How long have you been in the Entertainment business?
I began singing & playing the guitar when I was 15. In 1983 I sang at my 1st wedding ceremony for a friend. I made my first dollar as a musician in 1984 while singing with a trio called “The Mix”.
In total, I’ve been in the business for over 37 years and a full-time entertainer since 1992.
What services do you offer?
I offer live entertainment with acoustic guitar & vocals as a soloist or as a duo with my daughter Natalie Jones and occasionally with my good friend Frank Serafino. I also offer DJ services, mirror photobooth, accent uplighting, projected monograms (gobo) & projector and screen services.
What types of events do you most often perform at?
There’s not one type of function that I perform at regularly. Although I perform at weddings throughout the year, most weddings in New England usually fall between April and December. Since 2008, I’ve been a house entertainer at High Meadow Resort in Granby, CT where I typically do about 45 to 65 shows from May through October. Throughout the year I regularly perform live at restaurants, vineyards, country clubs and retirement communities as well as many corporate events, anniversary parties, etc. During the winter months, I also perform at ski areas.
Do you have another job that may conflict with your entertaining schedule?
I have been a full-time entertainer since 1992 and focus all of my attention to my work and your event.
Do you bring an assistant with you at weddings and other private events?
For events with live music and DJ, assistants may help with load-in/out and set up but do not stay for the entire event. Assistants do attend the event if contracting the photobooth.
I recently met with another DJ and they wanted me to sign a contract that day to hold the date. What do you need to hold the date?
If requested, I always put a no obligation hold the date. Then, I recommend setting up a personal meeting to discuss your wedding and my services. I also recommend that couples speak with other DJ’s to get perspective before making their decision. Setting up these appointments takes time and that’s why I hold the date until the couple either contracts the date or informs me that they no longer need the date held.
You can’t tell your entertainment on your wedding day that it’s not working out and you’re going to go with someone else. It’s a decision that needs to be made carefully. Do your homework and make sure whoever you choose is the right fit for you.
Can we come see you perform at a wedding?
You are more than welcome to attend any of my public singing performances. I cannot however invite you to a wedding reception as that is a private event. I’m rather sure that you wouldn’t appreciate me inviting prospective clients to see me performing at your wedding and I extend the same courtesy to them. There are videos and photos as well as 100’s of testimonials and reviews for your consideration. I feel a professional DJ should respect the privacy of their clients and their wedding.
Do you carry liability insurance?
Yes! Many banquet facilities require vendors to carry liability insurance and a copy of my policy can be emailed to you or directly to your banquet facility in advance of your wedding or event.
How long have you been singing at wedding ceremonies and how many have you sang at?
I performed my first wedding ceremony in 1983 and over the years I have sang at well over 1000 ceremonies.
My ceremony will be at a church and not at my reception facility. Do you do ceremonies at churches?
Although I have sang at 100’s of ceremonies that have taken place in a church, for many reasons, I am no longer doing church ceremonies. I do sing at ceremonies that take place at the reception location.
We've already hired a DJ for our reception. Can we hire you to just sing for our wedding ceremony?
Unfortunately, no. As a full-time entertainer, I found that once contracted to do a stand-alone ceremony, I would often have to turn away other couples who wanted to contract my services for their entire wedding. I only sing at ceremonies where my DJ services (and more) have been contracted.
I'd like classical music played at my wedding ceremony. Do you play classical music?
Although I can play any pre-recorded music you’d like, I am not a classical guitarist and cannot play classical music. I’d be happy to discuss all of the options available.
Will we meet before our wedding to go over our details?
Yes, I meet with every couple about a month before the wedding day to go over every detail and offer guidance in the planning. Depending on services contracted, this appointment can take between 1 and 2-1/2 hours. After that meeting, follow-up meetings/videoconferences and/or phone calls are typically all that’s needed to finalize details.
Do you act as our wedding coordinator?
To a certain extent yes but only for the ceremony and reception. I meet with every couple about a month before their wedding to go over every detail that pertains to my services and more. I also produce a detailed time-line of your wedding. Then, on the day of your wedding, I help to coordinate the event while working closely with your banquet manager/caterer, photographer, videographer and any other vendors you may have.
This appointment normally takes place in my office located at 2 South Bridge Drive in Agawam, MA. A videoconference appointment is a great alternative but meeting in person is always preferred. Depending on services contracted, you can plan on the appointment taking between 1 to 2-1/2 hours.
If we hire you, do we need to hire a wedding coordinator too?
Although I do coordinate the ceremony and reception along with your banquet manager/caterer and other vendors, I am not what you would consider a “wedding coordinator”. A professional wedding coordinator can make your day much more enjoyable and stress-free as they are typically with you from start to finish and intercept and solve any issues before they’re even brought to your attention. Whether to hire a wedding coordinator or not is a personal decision and of course is an added expense to consider. Please see the links page for my highest recommendations of local, professional wedding vendors.
What's your entertainment style?
Of course my demeanor is somewhat dictated by the event, my clients wishes and the atmosphere from the guests but I would say I’m somewhere in the middle. I think most people would agree you want a DJ with personality and energy but not over the top either. When I say “I’m somewhere in the middle” what I mean is I’m not a soft spoken, lethargic robot nor am I an obnoxious, intrusive game-show host. I’m somewhere in-between 🙂
If we hire you, will you be our singer / entertainer?
YES! When you hire Gary S. Jones Entertainment, you GET Gary S. Jones at your event!
I recently went to a wedding and the DJ was so loud we couldn't even talk! Do you play that loud?
The answer to this question is subjective. I want everyone attending to have a great time at a wedding/event. Because most weddings consist of young ring-bearers and flower-girls all the way grandparents and everyone in-between, there’s no one volume level that will please all of the guests. People carrying on a conversation will want it soft while people who are dancing will want it louder. In short, I try to find a happy medium along with guiding the host of the wedding/event as to seating arraignments and what areas of the room will be a little louder then other areas. During the social hour and dinner hour, the music will be much lower than during dancing. You always want your DJ to be set up next to the dance floor as guests that are dancing want some volume while guests at their seats typically want to talk.
Do you have a preference as to where the DJ will be set up in the room?
Yes! You always want the DJ in close proximity to the dance floor. If you set the DJ up where tables are in-between the DJ and the dance floor, no one will be happy. The guests on the dance floor will want the music to be louder while the guests at their tables will want the music to be softer so they can talk. No one will be happy.
What happens if you get sick and are unable to perform at our wedding?
As a full-time entertainer for the past 29 years, I take my profession very seriously and have never missed a wedding due to illness. That being said, none of us know what the future holds for any of us.
I would literally have to be hospitalized or deceased to not attend your wedding. Simply put, I would have to be as ill as you would have to be to not be able to attend your own wedding. If I were unable to attend your wedding due to catastrophic illness or death, a reputable replacement DJ/Entertainer, would be provided.
In 2017 started the Professional DJ Support Group of Western MA & Northern CT.
This is a group of professional, local DJ/Entertainers who have made a commitment to help other members cover an event in the event of such an emergency. We meet regularly and our families have been informed as to what to do in the event that one of use does have an unforeseen emergency. They also have all of our members contact information in the event one of us is incapacitated. I happy to report that we have not yet had to call on one another for such support but if needed, we’re there for each other and most importantly, we’re there for you!
Are we required to provide you with a meal at our wedding?
Although you are not required to provide a meal for me at your reception, almost always vendors are fed and I’ve never not been provided a meal. If you do plan on not feeding your vendors, please let us know in advance so we can make other arraignments. Please note, if you do contract our photobooth, there would be one or two additional technicians.
I plan on going to the next bridal show. Will you be there and can we speak then?
Although I have done bridal shows in the past, I no longer do. As I’ve been established in the business for so many years and thanks to my past clients, wedding professionals and banquet facilities referrals, I’m fortunate to no longer have to do them. Although they are very informative and do serve a purpose, I never found the bridal show setting and ideal place to discuss couples weddings. They also prevented me from contracting an event on the day of the show not to mention the cost to attend (both for the couples and the vendors).
I’d much rather speak with couples personally in my Agawam, MA office to discuss their wedding in a private, quiet setting rather than the somewhat chaotic atmosphere of a bridal show. If an office visit is inconvenient, I’m happy to videoconference or simply speak with you on the phone.
Please feel free to contact me HERE to discuss your event.
I recently went to a wedding and the DJ was drinking alcohol, appeared to be intoxicated and went outside several times smoke. Do you drink or smoke at weddings?
No, I’m a professional and when I’m performing at a wedding reception, I’m
working for you and don’t feel it appropriate to be drinking alcohol.
As a singer and for overall health, I do not smoke.
Do you take breaks during the night?
I do not take breaks while entertaining at a wedding/event. In my opinion, DJs shouldn’t need to take a break. Even while eating a meal quickly or a quick trip to the restroom, music is always playing except during blessings and/or speeches etc.
During live, public shows, I do take short breaks in-between sets.
I recently went to a wedding and not many guests were dancing. Can you guarantee a packed dance floor?
As much as I’d love to say yes, I cannot guarantee a packed dance floor. I feel that having a packed dance floor is 50% due to your DJ and 50% your guests.
I have found in my career that people generally fall into 3 categories when it comes to dancing. At your average wedding/event about 25% of your guests love to dance and will be on the floor all night. Another 25% hate dancing and won’t set foot on the dance floor. The remaining 50% will dance but under the right conditions including but not limited to; The right music/songs being played, that there are other people on the floor they can blend in with, the lights are low enough and the right amount of alcohol etc. is in their system. If by the sheer law of averages, your “25% hate dancing” is more like 75%, there’s not a lot your DJ can do other than reemphasize that they take requests and try to motivate the guests without being obnoxious.
The bottom line is I want all of your guests to have a great time. If some of the guests idea of a great time is eating, drinking and catching up with friends and family, as long as they leave having had a great time, I’m happy.
Can we request songs and give you a "Do Not Play" list?
Yes. During 1 hour of dancing, a DJ can typically play about 20 songs give or take. A 5 hour reception will typically give you about 2-1/2 hours of dancing while a 6 hour reception will give you about 3-1/2 hours of dancing. If you were to give me a list, I only ask that it be no more than 30ish songs as I take requests from your guests as well as play songs I know will keep your party going strong.
As far as songs not to be played, you may also include that list as well. Please keep in mind that I want to keep all of your guests happy and I play a wide variety of music in order to achieve that. I only ask that you not be too restrictive on music that’s not to be played.
I recently went to a wedding and the DJ had a huge sign that clashed with the ascetics of the room.Do you have a sign with your set-up?
NO! I never use any signage or banners while performing! If a guest inquires about my business, I will give them a business card and ask them to contact me by phone or email at a later date to discuss their wedding/event. You spend a lot of money to make your banquets facility look amazing and in my opinion, any DJ that uses a sign or banner is disregarding that and detracting from the beauty of your room.
What attire do you wear when you perform at a wedding?
Unless I’m asked to dress more casual, I wear a suit or tuxedo according to my clients wishes.
What type of equipment do you use at events?
The equipment used varies from venue to venue as well as the number of guests in attendance. I have set-ups to accommodate the most intimate event to events hosting 500+ guests. Not only do I use top of the line equipment but I also have backup equipment at every event in the unlikely event of any failure. I use equipment from Bose loudspeakers, Apple MacBooks, Shure & Neumann wired and wireless microphones, Mackie mixing boards, Takamine guitars as well as many other top brands in the industry.
If I have you sing at my ceremony and then perform at my reception, when do you set up your equipment?
All setup takes place prior to your ceremony. If the room is being used at that time, I have an assistant set up for me. Once your ceremony is finished, I quickly pack up that system while your guests are enjoying the cocktail hour.
Do you bring back-up equipment if something fails at our wedding/event?
Yes, I always carry extra everything including speakers, mixers, laptops,
solid state hard drives with back-up music libraries cables and other various
items if needed including extra clothes in case of unexpected wardrobe failure.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my many years in the entertainment business is to expect the unexpected. Electronics are intricate machines and even the best, well maintained equipment will one day fail. Having state of the art equipment that’s well maintained can minimize the chances of such a failure. In the unlikely event that a piece of equipment does fail, I always have a complete backup sound system on hand to ensure your wedding/event won’t be ruined by such an equipment failure.
Do you use compact discs or digital music files (ACC audio files M4A's/MP3’s)?
Although I do have the ability to play a compact disc, all of my music is in
a digital (ACC audio files/MP3’s) format.
Do you provide wireless microphones for the blessing & toast(s)?
Yes, wireless microphones are provided.
I recently went to a wedding where the DJ set-up was very large and didn't compliment the room. What does your set-up look like?
I have many sound systems at my disposal to accommodate 20 to 500+ guests. My set-up is as compact as it can be without compromising sound quality. I use Bose commercial speakers that have a great sound while being very sleek. You go to great lengths to make your room look beautiful. I make every effort to make my system as small and aesthetically pleasing as possible.
More information on my Equipment Page.
We have a seminar planned with 400+ guests. Can you provide a sound system with several microphones that will cover that large of an event?
Yes! I have sound systems to accommodate up to 500+ guests as well as projector and screen services. please contact me to discuss your event and what I can do to help you achieve your vision.
Our company is hosting a holiday party. Do you perform at company parties?
Yes, I have done many company and corporate parties and events over the years for companies such as Lego, Coca Cola, Westfield Bank & many more. For more information, please see our Corporate Events page.
What is a Gobo?
I couldn’t tell you where the name “Gobo” came from but I can tell you that a gobo is a projection of text and graphics. Most of the time the gobo is used for projecting names or initials of wedding couples along with their wedding date. Companies will also use gobos to project their companies logo. A gobo is most often projected on the wall or dance floor but can be projected on almost any flat surface.
How do I decide what kind of gobo I may want?
Sample gobos can be seen and selected on my gobo projected monograms page.
Projector & Screen Services
We want to show a video on a large screen during our reception. Do you offer that?
Yes, as well as large screen TVs and 27″ iMac computers, I also offer projection and screen services. Please see my Projector & Screen Services page for more information.
We want to play our wedding video continuously during the reception on a TV rather than have it projected on a large screen. Do you offer that?
Yes, as well as projection and screen services, I also offer large screen TVs and 27″ iMac computers to show any video. Please see my Projector & Screen Services page for more information.
What is a "mirror" Photobooth?
A mirror photobooth is a stand-alone, full-length mirror (3’x5′) that comes to life showing animation, countdowns and the photo that was just taken. More information can be found on the Mirror Me Photobooth page.
What is a photobooth template?
A photobooth template is essentially a frame that surrounds the individual photos on the overall photo. There are 1000’s of templates to choose from and looking through them will give you a better understanding of the endless choices available. You can see the templates linked at the bottom of the Mirror Me Photobooth page.
Does everyone in the photo get a copy?
Yes. For example, if 8 people are in the photo, we print 9 photos and put the extra one in a scrapbook for guests to write their sentiments next to and for you to take home with you that night.
Does the photobooth print 4x6 postcards or 2x6 strips?
Both! At every event we give your guests the option to have a postcard or a strip (unless otherwise stipulated).
Do you provide props for the photobooth?
Yes. We provide a variety of different hats, glasses, wigs, masks, boas and various hand held items to enhance your photos and overall experience at the photobooth.
Do we get a scrapbook at the end of the event?
We always do a scrapbook for weddings. For other events, this would have to be stipulated when contracting the booth. All events get a flash drive with digital files of every photo taken at your event.
Do we get digital copies of the photos taken?
Yes. We always provide a USB flash drive with every photo taken at your event.
What is accent uplighting?
“Uplighting” is lighting that is typically placed on the floor around the parameter of your banquet room. These figures light the wall and ceiling and permeate the entire room with color. The color of the room can be fixed for the entire event or can be easily changed with an iPad controller. My fixtures are 100% wireless and offer white, red, green, blue and UV LEDs. This combination of LED’s allows for millions of colors to choose from. Please see the Accent Uplighting page for more information.
Pricing & Contracts
In the information you sent me it shows the prices for the ceremony and reception. How much time does that cover?
Typically, wedding ceremonies are between 10 to 60 minutes long and
wedding receptions are between 5 and 6 hours long. This timeframe
is covered in my standard package price. If you’re planning on your reception going longer than the 5 to 6 hours, a specific quote would be provided for your consideration prior to any contract being signed.
Do you provide a written contract to solidify our agreement?
Yes. Upon an agreement being reached, contracts with all of the pertinent details will be sent or emailed to you for your review and signature.
Is a deposit required and if so, how much is the deposit?
Deposits vary by the overall cost. They are typically about 35% of the overall cost.
Is my deposit refundable?
My contract states: “Should Engagement Be Canceled For Any Reason By Person(s) Hiring Gary S. Jones, All Deposits Shall Be Retained.”
That being said, over the years I have made rare exceptions to that clause. I take many things into consideration and make decisions on a case by case basis.
Deposits from weddings/events that were postponed to a future date due to the Covid 19 pandemic were not retained but rather carried over to the new date.
After paying our deposit, are there any other payments required and when is my final payment due
There is no further payments required until the end of your wedding /event. I have found that most of my clients choose to pay their balance before the event when we meet to go over their details. When you chose to pay your balance is up to you but must be paid no later than the end of your wedding/event.
What types of payment do you accept?
I accept cash, personal checks, bank checks, money orders, PayPal, Venmo and credit cards.
Check or cash is always preferred.
My contract shows the exact time when my wedding begins. When do you arrive and is there any additional costs?
The times listed on our contract are actual performance times. I typically arrive between 1 and 2 hours before your contracted start time to load-in and set-up. Your contracted price includes all travel, lodging (if necessary or otherwise negotiated), load-in, set-up and load-out.
If my event goes longer than expected, what's your overtime rate?
If your event goes slightly longer that the contracted end time (15 to 30 minutes) there would be no additional charge. If your event goes longer than 30 minutes over the contracted end time, reasonable compensation would be expected.