Ethan Stone here, your DJ and MC for your Big Day. You probably have some questions about your entertainment and I am here to provide answers. Below you will find my custom responses to frequently asked questions I get from wedding clients. In case I missed your question, please feel free to email it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About DJ Ethan
Q: What experience do you have as a wedding DJ?
A: I have performed at over 1,000 events to date. Please visit my page website here to learn more about my experience DJing weddings and other events.
Q: Are you vaccinated?
A: I am vaccinated and I carry my proof of vaccination with me. I also wear a mask at the venue which is the current industry standard for vendors.
Q: Do we need to provide a timeline?
A: Yes, a detailed timeline is essential for me to be able to do my best work as both DJ and MC. More info on this below under the heading, “Timeline/Planning Form Questions.”
Q: Do we need to provide a table/umbrella for the DJ?
A: I would very much appreciate it if you could request that the banquet manager or event rental company provide a small cocktail hour table with linen and an umbrella with a stand for me to use during the ceremony and a 6′ table with linen to use during the reception. This allows me to move more quickly from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception locations and ensures that the linen matches the décor of your wedding. As a backup, I do bring 1 folding table with a white linen to every event just in case a table cannot be provided on the day.
Q: Do we need to provide a meal for the DJ?
A: I would very much appreciate it if you could request that the catering director or event coordinator set aside a dairy free meal for me towards the beginning of meal service so that I can finish eating in time for toasts, parent dances and the dance party.
Q: When can we meet you?
A: I am always happy to jump on a phone or zoom call with clients. I am available anytime after 3pm, Monday-Thursday. Please feel free to text me to schedule a meeting during that window at 323.422.5588.
Q: What will we discuss on the phone call?
A: Generally these calls are just a meet and greet. I have endeavored to answer all of the most common questions on this FAQ sheet. The best way to communicate all of the various details I will need for DJing your wedding is to include them in your DJ timeline. Feel free to be as lengthy in your descriptions on this form as necessary. Spare no detail. What we want to avoid are multiple texts, calls and emails with bits of information that are not on your timeline. As long as it’s on the timeline, I’ve got it covered.
Q: Should we schedule a walkthrough of the venue or invite you to the rehearsal?
A: Walkthroughs and rehearsals are not necessary for me as your DJ. I arrive 1.5-2 hours before the start of your wedding which gives me plenty of time to work with the venue to find the perfect spot to set up and I always bring 75’ of extension cable in case power is not super close. That being said, if you think the setup will be extra tricky or if I will be exposed to the elements (such as at the beach,) please include a note about it at the top of your timeline and feel free to include photos.
Q: Do you need to speak with our coordinator or other vendors?
This is generally not necessary unless you have musicians that need sound reinforcement, in which case I should speak with them in advance to make sure I have their needs covered. Throughout the day, I stay in close contact with the coordinator, photographer and videographer to make sure we are all on the same page. I also check in with the Bride and Groom occasionally to make sure everything is just right and I encourage you to also stop by the DJ booth to let me know if you have any guidance or updates such as a favorite song request or a surprise toast.
Q: What is the difference between your Timeline and the Sound In Motion Online Planning form?
A: While I DJ weddings exclusively for Sound in Motion in the bay area, I also have my own custom Timeline that I prefer to use because it makes more room for you do add additional details and because it makes it easy to indicate the start times for the various parts of your wedding. In addition to this Timeline that I will ask you to fill out, Sound In Motion will also send you a link to a planning form to fill out on the Sound In Motion website. Please first fill out the Sound In Motion online planner as completely as possible. After that, if you have time/and or you had trouble including certain details on the Sound In Motion online planner, please fill out my custom Timeline to the best of your ability and email it back to me.
Q: How do we access/fill out your custom Timeline?
A: Please copy and paste my custom wedding DJ timeline (found here) into google docs or word. Once filled out completely, please send a link to the google document or a pdf version of the word document to me at: email@example.com. Once I have your completed timeline, I’ll have everything I need for your wedding.
Q: When is the Timeline due?
A: Please try to submit the finalized timeline at least 2 weeks prior to your wedding.
Q: How do we update the timeline after it has been submitted?
A: If you share a link to the timeline as a google doc, all updates will be made visible to me in real time automatically. If you are not using google docs, please include all updates to your timeline in a new draft and email me a pdf of the most current complete version, labeled as a new version (i.e. V 2.0.) It is important to include 100% of the details I will need for your wedding on this one single document so that nothing gets lost or overlooked (such as in a batch of texts or emails.)
Q: Where should we put the DJ?
A: Please click here for information on where to put your DJ and sample floor plans.
Q: Can you help us with song ideas?
A: Yes, please click here to view my custom webpage with nearly two dozen unique music charts compiled from actual song requests from countless weddings hosted on my Spotify channel. Get an insider’s look into the songs that determine the success of any wedding. The links will take you to my custom Spotify playlists where you can see wedding favorites and hear them too.
For all special songs such as 1st dance, mother son/father daughter, cake cutting, etc., I personally recommend choosing songs that resonate the most with you two as a couple and not choosing based on popularity. Once it comes time for dancing however, the opposite is true. Every song for dancing should be a dancefloor filler and I recommend only choosing songs that can achieve this goal. Any song requests that won’t be hits on the dance floor are best played during cocktail hour or dinner.
Q: Can we request the DJ play only certain parts of a song?
A: Absolutely. The best way to clearly explain where to mix in and out of a given song on the timeline. For example: Mother Son Dance Song: Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World (Please fade out at 2:05) of (Please start song at beginning of 1st chorus) etc.
Q: How do we share our music with you?
A: Please include all of your music requests on the timeline in the appropriate spaces. There is also a space at the bottom for dance music “must play,” “play if possible,” and “do not play” songs. If you use Spotify, please feel free to share your custom Spotify playlists for cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing by pasting links in the timeline. For ceremony and special dance songs I recommend sending a link either to Spotify or YouTube to clarify the exact version of the song you are requesting.
Q: Do you play 100% of our requests or read the crowd?
A: Once the dance party begins, my main goal is to build and sustain the best possible dance party from the first song to the last. To achieve this goal, it is important for me to have the flexibility to read and respond to the crowd, take requests from your guests, and most importantly, to play the right song at the right time. No two crowds are the same and it is not possible to know ahead of time exactly what set list is going to be the most effective at your wedding.
As your DJ, I am of course open to your suggestions. At the same time, please don’t assume I will be able to play every one of your requests. If one of your favorites is missing from the night, please do approach me and let me know and I will be sure to include it in the set at the appropriate time.
With every song I play, my goal is to keep the people already on the dance floor dancing and to encourage others not already on the dance floor to join the dance party. Below are a few important suggestions to keep in mind while creating your dance request list:
- Sit down with your soon-to-be-spouse and go through your favorite songs together to create the must-play and do-not-play lists. Once you’ve handed over the lists, leave the rest up to your professional DJ. And be careful not to micromanage your DJ (that’s why you hired us.) If your must-play list gets too long (say, more than 10 songs,) create a third list called play if possible. This can be more of a wish list of songs you’d like to be played only if your guests respond positively to them.
- Select songs from multiple genres. You both may truly love ’90s grunge, but five full hours of Nirvana might drive some guests to leave early. You’re sharing this day with family and friends, so save your more obscure favorites for the honeymoon playlist and let your DJ play a mix of songs that everyone can enjoy.
- Keep it PG-13. While it may not please everyone, it is my policy not to play songs with excessive profanity during the reception. When it’s just you, your college besties and adult cousins at the after-party, feel free to play the songs that weren’t appropriate while your grandparents and baby nieces and nephews were around earlier in the night.
Q: What Equipment do you bring?
A: Click here to view the nightclub quality equipment I bring to every event. Feel free to share this link with your videographer as he or she may have questions about the microphone and connections to the DJ mixer.
Q: What type of microphone do you use for our ceremony?
A: Because of their larger size, handheld microphones produce better audio quality and transmit a stronger signal to the receiver. Lapel microphones, on the other hand, are more sensitive to wind, more likely to have feedback issues, have lower sound quality and are more likely to suffer signal dropouts. Click here for a comparison of these two microphone options. I bring a handheld wireless microphone and a lapel microphone to every wedding. The choice of which microphone to use is ultimately up to the client, though I strongly recommend the handheld microphone over the lapel for the above reasons.
Q: Who do we speak to if we wish to add something additional?
A: If you wish to book anything additional such as extra microphones, a subwoofer, up-lighting, a photo booth, silent disco headphones, additional hours, etc., please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you booked me through Sound in Motion, please email this request to: email@example.com.
I hope this document was helpful. If you have any remaining questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am honored to have the opportunity to be your DJ and I am really looking forward to your Big Day.
DJ Ethan Stone