As one of the busiest DJ & Photo Booth services in Austin and central Texas, we get to meet and work with numerous couples and clients, and we're always honored to be a part of so many weddings and special events! When communicating with our couples, we noticed we tend to get many of the same questions along the way. We decided to make this helpful blog, to help not only our clients, but couples from everywhere! So here is our guide to wedding terms and all things wedding related!
Bridal Party Members' Definitions & Roles
Bridesmaid - Members of the bride's party in the wedding, who are typically, not married.
Maid of Honor/Man of Honor - A bride's honor attendant who is not married. This person typically will help the bride with wedding planning and logistics, the day of the wedding.
Matron of Honor/Man of Honor - A bride's honor attendant who is married. This person typically will help the bride with wedding planning and logistics, the day of the wedding.
Usher - Guys (usually) who seat guests as they arrive. You can have groomsmen who are also ushers, but you can also simply have people who are only ushers.
Groomsmen - Close friends or relatives of the groom, who are members of the bridal party who stand next to the groom, at the altar.
Best Man/Woman - The head groomsmen (or woman) who is also the main assistant to the groom and is usually in charge of keeping the wedding rings safe, until the ceremony. He/she usually stands next to the groom, during the ceremony.
Common Wedding Moments & Events
Prelude - For weddings, this is the time before the ceremony starts. Most preludes last 15-30 minutes. During this time, DJs, live musicians, or bands, will play music at the ceremony site, while guests are arriving and getting seated.
Parent/Grand Parent Processional - Parents and grandparents will walk down the aisle. This usually lasts about 5 minutes, depending on the distance walked, pace, and number of people walking. The groom will sometimes walk in with the officiant, before this happens, or after the parents.
Bridal Party Procession - Members of the bridal party will walk down the aisle at this time. This usually lasts anywhere from 2-10 minutes, depending on the distance they must walk, the pace that they walk, and how many members there are. The groom will sometimes walk in first, with the groomsmen, followed by the bridesmaids, ring bearer, then the flower girls.
Processional - The time when the bride/groom walks down the aisle with his/her escort.
Sand Ceremony/Unity Candle Ceremony - This usually occurs during the middle of the ceremony. Couples will take two separate vases of sand, or separate candles, and join the sand, together in one vase, or join the two candles to light one, new candle.
Recessional - This is the time when the newly married couple walks back down the aisle!
Cocktail Hour - This is the time, after the ceremony, when the couple, bridal party and immediate family, take pictures. All other guests will usually have cocktails, drinks and appetizers. (Called Mocktail Hour for events without alcohol)
Bridal Party Introduction - This is the time, after cocktail hour, when the bridal party and couple is introduced, when arriving into the reception area.
First Dance - The first song that the newlyweds dance to. This is often played right after the couple's introduction, or it can be played after dinner, to kick-off the reception.
Parent Dances - (Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, sometimes Mother/Daughter) These are the special songs for the parent and the bride or groom.
Anniversary Dance - This is a dance to celebrate marriage and long-lasting relationships. Typically, all the couples are invited to the dance floor, to dance together, along with the bride and groom. After a minute or two, the MC will begin "eliminating" couples from the dance floor, one by one, by the length of time they've been married/together. It usually starts with "if you've been married or together 1 year or less, please exit the dance floor..." This continues until the last couple is left, along with the newlyweds. The last couple is then asked to give advice to the newlyweds.
Dollar Dance/Honeymoon Dance - The dollar dance usually happens in the middle of the reception, usually after the bouquet/garter toss, and is usually 2 or more songs long. Guests are encouraged to line up and bring their "dollars," which are collected by the Best Man/Woman and Maid/Matron of Honor. Guests will give any dollar amount to the Best Man/Woman and/or Maid/Matron of Honor, to dance with the bride or groom.
Send-Off - This occurs after the reception has ended. Guests are asked to line-up, outside, in two lines. Guests will have sparklers, bubbles, or glow sticks, and the couple will walk through the line, towards their vehicle, to depart for the night. This looks great in pictures! Sometimes, a "mock send-off" occurs, earlier in the evening. This will be done to get pictures with more guests present. It will be the same send-off, but guests will return to the reception, after the send-off.
These are the most common moments and terms that we get questions about. There are several other moments and common terms, but these are the ones that people usually ask about. We hope that this list has been helpful. Feel free to contact us for any additional info and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
We had another fun weekend providing DJ services for a few different events in the Austin and central Texas area! Here's what we did, below!
Daddy/Daughter Dance at Cedar Creek Elementary
Friday, we had the pleasure of providing a DJ for the Daddy/Daughter dance, at Cedar Creek Elementary, in Westlake! Wow, they had a great turnout and it was great to see all the dads and daughters having a great time! We loved the Candy Land theme, too! We look forward to the next one! :)
Epilepsy Foundation 5K Super Hero Run - Lake Pflugerville
Saturday morning, we provided DJ services for The Epilepsy Foundation's 5K Super Hero Run! We were there bright and early, at 6 AM, but the race started around 8 AM. As you can tell, the weather wasn't as compliant as we wanted, but we're glad they had a great turnout and raised money for a great cause!
Wedding at CanyonWood Ridge - Dripping Springs, TX.
Sunday, we provided a DJ for a fun wedding at Canyonwood Ridge, in Dripping Springs, TX. This was actually our first time at this venue. It's a nice, spacious venue! The rain was on and off, throughout the evening, but the BEST part about the rain, is that the pictures always come out great, in the rain! We're glad to have worked with Amy, from Catering by Mopsie. She did a fabulous job coordinating and the food was excellent! Congrats, again, to our couple, Lindsey & Joseph!
As a DJ in the Austin/central Texas area, or really anywhere in the world, you basically have two choices: You can DJ at bars/clubs or DJ for private events. Regardless of which you choose, both are very competitive. In the bar/club scene, DJs are expected to do all of the advertising and promoting, and are expected to bring in customers, based on their following. So as you can imagine, every DJ, at every bar in Austin or anywhere, is competing to try to have the biggest crowd. With private events, every DJ/company is competing to get the most bookings. This means DJs/companies will market and do their best to get booked. One way to assure more bookings is to get on a venue's "preferred vendor list."
Venues, wedding planners, and many other vendors have their own preferred vendor list. When we began focusing more on weddings, several years ago, initially, we wondered how do they decided who is preferred? How can we get on that list? Are those companies that are being referred simply better than all the other companies out there? Before actually knowing the truth, we thought that if we simply showed up and did a great job, every time, and developed a working relationship with the venue managers/owners, they'd refer us. That should be how it works, right? Yes, it should be, but it often doesn't work this way. Yes, it may work this way for some vendors, but there are many venues and vendors that do not do this.
Venue managers often create a preferred vendor list based on one thing: money! DJs/companies work out deals with these venues and people who refer them, and agree to give a percentage or dollar amount to the venue or person who made the referral. It's often 10% of their fee. So if a DJ books a $2000 event, they'll give a referral fee of $200 to the venue/person. Many DJ companies and other vendors will "partner" with venues and be on the preferred list, or create a package that includes a DJ, photo booth, caterer, planner, etc. The venue manager will create a price that pays everyone the fee that they want, and still get a kickback from the vendors. Simply put, these "preferred vendors are not much different (if at all) than other companies. They're just willing to pay to be referred!
Even worse, some venue managers will penalize clients by charging a fee for not booking their preferred vendor lists (we've seen many charge $500 for not booking their preferred vendors). We've had many couples choose to book with us, despite paying that $500 fee, because our reasonable rates were still better, with that fee, than the preferred vendors prices. Usually, the DJ/company will charge extra if they're booked with a venue, and that extra will go directly to the venue. It's almost exploitation! This may not be the case for all venue managers and vendors, but we've definitely seen it at many venues in the Austin and central Texas area.
Overall, many DJs/companies choose to "pay to play." I can understand why DJs and other vendors do this, of course. More referrals means more income. We choose not to do this and still have plenty of bookings, all year long. Sure, we'd probably have more bookings if we did do this, but we'd rather not. Now you know the truth about those preferred vendor lists. Choose wisely!
A Fun Wedding at Wimberley Valley Winery
Last Friday night, we had a great time providing our DJ services for our couple at Wimberley Valley Winery, in Wimberley, Texas. Congrats, again, to our bride and groom, Sarah and Joe, who are also both certified Paramedics! We're glad that everyone had a great time at this nice, outdoor venue!
A Great Wedding at The Moose Lodge - Austin, TX.
Saturday, we had the pleasure of providing a DJ and photo booth for a fun couple, at the Moose Lodge, in Austin, TX. We provided a DJ for the ceremony and reception, as well as a photo booth! Everyone had a great time and danced from start to finish! Congrats, again, Virginia & Raul!
A Fun Wedding At K.C. Hall - Taylor, Texas
Saturday night, we also provided a DJ and photo booth for this wedding reception at the Knights of Columbus Hall, in Taylor, Texas! The above picture is of the Grand March, which is always fun to watch! Our DJ, Jimmy, kept everyone dancing and Eliza had fun taking pictures with all the guests at the photo booth! Congrats, again, Kristyne & Austin!
Last year, we wrote a blog discussing the average cost to hire a DJ for your wedding, quinceanera, party of event in the Austin or central Texas area. That blog has been read over 10,000 times! This year, we thought we'd update it, to reflect new prices for 2017 and 2018 events in our Austin and central Texas area. So here's the new info and changes for wedding and event DJ costs.
First of all, price still matters! If you're searching for an item on Amazon, how frustrating would it be if none of the prices were listed for your product? Would you take the time to email every seller for more information, or would you just buy from a seller that has prices listed? Yes, it's slightly different, but even Amazon does have services that you can purchase and yes, their prices are listed. Surprisingly, this still has not changed for the DJ & photo booth services business! Very few DJ and photo booth companies at least list a starting price or price range. Do a search for "Wedding DJ Austin, DJ for weddings, Quinceanera DJ, Austin photo booth," or whatever terms you prefer, and look for pricing. It's not easy to find.
This year, the price ranges are similar to last year, with the lower priced DJs listed on Craigslist. You'll find hundreds of DJs advertising their services on there. You'll still mostly find a lot of brand new DJs, offering low prices, simply because they want to gain experience. If price is your main concern and you only want to spend a few hundred dollars or less, this is your best bet. Just know that you're not likely to find many professional DJs or DJ companies on Craigslist. You'll get a great price, but at the risk of possibly having a bad experience at your wedding or event. We get calls all the time, about DJs who took a deposit and vanished, and we hate to hear this!
So if Cragslist doesn't work for you, you can simply search for a DJ on Google or whatever search engine you use. Take the time to draft an email, and copy/paste your email to each company, individually, by filling out their contact forms, but, be aware, you'll be bombarded with emails, calls, and text messages, all wanting your business. Ironically, we experienced this first-hand, when we got married, last October! We didn't want to hire our own staff, since we wanted them to enjoy our wedding.
Lastly, you can always search wedding sites, such as The Knot, or Wedding Wire, and you'll be able to email several companies at once. This also gives you a chance to see pricing info, or at least a price range, though still, many companies don't list their prices on these sites, too, surprisingly. These sites allow customers to leave reviews, so this will help you learn more about the DJ or photo booth company (and any wedding/event vendor service) you're researching. You'll definitely find professional companies on these sites, since it's not cheap to advertise with them (yes, we advertise on them, so we know how much it costs). Most of the DJ and photo booth companies will do their best to do a great job at your wedding or event, since their reputation matters and you can easily leave a review! It's still a very competitive business and there are even more DJs listed now, in the Austin and Central Texas area, than last year!
So the bottom line is: Prices can vary in the Austin and Central Texas area. They can be as cheap as $150 for your entire wedding, quinceanera, or event, and as much as $4000 or more, for your event! We've done our research and these are current 2017/2018 rates. The key is to determine what's included with your services for your price.
Questions to Ask Your Wedding or Event DJ
We took the time to create our frequently asked questions section, on our website. These are the most frequently asked questions and our answers. Feel free to use these questions to ask any DJ you may consider hiring. Just copy and paste them (and erase our answers, of course) or print them out and take them to your meeting. Here is the link:
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions to Ask Photo Booth Companies
What type of equipment do you use?
What type of printer do you use? (This is important, since your printout quality will be determine by the printer used. It should be a sub-dye printer).
What's included in the price?
Is setup or breakdown free?
Are printouts free?
Am I limited to a certain amount of printouts?
Do you have a contract?
Are props included?
Will there be a photo booth attendant?
Can we get an enclosed photo booth or open-air (backdrop type)?
Will we get all of our pictures from that night on a flash or via email?
How many pictures will guests receive?
Are copies of pictures allowed?
Overall, remember, you are always in control of how much you spend for your event! Find out what the value is, for your money. What does the $4000 company do differently, than the $150 company, or the $1000 company? Do your research and pick the DJ and/or photo booth company that best suits your needs! Good luck, and as always, email us for questions. We're always happy to help everyone, whether you're our customer or not! :)
-Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths Team
This past weekend, we had a great time providing DJ and photo booth services to many events in the Austin area! We had a few weddings, a prom, and a 40th birthday party, too! Check out the pictures, below, of these fun events!
A Fun Wedding at Le San Michelle - Buda, TX
We had a fun wedding at Le San Michelle, in Buda, TX! Our DJ, Jaime, provided the music for our couple and everyone had a blast! Congrats, again, to John and Kelly!
End-of-Year Band Banquet for Hutto High School!
We were happy to provide our DJ services, again, for the Hutto High School Band banquet! They gave out many awards to the students, had a great dinner and of course a fun dance! The students danced from start to finish! We look forward to the next one!
Wedding at Fiesta Gardens - Austin, TX
Saturday, we provided a DJ for a wedding ceremony & reception at Fiesta Gardens, in Austin. Our DJ, Jimmy, did a great job! Congrats, again, to Mr. and Mrs. Jackson!
Wedding at St. Vincent de Paul - Austin, TX
Saturday night, we also provided a DJ, photo booth, and uplighting (they booked our 360 package) for a fun wedding at St. Vincent de Paul Church, in Austin. Our couple actually recently completed medical school and will be graduating in two weeks! Congrats, again, to Jerry & Kate!
Gateway College Prep Prom at Casa Blanca - Round Rock, TX.
Saturday night, we also provided a DJ & photo booth for Gateway College Prep, at Casa Blanca, in Round Rock, TX. Thanks to our DJ, Ben, for keeping the students dancing, all night! Thanks to Eliza, for snapping pics at the photo booth, throughout the evening, too!
Birthday Party at The Oasis - Austin, TX.
Our last event for Saturday night, was a 40th birthday party at The Oasis, in Austin. This was an intimate event with family and friends and wow, they had a blast! Diana played tons of 80's and 90's hits and they loved it! Happy birthday, again, to Jeremiah!
Overall, we had a great time and are always honored to be a part of so many important moments in our client's lives! Thank you Austin & central Texas!
If you're planning a wedding, quinceanera or event, chances are, you have already created a Facebook invite, maybe an Instagram hashtag, and perhaps a wedding website. Though we're in the Austin & central Texas area, we know that this is the case for most weddings and events, worldwide! Cell phones have become such a major a part of our lives that most people simply cannot attend an event, or even go through a regular day or two, without texting, or using social media to post about their daily activities. It's the norm and it's just what we've become used to.
Believe it or not, there was a time before cell phones, where people attended weddings or events and did not take pictures with their phones (remember the old disposable cameras), did not text people, did not post on social media, etc. People simply enjoyed the event and lived in that moment. We actually attended a comedy show, with Dave Chappelle, a few weeks ago, here in Austin, Texas. Dave Chappelle created a no-phone policy and had everyone get a "Yonder" pouch upon entry. Everyone placed their phone in the pouch, and it was locked by a staff. You could keep your phone with you, but you had to have it on silent or vibrate and could not access it, until after the show, when they opened the pouch for you, at the exit. I thought wow, he must be very concerned about people taking video of the show and sharing it online; however, I also thought, wow, this is the first time I've come to an event in a while, and did not use my phone! What a brilliant idea!
Well, why not "unplug" your wedding or event? You'll already hire a photographer and possibly a videographer, so there will be plenty of great pictures and videos. If you want to share those pictures and videos with your guests, you can always post them on social media, later, or send them via email or Google drive, etc. You don't have to go and buy lockable phone pouches, but simply ask your guests to turn their phones off (or on silent) and to please not take pictures or post on social media. Then, you and your guests can fully enjoy the moment, with no distractions, just like the days before cell phones! All thanks to Dave Chappelle or to our blog! :) Just kidding, but really, it can be done!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Senior Prom, at Wyoming Springs - Round Rock, TX
We had the pleasure of providing our DJ services and spinning some great tunes from the 40's to today's hits at the 2nd annual Senior Prom, at Wyoming Springs Rehabilitation Center! This Thursday event kicked off our busy prom season! It's always so awesome to see these seniors dance and sing along to their favorite hits!
Open House at Escoffier Culinary School - Austin, TX
Saturday morning, we had a great time providing a DJ and photo booth for Escoffier Culinary School's open house! They had an amazing turnout and signed up lots of students! We always love to be a part of their events and look forward to the next one!
Crawfish Boil - Ballpark West Austin, TX.
Saturday afternoon, we had a blast at the 2nd annual Crawfish Boil, at Ballpark Apartments, in Austin, TX. They had a huge water slide, a mechanical shark, our DJ services, and of course some great Crawfish! We always love being a part of the Ballpark East & West events!
Connally High School Prom 2017!
Saturday night, our DJ, Jaime, did a great job providing music for Connally High School's prom, at the Omni in downtown Austin! These students danced from the first song to the last and had a great time!
Wedding - Round Rock, TX
Saturday night, we had the pleasure of providing our DJ services for a wedding at the Marriot, in Round Rock, TX. Our DJ, Ben, did a great job playing all their favorite songs! Congratulations, again, to Mr. and Mrs. Shelton!
Wedding at Berry Creek Country Club - Georgetown, TX.
Saturday night, we had so much fun providing our DJ and photo booth services for Mr. and Mrs. Watson! Everyone had a great time, dancing to some great music and taking pictures at the photo booth! More pictures of the event, are below.
Overall, we had 1 event Thursday evening, and a record 7 events on Saturday, April 29th! Our busiest day, yet! Thank you Austin and central Texas, for choosing us to provide your DJ and photo booth services, every weekend!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Whether you're having a wedding or event in Austin or central Texas, or anywhere, you have already found out how expensive it can be. If you've done your research, than you've already noticed that the costs to hire a DJ, photo booth, live band, or any entertainment, can really vary. You may have seen some DJs on Craigslist, for as little as $150, and then you may have even received a quote for up to $4000! Yes, you read that right, $4K for a 4 hour DJ and they're in no way any type of celebrity DJ!
We've done our research and we know that this is the range of pricing in our Austin market. One question you may keep asking yourself is why? Why do DJs cost so much? So here is an inside look at the DJ business and why we charge the rates that we do. Though we cannot speak for all DJs and DJ companies, we will speak for our company and from our experience. So here's the breakdown.
Anyone can buy DJ equipment, now. It's now more affordable than ever, and with YouTube and the internet, there are plenty of resources discussing "how to DJ." However, merely having the equipment and watching how-to videos will not ensure anyone can be a great DJ. Experience, skill, customer service and professionalism are all a must for anyone who works with us. In fact, our least experienced DJ has 10 years experience! We want to ensure that we provide exceptional service and therefore, we only hire exceptional staff who meet our high expectations!
The type of equipment a DJ has can truly vary and the cost for that equipment varies, as well. DJs need: microphones, lighting, speakers, cables, turntables or controllers, a laptop, protective cases, speaker and lighting stands, etc. Depending on the type of equipment a DJ chooses, the cost can vary from as little as $1000, up to $20,000 or more! Additionally, photo booth setups can cost $2000 - $10,000 each and we have 3 setups. It's expensive!
Any DJ who is serious about his/her craft, knows that you have to have great equipment that not only looks and sounds great, but performs great and is reliable. Entry level equipment will give you an entry level sound and experience. So overall, a DJ has to invest in great equipment, which is a factor in their prices.
One thing every DJ has in common is music. DJs must have an extensive music library to have the right music for every occasion. There are literally millions of songs out there. DJs have to have hours and hours of a variety of music. The music isn't free, of course. Whether a DJ uses a record pool or buys songs individually, the music cost can really add up to thousands of dollars!
Additionally, a DJ has to store the music and have backup files, as well. This means a large hard drive on a laptop, as well as additional external drives, cloud subscriptions, flash drives, etc. Without music, a DJ will not be in business, period!
Time & Preparation
One thing that we all wish we had more of, is time. It takes a lot of time to prepare for just one wedding or event. From the initial email to the week of the wedding or event, we must ensure that we have every song you want and that we have every detail covered. We spend an average of 25-30 hours per week, providing customer service, communicating with our clients, preparing for the weekend events, updating music (new songs come out weekly), meeting with clients, etc. This does NOT include providing DJ and photo booth services on any weeknight, or on weekends!
The day of an event is also time-consuming. For a 5 hour event, we arrive two hours before the event to setup, and stay 1 hour after the event, to breakdown. This is an 8 hour day (not including the time we spend loading and unloading our vehicle and driving to/from the event) for events where we provide a DJ only. If we have a DJ and photo booth event, special lighting, etc., it takes additional time to setup and breakdown! On any given weekend, we may have up to 8 events in one day. This means we also must check-in with our staff the day before and the day of the event, to ensure everyone is prepared and everything is covered! So all in all, we easily work 50 or more hours, weekly. This may not be the case for all DJ companies, but it is for us. Therefore, we have to factor our time into how much we charge for our services.
Marketing & Advertising
As you have already noticed, there are literally hundreds of DJ companies in the Austin and central Texas area. There are hundreds more solo DJs, as well. This means one thing: competition. DJing today, isn't like the days when many of our DJs started, in the 1990s. At that time, there were literally a handful of DJs and technology was vastly different. There was not many competitors, since there were not many DJs available. Today, with laptops and DJ software, it's much easier. I remember the days of carrying 10-15 heavy record crates to every event, every weekend! I don't miss those days! :)
So again, there is much more competition and therefore, DJs have to advertise, maintain a website and social media accounts, etc. Advertising easily costs hundreds of dollars per month. Also, if a DJ has liability insurance and a commercial space, the lease and bills must also be paid. All of these things are factored into pricing, as well.
Overall, this is just a snapshot of the costs and details involved with professional DJ services. There are many other factors to consider, but these are the main factors that determine pricing. We hope you found this helpful. Now, you have a better idea of why DJs cost so much!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Last Friday, we had a blast providing DJs for a bachelorette party on Lake Travis, and a bachelor party, nearby, in Austin, TX! The parties were daytime events and a lot of fun! Congrats to our bride-to-be and groom-to-be!
Last Thursday, we had a great time providing DJ services for IBM, in Austin, TX. They had a great turnout for their Earth Day event! Many vendors were on site, discussing recycling, composting, and some were even giving away free trees to plant! We always have a great time with IBM events and we look forward to the next one!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Austin's Best DJs
We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!