Frequently Asked Questions

We pride ourselves on total transparency. We're happy to provide any information you need to help you make the right choice for your wedding planning and service providers.

Do we only do weddings?

Syracuse Weddings is made up of full time reception hosts and wedding planners as well as several part time attendants and technicians. Everyone here has a minimum of 5 years experience with all types of wedding celebrations and protocols. Weddings are our passion and make up nearly 95% of our business. The only other types of events we handle are high-end corporate functions, which typically require a similarly elegant approach and attention to detail. Syracuse Weddings does not devote personnel or equipment rentals to events such as children’s parties, nightclubs, or school events.

How far are you willing to travel?

Each of our hosted events includes up to two hours of round trip travel. We have traveled to all of the following cities and regions, many times at no added charge, depending on the scope for which we were hired:  Auburn, Aurora, Albany, Alexandria Bay, Binghamton, Buffalo, Canandaigua, Clayton, Cornell, Cortland, The Fingerlakes, Geneva, Ithaca, Oneida, Norwich, Oswego, Pulaski, Syracuse, Rochester, Rome, Utica and Verona, Watertown.  We do not charge our clients for fuel, mileage, tolls or other such travel expenses. For destinations beyond our no-cost travel allowance, or for extended performances across multiple days, we require overnight meals and lodging for each of our staff (at double occupancy) to be provided at the same location and standard being offered to your guests (roll-aways are not acceptble.)  In exchange for this provision, our staff will stay later and/or start earlier as needed in order to fulfill the scope for which we were hired. In addition to lodging, fair compensation for time spent traveling great distances, such as those out of state, will be negotiated on a case by case basis. Syracuse Weddings does not travel to or serve the five boroughs or Long Island.

What is your approach to music and to the microphone?

Our presentation is polished and tends to be understated, marked by subtle mixing and professional “artistry when it comes to our presence on the microphone, which has been observed by previous clients as "warm, natural and relevant." We do not consider it our place to "put on a show" but rather we are the framework that holds the event together. We trust our clients, their families and guests to provide the content that fills this framework. We also believe in the absolute personalization of each event so that
every guest experience is unique. We’re not at all attached to tradition but also believe in careful selection of tracks to be played, mixing them in a way that builds anticipation and encourages response. Somewhere along the line, the phrase “wedding DJ” became a bad word, known for antics and shtick. We couldn’t be any further from that image.

How do you dress and act as a performer?

Our hosts do not dress in any type of costume or distribute props to guests. We arrive in plain, muted work clothing in order to setup for your event and change into appropriate formal/semi-formal attire before guests arrive. A typical ensemble includes a collared, button-down shirt, silk tie, and neutral colored slacks and vest. We always choose attire based on the dignity demanded by the event. Furthermore, our demeanor is such that we do not feel the need to 'perform', showboat, or otherwise place undue attention on ourselves or our presence.

How involved are you in helping us to plan our wedding?

Just as you pay a caterer for his or her expertise in food, you are paying Syracuse Weddings in no small part for our knowledge and expertise in everything related to weddings. We will provide you with a variety of potential solutions and suggestions based on your personalities and preferences, which we assess constantly throughout the planning process, though we're also perfectly comfortable accepting direction from savvy couples who know what they want as well.  The scope of our application includes but is not limited to music, lighting, electronics, camera equipment, coordination with vendors, event management and oversight, guest services, event design and decor, etiquette, social standards, tradition and protocol, as well as the subtle art of effective public speaking, both in crowds and intimate settings  Our extensive knowledge of music enables us to work with your requests and create a mood that reflects your tastes while building a welcoming atmosphere for all of your guests. We're able to overcome day-of issues and challenges in all related areas, including same sex, multicultural, religious and age based customs and expectations, using fitting dialogue and musical styles to adapt to such challenging settings. Our management team are always available to answer questions or assist in this regard.

How involved can we be in selecting music for our event?

We encourage every couple to let us know their preferences, and those of their closest friends and family. More often than not, however, what appeals to us as individuals clashes in a large group setting. We naturally embrace most mainstream music for its ability to reach across social gaps, allowing us to cater to many. We are not afraid of the flavor of the uncommon or even the obscure though, mind you, as we often pepper these in to taste to draw attention back to what makes your reception unique. We never use a 'playlist' per se, but rather a pool of music from which we draw selections based on the mood and timing of each segment of your reception. We are constantly reading and evaluating the energy in the room, responding to it in kind.  But rest assured, you will never hear songs you have asked not to be played, or genres you’ve made clear are to be avoided.

What kinds of music are in your collection?

We owns an enormous library of music in all formats, including international music. We update our collection constantly, ensuring that we are able to provide the songs that our clients and their guests are currently enjoying. Furthermore, we work closely with our clients in selecting the music for their event, and will gladly acquire any commercially available song that we don’t already own, at no additional cost. There is seldom a request we cannot accommodate. That said, we will never stream music from a guest's device or any unreliable source that couple produce unforeseen results such as pops, breaks or silence in playback, or potentially inappropriate content.

Do we mix?

Yes. Like our approach to the microphone, we are champions of subtlety. We mix music with the purpose of creating seamless transitions between songs and maintaining the energy and momentum of your dance floor. Mixing for us is something we do on the spot, based on the tempo and “feel” of the songs and the reaction of the crowd. We don’t treat your wedding like it’s a nightclub, and we don’t use your wedding to test remixes that no one recognizes. We always use the original and most popular versions of each song unless there’s a really good reason not to.

Can I meet who will be handling my wedding?  How do you assign staff? 

Rest assured - we do not subcontract or overbook our services. We cater to one client each calendar day. And only one: YOU!  We believe in a high standard, and in order to maintain that standard, we have chosen not to hire outside of our company for hosting events. The same goes for our technicians. While not hosts in positions of the same responsibility, we only rely on those staff persons who are immersed in their field and are able to setup and troubleshoot unassisted by a third party. If you've booked a hosted reception with us, your wedding will always be tended to by one of our senior partners.. This same host will also be your sole contact throughout the entire planning process.  Along the way, you will likely meet other members of our staff who may also have a hand in your day, as we must accomplish much in a very small frame of time, and in multiple locations. We also believe in redundancy., so you may meet a partner who is not necessarily your primary contact, We do this so that you are familiar with who will be overseeing your event in case of an unavoidable emergency or other dire occurrence beyond our control.  

How much do you charge?  What's included?

We charge a daily rate for all hosted events, which includes setup, transportation, and breakdown of all equipment, including additional sound systems, wireless microphones, and whatever equipment is required to fulfill the scope of our involvement. Our flat-rate pricing is refreshingly easy to understand — all fees are clearly stated and there are no hidden charges of any kind. For most situations, you can expect our staff to arrive on site any given day no earlier than 11am and provide services without breaks through 11pm later that day. This 12-hour window encompasses our standard work day for a hosted event, which we do not commit resources. to for less than $2000 (with exception to ceremony-only performances and equipment rentals. For packages that include an after party at the reception location, a 2 hour extension is granted, until 1am the calendar day immediately following the date for which we were principally hired.

We base our pricing on an objective structure where the only factors are the demands of the day, which ensures consistency and fairness to all of our clients. We are not in the practice of subjectively pricing events based on our estimation of your budget — for example, we don’t price events higher if a client is using an expensive reception site or if they were referred by an upscale vendor. Furthermore, we publish all our current rates right on our website, so that there can be no misunderstandings or ambiguity. We are an official business, publicly listed as an LLC. We charge sales tax for all items required by New York State, such as rented equipment. Any discounts we extend are subject to our sole discretion, and typically offered only when substantial savings on our part warrants an adjustment. Otherwise, we include everything associated with what it takes to do what we've been hired to do in its entire scope for the price agreed upon, assuming any risk for spending out of pocket in those instances where the unforeseen demanded greater spending on our part to fulfill the expectations and the standard we're committed to.

What areas do you serve?

We primarily serve greater Upstate New York which encompasses the north country to the reaches of Watertown and Potsdam, as far east as Albany and Saratoga, west to Buffalo and Rochester, and South to Binghamton. We of course focus on the City of Syracuse, being centrally based to our offices, though we have also catered on special request to Tampa, Florida, Hallstead, Scranton and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ann Arbor Michigan and other such destinations across the US.

What are the terms of payment if I book your services?

We allow you to reserve your date for a deposit of $500, which goes toward the package you will eventually choose for your hosted event. We do not require you to choose your package at the time of contract signing in order to secure our services, though your deposit is non-refundable the moment it is paid. You may move up or down our entire pricing scale up to and including the midterm month of your contract, exactly the 1st day of the dividing month between the date you signed your contract and the day of your event. At that time, a package must be selected and 50% of your remaining balance must be paid. The remaining balance is collected 30 days prior to your event. If you have opted for a payment plans to finance your hosted event, your plan must still adhere to these requirements. Our company is not legally bound to arrive or perform if full payment was not made 30 days prior. We do not accept cash, checks, money orders, travelers checks or Western Union. All transactions must be made with an unexpired debit or credit card, or through Paypal, which provides both you, the client and our company with instant proof of payment and digital receipt. We do not charge a fee for using your card.

What do you require from my chosen venue?

Dedicated power (120-volt, 15-amp circuit on a secure grounded outlet) within 20 feet of each sound source.. Otherwise, we are self contained. It is imperative that we speak with or meet with your day-of venue manager for your event in the weeks preceding your wedding in order to clarify roles and responsibilities regarding your event. It is our client's responsibility to facilitate that communication and to make sure Syracuse Weddings and it's staff are cleared through the venue to carry out all of its responsibilities without hindrance from the venue or its staff.

Are you insured?

Absolutely! We carry a full liability insurance policy with a coverage value of $2,000,000. We're also insured up to $1,000,000 for errors and omissions made while in a professional capacity. We are happy to provide you or your venue with a copy of our insurance policy upon request.

When do you arrive to set up for an event?

Depending on the scope of our responsibility, we request a window of 3 hours before guest arrival in order to assess and build out all that is required once on site. If for any reason or extenuating circumstance this absolutely is not possible, we require a  bare minimum of 2 hours to prepare at any venue. 

What kind of equipment do you use?

Our performers use the highest quality professional-grade equipment available: Brands include Denon, Pioneer, Shure, Sennheiser, Soundcraft, Anchor, Atlanta and Eternal. While we do not endorse any of these companies specifically, we research the needs and standards of our industry often, turning over much of what we use on a bi-annual basis in order to stay in keeping with the high standard we've committed to and relying only on tried and true technologies that we employ in the field.

Do you have reviews or references?

We have both! We currently have well over 80 reviews with a five-star average rating on WeddingWire, the industry's most prolific wedding planning website. If you prefer to speak with some of our former clients personally, your DJ will (upon request) gladly provide you with references who are more than happy to discuss the quality of our service and performance. You will not be asked to “cold call” people to check our references; we will be sure to let them know to expect your call. We want you to feel completely comfortable in researching our services.

Can we visit you at a performance?

Out of respect for the privacy and dignity that every event deserves, we do not permit prospective clients to “drop in” on a wedding. However, our references, online reviews, and the information we provide you in our initial meeting will speak volumes as to our experience, style and professionalism.

Do you pay “kickbacks” for referrals?  How do you maintain your great reputation while continuing to grow your company?

No. Never. In fact we only (deliberately) take on a limited number of events each year in order to maintain the quality of the events we commit to. Furthermore, we are a values-based company and operate using a set standard of protocols, from communication to planning, and preparation to performance. Every one of our staff knows our core values, and the type of client experience upon which our reputation has been built. The diversity of our reviews and references reflecting our work in our region is a testament our consistency.

Why should I hire you over someone else?

Simply put, we love what we do.  Our company was formed by former corporate career people who sacrificed much in order to launch this service and devote much time to their passion. We're among the most well-reviewed, practiced and researched in our market and have sworn to ourselves and our clients that we would never cut corners or take chances with our craft or with your wedding. Why hire us? Because we're confident that you'll want to place YOUR confidence in a staff that knows their field, loves their field, and is whole-heartedly bent on seeing you and your guests richly benefit from their time and dedication.