers, and the catering staff. Expertise required is close to that of a wedding reception

Q:  How loud do you play the music?

A:  The volume level will vary at different times of the evening such as dinner when it will be quiet and dancing when we will turn it up a little.  By no means do we ever blow your guests away with blaring music.  We want to keep everyone happy.  You have the option to ask us at any time to turn the volume level up or down.

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Sweet 16s and 13th Birthday Parties

Teen parties are bigger and better than ever.  This will help you if you’ve never hired a DJ before for a party.

Q:  My venue requires proof of insurance? Are you insured?

A:  Yes we are insured to standard commercial limits.  Our coverage is good for damages caused by our negligence only.  We’ve never had a claim and take every precaution to assure a safe event.  Your homeowners coverage usually protects you at your event also.

Q:  What do you use to DJ?

A:   Today, we use laptops with Virtual DJ Professional.  The primary benefit is being able to find any request instantly. It is also very stable.

Q:   My son/daughter has an iPod with music on it.  Wouldn’t it be more cost effective to rent a sound system and just play off that than hire a DJ?

A:  While an iPod is a great invention, it does not have a personality. Additionally, professional sound systems are not as simple as a home stereo.  There is a learning curve to using one and you will have to find a place to rent one, pick it up, set it up, run it all night long, and then return it.  It may be more hassle than its worth.   A DJs job is to make sure everyone has fun at your party. This is accomplished by being friendly on the microphone, playing the right music at the right time, and MCing activities with the kids. A good DJ creates atmosphere and doesn’t just push play.

Q:  My daughter has seen a show called “My Super Sweet 16.”      Can you do something unique that doesn’t require a $100,000 budget?

A:  We will work with you to create a party that stands apart from the rest and suits your real world budget.  The good news here is that we can do a simple party or an elaborate affair based entirely on your needs and budget.

Q:  My kids love all the new music, but I’m concerned about foul language in the songs?

A:  We are also concerned about the language which is why we use special disc jockey only edits that are radio friendly which eliminates all the cursing and vulgarity.

Q:   My son/daughter was recently at a party where the DJ did not relate to the kids at all.  What are your DJs like?

A:   This is a popular question.  Perception is reality and your kids will relate better to an age appropriate DJ.  Without an age appropriate DJ; it will be like mom or dad DJing, and to the kids, that’s not going to be “Cool.”

All our entertainers are younger people and relate well to the kids because we keep up on the new music and trends in entertainment.

Q:  Do you bring lights?

A:   Yes, a small lightshow is included free of charge for evening events.  Lights do not have any effect when a room is bright or when used outside so we do not bring them out for those events.  If you want something over the top, we do offer our Club X lighting package.  This adds a lot of energy and excitement to your party.  You can read more about Club X on our school dance pages of this website

Q:  My kids saw fog machines around Halloween? Do you bring one?

A:   Yes, as long as the place you are having the party does not have the new particulate based smoke detectors.  Even though fog machines work by evaporating water with an additive, they still set off some smoke detectors. You will need to sign a release

Q:  Do you play games and activities with the kids?

A:  This is a more complex question.  From years of experience, we can honestly tell you that activities tend to work better with the 13th birthday parties than the Sweet 16s; however, we will do whatever you like since every person is different.

The caveat here is that you know your son or daughter better than we do, so if you know they like activities, then we will gladly add them to the show.  On the contrast, if we try some activities and they don’t work, we can change the format of the party instantly.

Q:  My son/daughter has some songs they want to hear.  Do you take requests?

A:   We love requests!   Your child can even email us prior to the event with some song requests.  Additionally, we accept requests at the event from the other guests with your permission.

Q:  I want a good DJ for the party but I don’t know how much I should spend considering I have to pay for food, drinks, cake, and decorations.

A:  The bottom line here is that whatever entertainment that you choose will make or break the party.  From our experience, we have found that the kids do not eat very much at the parties because we keep them occupied the entire evening with dancing and activities.  There have been many times where clients have given us several take home plates of food because the kids did not eat it and they didn’t want it to go to waste.  Your best bet is to invest in entertainment that you feel comfortable with, stock up on a lot of soda (generic 2 liter bottles, not cans), and have some finger foods that are not individually wrapped.

Q:  Do you ever DJ themed parties?

A:  All the time!  Let us know what you are looking for and we can make it happen.

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Children’s Shows and Elementary School Dances

Our Children’s show and Elementary school dance packages are relatively new concepts.  Here are some typical questions we receive.

Q:  What is a children’s show?

A:   Our children’s show is a combination of games, activities, and appropriate music combined into a fully interactive, skit based show.  The goal of this show is to keep all the youngsters happy and occupied.

Q:  What ages does this show work well with?

A:   Typically, this show works best with children ages 4-12.

Q:   I like the idea of a children’s show, but what types of events is it appropriate for?

A:   The show is very flexible and can be used for a variety of different functions.  Some of these include but are not limited to: Daycare/childcare centers, elementary schools, company picnics, children’s birthday parties, field days, summer camps, pool parties, etc.  We even had a client request we add a 20 minute section into a wedding once! Anything goes with us.

Q:  How many people do you usually perform for at the show?

A:  A good size audience for a private event is 15-50 people.  With schools, up to 200 people will work well.  Larger audiences may require additional parental supervision.

Q:  Is this package different for a dance than a private event?

A:   Yes, we must alter the show for larger audiences and the ages of the students; however, we still feature all the interaction, games, and activities.

Q:  Can I integrate a children’s show into another event like a company picnic?

A:   Yes, in fact, it’s a great idea because adults love to watch their children having a great time and the photo memories last a lifetime.

Q:  What is the best time for an elementary dance?

A:  These are the only dance we perform that is flexible time wise.  These dances are just as successful during the day as they are in the evening.

Q:  Do you use props and toys at the show?

A:    Yes!  We use props to enhance the show and add a unique touch.

Q:  We wanted to do a children’s show/elementary dance with a theme, could you work with us?

A:   We love the creativity that makes a theme come to life and will gladly work with you to make it happen.  Some recent themes we have worked with are glow parties, beach days, fabulous 50s, under the sea, 70s disco, and mardi gras.

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