Peter Naughton Productions - Syracuse/Utica Wedding DJ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I tried to keep these responses brief, as I usually get into more detail on a case-by-case basis with each client as we discuss their own event plans. If you need more detail, or have a question that’s not covered here, please let me know!


How much do you charge?

Check out my pricing list for current rates.  Pricing can change at any time without notice, so be sure to request a personalized quote to hold the current rates for up to 30 days.  If you decide to book with me before the 30-day quote expires, your contract will lock in the quoted pricing for good, even if rates increase later!

Are you available for (insert date here)?

My availability calendar lists all the dates when I’m already booked or otherwise not available.  If the date of your event is clear, I am available!  Please note that I only book events on Saturdays and Sundays, and I only book one event per weekend.

How do I go about booking you for DJ services?

Thanks for your interest!  Begin with a look at my real-time booking calendar, to see if I am available for your event date.  (To provide the best service for each event, I only book one event per weekend.)  Then, fill out my Quote Request Form! I’ll respond within 24 hours (usually much sooner) with an accurate, up-front price and I’ll offer some dates and times for a live consultation (in-person, Skype or phone).

What if my event’s timeline isn’t finalized yet?

No problem! It happens pretty often. As long as you have a date and a venue, just make your best guesses for the times on my DJ Quote Request Form. We can go with those times to get started, and update your contract when the schedule is finalized.

Is it possible to meet with you before booking?

Definitely! Just tell me about your event plans to get started. I’ll respond with a quote and we can schedule a consultation (in-person, Skype or phone) to answer your questions and discuss your plans further.

Which payment methods are accepted?

In an effort to keep my booking and payment processes stress-free, I am very flexible:

  • Checks are accepted in-person or by mail
  • Money orders are accepted in-person or by mail
  • Credit/Debit Cards (including newer “chip” cards) are accepted in-person or online
  • PayPal is accepted online
  • Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay and other “contactless” systems are accepted in person

An initial, non-refundable payment of $200 is required to reserve your date, and is applied toward your total cost.  The remainder is due 10 days before your Event Date, but can be paid in installments of your own choosing.

How far will you travel? Are there travel fees?

My pricing includes travel up to one hour each way between my home (near Syracuse) and your venue.  If your venue is significantly over an hour away (previous examples include Ithaca, Cooperstown, Old Forge), there will be an additional charge for time and mileage. When you request a quote, any additional travel fees will be provided right up-front for your consideration.


What kinds of music do you have?

My library includes thousands of songs — current hits, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, Acoustic, Big Band, Classic Rock, Country, Dance, Hip Hop, Jazz, Motown, Oldies, Swing and much more.  Chances are, if you can think of it, I already have it… and in the rare instance I don’t have it, I can usually get it pretty fast.

How many songs can we request?

You can request as many songs as you like. Based on my experience, I recommend limiting your “must play” list to about 10 or 15 songs (depending on how much dance floor time is expected), with any additional requests listed as “maybes.”  The “must play” songs will definitely play at some point, and I’ll usually play most or all of the “maybes” too, but it’s always good to know which songs are OK to replace in order to accommodate guest requests, or to change things up if the dance floor starts to slow down.

Can we submit a “Do Not Play” list?

Absolutely! The do-not-play list is just as important as your must-play list.  You can ban specific songs, everything by a specific artist, even entire genres of music. Do-not-play lists are always strictly enforced. Guests who request a banned song will be politely informed I cannot play that request, and they’ll be asked to request something else.

Do we need to provide you with any music?

No. If you request a song I don’t already have, I’ll find it and purchase my own copy. Even obscure titles that may have been difficult to find 10 years ago are usually just a few clicks away today.

Can you DJ ethnic/international events?

Yes, I am glad to assist with any traditions or special features you wish to include in your event. However, to be honest, I don’t get such requests very often, so I may need you to explain what you need/expect me to do.  The planning meetings (offered for every event at no extra charge) are a great time for us to discuss the details.

How Peter Operates

What kind of personality do you present as a DJ?

Similar to my presentation style on the radio, I maintain a pleasant, upbeat and energetic approach, but without going “over the top” and sounding fake or gimmicky.  While I’m glad to make the necessary announcements to keep an event running smoothly, I am not the type of DJ who will talk after every other song “just because.”  Once the dance floor opens, announcements are minimal so you and your guests can enjoy the music.

Do you serve as emcee as well?

Yes, I usually serve as both the DJ and the emcee — but if you’ve got someone else in mind to act as emcee, I’ll gladly cooperate with them.  As emcee, I’ll make the formal wedding party introductions and any other announcements needed to basically serve as “crowd control” and keep the event flowing smoothly, according to the timeline we’ve planned in advance.  I’ll also help facilitate events like the bouquet toss or any other games you want to include in your reception.

Do you require breaks?

There is never a break in the music. I may occasionally step away to get some water or use the restroom, but I always ensure the computer has enough music queued-up to keep running until I return. Any instances where I step away are kept as brief as possible.

Do you require dinner?

Yes, a meal is required if one is being served at the event. (Even the minimum reception of 4 hours requires me being on-site for nearly 7 hours.)  However, because I am working, I do not partake in cocktail hour snacks or bar service (I only drink water, and maybe some coffee near the end of the night if it’s available).  Because most professional vendors don’t drink on the clock, many venues offer discounted “vendor meals.”  Check with your venue or caterer before you submit your final meal count.

Can we see you performing before we book you?

Nearly all of my bookings are private, invitation-only events. Just as I am sure you would not want me inviting complete strangers to your wedding, it would not be appropriate for me to invite you into somebody else’s wedding.  However, I’m proud to refer you to the dozens of reviews previous clients have written on WeddingWire, TheKnot, Facebook and elsewhere.

Technical Stuff

How much time do you need to set-up for an event?

Generally, I arrive 90 minutes prior to the contracted start time for indoor events requiring a single sound system and dance floor lighting.

Additional set-up time will be required if your event includes any add-ons such as uplighting, a second sound system or a tent (outdoor events only).  Additional set-up time may also be required if load-in will involve stairs, elevators, extremely long walks or any other obstacles that could slow things down.

Once we’ve discussed any add-ons you’d like, and the specifics of your venue, I can tell you exactly how early I will need to arrive. If your venue cannot allow access early enough for me to complete the set-up on my own, I will need to hire an assistant to help complete the set-up within the timeframe provided by your venue.  The cost of hiring an assistant would be passed onto you.

What are your space requirements?

Most venues that host weddings and other events will block out an adequate amount of floor space for me, so you may not need to worry about that.  For best results, I prefer (but do not require) to be as close to the dance floor as possible.  If you’re using a non-traditional venue (ie. a private residence, a park, etc.) that doesn’t host events often, we can discuss specifics. I don’t need a lot of space, but I do have some flexibility to alter my usual setup if space will be extremely tight.

Do you put up any signs or banners?

No signs or banners are displayed at weddings or other paid events. A small sign is placed on my DJ table only when I am donating my time and services at events for not-for-profit organizations.

What are your electrical requirements?

There’s usually no need to worry about electricity at venues that regularly host events with DJs. However, if you’re using a non-traditional venue like a private residence or an outdoor space, here’s what I need:

  • At least one three-prong outlet, on its own circuit, capable of handling no less than 15 amps.
  • I provide up to 35 feet of extension cord. If the distance from my DJ station to the nearest suitable outlet exceeds 35 feet, you are responsible for providing (or arranging with the venue to provide) additional suitable extension cord(s) as needed to complete the connection.

The above cover the “Standard Package” of sound and dance floor lighting. There are some modest additional requirements if you wish to add uplighting to your event.

For outdoor wedding ceremonies too far away from power to run cords, I have a heavy-duty battery unit which can power my DJ equipment for 90 minutes (usually more than enough to cover a wedding ceremony, prelude music before and exit music after).  Unlike a gas-powered generator, this unit does not create noise or fumes.  There is an extra charge for this service.

What if we’re planning an outdoor event?

My equipment requires overhead protection from the elements, rain or shine. (Prolonged direct sunlight can be just as dangerous as rain.) If your plans include the use of a party tent, pavilion, porch or other shelter which includes room for my equipment, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if there will be no other overhead shelter available — or no room for me within — then I must bring my own canopy tent. There is an extra charge for this service.

Electricity is also a concern.  I provide up to 35 feet of heavy-duty extension cord, rated for outdoor use.  If the nearest outlet is more than 35 feet away, there are two options:
a) You and/or your venue provide additional suitable extension cord(s) as needed to complete the connection; or,
b) I can bring a heavy-duty battery unit which can power my DJ equipment for up to 90 minutes (usually more than enough to cover a wedding ceremony).  Unlike a gas-powered generator, this unit does not create noise or fumes.  There is an extra charge for this service.

Can you provide uplighting?

Yes!  My uplighting system consists of 12 individual units, each requiring approximately one square foot of floor space.  Lights are strategically placed around the perimeter of the event space, in locations that would enhance the room’s appearance without becoming an obstacle to anybody.  For more details, see my Uplighting Page.  (Link opens in a new tab so you won’t lose the FAQ page.)

Key Questions to Ask *Any* DJ

Do you carry liability insurance?

Yes, I have a liability insurance policy in effect at all times and a certificate of coverage can be provided upon request. Even if you decide to look elsewhere, never book an uninsured DJ (or any other uninsured vendor, for that matter).  And don’t feel bad about asking–any vendor worth their salt should have absolutely no problem providing proof of their insurance. Hiring an uninsured DJ might save you a few bucks up front, but if that DJ causes a mishap, you could be held responsible for any damages.

What’s your attire when you DJ an event?

For weddings, my default attire is a tuxedo. White shirt, everything else black. However, if you’re going for a more semi-formal or casual vibe, let me know and I’ll be happy to adjust my attire accordingly. For non-wedding events, I will dress at whatever level of formality you request (usually at or just above the level expected of the event’s attendees).

How many DJs are part of this company?

Just one: me.  When you book Peter Naughton, you get Peter Naughton. I personally handle every step of the process — from answering your initial quote request to booking, planning, performing the event and packing-up all the gear at the end of the night. Unlike some of the “DJ companies” around the area, you don’t have to worry about laying-out all your plans with one person, only to have the entire gig handed-off at the last minute to someone else you’ve never met before.

Do you bring your own equipment to events?

Absolutely. Everything I use is my own gear. I always bring at least two of every critical item (from laptops and hard drives to amplifiers and mixers) just in case there’s an unexpected problem.

What happens if your equipment fails?

There’s solid advice from the computer world that applies just as importantly for DJs: always have a backup. Music is played using DJ software on a laptop computer, with the music itself stored on an external hard drive. I always bring two laptops and two hard drives (which are synced prior to each event), so if one fails, I just swap it out. I still have “old school” CD players to keep things going during the swap. I also have two sound systems (mixer, amplifier, etc.) so if any one of those things should fail, another one is there — but it might take a bit longer (10 minutes) to switch those out.

What’s your overtime policy?

My overtime rate is $75 per half-hour.  Overtime fees must be paid up-front (cash or credit card) and are non-refundable, even if you (or your venue) decide to end the party before overtime expires.  Because many venues have their own OT charges, or may not allow OT, clients are advised to always check with venue management first.  For outdoor events, local noise ordinances may prohibit loud music after a certain time.  If law enforcement is called and DJ is asked to shut down, DJ will comply immediately and again, no refunds for unused overtime.

I tried to keep these responses brief, as I usually get into more detail on a case-by-case basis with each client as we discuss their own event plans. If you need more detail, or have a question that’s not covered here, please let me know!