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This question comes up occasionally. I feel the best answer is to read the following, and check out the included links.
In this economy, why spend money to hire a professional DJ when you can do-it-yourself with a portable music player?

Seems tempting, but before you decide to forego hiring a DJ for your wedding, beware, an “iPod wedding” can be a lot more costly than you may think.

A professional DJ brings a lot more to your event than just music—they get the party started and know how to work the crowd.

They know how to play music that will be fun and appeal to a crowd consisting of everyone from small children to grandparents and everyone in between.

After renting everything you need to DJ your wedding with an iPod, you likely will have spent just as much as it would cost to hire a reasonably priced DJ.

Still want an “iPod wedding?” Do-it-yourself DJing is more complicated and costly than you might think. Here’s why:
To DJ or not to DJ: Why an “iPod Wedding is a Bad Idea
How far in advance do I need to book my event?
Most people book a DJ 4 to 6 months in advance, often more.While it's not impossible to book an event a few weeks before it is scheduled, the more time you allow for proper planning, the better.
Do you own all of the music that you intend to play? Purchasing music that you want to play but don’t already own is another thing you’ll have to factor into the costs. You probably don’t have the most-requested songs that the guests want to hear—you’ll have to pay to purchase them from iTunes. Bottom line is that you will usually get a greater selection of music with a professional DJ.

With an iPod, you don’t get the timing or beat-mixing and fading that a professional DJ does. This can lead to awkward moments on the dance floor as people have to stop dancing to wait for the next song. A professional DJ fades the songs together and makes sure the beat and the energy keeps going no matter what. An iPod can’t tell the mood of the crowd or know how to create atmosphere.

Introductions, Toasts, and Announcements
The DJ serves as a master of ceremonies of sorts—who are you going to get to fill this role? Without it, your wedding reception will be a disorganized mess. Some other things you get with a DJ are timing of different parts of the night—DJs coordinate with other vendors to ensure that things run smoothly throughout your entire event.

If you’re worried that a DJ is going to do something you won’t like or play songs you don’t want to hear, tell them! You are paying them for your service, so if they refuse to comply with your instructions, hire someone else! The reception is one area of your wedding that you don’t want to skimp on. Don’t risk ruining it with an iPod.
Once a contract is signed, can I change the event date?
If the new date is available, we will accept the change at no additional charge.
You may already have an iPod but do you also own a great PA system? You might think that you’re saving money by using your iPod, but unless you already own a great sound system, you’re going to have to rent one. Some of the equipment you will need to rent includes speakers, speaker stands, amplifiers, a subwoofer, cables and a mixer. In addition to the iPod you should have at least one backup iPod and probably a person to run the iPod and make sure no one messes with the equipment

Lighting equipment is another important part to any reception—without it you will have no ambience on the dance floor!

You will also need wireless microphones for toasts and speeches, otherwise the guests will be unable to hear these things and that will be very awkward. It’s hard to grab the attention of a crowd when your voice isn’t amplified.

There’s no guarantee that the gear you rent will be reliable or that it has been kept in good condition and properly maintained. What will you do if it breaks down? Do you know what kind of high-quality gear to get in the first place?

When you do-it-yourself as a DJ, you will be responsible for moving all the equipment, setting it up, taking it down, and it is a lot of work! Do you know how to set up and take down DJ equipment and a PA system?

You could ask a friend or family member to be in charge of the music and deal with any technical difficulties that may arise. However, this will detract from them having a good time and also you might have to pay them.

In the event that the equipment catches on fire and burns the venue you rented to the ground—you are liable and responsible for covering the damages. However, if you hire a DJ, they should have their own liability insurance so if something happens, they have it covered.
Once a contract is signed, can I cancel?
We know that things happen and plans can change. If a cancellation is unavoidable, the deposit can be applied to any future events that you book with us.
How much do you help to coordinate the event?
As much or as little as you want. We are more than happy to help you with the planning of your event and will coordinate with your event facility, photographers and other professionals to ensure that your event is a success. Our links page will help you find local professionals to begin planning your special day.
Can you provide music for the wedding ceremony?
We are happy to provide ceremony music. If you have booked us for your reception, it may require some additional coordination and planning. If the equipment must be moved from the ceremony to the reception, additional charges may apply.
When will you arrive on the day of my event?
We prefer to arrive at least 1 hour prior to the beginning of the event to allow for setup time. We try to ensure that your DJ is not rushed and has a cushion of time, in the unlikely event of an equipment malfunction, to troubleshoot and setup back-up equipment.
Can the DJ stay longer, if I request it on the day of the event?
This is not a problem because we do not book more than one event for a DJ on any given day. Addition time will be charged at the time of request and must by paid with cash or credit card. Checks are not accepted on the day of the event.
Do you charge for travel or set-up?
We do not charge for travel within 100 miles of our office. Travel beyond 100 miles will include a nominal charge based on the total distance. We do not charge for set-up time.
What type of equipment do you use?
We use only professional live sound & disc jockey equipment. For mobile applications we use digital media and Virtual DJ software with CD/DVD players as back-up. You and your quests are welcome to bring CDs or digital media to be played, as long as you approve of the selection.
Do you have back-up equipment?
Yes. Acomplete back-up system is standard equipment for all events.
Do you play music that will entertain all of our guests?
Absolutely! Any event will include a diverse range of age groups and musical tastes. We have music that will appeal to every generation and will provide a mix of music that keeps all of your guests dancing
Do you play requests?
Always! (Within reason). Remember, your event may include children and we will tend to avoid highly offensive or vulgar content. Also, any music specifically banned by you will never be played.
Do you provide for special requests?
You and your guests will have the opportunity, in the weeks leading up to your event, to request music selections. We know that music is a very important part of your special day and we will make every effort to play those special songs. You can also bring any music that you own to the event to be played. Any music brought to the event by your guests, on the day of the event (this happens often), must be cleared by you before being played.
Does the DJ take breaks?
The whole point of hiring a DJ is to have music for the duration of tour event. There will not be any extended breaks. The DJ may step away for a few minutes to use the rest room or to get a refreshment. Our equipment allows the DJ to step away without any interruption in the entertainment.
What will the DJ wear?
A tuxedo is the standard uniform for weddings or proms. For parties and corporate events, the DJ will wear a business suit or other appropriate attire.
Do I have to provide the DJ with a meal?
It's not necessary. We understand that catering is expensive. If you offer a meal, we'll gladly accept, but don't feel obligated.
Will the DJ drink alcohol at the event?
No. Consuming alcohol is against company policy. Soda, juice or water is allowed.
How much will the DJ use the microphone?
As much or as little as you prefer. Whether you prefer your DJ to make minimal announcements appropriate to your event or to have your DJ out on the floor interacting with you and your guests, we will do everything we can to ensure your event will be enjoyed by everyone.
What if the DJ gets sick or is involved in an accident?
We have back-up equipment and DJs in the event of an unforeseen accident or illness. We realize how important the entertainment is to the success of your event and do our best to take no chances.
Do I tip the DJ?
Entirely up to you. If you or any of your guests feel that the DJ has done a great job, feel free to tip.
If I do want to tip, any idea as to how much?
5% to 10% of the total charge would be considered generous.
Can I use a credit card to pay the bill?
Yes, we accept payment in cash, money order or bank checks as well as Discover, Visa, Master Card and American Express. You can also pay by using your PayPal account.
Do I need to pay sales or any other tax?
DJ services do not require any taxes.
I want to book you. What do I do next?
Click on our availablility checker, call or email and give us the details of your event. If the date and time is available, we will get in touch to set up a day and time to meet with you to go over all aspects of your special day and to develope the service contract. There is never any consultation charge for DJ services.
New Milford, CT 06776
Copyright 2010 • TransAtlantic Entertainment
(860) 946-0642
Now here are a few links that might shed some more light.