Grouse Mountain is a very nice venue to hold anything from a birthday party, corporate event or wedding during the summer season. The winter season has its’ special charm as well, but I prefer the summer. This DJ in Vancouver found winter time a little more difficult to get equipment into the event rooms.
Getting to Grouse is quite easy. Being that it is a popular area, there are lots of signs and is only about 40 minutes from Vancouver downtown. However, Vancouver traffic can be challenging so it may take longer
The area below the mountain has quite a bit of parking but at the height of the summer season, parking can be hard to find and not all of it is free. There also a few coffee shops and areas to hang out while you wait for your tram to take you up the mountain.
There are actually two trams, a large one for visitors to the mountain and a smaller blue one that your vendors put their equipment into so they can transport it up the mountain…along with supplies for all of the great amenities that are on the mountain. When going up the tram, the operator may point out a few areas of interest such as the lake where Vancouver gets its’ drinking water from or the twin sister peaks.
You will want make sure your vendor is aware that there can be quite a delay in getting the equipment up the mountain to the main lobby. The vendor then has to get the equipment form the main lobby up to the event rooms. I usually build in a 45 minute window of extra time just getting from the parking lot to the mountain with equipment. In the summer, the best way to get equipment up to the Timber room, which is one of the event rooms, is to load it on a cart and wheel it around the outside sidewalk to the upper level. There are no elevators so any mobility challenged guests would have to get the upper level either by steep stairs or around the sidewalk.
The timber room is one of the main rooms where events take place. It gets pretty full at 90 guests but is nicely decorated with an awesome view.
The buffet is normally placed on the dance floor in front of your DJ and space is tight for a large guest list but manageable.
The room is long and a bit narrow with the head table along the sidewall. If you really wanted to get an even sound throughout the room, you would need an extra set of speakers. For the speeches, if using the PA from the DJ setup, you will need a high quality microphone to avoid dropouts.
At the back, the patio opens to a lovely veranda. With a spectacular view of Vancouver below, many wedding ceremonies are conducted in this spot. Take look at my video clip to see what I mean. I think you would agree that this is an impressive view.
The timber room does have a projector and screen for showing your video or slide shows as well as a microphone for your speeches and air conditioning. The latter is quite important on the hot summer days that can take place in August and appreciated by this Vancouver DJ.
One other nice thing about Grouse Mountain is that there is a lot to do up on the mountain. There is a lumber jack show that is thoroughly entertaining, a bird exhibit, zip lines, helicopter tours or guests can just sit on the patio and enjoy a drink with a spectacular view.
Grouse mountain certainly is worth considering for your next event or wedding. With lots to do, a beautiful view and all the amenities, I give Grouse Mountain 4.5 out of five stars.
The wedding garter is an old tradition that goes back to the middle ages where it was reported that groomsmen would rush to touch the garter for good luck. Today, it is only the newly wedded husband that has the permission to first touch the garter and throw it to the single men at the reception.
Six hundred years ago, yes the garter has been around that long, the guests at the wedding considered the bride’s wedding dress to be good luck. Those at the wedding would often try to tear pieces of fabric from the dress and keep them for good fortune. One of these pieces, the garter, was considered especially favorable. This is how it all began.
Traditionally the garter was a more functional piece of attire for the bride. It was used to hold up the stockings and socks of both men and women. In this case, there was no preference as to what leg the wedding garter was placed. This remains true today. Whatever is more comfortable for the bride is the leg where the garter is most often placed.
Typically, the chance of pregnancy was felt to be affected by the garter as it was a symbol of completion of the wedding night and the prospect of future children for the wedded couple. As such, the garter was highly prized. The luck of the wedding couple was thought to be passed on to the guest procuring the wedding garter.
In the past, the member of the wedding party who caught the garter in the garter toss was thought to wear the garter on his hat until he met the women he would marry. He then would gift her the garter he had for good luck. Today, the fellow who catches the garter is just as likely to wear it on his head at the reception, depending upon how inebriated he gets.
It was also tradition to have a bystander go with the bride and groom to the honeymoon suite to testify that the marriage was culminated. The wedding garter given by the bride was considered proof the wedding deed was fulfilled and the garter was then tossed into the crowd.
Different versions of the garter toss have manifested over the years. In the ages where historians are a bit in the dark as to the history of the times, it was reported that members of the wedding party would wait until the bride removed the garter and then toss it at the new husband’s nose. The guest who hit his nose was thought to be the next to marry.
In any case, it seems tossing the garter, in one form or another, has always been popular. Now days, as a DJ in Vancouver, I am seeing a decline n the number of brides wanting to do a garter toss. I am not sure why this is but perhaps it is time to take a fresh look at the garter toss. This Vancouver DJ does have a number of ideas, tips and tricks to help the wedding couple still have a fun garter toss with a lot less pressure and /or embarrassment for the bride. Give us a call or an email to see if some of our ideas might painlessly spice up your garter toss tradition.
Set in very pretty Peace Arch Park. The Peace Arch Heritage Hall is a well kept heritage style building that accommodates small to medium sized events… up to probably 120 guests
The venue is about one hour outside of Vancouver and located just at the Canadian and American border. It is on the Canadian side and travelling to the hall, guests and your DJ in Vancouver should be very careful they don’t get into the cue to cross into the American side of the border. You should get into the far right lane, I was told the same lane as the nexus lane, and take the final exit onto Beach Drive. I would highly recommend bringing your passport just in case. The border guard patrols may ask you for identification while in the park.
There is a large, free parking lot as you turn left into the park and the lovely greenery of the park is adjacent to parking. However, it is about 300 meters, or a quarter of a mile, from the parking lot to the Heritage Hall. Although the sidewalk is nice and flat, it is a bit of a long ways to pull equipment on a cart. Be aware your entertainment may charge you extra for the work involved. Your guests will definitely need an umbrella if the weather is rainy.
I did notice some guests drove their cars over the lawn to the hall but I am pretty sure this is frowned upon. I don’t know that, if caught, you would be issued a fine or ticket, but I wouldn’t chance it.
The hall itself is very neat and tidy. It is plain but with a bit of decoration, comes alive quite nicely. It has picnic benches outside and I think I noticed a fire pit for a BBQ. There is no washroom within the hall but there is a public one just a few meters walk from the hall which was clean and tidy when this Vancouver DJ was there.
There is no air conditioner and I didn’t notice any type of heating vents in the hall. I am not sure if they rent the hall in the colder months but on a hot summer day, I would consider bringing a few electric fans. There is a noise by law so if you want to do your wedding ceremony outside with music, you may want to check the rules and inside the hall, music volumes have to come down in level around 10 PM.
There is no projection system to show your slide shows or video presentation an no hall speakers or microphone for your speeches. These can probably be rented from your music provider and I would make sure to ask for professional quality microphones as the hall is a bit long and prone to microphone drop outs.
I would also recommend being aware of the placement of your DJ. I was placed to the right of the doorway. I was a little concerned that guests might trip over the speaker stands when coming in the door and on the other side of the DJ table, the coffee station was placed near to the DJ setup. This happened to be a congested area where guests tended to flock. I felt having the DJ setup in the right corner of the room of the entrance would have been better. You could then move the coffee station over to the other side of the room preventing people for congregating around the DJ table and speaker stand legs.
Over all, the Peace Park Heritage Hall is a nice location to have your summer wedding or event. As you can see it is wheelchair accessible. The beautiful park and location are peaceful and lovely to stroll around for your guests. I am sure there are some great spots for wedding pictures as well. With a little elbow grease, the hall can be decorated to personalize your event. I give the Peace Park Heritage Hall three and a half stars out of five
When meeting a bride and groom for the first time, there is always a little bit of nervousness for all of us. After all, this is a big day for everyone and we want to make sure we get it right. So just how do I get to know the happy couple? Well, I have a survey of about ten questions where, during the course of discussing them, we get to know each other a little better.
The most obvious first question is, Can you tell a little about yourselves? I ask this one to get a feel to see if the couple is out going or shy. This may give me an idea about how they feel being in the spotlight and if some words of comfort would be good idea or how we can take the pressure off if need be. Perhaps they will mention a hobby or interest they may have. If they like to sing maybe a karaoke option is worth mentioning. This question just opens up the conversation and sometimes interesting information comes to light.
The second quite obvious question is, Do you like to dance? Most times, but not always, the bride does and the groom does not. This gives me a clue as to if I might want to propose a few more games for the reception to take the weight off of them dancing so much or if I should suggest maybe only dancing for part of the song on the first dance. I might even suggest dance lessons to help them feel more comfortable when it does come time to dance.
Leading into, Do your guests like to dance? This question gives me a good notion as to what kind of a party reception we might have. If their guests don’t like to dance, then I start making a mental note, as well as on my question sheet, of what I can do to facilitate dancing or if we might shift the main focus away from dancing to perhaps, for example, a lip sync contest in the part of the reception where normally the dancing would start. In any case, the question, in some cases, puts forth a possible eventuality that we can prepare for.
The What kind of music do you like? question is a very helpful one I find. This really allows me to narrow down the ambiance of the event. Whether it be Top Forty, Alternative or a mixture of new and old music, the bride and groom’s answers to this question allows this Vancouver DJ to make observations and provide suggestions when the couple are at a cross roads in their music choices.
On a scale of one to ten how important is the music for your function? is a really obvious question. If music is not high on their agenda then it usually means they are just maybe having a DJ because it is expected of them. I sometimes, in the case where music is not so important, suggest maybe a comedian, magician or acoustic guitar player might work better for their reception. It can cost me the event, but I feel it is better for everyone involved if the bride and groom are happy with their entertainment choices.
Do you like a bit of control over things or a lot? We have all known persons and bosses who like to micromanage. In the case of wedding receptions it is not uncommon to find this to be the case…and that is fine. It is just important to find this out in the initial stages so planning can begin on the right footing. In some ways couples that have definite ideas on what they want are easier because everything is laid out for me. As long as they receive their requests, they are quite happy. What makes things difficult are micro-managers who keep changing their minds right up to the last minute, and sometimes at the last minute, and expect perfect results.
Have you ever been to an event where you liked the DJ and why did you like them? As a DJ in Vancouver, there are many DJs. Some are better than others and some are just better suited to different types of events. Various DJs bring their own specialties, personalities and equipment to their functions so asking this question gives me a standard that the couple would appreciate having at their wedding. It is all about doing the best job you can and pleasing the client and guests, so feedback from this question is very useful.
And vice versa, Have you ever been to an event where you didn’t like the DJ and why you did not like them? is an awesome query, that when answered by the couple, give me a red light warning of what not to do! It is also useful for delving deeper into other minor things that DJs may do that are not so irritating to the bride and groom but still would make them feel better if steered away from. In addition, since there are often all ages at a wedding, this can bring up some very good compromise discussions.
What is your vision for the music portion of the event? I like this one because I get an overall vision of how the couple wants the reception to go music wise. Do they want a variety of songs so that the music is appealing to a large segment of their guests or do they want only them and a few guests style of music to be played for example. In any case, we can start to narrow down music genres with this question.
After the reception is done, what adjective would you want to use to describe the music portion of the event? It is always good to end a survey on a positive note and this question has the bride and groom thinking of a fun and successful reception. It lightens the mood of the questioning and can even spark a humorous comment or two.
I find that these ten questions not only give me some good information on the couple and what they would like to see happen at their event, but it also brings up other questions and ideas that they perhaps never thought of. It is sort of a brainstorm session in a way. I certainly find the questions I ask to be helpful and I believe my clients do as well.
When it comes to parties, events and weddings in particular, there is no shortage of advice on all the wonderful things that should be done. From dress, to flowers and all that is in between, it all has been covered time and time again. However, there are things to be looked at critically, and keeping in mind that all the great stuff for the wedding can sometimes preoccupy the thoughts, here are some considerations on what not to do for your wedding event. Or at least some details that will make your special day run more smoothly for everyone.
Let’s start with the venue. Every Vancouver DJ and bride and groom knows that booking early is a must for a summer wedding but one item that can be overlooked is access to the venue. Most weddings have a real variety in the ages of the guests attending the wedding. It is much more pleasant if the venue does not only have stairs to access the location but an elevator as well. Any guests that have mobility issues, and your vendors, will thank you very much for this one convenience. Your vendors will be able to give you a better price if they don’t have to carry heavy equipment, or decorations, up or down stairs so that may be an incentive to keep in mind. All things considered, it is best not to hire a venue that has only a stairway access if your wedding is on the second floor of the venue …or even if you have to go downstairs to your wedding area.
Is the venue air conditioned? We can have summer days that are quite hot and a venue that does not have air condition can leave everyone a bit more stressed. Even when it comes to the dancing, guests will be more inclined to stay in a cool room to enjoy the celebration rather than a hot one. Dancing can make you sweat…especially if you have this DJ in Vancouver. It best not to hire a venue without air conditioning if your wedding will take place in the summer and even the late summer. Early September days can still be quite warm.
Here is one I have had a few clients get surprised on… some venues have a noise restriction. These venues are usually in the city but I have had one venue that is in the Richmond area with a large parking lot where you think this wouldn’t be a concern, but it is. I have had a number of venues where music levels have to drop dramatically at 10 PM. In one venue, the bass had to be turned completely off so that it was like dancing to an AM radio. Remember to ask about noise issues and if there is a curfew, it is best not to use the venue if you don’t want your reception the end prematurely.
Of course, near and dear to my heart is the subject of DJs, and in some cases KJs ( karaoke DJs). It is best not to hire cheap ones, especially on your wedding day. Cheap usually means they are not busy and the reason they may not be busy is that may not be very good or have little experience. On top of that, the equipment may not be in the best of shape. It takes a lot of money to buy and maintain good musical equipment let alone a good reliable vehicle to transport the DJ and equipment to your function. Cheap means they don’t have to money to do that! It is not a good deal if the entertainment ruins your very important event because of a broken down car or equipment.
An overlooked “not to do” item when planning your event is to not have your event planner act as a go between for your DJ or entertainment. Music is personal and the client needs to speak with the DJ directly so that the DJ can understand their expectations. I once had a client who anticipated the event planner would know their taste in music. When it came time to do the event, crucial information had not been given to me and the client was disappointed. An event planner is not the client… so your DJ needs to speak with the client directly in order to deliver what the client wants.
As you can see, what not to do is as important as knowing what to do. There are more not to do items I have come across in my years as a DJ/ KJ. This is a good start however, and you can always call me for advice. I am always happy to see a successful event.
It rears its’ head every time there is a karaoke event….the number one statement of many a client. “I don’t know if my guests will sing.” I always say that if you don’t know if your guests will sing and you genuinely want them to sing and have fun, then the age old advice that works every time is plan for them to have fun.
With thousands of events under my belt, it never ceases to amaze me how little, or no, effort is put into most karaoke events where the inevitable happens and the karaoke falls flat on its’ face. Would you go on vacation without a plan? Heck, even when you go grocery shopping, you most likely have some kind of list on what you are planning to buy. Why then would anyone spend money on putting a party together where karaoke was a big part of the event and not have a plan for it? I don’t know the answer to that question but I do know how to make it happen. So from a DJ in Vancouver who has done many karaoke events, here’s an idea that can be used for any type of karaoke event, corporate, private event or rental machine.
I recently did a very large corporate event where the karaoke was down the hall from the big ballroom and foyer where all the action was taking place. I was coming up the elevator with some of the guests and none of them knew they were having karaoke. That was a killer right there…few if anyone knew karaoke was happening. There were no signs letting people know if or where there was karaoke. No plan to make a successful karaoke night…nothing.
If you are a corporation or a private party having karaoke, you need to get a buzz going about it weeks in advance. Most people see karaoke as a boring, bad singer event. Change that perception around. Get a company, or intercompany, memo out a number of times. Put posters up in the lunch room. Remember the rule of print advertising…people need to see things in print at least seven times before it sinks in.
Better yet, get a company, or intercompany, contest going. Have the sales department go up against the accounting department, one office against another, etc. Encourage costumes, dance moves and give away some kind of prize to winners besides bragging rights. Movie passes are awesome for example. If it is a Christmas party, save some of those gifts given away in the boring raffle draw to the winners. Make a big deal out of it. You can also do karaoke theme nights but you got to let people know it is happening in a big way and you need to make it entertaining as well.
And if you have a contest, for sure have judges and an MC. I do regular karaoke hosting nights and sometimes when they have contests, they don’t want to bother getting judges. They pick the winner by applause and this results in a boring karaoke contest as no one makes much effort. All that happens is one group bands together and applauds the people in their group the loudest. Those that should win, don’t…it is not a real competition that way. It also discourages the good singers who don’t have an entourage from trying…and in the case hosted karaoke nights…very few new singers coming in to sing karaoke.
For anyone having a private karaoke event, all of the above apply but on a smaller scale. For birthdays for example, theme it by choosing fun birthday songs like “When I’m 64” or “16 Candles”, etc.
For a wedding, you can incorporate karaoke into your reception by replacing the boring tinkling of glasses with having guests sing, by tables or singularly, before the bride and groom kiss. You can theme it by allowing only love songs to be song or songs with love in them.
There are tons of other ways to work karaoke into your wedding or any type of event and a Vancouver DJ should be able to have many ideas for you. The key thing to takeaway here is that planning will get you a much better result with your karaoke event than just throwing it out there and chancing the karaoke event to go wherever the wind takes it.
Popular music comes and goes. What is hot one month is often gone in the next few, but wedding songs are a little different. Classics throughout the years still remain strong and in recent years, there are some new songs that I am sure will stand the test of a long term, great wedding song.
The best of 2019 is still a mix of old and new. Recent hits such as Cardi B “I Like It” and a bit older songs Luis Fonsi “Despacito” and Rihanna “Love On the Brain” are still very popular. The same can be said of Bruno Mars and his offerings even though, as of the time of this writing, May 2019, we have not heard anything new from him for awhile.
So whether it is a radio pop/dance mix, rock, love song or anything in between, here is a sampling, not in any particular order, of wedding music that is trending in 2019.
One recent song that tugs at the heart strings is “Shallow” Lady Ga Ga and Bradley Cooper. The stirring performance on the Oscars solidified this song as one of the great ones that will be a wedding favorite for years to come.
Some of you may have seen the music video “Sugar” by Maroon 5. That video of them crashing weddings and spreading around their version of pop wedding bliss really struck home. So much so, that their song is a favorite when it comes to the cake cutting song.
James Arthur and “Say You Won’t Let Go” is another beautiful song and of course “Perfect” in all its’ versions, either with Ed Sheeran by himself or in a duet with Beyonce, is hard to beat as a first dance choice.
In the dance song department, “Jackie Chan” from the popular Post Malone usually has the dance floor jumping as well as previous Bruno Mars hits.
“One Kiss” Dua Lupa & Calvin Harris has that 4 on the floor dance beat and will certainly provide an up tempo beat that keeps even this DJ in Vancouver dancing behind the console.
For the special father and daughter dance it is hard to do better than the older songs “I Loved Her First” Heartland is really a favorite of dads. The lyrics say it all for a dad and his daughter. Another tune that will surely bring tears you a dad’s eyes is the not so well known Martina McBride “In My Daughter’s Eyes” Two oldies that have a lot of heart on one of the most heartfelt days of our lives.
There are so many great songs and just not enough time or space to mention them all. For the new bride and groom, you will have a lifetime of songs and memories that they will bring…especially the ones at your wedding.
So, what is your number one pick for best wedding songs of 2019? What are you playing for your wedding? Be it one of the ones I mentioned, or another special song of your own, drop me a line and let me know. This Vancouver DJ is always looking for the perfect wedding song.
The Fortune Sound Club on East Pender is normally a live band venue or a Vancouver DJ dance club but can be booked for different types of events such as dance presentations or corporate events.
East Pender is not the best location but the club is large and has quite a bit of dance space. There is a load in spot in front of the club but the stairs up to the club are very challenging. Loading in equipment up three flights of stairs is quite difficult. I couldn’t see a mobility challenged guest making it up even one of those steep staircases let alone three and even carrying them up there and back down at the end of the night would be difficult and potentially dangerous if you fell coming back down. It is an old building so there are no elevators. In addition the stairway is quite dark so tripping is a distinct possibility.
Because the area is not very good, the doors to the club are locked during private events and you have to call to get back in every time you go out. This can be inconvenient and a bit of a pain if they don’t pick up your call right away.
Parking is also very challenging. There is street parking but it is only for two hours. There are few parking lots in the area and they are not close by. You will definitely need and umbrella walking back to the club form any of the parking lots to the club if you event takes place on a rainy day. The nearest parking lot I found as at the end of Columbia Street about two blocks away. I think it was around $2 an hour. The parking lot is not all that large. I would imagine the lot could get full in the evening…especially on a weekend.
I felt there was good communication with the tech people before I arrived. I sent two emails with what I would need but nothing was ready when I arrived so I would recommend you double check with the club on your requirements…especially if you are bringing in your own entertainment. I was also rushed to break down at the end of my karaoke event. Apparently they book events back to back and I was never told beforehand that I had to be out in such short a time. I ended up forgetting a few things at the club. The takeaway here is to make sure the time frame for your event is adequate as over time may not be available if you don’t plan for it with the club beforehand.
Some of the staff were helpful and assisted me with carrying some equipment up the stairs but others seemed indifferent.
They do have a large stage for performances and a nice PA. They also have a house DJ who probably could play any type of music you require.
As mentioned, the room is large and includes a large screen and in ceiling projector as well as a number of wireless microphones for your speeches or presentations.
Stage lighting and dance floor lighting is also available at the club and about the only thing they don’t have is karaoke and in house catering.
The Fortune Sound club has a full range of equipment, lighting, sound and personal to provide the entertainment for your event as well as the space for a large number of guests. This DJ in Vancouver feels this venue would cater to a younger crowd and not well suited for a more formal type of event like a wedding. The location, parking challenge and access by stairs rate this venue at 2.5 out of 5 stars.
One of the great things about the hotel is that it is only a few minutes’ walk form some the great sporting venues of Rogers Arena and BC place. Historic Gastown is close by so this is a great addition if there is a long break between your function or wedding. I believe ii is about a nine minute walk there and great place to have your guests spend their down time. I would imagine if you were having your event on the same day as a major sports event was taking place at the arena or Canada place, the hotel, parking and area would be very busy.
Parking to the hotel or events is quite convenient and can be accessed off of Beatty Street or from the turn into the Sandman driveway. After 6 PM parking is $2.00 per hour. However getting into the hotel from the parking lot is not possible unless you have a key for the door. You get an access key either by being a registered guest or perhaps, if you are holding an event there.
For dropping off guests, the front entrance does have a covered area. It is flat as well so mobility challenged guests can easily enter the hotel if a wheelchair is required. The entrance driveway is a bit narrow for large cars though so there may be a lineup of cars depending upon the time of day.
The lobby is spacious if somewhat dated. Staff at the front desk is friendly and helpful. However, when you turn the corner to go to the elevator to get to the upper levels, you are met with a narrow corridor. This is where you might have a little trouble getting a wheel chair down if someone is coming from the opposite direction. The elevators are small but can fit a wheel chair and a few people as well. As a DJ in Vancouver, it was a little difficult getting equipment in the elevators because of their size.
Coming out of the elevator to the second floor is a little narrow as well. This is ok if guests are able to walk but if you have a wheelchair or cart with equipment, it can be a bit of a challenge.
The restaurant is on this level and although some events take place here, most events happen in the ballroom which is behind the staircase. The ballroom is the largest room they have and comes with the usual amenities, including microphone for your speeches, projector and screen.
The smaller rooms, studio 1 & 2, are located at the top of the stairs above the restaurant. There is an elevator to this level as well. Studio room 1 & 2 are quite a bit smaller than the ballroom. I believe we had about 25 guests and you would need both rooms, especially if you are having a sit down dinner or even stand up appetizers. There is a bit of a barrier between both rooms as they can be partitioned off from each other. There are not many wall outlets in the rooms but the rooms are air conditioned.
There is a projection screen and I did notice an in ceiling speaker that would be ok for speeches. There was not projector though and I did not see a plug in for a microphone for the in ceiling speaker. The rooms are quite small so probably a microphone would not be needed in any case.
Catering is fully capable of delivering a full meal event or appetizers. Catering staff were friendly and helpful with whatever is needed for your guests and vendors. They are also quite efficient.
The Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Center is a conveniently located option for your event or wedding. It has all of the amenities required for most events and tends to lean towards smaller sized events with the size of their events rooms. Although by combining the restaurant area with the ballroom would give you a much larger venue. This Vancouver DJ did find it a bit dark in décor and the hotel is a bit dated and does have an older look about it. The hallways and elevators are a bit small and narrow for getting equipment in and out. If you are combing your event with a sports event in mind, the hotels would be an excellent choice but if not, it might be a hindrance if your event took place while a major sports event was also taking place. I give the Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Center 3.75 out of 5 stars.
If you have hired a DJ, KJ or combination of the two, you might notice the discrepancy in pricing and wonder why one is so cheap and one can cost more. It is not just an arbitrary number on pricing that DJs come up with, but reasonable pricing based on a number of factors for your wedding or event.
Two costs to a professional Vancouver DJ are staffing and labor. In order to have a number of DJs who are experienced, versatile with a nice personality that clients will like, a certain amount of compensation is required. My Vancouver DJs have the skill to be able to handle any type of event from a wedding, high school dance to a club gig and they can do it in a professional, amicable style.
From answering the initial contact all the way through contracts, consultation, any prep work and performance of the event, there is a lot of labor that goes on to have the musical part of your event run smoothly. Most people see the DJ spinning the music, guests dancing and nice lighting leading them to believe that is all the DJ does. Rarely does anyone realize the costs of running internet, phone, lights, heat, paper, ink and all those large and small office costs that come into play. Clients also don’t realize the physical labor of loading equipment into the van, back out again into the venue, setup, take down at end of night, back into the van and then out again upon return to home base. That is a lot of work! Sometimes, that labor is intensified even more when a venue does not have an elevator and equipment must be hauled up stairs. There can be lots of physical issues in getting equipment into a venue including parking issues as well.
Time is also another factor. For a wedding especially, a client will want to meet with the DJ at least one time before the event. So, the time it takes for the DJ to get to and from the meeting plus creating a checklist and play list for the dinner dancing and possibly the wedding ceremony can take several hours. You add on even more time for preparation if you are asking your DJ to do master of ceremony duties. On the wedding day, the DJ must travel to and from the venue plus, as previously mentioned, load in, setup and load out times can add to those hours. Technically, the client may be paying only for the hours of performance for their wedding or event but there are a lot of extra hours that go into making that happen smoothly.
In addition, you DJ must purchase and maintain good equipment so that at every event, the equipment runs flawlessly. All the components that make up a decent DJ setup do not come cheaply and extras such as laser lighting, projectors and screens, portable battery powered equipment for our door wedding ceremonies, wireless microphones, etc., can really add up. Equipment must also be maintained or replaced. This can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to operating costs a year to a music provider’s operating costs.
Speaking of operating costs, as of this time of writing, gasoline was a $1.70 a liter! Add to that business car insurance, which just went up another 6% even for five star drivers, and these factors alone will definitely add to the costs of operating and maintaining a well conditioned, reliable vehicle to travel to meetings and events with. After all, you do want your DJ to be arriving at your nicely appointed venue in a presentable vehicle and not a taxi or a rundown car that might or might not make it to your wedding or event.
Music costs are better than they used to be but having thousands of songs available and the costs of having a streaming service to add additional music choices for weddings and events are still significant. If you consider the costs of karaoke music at $1.99 a song, and a large library of 100,000 songs or more, than the costs are quite high to obtain and keep that level of service available to clients.
These are just some of the costs that this DJ in Vancouver, a city notoriously expensive to live and do business in, runs into. So next time you are quick to dismiss the pricing of a well reputed and reliable music service company, please keep in mind the costs associated with them obtaining and maintaining their high level of service that you want to have at your next wedding or event.
Where we listen to you and get it right on your big night!
DJ Gary, based in Vancouver, BC, has been in the music business internationally for over 20 years as a live performer and event DJ. He formed his company, DJ Boogie Shoes & Karaoke Services, in 2007. Having performed at thousands of weddings and events and committed to creating a fun, interactive, and flexible atmosphere for all his happy clients and guests, DJ Boogie Shoes can provide everything needed to enhance your events and entertain your guests.