Welcome to the very first in a series of monthly blogs in which I aim showcase some of the very best local wedding vendors & suppliers!
I’m kicking things off with DJ, Mr John Alexander of Cool Monkey Entertainment who graciously accepted the invitation to be my first guest!
I first met John at a wedding I shot last May at The Last Drop Village & Spa here in Bolton, and then again at a friend’s wedding up in the Lake District. His work takes him outside the locale, and it’s no wonder, as he is a simply outstanding DJ and a great bloke to boot. I pitched the following questions to John; I hope you find this interview useful and, should you still need a DJ for your wedding or indeed any event, then be sure you read on to the end where you’ll find all his contact details.
Hi John, How Long Have You Been A DJ?
I have been a DJ for over 15 years in many different settings.
How did you get into DJ-ing?
It was by accident, a friend of mine was a manager of a bar where we held a private party one night. At the event the only music we had playing was from a mixed CD on loop. I asked if I could have a play on the equipment and after that I was offered a resident DJ position in the Bar on Friday nights, it was a huge buzz to get a packed bar and seeing people enjoy themselves. I knew my limits and for me being a DJ was about getting people to enjoy themselves, I played lots of different genres in the early days but quickly found that I was more suited to being a party DJ getting people up dancing and having fun was the thrill. I would always get requests to provide the entertainment at private functions but turned these down in the early days. I worked in bars and clubs all over the northwest and for a large part of my DJ career, I did some private parties here and there, then the requests started coming in for me to provide the entertainment for weddings and birthdays. So I decided to set up as Cool Monkey Entertainment. I wanted to stand out and offer a personal, professional service for the clients that book me.
I asked John is there any advice & questions that all Bride & Groom’s should be asking of there venue & DJ when booking:
Are the DJ’s you use booked through an agency or handpicked by you?
In my time as a wedding DJ I have heard some stories of many venues booking DJ agencies and not knowing which DJ the agency would send. Its important to know what you are getting and who you are booking. DJ agencies do have some fantastic DJ’s on their books. If booking through a venue ask for the contact details of the DJ, so you can have a direct conversation with who will be part of your big day to help you decide whether they fit you or look elsewhere for another DJ.
Do You DJ or Work Off a Playlist?
I would be extremely annoyed if I payed for a DJ and all they did was put a playlist on and stood at the bar or doing something else. Be clear you won’t accept your entertainment to run off a playlist. You are paying for a DJ and that is the service should expect.
Do you have any references?
It’s perfectly okay to ask if your DJ has some testimonials from satisfied customers. In fact, this is one of the most important questions to ask your wedding DJ.
“Cannot Recommend anyone better! Simply fantastic this evening”
Caroline – Sheffield Masquerade Ball 2017
Can you play X song we love?
Some DJs have their own do-not-play list, which means they might not play that one romantic song you fell in love to if they think it’s overplayed; Here at Cool Monkey I believe it is your day and I have no right to deny you a song that celebrates or reminds you of when you fell in love. It’s about making your day extra special
Do we need to provide any equipment?
No, the DJ should provide any equipment they need, ask to see the “PAT” Certificate to show the equipment has been electrically tested and passed. Also ask for a copy of their public liability insurance certificate, any Genuine DJ will be happy provide this for you. Stay away from any that can’t provide this to you. Also, ask the DJ what equipment they will be bringing i.e. speakers, lights, microphones etc
Will it be appropriate for all ages?
The reception will include everyone from kids to grandmas. Ask about the volume level and if the content of the songs are appropriate for everyone.
Are you okay with a do-not-play list?
Yes, its YOUR special day if you don’t want certain songs I’m happy to fulfil that for you.
How do you handle requests?
I take requests as a DJ, but may turn some down based on your “Do Not Play List”
What will you wear?
What I wear depends on venue but can be from smart casual to full tux.
What are your set-up needs?
Find out how much time the DJ needs in advance of the show to setup and break down their equipment.
What is included in your cost?
Ask does the fee include equipment, set-up, and tear-down? How many hours of DJ services? Make sure you know what you’re buying and that there are no hidden costs.
What’s your back-up plan if you have an equipment malfunction?
All DJ’s should have a back up plan in the event of equipment failure
What’s your cancellation policy?
Ideally, you should be able to cancel with sufficient notice and not be on the hook for any extra money.
Can you provide wireless mics for the ceremony?
If you need a sound system for the wedding itself, it’s okay to ask if the DJ can help out on that end–for an extra cost, of course.
Cool Monkey Pricing?
I promise to beat any genuine written quote from the venue and provide you with a personal event package to meet your needs.
Cool Monkey Contact Details
Facebook – Cool Monkey Entertainment
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone – 07944346253