Frequently Asked Questions
We take pride pride in running Sumo Sounds with openness and honesty, and we're happy to to help you bring the best event for your guests. Here are some of the most common questions we receive.
Services & Style
What types of events do you specialize in?
All performers booked through Sumo Sounds are true wedding specialists, trained for all types of wedding celebrations and protocols. Weddings are our passion and make up most of the business booked through Sumo Sounds. The only other types of events we book are high-end corporate functions, which typically require the same elegant approach and attention to detail. Sumo Sounds does not book children’s parties, bars, nightclubs, or school events.
How would you define your “style” or approach to providing DJ entertainment?
Our performers’ never play from a set playlist. Each performance is custom catered for each event. Utilizing skilled mixing and a professional “cheese-free” approach to announcements and MC work. The greatest misconception for most DJs is that they think it’s their job to be the center of attention at the reception. We believe firmly that your wedding is your show, and we have no desire to take the spotlight from you. Your dance floor will be packed, but it will be because the DJ catered their mix to your guests by taking realtime requests - not because he chattered endlessly on the microphone.
Can you play music other than traditional wedding music?
Absolutely! Our DJs create their mix based on the requests made by you and your guests. Everything from Bollywood, to Machada, to Caribbean, our wedding DJ’s can keep the party going. Overtime, being a “wedding DJ” has become a taboo, associated with cheesiness. We couldn’t be any further from that image.
Do you guys use props?
Do you offer additional services, such as ceremony musicians, lighting and photobooths?
Our company has always focused on the service we know best: fantastic DJ entertainment. With over 20yrs of live audio engineering experience, we can provide multiple microphones for weddings and provide professional grade live audio mixing to bring out the most elegant sounds from your performers (and we do, for about 50% of our clients). If you need a sound system for your live ceremony musicians, please don’t forget to mention the location of the wedding ceremony if it differs from the wedding reception. Besides our small boxlight. We also don't provide up-lighting, as we strongly feel that quality lighting is a complex luxury service that should be furnished by a lighting design specialist. We do offer exclusive-to-MyDeejay packages for uplighting through our partnership with Atlas Entertainment. For more complex lighting services, we're happy to, upon request, refer you to other trusted professional partners.
Music Selection & Mixing
How involved are you in helping us to plan our music?
Just as you pay a doctor for his or her expertise in physiology, you are paying Sumo Sounds in large part for our expertise in music and reading the crowd. We suggest the bride and groom provide us with a request list and an “absolutely do not play” list. This gives us an idea of your personality. Our extensive knowledge of music and experience enables us to work with your requests real-time and create a mood that reflects your tastes while creating a great atmosphere for your guests. We also specialize in combining multicultural musical styles or adapting unique or eclectic music tastes to the formalities of your wedding. Both your DJ and our management team are always available to answer questions or assist you in choosing the songs that will reflect your vision of your special day.
How involved can we be in selecting music for our event?
We encourage you to be as involved as you would like to be! Most of our clients place great value on music and probably have very distinct ideas about what they want to hear. If you would like to select every song, we are happy to accommodate you. Rest assured, you will never hear songs or genres you have asked not to be played.
What kinds of music are included in your collection?
Sumo Sounds owns an enormous repertoire of music in all genres, including international music. We update our collection from a DJ pool called Promo Only, ensuring that our music is up to date with all the music your guests would want to hear. We work closely with our clients in selecting the right music for their corporate or wedding event, and will gladly acquire any commercially available song that we don’t already own, at no additional cost. Because of this, we can virtually guarantee that we will be able to accommodate any request.
How do you mix the music?
Mixing is a pretty basic skill for a professional disc jockey, but how a DJ does it says a lot about his or her style. We mix music with the purpose of creating seamless transitions between songs and maintaining the energy and momentum on the dance floor. Our DJs perform real-time and on the spot mixing, based on the tempo and “feel” of the songs and the reaction of the crowd. This is called “reading the crowd”. Your wedding is not our personal nightclub appearance, our training includes prioritizing your needs over the DJ. Our DJs always use the most popular versions of each song unless there’s a really good reason not to.
Booking & Working With Sumo Sounds
How will I know who my DJ will be, and how do I book that DJ for my event?
After you’ve submitted the contact form on our website and indicated that you’re ready to connect with a DJ, we’ll setup a consultation appointment so that you can personally meet or skype with your DJ to discuss your plans, review a sample agreement and answer your questions. The personal meet and greet is important to us because takes away the uncertainty of not knowing the DJ but also gives our DJs and idea of the couple’s personalities and music style. Soon after your consultation with the DJ, our office will email you a customized online agreement and invoice guaranteeing the services of that DJ on your wedding day. You’ll have a 7-day window during which to make your decision, electronically sign your agreement and submit the down payment - and of course we're here to provide any additional information or assistance you need during that time!
Do you offer different skill levels or “tiers” of DJs at different price points?
Absolutely not. A DJ either meets our company’s high standards or they do not. We would never sell a couple a “Sumo Sounds experience” and then send them less than the very best our company has to offer. For this reason, we don’t offer a cheaper “B-team” or associate level DJs. Offering multiple “tiers” of talent at different prices would mean sacrificing quality for the sake of more bookings. Some food for thought: would a company that charges two or three times more for the owner actually acknowledge that your experience with one of their associates will only be half or a third as good?
Are any of your DJs fluent in other languages?
Currently we only have English speaking DJs. Most of our DJs, however, are experienced with the wedding traditions and music of many other cultures including South Asian, Middle Eastern, East Asian, African, Greek and more.
Terms & Requirements
How much do you charge?
Our base rates for weddings range from $300-$500/hr with a minimum of 4 hours booking. Different things that may factor into our pricing includes: extra audio accomodations (ie lapels, mics, D/I), multiple speaker systems, location of event, and number of guests. 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 a well-known wedding planner. A complete and accurate price quote will be provided to you in our first email to you, and specific information on our pricing structure and services can be found on our rates page.
What is included in the cost of my event?
Four hours of performance time (additional time is available at a prorated hourly cost), setup time, breakdown time, and ALL equipment, including additional sound systems and wireless microphones for weddings with up to 300 guests. For weddings over 300 guests, a custom quote may be necessary to ensure your event's equipment and staffing needs are met. Our flat-rate pricing is refreshingly easy to understand — there are no hidden charges, and all fees are clearly stated in your agreement with our company.
Why do you offer a 10% discount for paying in full with the signed contract?
We offer this discount because it simplifies our operations (it’s less work to process one payment than two, and the time saved in not having to track and collect a balance makes the discount worth it to us) and it simplifies our clients’ budget management. It’s completely optional, and we’re happy to accept a 50% retainer with the agreement and the balance a month before the wedding if that’s your preference.
What areas do you serve?
Our standard rates include a travel radius of 40 miles (one-way) from our corporate office in Elkridge, MD. This means we cover most areas of Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, Central Maryland, Frederick, Baltimore, and parts of Maryland's Eastern Shore with no additional travel fee.
What are the terms of payment if I book your services?
An industry-standard, 50% nonrefundable retainer is due with your signed agreement within 7 days of your initial consultation with your DJ. This retainer reserves and guarantees the services of that specific DJ on your wedding day, and includes his unlimited accessibility to you in providing music planning assistance. The balance is collected 30 days prior to your event. Clients who elect to take advantage of the full prepayment discount (offered to anyone signing an agreement at least four months prior to their wedding) would remit the full amount, less 10%, with their signed agreement. Sumo Sounds accepts personal and business checks, certified checks, PayPal, and Venmo.
What do you require from my event site?
We require at least one 6-foot banquet table, with linens, and adequate power (120-volt, 15-amp circuit on a grounded outlet) within 35 feet of where the DJ will be set up.
Are you insured?
Sumo Sounds carries a full liability insurance policy for each performer with a coverage value of $2,000,000. We are happy to provide you or your venue with a copy of our insurance policy upon request.
How do you dress for an event?
Our performers’ standard “uniform” is a professional, dark business suit with appropriate accessories. We want to blend seamlessly into the background of any dance floor photos, and we never want to be dressed more formally than the groom (if applicable) or other men in the wedding party. If a tuxedo or other attire would be more appropriate for your event, however, simply let us know your preference.
When do you arrive to set up for an event?
Our performers always arrive on-site at least an hour and a half prior to the contracted start time of the event, and earlier as necessitated by the setup requirements of the site.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Our performers use the highest quality professional-grade equipment available. Wireless microphones are always provided.
How are emergencies handled?
We take the responsibility of performing for a wedding extremely seriously, and are both contractually and ethically obligated to do everything possible to avoid emergencies. However, to ensure your event’s complete success, we have an extensive network of DJ companies we have worked with over the years who will be able to provide a pro DJ to peform for your guests. We will meet with that DJ in-person to debrief them of your wedding details and have them contact you to review the details with you as well.