One of the most fun parts of planning your wedding day is deciding on your reception entertainment. There’s so many incredible DJs in Rhode Island, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we’re welcoming our friend, Kenny, from Elite Entertainment on Wedding Secrets Unveiled! today. He’s going to be sharing all about how to hire the perfect DJ for your wedding day.
I’m DJ Kenny Ferrara of Elite Entertainment. We’re located in East Greenwich, RI and primarily serve Rhode Island and Massachusetts. At least 50-60% of our business is done in Newport, but we’ll seriously travel anywhere for our couples! I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. When I was about 14, my mother came to me asking if I wanted to go to weddings and listen to music while helping out people. When I realized I would get paid and stay up late, I was in. Little did we know that was the start of everything.
Elite Entertainment has a team of DJs available. I’m the lead DJ and I’m available on a first come, first serve basis. We’ve also been voted the Best DJs for the last 4 years (hopefully 5) in Rhode Island, so that’s a great honor!
During the last year, how did you keep yourself busy?
Well, like most business owners, we really didn’t know what to do or expect last year. We had 70 weddings booked and only did 7, ouch. Despite that, we found ways to bring music to people anyway. Every Friday night we did a Facebook Live which was fun. I would hook up some speakers and set up my DJ booth and basically run a little dance party for a bit. A lot of families and our past couples came out and supported us, so it was a lot of fun.
What’s the initial process of booking a DJ?
For us, we start with a phone or Zoom call or in person. I love being able to video chat or meet with couples so that I can see how excited they are about everything we’re talking about! Before we even get on that call or to that meeting though, I find out a little more about the couple. Have they seen us in action? Been to one of our weddings? If not, we encourage them to check out our social media sites so they can see us working. With DJs, it’s important that our vibe and the couple’s vibes work well together.
During our chat, I really want to get to know their vision for the wedding. Every wedding and couple is different, so I want to take the time to understand their wants and dislikes. During our call, I’ll actually pull up clips of how we introduce couples or make announcements and how we mix music. This is really helpful for all of us! There’s so many details and decisions that go into how the night goes, so being able to educate them early on is important. Later on, we can talk about pricing and services that we offer.
What should clients expect a DJ’s setup to be like on the day of the wedding?
Obviously every DJ and company is different! But, for us, we provide a DJ booth so that we have space to work and are able to do our job. Additionally, you may see us show up in our branded hoodie or shirt while we unpack and setup, but once the wedding day is going, I’m all about dressing to impress. I always make an effort to show up in a nice shirt and tie for the event. Not every DJ is like that but I really think it’s important to represent my business in the best way possible. You have anywhere from 50 to 400 people watching you all night – look the part!
What’s a typical wedding day like for a DJ?
As you know as a wedding photographer, there’s a lot going on. And all of us vendors really give more than our job description, you know? We wear a lot of hats and don’t just play music. We’re there as more than just DJs for our couples. We’ll work with the event coordinator and make sure we know when things are happening or arriving (like your food)! It’s also important for us to work with other vendors all day long, make sure we’re staying on the timeline and just helping whenever possible.
What’s the sweet spot for couples when they plan their reception dancing?
I think everyone will have a different opinion on this, but for me, I think 2 hours is perfect! I can get out a lot of music in two hours and keep that dance floor packed. Obviously some parties will want more or less, but that’s usually a good starting spot!
So, for your couples… the wedding day comes, they dance and celebrate, then the day ends. What comes next?
A lot of people think that our work as a DJ ends the minute the last dance ends, but that’s not the case. One of the first things we do is say goodnight to our couple and send them on their honeymoon. We usually ask when they’ll be back because we’re going to want to get in touch with them after their wedding day, but not annoy them when they’re de-stressing on their honeymoon! After they return, we’ll reach out and ask about them submitting a review for us. It’s super important for them to be able to express to other potential couples about their experience with us.
But, it doesn’t end there. For us, a big part of our brand is our social media. So we always ask our couples too about sending over a few photos from their day. We love the ones of them dancing or if they have one of us working. Whatever it is, we’re always happy to get a copy! Actually now, a lot of our couples know that we’re going to share about their wedding online so they get excited and can’t wait for us to post. That’s a pretty cool feeling! Finally, we make sure we send them a personalized thank you card after their wedding day. I hand write every single one and it’s just something I’ve always done and will do. I want every couple to know how much we appreciate them!
What happens if something goes wrong on a wedding day? Do DJs have insurance?
This is actually a question couples should ask potential DJs! Make sure to ask if they’re insured. If something happens at a wedding, the person you hire needs to have a policy to cover. It’s a huge liability that a lot of people just don’t understand. It’s always great when you can hire a friend or something, but they’re often not prepared for the bad stuff and that can end badly for everyone.
Wrap Up Question
What are some key points that couples should be asking DJ companies when they are inquiring to make sure they are working with a professional company to ensure that their wedding day is a perfect event?
Do they have an online presence? Look for a credible website, social media platforms that are active and used. All of these things will key you into how they work and their personalities.
Same question about reviews! Do they have any online that you can read that are real and where are you finding them? Look at their website, Facebook page, The Knot, Yelp, etc.
Meet with them so you can make sure they have the style and personality you’re looking for. Weddings are a big deal and you want to be happy with who you choose!
Links Mentioned in the Episode
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