Why should we set up an appointment with the DJ?
Some DJ’s will meet with you, some won’t. If you don't "click" with your DJ, would you rather find that out at an appointment or at your wedding reception? If they are unwilling to meet with you, what does it say about their quality of service? How will they get to know you and how will you get to know them if you don’t meet? How will they know about your preferences, style and your tastes? When you setup an appointment with me, I will ask about your needs and I’ll address any questions you may have. Most importantly, you get to learn how I am going to work closely with the 2 of you throughout your wedding reception to create the exact atmosphere that you want for you and your guests. In the mean time, read my DJ Tips page. It’s loaded with valuable information.
How do I know I’m going to get a great DJ?
This is a wonderful question and the answer is easy. The person you speak with at the appointment and on the phone should be the person who is your DJ! Most DJ companies are unwilling to assign you a DJ in advance. In fact, most companies don’t assign a DJ until the week of the show. What if the DJ isn’t experienced, qualified or you're not comfortable with them for some reason? Now what do you do? Did you know that companies with more than one DJ usually pay the DJ around minimum wage? How much money will you pay the company to get a minimum wage DJ? How much would you care if you were working for minimum wage? Check out my track record and 20+ years of experience. There is no substitute for experience. My brides and grooms were not just satisfied, they were thrilled! Check my evaluations when you meet with me and I can also supply you with phone numbers of recent wedding couples who are happy to talk with you about my services.
How many shows does your company do on a Saturday night?
The answer to this question tells you everything you need to know. Madison DJ companies that do more than one wedding per evening simply cannot compete with the quality of a full time, single operator. Full time is important because it tells you they are serious about their business; it's not just a hobby. Being a single operator means you get 100% of the owners attention. Companies with more than one means they divide their attention and resources by the number of DJ’s who have shows that evening. A Madison DJ company with 4 systems means you receive 25% of their attention. When you hire my services, you are my ONLY focus for that evening. How can you expect to have spectacular service from a company that has 4 or more DJ’s all performing on the same night? Which DJ did you get, the best one or number 4? How did the company make sure that all 4 shows got exactly the right music for the first dances, etc?(that's actually the easy part. Here's the hard part.) Have these part time DJs been to any workshops, seminars or conventions? Here’s a great way to check to see how good their DJ’s are. Ask for evaluations for ALL of their DJ’s for EVERY show in the past 2 months. This should be no problem for them if they have great DJ’s. The DJ company should receive about 80% of the evaluations from their clients. Be careful to watch for one good evaluation in one month for a particular Madison DJ and then not see another good one for many weeks. If they can’t produce week after week of great reviews for all their DJ’s, what does that say about their quality? Smaller is ALWAYS better when it comes to quality DJ entertainment. You can avoid all that trouble by simply asking if they have more than one DJ and narrowing your search to those single operator companies who are providing you with a full time service.
What do you do to improve and keep on top of new ideas?
I am a member of MAPDJ. Our mission is to improve performance through education. Every year, I attend their annual convention. I also went to a John Maxwell leadership seminar recently through MAPDJ. Our Lake Geneva DJ chapter meets once a month where we frequently have guest speakers and discuss all sorts of quality issues. I’m always looking to improve. Last year I attended a Master of Ceremonies workshop in Minneapolis, MN and this year I attended the Love Story workshop in Madison, WI where we were taught the art of storytelling and applying it to telling the love stories of our brides and grooms.
What if you are sick and cannot perform?
In the unlikely event I cannot perform, (I’ve never missed a wedding in all the years I have been a DJ) I call a member of MAPDJ and another high quality entertainer will take my place. We keep everyone’s schedule online so I can quickly look to see who is available and give them a call. I know Madison DJs, Milwaukee DJs, Fort Atkinson DJs, Lake Geneva DJs, Wisconsin Dells DJs, Chicago DJs, Rockford DJs and Minneapolis DJs.
Do you subcontract shows?
When you contract with Rick Hill Wedding DJ, I’m the person who is showing up. If you wanted a different DJ, you would have hired them. It’s one of the secrets that many DJ companies engage in and don’t want you to know! Suppose you hired a Lake Geneva DJ company for say $1,500 and they skim $500 off the top and then they subcontract to a Milwaukee DJ company who skim another $400 off only to subcontract to a Fort Atkinson DJ company who is just getting started. You are now getting a $600 DJ who is clueless as to who you are and what you need. He doesn’t even know the Lake Geneva DJ company except he know's he suppose to say he is one of their DJ’s. You never got to talk with him ahead of time and he surely won’t know much about you or what you want. On top of that the Fort Atkinson DJ company is paying the performing DJ minimum wage yet you paid $1,500! This is another reason to insist on a contract that allows you to pick your entertainer or have major consequences if that contract is breached.
Do you provide dinner music too?
Quality Madison DJs provide music for the cocktail hour, dinner and the dance. I can also provide music for your ceremony and I have a fantastic new idea for your rehearsal dinner too!
Do you have a microphone we can use?
Yes, I have a high quality hand held cordless microphone that you may use for the prayer and toasts.
What kind of music do you play?
I play what you want! I bring polkas, waltzes, big band, swing, 50’s to current rock, country, blues, disco, retro 80’s, top 40, club, dance and novelty/group activity songs. If there are songs I don’t have and it’s important to your reception, I’ll buy them if Itunes has them.
What kind of sound equipment do you bring?
Rick Hill Wedding DJ uses only professional equipment, no home stereo gear. The quality equipment I prefer is vastly superior to most DJ’s “professional” gear. When someone speaks in my microphone, every word is clearly heard. When it’s time to dance, my sound will be at a perfect volume.
What happens if your equipment fails?
Great question! Imagine being 15 minutes into your wedding dance and the amplifier blows. What do you think most DJ’s do? The sad truth is it happens every year…they go home and so do you. Most DJ’s do not bring back up equipment. I’m happy to say I do!
How long do you need to set up and when?
I like an hour to set up prior to your wedding reception. I prefer to set up before your guests arrive, but I will coordinate that with the venue so you won’t have to worry about it.
We still need other services too, can you help?
Yes. I have a page dedicated to other quality vendors who will do a great job for you as well. Ask me for a recommended professional in your area.
What is your payment/cancellation policy?
The reservation fee is due with the signing of the contract and this fee is non-refundable. The remaining balance is due 30 days in advance, which is at the same time we will be meeting to plan your wedding reception. If you cancel the contract outside of 120 days before the event, you will only lose the reservation fee. If you cancel the contract within the final 120 days, the entire balance will be due (since I am not able to replace a wedding in the final 120 days). If a postponement occurs, I will work with you to honor the original payments towards the new date.
Can you provide a system for our ceremony?
Some DJs also have the ability to play music for your ceremony too. I can play the music you choose and I also have a high quality lavalier microphone for the officiant so everyone will hear the words spoken. You can also have an additional microphone for readings. Maybe you have someone playing an instrument and singing and you want that heard as well? I can do that too.