Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Have You Been DJing?

Zack East has been DJing weddings and events for the past 10+ years, and has performed at over 300 events as a radio personality and mobile DJ.

Why is choosing a professional DJ important for my event, instead of just doing it myself or paying a friend?

Here’s the simple truth: ANYONE can be a DJ these days. It’s the extra effort, knowledge of music and pop culture and their experience with events of all types, sizes and locations that makes MUSIC EXPRESS the only Mobile DJ Service to choose for your event. Most DJs only work part-time in the industry, and don’t entertain for a living. Hire a FULL-TIME ENTERTAINER!

Always choose a DJ based on their personality, outgoing nature, willingness to meet and discuss your wishes, and their skill level. Great DJs also understand that the music and the people at the party are the TRUE stars of the event… NOT the DJ. Music Express DJs do events several times a week throughout the area in public and on the air and know how to cater to an audience, “read the crowd,” and execute the order of events correctly so the flow keeps moving and your guests have a blast!

Can I just give you a playlist?

We always tell our clients that playlisting an entire night’s worth of music is a bad idea. There are a multitude of reasons why, but the biggest one is that your guests expect to be able to make requests, that we will DJ based on the flow of the music and the response to the music from the people on the floor. If we have to spend time working from a big playlist of songs that only you or a small group of people enjoy, the rest of the majority of guests will likely not enjoy themselves.

Remember, an event that you hold is just as much about the guests and their expectations as it is about your wishes and expectations. We recommend using your personality and love of music to help program music for the cocktail and dinner hour if you want to place a completely personal mark on your event.

While we won’t say ‘no’ to events that are completely playlisted from start-to-finish, we cannot guarantee their success. Remember: you’re hiring a DJ based on their skillset and their ability to read the crowd and entertain people. Playlisting the entire night does not allow your DJ to exercise those skills and perform the way they know best.

Will you play music and provide sound at my Ceremony, too?

Absolutely. Music Express wedding day pricing in-season (May through October) is unlimited hours of service for the entire day. You will not pay anything extra for our service. Just tell us what you need, what music you would like to have played, who needs a microphone and where we can set up; we’ll do the rest!

I’ve gone to weddings with terrible DJs. How do I avoid the same situation?

That’s easy! At Music Express, we meet with you as often as you need and want to meet. We can discuss everything from the agenda for the night, to the flow of the event schedule, to the spread of special surprises and personal touches you wish to make during your special day.

We work with music all day long, every day. In fact, our DJs are music researchers. They have more available edited content from across any genre you can think of, than anyone else. Because Music Express is owned by a group of radio broadcasters, we can provide the latest edited music on digital devices for your ceremony or reception with ease.

The reason you should trust us: We read our crowd. We play music based on the response and the tempo and ‘texture’ of music that the audience responds to on the dance floor. This is why playlisting the entire night ahead of time can cause an awkward situation: If the DJ’s hands are tied trying to play from a required list of songs instead of concentrating on how people are responding, you get a forced performance.

Why is there only one price?

We’ve found in the 10+ years we’ve been doing events in Michigan’s Great Southwest, our clients love knowing they get everything they need to have a successful night all in one package, with no concerns about whether the sound coverage will be adequate, whether the ceremony is included, or if the DJ’s time runs out by a certain hour before overtime kicks in.

If you’re looking for a lower-priced alternative, our Winter Special offers a substantial savings if you book your event during the “off season” of our area’s Wedding Season. This is defined as November through April, and a majority of our vendor and venue partners also offer substantial savings for booking during the less-busy seasons.

How does a Deposit work, and what is the cost?

Most, if not all vendors require a deposit to book services and secure your event date. A deposit is a payment made toward the total cost of the service we are providing. If you cancel with us before the event takes place, we keep your deposit so we can recoup losses from dates that are not able to be re-booked.

For example, our in-season rate is $1500 for unlimited hours of service. $450 is the deposit due when you’re ready to book. This deposit amount officially books your date with us. This means we will not cancel your reservation, and no other clients will be booked with us for this very same date. The total amount due at the end of the night of your event would end up being $1050, since you already paid a piece of the total $1500 in the $450 deposit.

Still confused? Don’t worry. We’ll invoice you two separate statements that clearly outline what to do.

I’ve heard of DJs cancelling on clients. Will you do that?

The chances of us cancelling a reservation on a client are slim to none. In fact, in the 10+ years we’ve been doing events, we’ve never cancelled a date. But, oddly enough, we field calls from people that booked with a DJ that ended up cancelling on them. These DJs typically book as much business as they can, and depend on hiring part-time workers to do your event. When the part-time workers don’t pan out, or they quit, your event typically gets cancelled.

At Music Express, all employees of the business are employees of Mid-West Family Broadcasting and are full-time. They are professionals in the music industry and have made entertaining their life’s work. So, as you might guess, the chances that they’ll leave or cancel on you are slim to none.

If a DJ becomes unavailable because of illness or accident, or simply becomes unavailable, they typically will have assigned another employee to be the emergency backup for the night. At the very least, we may also call on another professional DJ in the area as an emergency backup on your behalf.

What happens if your equipment stops working?

We’re a mobile DJ business owned and operated by a radio broadcasting company. That means we have multiple sound systems, replacement equipment, generators, vehicles, trailers and personnel to complete your reception successfully.

Is your music edited?

We own all of our equipment, use computers and iPods with nearly unlimited edited music libraries direct from our radio station library, and our equipment has been built and maintained by our staff of professional radio broadcast engineers.

I don’t want a cheesy, talkative DJ. What kind of DJ are you?

We don’t treat the reception like a chance for a radio station guy to come out, be cheesy and goofy, ignore you and your guests and then take the money and run to pay a mortgage or buy a sportscar. You and your guests are the star of the show. So you will hear from us only when the time is right and when it’s necessary. We’re here to keep the night flowing, not to annoy you or your guests.

Does it cost anything for consultations or additional meetings?

We will personally meet with you as many times as you need before your event, assess your needs, and will execute those needs as you request, within reason. If you’re not ready to commit just yet, we would be happy to meet with you with no obligation to book with us.

Will you work with my other vendors?

Our job is to make sure the event runs smoothly with the help of our fellow photographers, caterers, planners and venue hosts, so I’ll keep the entire night moving in the background while you and your guests have a great time and don’t worry about a thing! Since we’re in a small community, our vendor community is also quite small. But that just means we’re all better friends!

What do you wear to events?

Our formal wear is provided by Alexa Claire Boutique and Tux Shop of St. Joseph, Michigan. We can dress black-tie formal, or dress down to a simple pair of slacks and a button-down shirt. You’ll never see our DJs in tennis shoes, T-shirts, or in a disheveled state.

Should I provide food and drinks for you?

In most occasions, Zack East does not prefer to have a meal prepared during the night’s events, since he’ll have to be behind the equipment at all times. There’s also usually not enough time to eat it. 🙂 But, if you insist on providing dinner, Zack is a vegetarian and would appreciate a vegetarian option. If possible, please ask for it in a to-go box so it can be eaten later.

It is Mid-West Family Broadcasting company policy not to drink at events when an employee is working, or driving company vehicles. You will never see one of our DJs excessively eating or drinking at your event.

What’s a customary tip or gratuity?

Gratuity is not added on to any bill. In fact, we never expect it. We only ask that you tip a fair amount based on your satisfaction with our performance to go above and beyond your expectations.

If you are inclined to tip your DJ, the typical amount is between $50 and $200. This amount is typically 10% or more of the total amount you paid. Consider tipping 1-2% of the total amount for every hour that your DJ worked for the day.

I’d like to provide a Do Not Play list.

That’s fine. We suggest you only limit the Do Not Play list to 10 songs or less. Please include this small list ahead of time when submitting your special dance form. And you can also make a 10 song “must play” list as well!

Do you do School Dances?

Music Express is no longer doing School Dances. If you need a short list of DJs who specialize in school dances, contact us.

School dances often occur on nights when our staff are busy with sports coverage, news coverage, or are busy doing weddings.

Why is your availability so limited?

Zack East, our veteran service manager and performer, lives in both St. Joseph and Grand Rapids with his family. Working five days a week managing two radio stations and the DJ service is quite taxing on his schedule. To better serve all clients, Zack takes a limited numbers of events each year, usually 10 gigs or less.

Because of this, Zack’s availability for Weddings that occur on Thursdays, Fridays or Sundays is limited or unavailable completely.

Can you recommend someone else if you aren’t available?

Absolutely. We have a short list of other high quality professionals that we work with all the time, and would be happy to send you their information.

Available most Saturdays throughout the year. Check your date's availability now.

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Kind Words

Zack East was a huge part of what made our wedding a success! Zack played a crucial role in the planning and organization of our big day. He made sure the wedding and reception ran smoothly and that our guests had a great time! The music was perfect and just as we had planned. Thank you, Zack! Your professional service helped make our wedding a day truly amazing!

- Lindsay & Chris Quint, Benton Harbor

November through April, take advantage of our Winter Special - Unlimited hours for only $1000!

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