As you may have read in our FAQ section, it has been said that a good rule of thumb is to book your entertainment 6 months ahead of time, when possible.
HOW MUCH TIME DO I REALLY NEED TO BOOK MY DJ OR VENUE? IS SIX MONTHS GOOD ENOUGH?
A Few “Rule Of Thumbs” About Booking Times For A Big Event
With three new venues all on State Street in Albany, there are certainly a lot of options in our area to look at, as far as where to have your wedding. However, that doesn;t mean they will all be available for the date you are hoping for.
Booking your DJ & wedding hall six months ahead of time is a good rule of thumb, but it is not always going to guarantee you will get the exact venue location(s) or the specific DJ that you want. Timing and availability are everything.
Q: IS IT EVER TOO LATE TO CALL? – A: Never! If you have a gig tomorrow and want a DJ last minute, or if your DJ service cancelled on you (those bastards!) …CALL US ASAP! We have covered a number of weddings for slacker DJ’s who canceled with their bride within one day. We actually work well pinch-hitting. We have always pulled off these last-minute bookings with high accolades!
Q: HOW EARLY SHOULD I PLAN TO BOOK A PARTY/EVENT PROFESSIONAL? – A: The bigger the event, the more advance notice you should give. Sometimes, however, even six months ahead won’t guarantee the specific hall, caterer, or DJ that you really want, so do not delay. Always call ASAP, and work out the details later!
Q: WHAT IS CONSIDERED PRIME TIME FOR A PARTY/WEDDING? – A: The most popular dates are Saturday nights, falling on April thru to November. When you select a Saturday for the day of your event, typical 9-to-5 weekday working guests have all of Saturday morning to arrive, and all of Sunday to get home.
Q: SHOULD I BOOK MY PARTY ON A HOLIDAY? – A: We always suggest staying away from booking on holidays. While you may think that choosing a day that many may have off of work may be the way to go, it also can actually reduce guest availability. A Halloween-themed wedding can be very fun, but if it actually falls on the 31st, some parents will take children out to trick-or-treat. Also, keep in mind that people plan for their day offs far in advance.
Q: WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY VENUE? – A: The smaller the town, the more time you actually need!!! Only about 24 people can book a Saturday night for one particular venue during “Prime Time.” If you really want a good selection, start a full year ahead, or even 18 months.
Q: WHEN SHOULD I BE BOOKING DJs, PHOTOGRAPHERS, WEDDING PROFESSIONALS? – A: While six months ahead is a good rule of thumb for reserving good entertainment, it’s still always crap shoot, when you really want a particular name DJ, band, or photographer. I have found that at the six month ahead point, sometimes we are already booked, sometimes not.
Many Things to Think about On Selecting Your Actual Wedding Calander Date
1) DATE SELECTION – Before booking your DJ, you really should figure out the right calendar date. The safest dates usually fall between spring and fall and are usually Saturday nights so that your guests have Sunday to get back to work, or recover. However, wedding dates in the North East drop off dramatically after Fall. Think about it. Most brides do not want to drop $10,000 on a party where guests could potentially get snowed in. Booking in this time frame of Spring to Fall on a Saturday night means you usually have to pay full price. This is prime time for halls, catering companies, Disc Jockeys and Bands.
Anytime before May 1st and after November 1st is an easy date to get and could save you money in hall/catering due to discounts.
2) STAY AWAY FROM HOLIDAY/SPECIAL DATE COMPETITION – Make sure your date doesn’t conflict with Thanksgiving plans, as you do not want to compete with other plans that your guests may have. Dates that sound good like Halloween, Christmas and New Years or even the Saturday before Veteran’s Day (so people can turn it into a long weekend) may seem like a good plan, but remember, that means your guests may have these dates for something else and will ultimately not make it to your special day. Always check with family members, parents or other significant people so you know that that there are no conflicts.
For example, a Halloween-themed wedding can be fun, but if it actually falls later in the day to eveneing on the 31st, think about how many parents will not come because they want to take their children out to trick-or-treat.
3) CHURCH & HALL AVAILABILITY – In medium and bigger cities like Albany, NY, with six months advance notice, you generally can find something good, but not always the exact hall you are looking for. In smaller towns, you definitely book the church and/or hall first and much earlier than six months. If there is a popular place that you have in mind, it could be difficult to get the prime time which often is 5:30 pm and after on Saturday, during May thru October. Only about 24 people will grab up a Saturday night for any particular spot during this time frame. And if your town is very small with only one or two places that could hold a decent wedding, reports show that some people may start booking it up even a full year ahead of time, or even 18 months.
When You Should Make a choices on Booking Entertainment
When Should You Book Your Wedding DJ in Albany NY?
1) BOOKING DJs & BANDs – Unless in the rare occasion you have planned the DJ first having one favorite absolutely in mind, usually the hall is booked first. Once you have reception and ceremony locations booked solid, you should go ahead book the entertainment.
From my experience, allowing for six months advance notice isn’t bad when booking a DJ service that has multiple DJs available, but it is a a roll of the dice when you are specifically trying to book one particular DJ name from one particular entertainment company for your wedding.
I find that at the six month point mark, 50 percent of the time I am already booked when a bride is requesting me by name.
2) BOOKING PHOTOGRAPHERS – Using the same rules as above with booking the DJ, from my experience, six months advance notice isn’t horrible when booking a photography, but it is a crap shoot when you are specifically trying to book one particular photographer by name for your special day.
3) BOOKING PRIME TIME SLOTS – For entertainment booking like Disc Jockeys and bands during the prime time season of spring to fall on a Saturday night, the early birds start planning in the fall for next early spring or summer and they usually get who they want. People who wait until after the new year sometimes grab who they want, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
If you are looking at a Friday or a Sunday party and/or in the ealry spring or later in fall, less booking advance time maybe needed. (You also can often save some good money as well. Make sure and ask for a discount as halls and entertainment companies often will give you something for filling empty spots or time slots that don’t fall into the prime time category!)
Trying to keep your wedding affordable? You too can save a lot of money and make this happen at your wedding for virtually dimes on the dollar. It’s really a simple idea. All you do is put out a selection of gimmicks and props and leave the photo fun up to your guests.
HERE ARE THE TOP 5 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN INCLUDING A “SELFIE STATION” TO YOUR WEDDING DAY
PROPS – Everything is about gimmicks. Fun hats, mustaches, picture frames, sunglasses, feather boas, wigs, foam fingers, canes, bandannas – you get the idea. Just go crazy at the dollar store and you really should be good to go.
INSTRUCTION SIGN – Don’t forget the instructions! Even though most guys don’t read them, it is important to not forget this next rule. So it doesn’t just look like a pile of junk from the thrift store, it is very important to put out a sign so people know the intended use of all the colorful goodies.
BACKDROPS – Much like a photo booth shoot, you set aside a little area where pictures would look good. While a backdrop is not entirely needed, it is a nice touch. If you are creative or really ambitious about this idea, you could set up a backdrop curtain to really help the station take off. Usually you can find these backdrops available online for $100-$200 or so on say eBay, or you could even put something together even cheaper using PVC pipe form Home Depot.
OFFICIAL HASHTAG – Finally, what good are pictures that you never see? Post your wedding’s official hashtag and tell people which social media platforms you endorse (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc…) If you create a good official hashtag for your wedding (make it something original,) all your guests’ pictures will be easy for you and other guests to find on social media.
SMARTPHONE WEDDING APP – Don’t really want to go the hashtag route? There are now some really cool wedding picture aps that allow your guests to snap shots and send them all to one place in the cloud. If you think you have a number of photo-bugs with iPhones on your guest list, tell them ahead of time, maybe in your invitation, to download an app like The WedPics Smartphone App. This app doesn’t only collect unlimited photos taken by the guests, but it also gives important information like accommodations & your registry information.
– The wedding reception introduction is a huge part of the fun to come. You want to make sure that the your grand entrance sets the mood for the night.
There are many ways to make an impression here. Lots of people today are really mixing it up and having some crazy dance-oriented multi-theme-song entrances, while other like to go with something more traditional. (See below to see OUR way.)
Here are some popular Wedding Party Reception Entrance song selections:
• I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
• Forever – Chris Brown
• Jay Z – Bring Em Out
• I’m Here For the Party – Gretchen Wilson
• Let’s Get it Started – Black Eyed Peas
• I Like To Move It
• Carmina Fortuna
• Rocky Theme -Gonna Fly Now
• Mission Impossible Theme
• Olympic Fanfare – Emerson, Lake & Palmer
• White Wedding – Billy Idol
• Star Wars Imperial March Theme
Whatever you choose, remember, it is a song that will set the mood for the evening. Below is an entrance I did recently for a great couple to Chris Brown’s “Forever”, at The Museum of Dance in Saratoga, NY.
Quite often, we end up offering professionalism where some local DJs fall short. If a DJ has ever called you up to cancel services with them because they “overbooked,” that typically means they found a better payday and are now blowing you off. What they did was, they kept on looking for higher paying gigs than your event would pay them, and when they found one, they are essentially cancelling your reserved date simply because it paid less – even though you had to pay a deposit to lock in the date.
THIS CRAP IS UNPROFESSIONAL AND SHADY!
I can’t tell you how many times we have come in to save the day, after some sleazy dirtbag cancelled an event with little to no notice to a customer leaving them high and dry.
One Saturday morning, I was legitimately sitting on the couch in my skivvies. I had a few hours before I needed head out to my gig to DJ a wedding, when I got a call from a very upset Best Man at someone else’s wedding. In the background, I could hear a crying bride. There DJ “overbooked,” and forgot to even mention it to them. (Filthy. I know.)
We scrambled to save the day and made it happen, getting booked after the wedding in Albany NY had already began!
Here is a pleasant review from a very, very last-minute happy customer:
“Our wedding reception almost turned into a disaster, but due to DJ Kenny Casanova, he saved our wedding reception!
We originally booked and paid up front for a different entertainment company to provide DJ services for our wedding. On the day of our wedding, we arrived early to our reception, and was absolute horrified to discover we had no DJ, no music, nothing.
We called the owner of the company and the subcontracted DJ several times, but both never answered nor responded. We had to scramble while our reception was already starting, to make several phone calls to various DJ companies to determine if we could get anyone to show up in a moment’s notice to come to our reception. Miraculous, we got a hold of DJ Kenny Casanova.
In about 20 minutes of him taking our call, he arrived to our reception READY TO GO! As I understand it, he was already scheduled for another job later that evening, but he knew what situation we were in, and came to our rescue. He set up his equipment, created a playlist on the spot, got our reception going with amazing intro for us. Shortly after that, one of his newer DJs that he trusted took over the night, so Kenny could still make it to his previously, already scheduled job – another wedding.
I can’t thank Kenny Casanova enough for what he did for us!”
Last year was a rough one. The holidays are finally behind us now. We have opened our presents, made our returns, made our resolutions and probably already broke them. A bunch of celebrities died. A bunch of Hatchimals didn’t hatch. BUt we made it through all of that, somehow regardless.
Now it is time to get back to reality. For some of us, the big wedding is only around the corner and waiting to plan because it could bring some headaches is a bad idea.
I too often hesitate to do something that can be stressful. Hell, sometimes I sit in the parking lot of the gym and fiddle with my phone, because I know the gym is going to hurt a little. However, if we take this approach with planning a wedding, it could impact the success of your wedding in the long run.
IT IS TIME TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING NOW!
In other places throughout this blog, I posted information that encouraged you to plan six months or more ahead of time to book your DJ, and up to a full year ahead of time to secure your hall/catering service. That means if you are planning on getting married in the prime time availability slots; summer on a Saturday might, you really need to start moving now!
Yoda once said, “There is only do, or do not.”
If you wait until the last minute, you may have to settle for something you do not really want for your special day. Last week in the Albany NY area, we already had days with about 3 to 5 wedding inquiries, speaking with anxious, but prepared brides looking to secure particular dates. They could be competing for day with a location that you have in the back of your head, or a vendor that would fit you perfectly.
Even with four DJ’s at TheDJService.com, we have already seen conflicts on dates and may have to turn a few couples away. There are only so many good companies servicing the Albany & Troy, Saratoga Springs & Schenectady NY area. Get a move on it!
If you start planning now and you will be all good! Just pick up the phone and call.
Call 518-506-3305 for a great Wedding & Party DJ in Albany, Upstate New York, VT and Western MA. Here are
DJ Kenny Casanova, Maria, Chris, Pete, and Corey – Wedding & Party Disc Jockey Service references & recommendations…
Looking for an affordable and fun wedding or party mobile DJ in the Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Lake George & Hudson area? Here is a compilation of some review emails and recommendation letters from our customers to help you make your choice. There are also email contacts, in case you are looking for references.
WEDDING DJ REFERENCES & RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE DJS ON THIS SITE
“Hi Kenny, I just wanted to send you an email letting you know how grateful I am that we picked you as our DJ at our wedding. A great DJ is one of the most important aspects of the wedding and you kept the party going at our wedding for almost seven hours. When I got back from taking wedding photos with my husband, a friend came up to me specifically to tell me that for the entire cocktail hour, the music had been awesome. You checked in when songs were could have ran too long (parent dances,) you played all of the songs we asked you to at the right times, and then you totally surprised us by throwing out glow sticks and getting the crowd amped up! I will give you a 5 star review on every website I can find. I was hoping for a good DJ and instead I got a great one! Thanks for making our wedding day great!” – Laura (email@example.com)
“We want to thank you! You did an awesome job! It was a no alcohol wedding and everyone STILL had a blast! Best regards, – The Cutlers” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Hey guys, I am so happy you were a part of our wedding day! You truly made the night perfect. All I wanted to see was everyone dancing and everyone was! At one moment, I sat and watched and it was amazing that almost every table was up and moving. You did a wonderful job and highly recommend you! I can’t thank you enough for helping us throw an awesome party! Sincerely, – Mr and Mrs Lutz” (email@example.com)
“Kenny was great to work with! He made sure that everyone was on the same page and that things (activites) were done when we were ready to do them … not on anyone else’s schedule.” – Jill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Dear Kenny… Thank you so much for DJ’ing our wedding! It was so wonderful to have you there; I still get comments from our guests who say that you were truly amazing– and I agree 😀 …Steve still says, “He played what I would have wanted him to play, even though I never wrote those songs down… It’s like he was in my head!”
You seriously and beyond a doubt you are, by FAR, the best DJ I have ever been in the presence of! You blended my wishes seamlessly with my husband; Country, Christian, Rock, Celtic rock… (I am the girl who likes country who was marrying the man who hates it). I don’t think Steve stopped dancing until the reception was over. I think he would have KEPT dancing forever, frankly. Thank you SO much!!! You made a magical night even better! Even all of the event Staff from Christ the King said that this was the best music they had EVER had there (I think they get a lot more older, conservative, christian weddings). They literally thanked Steve and I separately at least once per staff person. Steve was ecstatic at the light show and the glow necklaces and, even though that sounds like a rave, it was still classy, elegant and wonderful.
Your energy is electric and wonderful and we can’t thank you enough. You truly helped to make a memorable night even more amazing for everyone– our guests being happy on the happiest day of our lives meant the world to us and you delivered in full force. Feel free to use me as a reference if you ever want to! – Sincerely, Anna and Stephen Rogers.” (email@example.com)
Same-Sex Wedding Reference – “DJ Kenny Casanova and his assistant were GREAT!!! Super easy to work with, very friendly/approachable and tons of fun!!! They made the wedding happen with entertainment, laughs, excellent music and they even danced and interacted with the crowd!! Overall, absolutely enjoyable to work with and I highly recommend 🙂 ” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Kenny went above and beyond for anything we asked. He was even able to point me in the direction of his super helpful website/blog to get some great ideas for my ceremony music (which went off without a hitch). Our wedding was in NY but we live in VA so that was stressful enough, but this guy was responsive to every single e-mail/request/question I had within at least a day of me sending it, if not hours. He was receptive to everything we wanted, he came dressed for the occasion, always attentive to every detail, and just overall wonderful. I was skeptical as to how my wedding would flow, and he set my worries aside from the very get-go by providing the best flow…ever.
As far as value is concerned: Best value. Seriously. For the service and peace of mind he provided me, I would have paid him double. So very affordable, and full of flexibility: Kenny did whatever we asked for him, I had to make a few last minute changes at the end for our entrances, and he was right on point.
Also, DJ Maria came along with him to help. She was awesome. While he was working the microphone and stage, she was walking around, asking me if I needed anything and keeping things organized. We honestly have only great things to say about them, and my wedding day was hands down the best day of my life.” – Calie Magill (email@example.com)
“My family and I have used Kenny Casanova numerous times in the past years. Kenny recently was the DJ for my wedding 4/28/12 and he was awesome! I did not have to worry about anything when I got to the reception. Music is key at a wedding, music can make or break your wedding day! Kenny MADE our wedding day. All of our guest are still asking who our DJ was and thought he was amazing. We had 181 guest at our wedding and NOT one complaint, the dance floor was packed all night, the music was great all because of Kenny. I highly recommend Kenny Casanova! He will make your event for sure!!!! I am so happy we had him as our DJ and you will too! Drop him a line!” – Liz “Lizzard” White – (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“You were so awesome last night!!! Thank you sooo much, I received quite a few compliments on you as the DJ! Your photographers were also FANTASTIC! The pictures are beautiful! Thank you so much for making our day amazing! – Best of wishes with everything!” – Paige Vallo – (email@example.com)
“We used Kenny for our wedding. He was great, he knew how to get everyone up and dancing, he even got involved and showed everyone some dance moves. He met with us and asked exactly what we wanted and went above and beyond. He also helped out when we got a little lost in the shuffle of the events at the reception that night. We had guests weeks after the wedding talk about how good he was. We have sent many people to Kenny to use, and all have been very happy with the service. We highly recommend him. He will go above and beyond your expectations.” – Rick Russel – (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“We found DJ Kenny on a fluke after our previous DJ had double-booked for our date and dropped us! When we were freaking out about this we decided to look around and find people in our area and came across DJ Kenny. Immediately after meeting him my husband and I both said to each other that the other DJ backing out was a blessing in disguise. DJ Kenny was absolutely fantastic and made our wedding AMAZING! …He was awesome with the music, intros, and keeping everyone moving. Several people came up to me commenting on how great he was and how they had never been to a wedding with so many people on the dance floor. We had wonderful vendors all around but DJ Kenny was by far the star among them all! — Jen (email@example.com)
“I really want to thank you and your amazing wife for all the great music and pictures from your DJ Cam Package!! You both were amazing and really made my wedding a great time!! Everyone raved that you kept the party going! Also please tell your wife that I’m extremely sorry a seashell flew out of my bouquet and knocked her in the head, lol! Seriously, you both were beyond fabulous!!! I couldn’t have asked for more! FYI I loved the ring announcement entrance!! Perfection!!! I will be recommending you to EVERYONE!!!” — Marrissa Manzer-Lachar. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“We just wanted to let you know again what an awesome job you did at the wedding. The DJ plays such an important part and can make or break a reception. You absolutely made it!! Rob was right, you are very good at what you do and we were so happy that it turned out so wonderful. We appreciate all of your hard effort that lead to such a memorable night.” — Al & Sue Schulz for son Rob, The Groom. (email@example.com)
“Hello Kenny! Sam & I just wanted to thank you again for what a great job you did DJ’ing our wedding last Friday night! Everyone has been remarking about how great the music was and what a blast they had. Thank you! Please feel free to use us as a reference in the future. You’re The Best!” — Keira & Sam (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Thank you for making our Halloween Theme Wedding exactly what we wanted it to be; fun! The music was perfect and we couldn’t have asked for more from you. Let us know without hesitation if anyone is looking for a reference.” — Pete & Michele Sefcik (email@example.com)
“Kenny provided DJ service for my wedding. He did a great job, played just the right mix of music, and kept the guests entertained. I got a lot of comments from our guests on how good the DJ was. Thanks for the great job Kenny and crew!” — Todd Bovair (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“DJ Casanova was spectacular! He really set the tone for our reception. He was professional, yet a lot of fun! He even saved the night! We had a slide show playing during dinner on the reception hall’s video system, and low and behold the sound didn’t work! It was so uncomfortable for a few seconds as the guests watched with no sound. DJ Casanova ran over, asked which song it was supposed to be set to, and within seconds it was playing right along! He even looped the song to fit the show and nobody was the wiser! I would HIGHLY recommend him again!” — Leah Stiles (email@example.com)
“I just want to say thank you again, for doing such a fantastic job at my wedding this past weekend! Everyone had a great time…I am recommending you to anyone who needs a DJ!!” — Liz Flynn Manzi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Thanks so much for making our special day even more memorable. Everyone loved your music.” — Jackie Tremont (JTremont1@nycap.rr.com)
“I can’t thank you enough for the great job you did at our wedding. It actually came off better than we had expected. The music selection couldn’t have been better. It was really just what we wanted; classy, subtle and enjoyable…. Being able to pull through last minute (in less than two weeks) was incredible. Thanks again! …especially on such short notice.” – Khaye & Dustin F. (email@example.com)
“Just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful job you did DJ’ing Joe and Amanda’s wedding , From the dancing to the karaoke everything went so smoothly, Thank you again for helping us move the food tables so the line went smoother… You were very professional and understanding and made their day turn out the way they always dreamed it would.” — Kathy Sidusky. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hey Kenny! We just wanted to let you know that you did a great job and we will always keep you in mind for any future parties. Thanks again! –Linda and Otto (email@example.com)
PARTY & EVENT DJ REFERENCES FOR OUR DJS
“Thank You! We most definitely will be in touch for future. You did an amazing job and I will say this was the first year where almost all the girls were dancing it was wonderful and we believe that was because of you, the music selection and the contests! Thank you again! — Amy Atwood, Waterford-Halfmoon Middle School (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Thanks again for a wonderful party, Maria & Kenny! The kids had a blast and I would definitely recommend you!! Take care, Reva.” (email@example.com)
“Hi Ken, I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful party your experience made the difference I was so impressed with your music and professionalism. My sister who ran the party will be contacting you, wondering about your Christian music collection or seeing if you have done any Christian events. Again Thanks for making my daughters Sweet 16 super special.” – Celeste (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ken, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for another great party. I would be happy to recommend you to anyone I know that is looking for a DJ. You are reliably, professional and most of all fun. In addition I thank you for staying longer than the scheduled time. We look forward to using you again for the NEXT Graduation party… one by one, the kids are all flying the coup!! Should you ever need a reference please feel free. — Tina Weber (facebook)
“Thanks for helping to make our meeting a really fun event! I’ve got 29 years with Altria and I gotta say that this was one of the top meetings we’ve ever done. You were a part of that success and we appreciate it.” — Jim Hubbard, Operations Manager of Altria Sales & Distribution (James.L.Hubbard@altria.com)
“I love going down to “The Karaoke Crocodile Show” at Valenti’s. Kenny is a real pro at this: great mix of music, a huge song list of karaoke tunes, and just good times all around. He really knows how to keep the party hopping! I recommend his DJ services for anyone hoping to give their event or party a time to remember.” — Brett Williams (email@example.com)
“The DJ Camera Package was well worth it! Your pictures came out even BETTER than our photographer’s did!” — Karen Satone
“It was the best party ever! Everyone was dancing.” — Michelle Jankowski
“Thanks so much for a great party. You were so awesome. I have many people asking for your name and number so I wanted to make sure its okay to pass it on. I’m thinking it is. Everyone who came was wondering where I found you because you’ve been the best DJ at the many parties we’ve attended. Thanks again” — Ellie Bartow
“I had a ton of fun. It was so cool. That was my favorite birthday party ever.” — Brittney Fowles, age 9