Frequently asked Questions

Read and retain for easy reference.

Planning your wedding can be a lot of work, but it should also be a lot of fun. My goal is to provide you with helpful ideas and suggestions that will reduce your work and increase your overall enjoyment. If you have any questions regarding your contract, reception planner, payments, etc. please call me weekdays during regular business hours. I’m available to answer any questions regarding special music ideas, traditional formalities, order of events, etc. I can also offer trusted referrals for photographers, videographers, ceremony officiates, and most other wedding related services. Please Note: My office is closed Saturday and Sunday for preparation and performance of clients’ weddings.

What kind of music do you carry? I bring a very large music selection to your wedding, well over 100,000 song selections covering a vast variety of different music styles. My collection has music from as far back as the 1940’s and is as current as the latest song released today. I have a Radio Music Broadcast License which means I get a weekly update on all the latest music released in the United States and South America. I am also a World Wide music collector and own a massive data base including music from dozens of different countries.

Can we bring some of our own music on ipod or CDs for you to play? Yes that’s fine. Sometimes couples choose to design a special playlist for dinner, cocktail music or dancing. Just keep in mind that a DJ can only play approximately 16 songs per hour. Please keep your dancing play list limited to no more than 10-20 song requests for dancing. Also, inform me as to any songs that you do not want played if any.
Can you provide music and microphones for both my Ceremony and Reception? Yes, I can bring two separate sound systems to your wedding, one for your ceremony and another for your reception.
Are you personally going to be at our wedding? Yes, I don’t send an employee. I personally handle and manage your event in person on location.
Can we meet in person? Yes, I would love to meet you! And hear all about you wedding ideas. Email or call me today and let’s schedule a time to meet.
Do you work with an assistant? Yes, unless not required I normally bring a very well trained assistant who helps me deliver an amazing service.
Do you provide a signed contract? Yes absolutely. My contract officially reserves your wedding date and guarantees our delivery. Contracts protect Brides on several levels.
Are you licensed and insured? Yes, you can view all of that documentation here on our site.
Can you provide special effect atmosphere lighting? Yes, I carry all the latest lighting technology and can help you create dozens of different effects.
Do you bring audio and visual equipment for slide shows, video presentations? Yes I can supply you with video screens, projectors and sound.
How much do you charge? Our pricing is very affordable. We have several packages for you to choose from. Every wedding is different, some are very simple and others amazingly complex. My consultations are free and after listening to your needs I can usually give you the exact dollar amount within 30 minutes. As a simple guide a professional, licensed and insured Wedding Entertainment Company usually ranges between 1 and 2 thousand dollars
Do you charge for set up time?
No, unless stated otherwise in my contract for example, traveling over 50 miles from my zip code or loading my equipment onto boats or high rise buildings. My normal start time is 30 minutes before the Ceremony (if I’m involved in your Ceremony), or from the beginning of your Reception. Simply put, you are charged from when the music starts till the music stops per the agreed times on our contract together.
When is full payment due?
No later than 2 weeks before your wedding. If your wedding extends into overtime you may pay me at the beginning of each overtime hour and keep me as long as you need and is allowed by the wedding venue. Most professionals agree that doing paper work or writing checks on wedding day can take away from the moment. In general I prefer that my clients not worry about payments on wedding day.
What is the Gratuity?
Unlike many other service professionals, I do not contractually add service charges or gratuities. After considering the advanced pre-planning, the level of service and quality of presentation, along with your overall enjoyment, I believe you should decide for yourself what level of gratuity you would like to give. As a reference, a tip of 10% - 20% is common. For accounting purposes, I ask that any form of gratuity paid by check, made payable to: Gary McAlister.
Do I need to provide you a meal?
If you would like to provide us with a meal, it is not necessary to include us in your final count with the caterer unless you are having a sit down (Plated meal). Buffets are often available for us without the additional cost being incurred by you. Since a wedding day is usually 8-14 hours long for me I always eat something to keep my energy level up. The music never stops while I break for a quick bite to eat, no longer than 15 minutes. First Class Entertainment staff NEVER consumes beverages containing alcohol. However, providing ice water and soft drinks is greatly appreciated.
What Planning will we be doing together for our wedding?
I believe that the planning session for your wedding is the foundation of a successful reception. It is important to schedule this meeting with me 2-4 weeks prior to your wedding. I realize that you will have many personal obligations prior to your wedding. However, it is important that I have both you and your fiancée in attendance for our final planning session. To help you budget your time, be prepared that this meeting will last 90 minutes to 2 hours.

What do I need to know about planning the outline of my wedding?
The order and timeline of events is a very important part of the overall success of your wedding reception. As a skilled wedding designer and professional wedding choreographer, I’m an expert at helping you plan the very best sequence for all the events and formalities.
While you may get ideas from others, only your Master of Ceremonies (that’s me) can structure and orchestrate the perfect sequence for you, one that seamlessly flows from one event to the next, while maximizing guest enjoyment and participation. If you are planning a tentative agenda with any other wedding professionals (caterer, photographer, etc.) please call me first. I will be happy to share my expertise and experience, which will help you create a beautiful celebration.
What do I need to know about your Sound System & Set-Up?
One of the most important factors in the success of your reception is where my DJ sound system is to be set. It is critical that the DJ system is placed in an area directly next to the dance floor, and that I have a good line of sight to the entrance of the room, head table and cake table.
As your Master of Ceremonies, I need to be able to see each of these areas in order to control the timing of each. It is not a good idea to surround your dance floor on all four sides with tables. Remember that my speakers need to carry sound to the dance area. If there are tables directly between the speakers and the dance floor, the guests seated at those tables will have an uncomfortable level of sound. Please be sure to provide me with a minimum of a 6’ x 10’ area to set the sound system and speakers. I do not need a table since I provide my own.
If you have any guests seated in an adjacent area or room, I can provide additional speakers so that all of your guests can hear the announcements and music at a comfortable level. A nominal charge will apply for this customized speaker option.
Can you play outside? Yes, as long as there is adequate shelter from rain, sun or heavy winds. I can provide my own small white tent if you need me to, just let me know ahead of time.
We have heard that you have written two of the top wedding books for brides, can we purchase a copy? Yes, I’m the author of “Designing a Creative and Memorable Wedding” A crash course full of hundreds of classy wedding ideas and “Money Saving Secrets to Weddings” Quick tips to cut wedding costs and save time.
Any other questions? Just call me @ (916) 616-7635 and I’ll be happy to speak with you.
My Best – Gary McAlister