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Frequently Asked Questions

Read below to find out more about Ascend Entertainment and questions that often come up about our services.

How much do you charge?

This is the first question you should ask if you are looking for the least expensive DJ you can find. Rates for DJs can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. If all you want is someone to show up with a bunch of CD’s or an iPod and some speakers, then shop for price.

Please remember, you get what you pay for. How much experience does the DJ have? How much time and effort will the DJ devote to planning and preparing for your wedding? How good is their equipment? How many songs are in the DJ’s music library? How are their microphone skills? How accessible are they for planning?

A DJ is a personal service, not a product. You usually get what you pay for. If you want to be sure that your reception flows smoothly and your guests have fun, you may want to start with some of the questions that follow. Simply put…you can’t buy a new Mercedes for the price of a used Honda.

How much experience do you have?

Almost 20 years! From coast to coast and around the world, we have worked events big and small. All disc jockeys are not the same. DJs who work at clubs are usually good at what they do, but maynot be the right choice for your event. Don’t forget that a DJ must play music that pleases everybody from the Grandparents to young children and then, as MC, he is responsible for coordinating the entire reception.

Our DJs are personable and articulate without being annoying. We know exactly what to say and what to play during every phase of your reception. Our Staff are experts at reading the crowd and know what songs to mix together to keep people dancing. These skills are developed from years of experience at hundreds of events, not from a checklist provided by an agency.

The company you call may have been in business for years, but the DJ they send to your event could have been hired last week. Know the specific DJ who will perform at your party. Be sure he has the knowledge and skills that come only from years of experience.

How would you describe your style?

Dynamic and versatile. Our entire staff blends in well with any crowd. Do you want your DJ to talk on the microphone constantly or do you want a more conservative DJ who reflects the class and elegance of your formal affair?

Although most DJs can be versatile, not all DJs have the same style. You want to select a DJ who is compatible with the tone of your reception. Often, a get-acquainted meeting with a prospective DJ will reveal his personality and style.

Do you do any beat mixing?

Beat mixing is a skill typically associated with club DJ’s. Songs with similar beats per minute (BPM) are blended together to keep dancers on the floor and sustain the energy of the party. Beat mixing is a skill that all of our staff members have and will enhance the energy of your reception.

If your DJ has no beat mixing skills, there will be dead air or awkward transitions between songs and your guests will be much more likely to leave the floor.

Are you a full-time DJ?

YES! Your party is our passion. It’s a 24/7 process. Our hours extend past 9-5 Monday to Friday. Not everyone can be available during those hours so we offer evening appointments as well. To make the event planning process even easier, we can even meet with you at your reception location or in the comfort of your own home. We are available in person, on the phone, text, and all social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

Although there are some excellent part-time DJ’s, a full-time DJ is often more readily available to respond to your calls and emails and can devote more time and energy to preparing for your eventthan a part-time DJ. If your first encounter with a DJ was his voice mail, chances are it won’t be your last.

Do you have references and can they be contacted?

YES! Upon request, we are able and willing to provide names and contact information for recent satisfied clients. To protect our client’s privacy we rotate different clients so that no one becomes over called. We ask our clients if they wouldn’t mind providing their opinion of us to potential customers. To date, there has not been a single client who has not become friends to us and has refused to help. Most feel that is it the least they can do. All have appreciated the level of service we offer and understand your concerns as well.

Beware of DJs who have glowing comments from former clients without identifying a specific date and location or agencies that use generic testimonials that may not apply to the DJ they send you.

Can we come see you in action?

On the surface, this may seem like a reasonable request. We routinely perform at many public festivals, promotions and charity events. You are more than welcome to attend any public function we are working.

Your reception is a private event intended exclusively for you, your family and your friends. The last thing you want or need is a group of strangers opening the door and walking into your ballroom. Evaluate your DJ by visiting his website, requesting an information packet, arranging a personal meeting, seeing video footage, and checking references from satisfied clients. A professional DJ should never use your party to market himself for future business.

Do you have a reception planning form? Can we meet with you before our event to discuss it?

YES! We have a Reception Planner to help build the timetable for your reception and the perfectsong to accompany each event. We will schedule an appointment with you several weeks prior toyour event to finalize your reception plans and discuss options, suggestions and assist you inany way possible.

Remember, your DJ or MC will be coordinating all the events of your reception. The more we understand about your preferences, the better job we will do. Our staff is always available to answer any questions you might have.

Do you use professional equipment and bring back-up equipment with you?

YES! Professional disc jockey equipment is designed for heavy use and constant transport. It is not sold in home electronics stores. Look for names like Mackie, Denon, JBL, and Shure. We use only professional gear and have back-up for every component to guarantee a problem-free performance. Our equipment is replaced on a bi-annual basis to insure the most up-to-date equipment and finest available.

Anything more than a few years old is more susceptible to problems and how fast technology changes it is important to stay on the cutting edge. Professional DJs transport their equipment in professional style cases, not cardboard boxes or milk crates, so it always looks showroom new.

Can you describe your setup?

A professional DJ should never use your reception to market his services with a tacky banner or create an eyesore with dangling wires and a pile of empty equipment cases. Ask to see a photo of the DJ’s setup at a typical wedding. You’ve invested a lot time and effort in designing your reception. Make sure your DJ’s setup is tasteful and attractive. All of our sound and lighting systems are custom designed to compliment any room. Pictures are available on our website or by contacting us.

When do you arrive to set up and is there an extra charge for the setup?

NO! There is NO extra charge for set up or a difficult load! You want your DJ to be set up, properly attired and ready to perform before your guests arrive. Therefore, expect us to arrive one to two hours before starting time. If we are unfamiliar with the venue, we will visit the site prior to your event to insure everything goes smoothly on your big day.

There should never be an extra charge for the time it takes to set up or break down equipment and setup time should not considered part of the hours contracted for performance. However, certain venues like high-rise buildings, buildings with stairs and no elevators, or large resorts may have difficult access that results in extra time for load-in and setup.

How do you dress for a formal reception?

We wear only designer tuxedos. If your reception has a more casual feel like a beach wedding or beach them it might be more appropriate for us wear something suitable. This will all be discussed during you consultation.

Some DJs consider a polka-dot vest formal attire while other DJ’s shirt and vest are identical tothe wardrobe of the wait staff. Our DJs will always be dressed to complement your event.

Do you offer dance floor lighting and do you charge extra for it?

Our dynamic LED dance floor lighting creates a party atmosphere and motivates your guests to dance like never before. State-of-the-art LED lighting effects consume less power and are able to blend into a variety of colors. We can show you pictures and video of our lighting systems then help you determine what type of lighting (if any) will be appropriate for your reception. Beware of the DJ whose “light show” consists of a few blinking spotlights from a hardware store and a disco ball. Quality DJ lighting operates in sync with the music, has a variety of alternating effects for slow and fast dances as well as the dance floor.

On the other hand, an excessive number of lighting effects can be overwhelming and distracting. Ask your DJ to describe his lighting and, perhaps, show you a photo or video. Some DJ’s include dance floor lighting at no extra charge because they feel it’s an essential part of their performance while other DJ’s offer it as an upgrade at an extra cost.

How many songs are in your music library?

In the era of digital music and instant downloads. Most professional DJ’s have a library of 10,000 songs or more. However, only 70 to 80 songs are actually played at a typical reception. So the important issue here is not how many songs a DJ has on his CD’s or hard drive but rather, which ones he decides to play. Our emphasis is on programming skills and choosing the right songs for you and your guests rather than the DJ who focuses only on the size of his music library.

Do you take requests?

YES and NO. Your musical requests will be honored and discussed with our qualified event consultants. But, this is a tricky question. In general, DJ’s would like to say they would be happy to take requests and, in most cases, they do.

However, your DJ’s primary job is to keep the majority of your guests happy and keep the party going. Our DJ’s know which requests will clear the dance floor and deflate the energy of your reception. You should allow your DJ to use his judgment regarding requests. Also, we do not play any music that in not “radio friendly”

Do you provide a written contract and require a deposit?

Yes. We guarantee your date with you and document our service with a legal contract to insure accurate information and require a deposit to reserve your date. A non-refundable deposit of 25% is not uncommon when the contract is signed. A courtesy 72-hour hold can be place on yourselected date. This will secure your date on our calendar.

After that it will be released and is available on a “first come, first serve” basis. If you choose to add additional services from us,we will be more than happy to include it in your final balance. Final payment is due on day of event. All final payments made on that day must be paid in CASH or CERTIFIED CHECK prior to start of performance.

Can you provide ceremony music and/or cocktail hour music?

YES! We can provide ceremony music or music for cocktail hour at the reception site. Often, a separate sound system is used since the ceremony location is separate from the reception site.

Ceremony services include appropriate music during the seating of guests, wedding party processional, and the recessional. A wireless microphone can be provided for the ceremony officiate. Ask your event consultant for ceremony music suggestions. Before the ceremony, your DJ will consult with your officiant to coordinate the music. There may be an additional charge for ceremony music services.

What are my payment options?

We have a variety of payment options to meet your needs. In addition to cash and a personal check,we accept all major credit cards and even Paypal. A receipt is always provided for your records.

Are there any hidden charges like taxes or gratuities?

NO! There are never and hidden changes and all taxes are already included in your price. Gratuities are never expected but always appreciated. There is no set price or equation to figure out whatyour DJ should be tipped. That is all up to you and is at your discretion.

Some DJ companies encourage you to provide a gratuity to your DJ since what your DJ is paid may be significantly less than what the DJ company charges you. There are even DJ companies that automatically add a gratuity to the fee you are quoted. A reputable DJ will not charge you a gratuity or even imply that one is expected.

Why do DJ's charge so much just to show up for a few hours and play music?

There are a variety of answers to this question. In general, as a professional, we will invest many hours prior to your event in meeting, planning, preparing and consulting. On the day of your event,your DJ and crew, attired in a designer tuxedo, will devote countless hours with music preparation, travel, setup, performance and breakdown of equipment.

Our staff will be using over $20,000 worth of equipment and relying on years of experience to insure that your reception is everything you want it to be. There’s a lot more involved than just showing up and playing music for a few hours.

Are you licensed and insured?

YES! Be aware of DJ’s that are not licensed to do business. Be very aware of DJs that are not insured. Anyone can buy some equipment and call himself a DJ. However, a professional DJ will make the effort to belong to local and national professional organizations, which set standards for performance and service. — insure that your DJ meets and maintains the highest standards of professional service and client satisfaction.

Ascend Entertainment carries Two million dollars worth of business liability insurance to respond to any claims resulting from our service. Many resorts require the DJ to provide a certificate of insurance. Asking your DJ about his professional affiliations and his business liability insurance are appropriate questions.

What if you are unable to perform due to illness or an emergency?

In the unlikely event that illness or an emergency would prevent a DJ from performing, we have additional staff members that are available so your event goes just as smooth as originally planned. Most DJs do not plan for such emergencies and have to call another DJ to fill in for them. The DJ should take responsibility for securing a comparable replacement. A company with multiple DJ’s should tell you they have back-up DJ’s on call. If a DJ is a single operator, he should be a member of a professional DJ organization whose members are always willing to assist a colleague. When asking your DJ this question, just be sure he has a plan to cover such situations. Stay away from the DJ who doesn’t.

Our most popular DJs get booked six to twelve months in advance. In Charleston, spring and fall dates are the most popular. That does not mean that there are not available dates but prime date sell do out fast. Once you set a date, you will want to check availability as soon as possible. When you’re ready to hire your DJ, compile a list of potential candidates by searching the web, reviewing DJ websites, asking your friends and family, ask if your reception location has a preferred vendor list, and get recommendations from other vendors or catering directors.

Based on their websites, brochures and advertisements identify two or three DJ’s or DJ companies who appear to have what you’re looking for, then contact each of them. Based on the responses you receive from your questions, narrow your search to the one or two DJ’s you are most comfortable with. Keep in mind that the response you receive from a company with multiple DJ’s will most likely not be from the actual DJ who will be assigned to your event. If one of the responses seems to be just what you’re looking for, request a contract and lock in the date. If you are still not sure, arrange an in-person meeting with the actual DJ who will perform at your wedding to help you decide.

At Ascend Entertainment, We are always open to any other questions or concerns you might have.The better informed you are the better decision you can make.

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