8 Indispensable Tips for Hiring a Professional DJ (short Version)

8 Indispensible Tips for Hiring your Professional Wedding DJ (or any Vendor)

    So, you have finally said “I will”, and now you are a bride-to-be who is left with the daunting burden of finding Wedding Reception Entertainment. You reveal the task to your new fiancĂ© who (being a “husband-in-training”) half-heartedly grunts as he tips his head to the right to peer around you at the ballgame! Realize now two things; a) this is married life, and b) you’re going to have to find the DJ!
    Within a few short minutes of browsing Google...

3 Crucial Parts to a Wedding Reception! - Part One... The Formailities

Every Wedding Reception is divided into 3 Phases...
1) The Formalities - The Formalities begin to set the stage at a Reception, creating the environment for the evening. These include:

The great Napkin Game

The Napkin Game -

I use this one at every wedding. It promotes guest interaction, and interjects a lot of Humor into the wedding early on. Also, it gets your guests Involved!

3 Crucial Parts to the Reception... Part 2 - The Dinner

Part 2 ... The Dinner...

In my last email we examined the importance of Formalities, and why we need to sit together to Plan everything that happens during your reception.

3 Parts to a Wedding Reception... Part 3 - The Party!

Part 3... The Party!!!

Finally, after we finish all the Formal Announcements and all the Activities we've planned together, after the guests have chowed down, after the cake-cutting, we can PARTY!!!

Pricing... Why Starry Nite keeps it Affordable

Many Brides have called me, saying there must be a catch...Full 5 Hour Reception for $995? when all the other companies charge at least $1500, and you never know who they'll send out? My reply is that it's a real figure, and any add-ons like lighting ($100) are posted up front on my site (www.starrynitedjs.com - see Ala Carte' link).

Truth is I feel blessed to be sharing your wedding - I've loved it for over 28 years. No man has a better job, nor is lucky enough to run a better company. Caring is Everything. It doesn't take one extra bit of strain to care about what you're doing, unless you hate it. You've seen some of those vendors at weddings, I'm sure!

The Anniversary Dance ... Great Memories shared

The Anniversary Dance…

A Special Moment I share at weddings is The Anniversary Dance (or you may know it as The Couples Dance). I ask ALL couples to come to the dance floor, but the Married Couples to dance closest to the center of the floor. Then I play an Old love song (Unforgettable, Summer Wind, Unchained Melody) and ask them to start dancing. 

The New Bride and Groom dance the entire dance. About a minute in I say, “The couples married Less than 10 years please dance your way to the outside of the floor.” After a moment I knock out those couples married less than 20 years, then 25, and so on, until I reach the last two couples that have been married the longest. I ask both couples to share their experience with the Bride and Groom, and offer some words of advice, and everyone loves it. 

This Special Dance works for 3 reasons…

Wanna read our 5 Star Reviews...

Our Reviews

We had our wedding on 10/22/17 and Tom was the perfect DJ for our day. He provides you with the exact experience that matches you and your guests. He engages the crowd and you can see that he truly enjoys what he does. He meets with you and works to customize the day to meet your needs. We had a mixed crowd age wise and we were able to get songs for everyone played that day.. :) He did an amazing job!!
Jenn and Ted Astarita   October 22, 2017   Cascades (5 Stars on The KNOT)

Tom was our first choice and went above and beyond anything we expected! He clearly really cares about the music and the families and spends a lot of time learning the couple's preferences and personality in order to play the perfect mix. He certainly has a talent for this work! Tom kept after me to pick a "final slow dance song" and then when he played it he pointed out to everyone that it was a remake of a classic song from the 50's (which I didn't know) which was such a sweet little touch! Tom is professional, friendly, fun, and even enormously supportive when wedding planning gets stressful. We are so glad he was part of our wedding! Best DJ Ever!!
Michele and Spencer Djeu   October 28, 2017   Saltwater Farm Vineyards (5 Stars on The Knot)

Tom was my first choice for DJ and I'm was so happy he had our date open
. He is professional, a great listener and really gets in tune with you as a couple, to play the best music that suits both you and your guests. He learns the audience and see what works, and is open to change if it doesn't. He makes the reception fun and gets the guests involved. I like him so much i referred him to my friend even before our wedding and she booked him as well. I highly recommend Starry Nite.
Lisa and David Schneider  July 1, 2017  Birchwoods (5 Stars on the Knot)

Best DJ ever!
We had such an awesome time and received so many compliments on our DJ.
Caitlin and Derek Brown  October 7, 2017  Fox Hill Inn (5 Stars on The Knot)

Best DJ ever! Been to so many weddings, and I'm so happy I chose STARRY NITE DJ! The best part of my wedding was the DJ!!
Kristina & Kraig Clark  July 8, 2017   Crystal Peak, Winstead (5 Stars - The Knot)

The best ever! Affordable and professional. Helped us run the night, down to the smallest of details. Kept everyone on the dance floor all night! Great at reading the audience. Tom is a great guy, and I'd hire him again in a heartbeat! Thank you, Tom! ❤️
Samantha and John Cataldo  September 2, 2017 La Bella Vista, Waterbury (5 Stars on the Knot)

My husband and I hired Tom Salatto as our DJ for our wedding on June 3, 2017 and he was phenomenal!! He was able to accommodate all the different styles of music we were looking for, from country to psychedelic rock, oldies and even the time warp! Tom is very knowledgeable when it comes to music and lots of fun to work with! I recommend Starry Nite DJs to all :)
Rachel and Walter Patineau   June 3, 2017    Gwyn Carig Inn - Pomfret (5 Stars - The Knot)

Tom, Thank you so much for being a part of our Big Day!!
We cannot thank you enough for being so easy to work with! We are so grateful that you chose our wedding as one of the weddings you did this year!
Crystal and Jason Woodworth   May 27, 2017   Maneeley's Ballroom (5 Stars - the Knot)

My husband and I hired Tom Salatto for our May 20, 2017 wedding, and we could not have picked a better DJ!
He was personable, professional, and prepared. From his website to our initial meeting through our follow up meeting and the performance at the wedding, Tom was the utmost professional. He really knew how to read the crowd. He helped us feel comfortable with the flow of events. He is truly a master of ceremonies. Tom listened and understood our music selection and taste in music, and he made sure that our wedding was the wedding of our dreams. He was an amazing MC and DJ. If you need a DJ for your next event, we highly recommend Tom Salatto at Starry Nite DJs.
Christen Rinaldi and Borin Lohn   May 20, 2017   Holcomb Farm Ballroom (5 Stars - The Knot)

Tom was our dj October 22nd. He was fantastic! We were so fortunate to have him at our wedding! The music selection was phenomenal and he had everyone dancing! Tom made our special day unique to my husband and I! I would hands down recommend tom for any wedding or special occasion!
Caitlin and Paul Burchfield   October 22, 2016   Maneely's Balroom  (5 Stars - The Knot)

Tom was our dj October 22nd. He was fantastic! We were so fortunate to have him at our wedding! The music selection was phenomenal and he had everyone dancing! Tom made our special day unique to my husband and I! I would hands down recommend tom for any wedding or special occasion!
Caitlin and Paul Burchfield   October 22, 2016   Maneely's Balroom  (5 Stars - The Knot)

Tom is awesome! He was the dj at our wedding in September and he was so organized throughout the whole planning process. While I had to reach out to other vendors to touch base on my own, he proactively reached out to us to check in periodically and made sure to capture every detail to make our day perfect. We got rave reviews about him from our guests, they absolutely loved the music mix as did I and he kept the crowd going and lively without being too pushy. Would definitely recommend him!
Rachel and Kurt Mancini   September 24, 2016   Aria Ballroom  (5 Stars on The Knot)

The Importance of an MC / Coordinator - Starry Nite DJs Best Tip

Starry Nite Bride's Tip #35 - The Importance of the Emcee / Coordinator
A bride called me from a Bridal Show - The DJ there DID NOT MC the Wedding (extra $$ for that!)...
The MC is the Master of Ceremonies - He's the one who runs things at your wedding. I'm the MC, and I coordinate Everything we planned in our sit down so that things work impeccably throughout your reception. The MC does all the announcements, coordinates all events during a reception, and communicates with you the entire night.

Bouquet & Garter Toss Incentive - Starry Nite Weddings

Want to add a little incentive to get guests to participate in the Bouquet/Garter Toss?

Instead of inviting just the single women invite ALL the women to the floor. Then let them know that whoever catches the Bouquet receives a Gift Card for Kohl's or Victoria Secrets. The guys can do the same with the Garter Toss!

The Importance of Meeting the Vendor Actually Playing Your Wedding

Why it is Very Important to Interview the Vendor Playing your Wedding!

You’ve done everything properly… Checked the references, brought your lists of questions to the first meeting. The man behind the table charmed you, gave you a discount “If you book today”. As the wedding day approached he might even contact you. He requests that you fax a sheet to him, to help Organize the Reception (I sit face-to-face to plan!).

Caring is Everything

Caring 101 - Your Vendor Should Care about Your Big Day!

I've built my business on one premise. I care about your Wedding Day. I understand the work, money and dreams you've invested in it, hoping itwill be wonderful. Any successful businessman will put Caring at the top of his list.

2 days ago I received a call from a DJ who wanted to work for me (this could be ANY vendor). His resume was impressive - had worked for the Big DJ Companies. I asked him how he got to know each bride. He paused...

Don't Get Nickel-&-Dimed into the Poorhouse by a Wedding Vendor!

Don’t Get “Nickel-and-Dimed” to Death! – Alright, I’m tired of hearing Vendor Horror Stories from uninformed brides. Take this Tip to heart, and carry it throughout the nauseating process of hiring Vendors. I’ll use a bride who recently signed me as a cautionary example. Take heed!

Choosing Your Wedding Party - Best Wedding Tips from Starry Nite DJs!

Tips on Choosing your Wedding Party...
If you're getting married in 2018, you need to book your wedding DJ and Photographer NOW! ...

1) Choosing your Wedding Party- Obviously, choose friends/family who are very close to you. If you cannot choose one Best Man or Maid of Honor, choose two! It’s perfectly acceptable

Backstreet's Back!

What an Amazing Wedding. Rachel and Scott at the Boathouse in Hartford.

When we were planning the wedding together they mentioned that some of their friends "might like to hear a Backstreet Boys son or two". I chuckled a bit at the time, but it's a request that's been creeping into weddings recently. I went home and pulled out all my son's (he's 25 now) old BSB and NSync CDs, and made sure I had all loaded on the computer, just in case...

JUST IN CASE happened very quickly last night.

Why a Club DJ Cannot Run Your Wedding...

Why a Club DJ Cannot play your Wedding

In my 26 years of spinning music in both Clubs and Wedding Venues I've learned one Grand Lesson, and if I can impart any bit of wisdom to you it's this... They are not the same! Time and again I've heard disappointed brides mumbling that the DJ from the bar down the street ruined their wedding. Here's why...

Centerpieces - Fantastic Unique Ideas...

Brides struggle to find the perfect centerpieces for the table...

Over the years I've seen Towering Vases overflowing with water and lillies and stones, vicariously hovering above the guests, I've seen very simple candles floating in elegant bowls.

Here are some of my favorites that might help you...
1) Being Italian, I love the tall vases stuffed with all types of Breadsticks and Munchies of various colors. Breadbaskets moved from the Buffet table also work here.

2) Instead of Cut flowers try using Potted flowering plants that will last forever

3) My Favorite - Potted Herbs (some flowering) gardens that provide flavor to the dinner, and make a wonderful addition tothe guests' kitchen.

4) Instead of flowers try interestingly shaped Pitchers at center, all filled with colorful drinks for the guests (Sangria, Wine, Punches)

5) Another Italian Favorite - Baskets stacked high with colorful and delicious fruits like lemons, apples, oranges, kiwi, etc.

6) I've done weddings for world travellers...each table represented a certain country, and the centerpiece was an icon forthat country (Eiffel Tower for France, Tower of Pisa for Italy, etc)

All 5 Hour Receptions Only $995... see more at

Don't Stress over the Parent Dances...

Don't Stress over Parent Dances...

I Sit with many couples who are concerned about the Parent Dances because their parents are divorced, remarried, or in an odd space.

Remember always that it is YOUR Wedding; YOU choose the events of your wedding, and you can discuss any personal concerns with me when we plan your wedding. Then we can plan properly.

The best policy is to discuss your concerns with your parent. Maybe you have "2 fathers" who want to dance with you. If they both are a part of your life, have 2 separate dances - one with the biological father, another with the Step-dad later in the evening.

Another successful answer would be to hold each parent dance at various times during dinner. Dinner starts at 7pm. Eat a bit, then announce the first Father dance and ask guests to join, if you want. Eat another course, then announce the step-dad dance. That way you're not "On Stage", as you would be in the beginning of the reception, and both fathers will be pleased.

But what if you don't have a dad to dance with? It's perfectly fine for the bride to dance with her mother (or some other person who played a significant role in her life - maybe a brother). It's all a Celebration of Love...a special time for Love to be shared.

Finally, you can Combine your Parent Dance with your Husband's Parent Dance, both couples dancing simultaneously to one song. And when you get tired or bored, nod to yourMC (me) and he'll motion for the DJ to fade the song, and ask for applause!
www.Starrynitedjs.com - Complete reception $900!

Why Choose Starry Nite DJs as your Wedding Entertainment?

Why Choose Us? 
Because We Party with You!... 

  1. This is YOUR wedding, and we know it, and we Work Together. You're looking for a special, intimate occasion.There are plenty of DJs out there claiming to be the best, but look closer. You may get someone from a "DJ conglomerate" who boast 25 DJs working for them, and will assign someone you've never spoken to mere days before your wedding. Or you might find the "Wonder Club Kid," who plays a great party - for 22-year-old bar patrons. With him any special attention to detail is kept at a minimum, and your wedding is a little extra cash in his pocket.

FAQ's - Here are answers to your most Frequently Asked Questions...

Why do you say the Entertainment Director (DJ/MC) is the Coordinator?

From the moment the announcements commence, the Entertainment Director - I hate "DJ"! -  runs the show - he must carry out, as Master of Ceremonies, the Reception as planned when the couple sat with him! This means working closely with the venue coordinator and the photographer all night. The MC / DJ coordinates each event in the Reception, and sees that the Bride gets her wedding.

Starry Nite DJ's (slightly older) Part Video - see what u get with us!

It's worth a Good Look!

Mango's Billie Jean Dance - Wright Wedding April 1, 2016

Beware the KNOT local Listings!

I don't pay the Knot. We've won Best of Weddings 2016, 2015 and 2014, against all odds, yet because since I don't pay the Knot a fee they bury my company. If you search for a Connecticut DJ on the Knot you'll never find us, even though we have more 5 Star Reviews there over the past 3 years than Anyone!...
Here are my Knot Reviews... Starry Nite DJs Knot Reviews   Cherish them and share them, please!

Girls, Don't Leave the Bookings to Him!

Starry Nite Bride's Tip #39 - Girls, Don't Leave the Bookings to Him!

So your Fiance' wants tobe involved in the Wedding Planning, and tells youthat since he "Knows Music" he'll hire the DJ...

WRONG! This is the most sexist thing I'll ever said, but it's for your own good...

*** Do Not Trust him to Hire anybody for your wedding! WHY?

The Sneak Cake Attack! - Starry Nite Weddings Best Tip

Starry Nite Tip #32- The Sneak Attack Cake Smash!
Remember your grandmother's old wedding photos? There was always one in there where your grandparents were flanked by their Best Man and Maid of Honor around the Wedding Cake.
Tell your Best Man and Maid that you'd like to take one of these Old-Fashioned pictures while you cut the cake.

Happy to keep the Prices down...

Running your own business is tough. Take your eye off one aspect (consider trad. marketing AND Social media marketing) and you fall behind, and you feel the guilt of not exposing potential clients to your services, which you believe are much better than the standard in the wedding industry.

Best First Dance (Bride / Groom) Songs past few years...

Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
All Of Me - John Legend
My Best Friend" - Tim McGraw
"The Best is Yet to Come" - Frank Sinatra
"If There's Love" - Citizen Cope

"Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" - 4 Seasons
"Inevitable" - Anberlin
"Come Rain or Come Shine" - Eric Clapton/B.B. King
"Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" - Aerosmith

Best Bouquet / Garter Songs!

Best Bouquet / Garter Toss Songs!

1. Beyonce – Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)

2. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
3. Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot
4. Shania Twain – Man! I Feel Like A Woman

Getting into Tom's Mind - Song Selection

Getting Inside a DJ's Head - Song Selection!           You might think it's easy! 

Put yourself in my shoes - An Aretha song is playing (or Pitbull), and the whole room is jumping - a hundred of your wedding guests on the dance floor, shaking it, having the most fun of their lives at your Celebration. Then you gaze into my booth and see me scrambling! My mission - to find the next great song that will keep this particular crowd hopping. Wow, what a responsibility - with one flop I can kill the party!

When the Bridal Party just WON'T Dance...

You can only do so much...
Sitting at the table to my extreme left was the entire Bridal Party - about 10 young men and women who had requested a bunch of songs that they swore they'd dance to.

That's important to me, because if the Bridal Party is out on the dance floor the bride and groom will join, then family members, etc. AND the point of me being there is to create a great dance environment.

They requested Top 40 and 90's Hip Hop. I started the dancing with some 60's and 80's; lots of the aunts, uncles, cousins and even grandmothers hit the dance floor. The Bridal Party sat, waiting for their time.