Chills, Thrills, and Mark Wills

Here at Selective Sound Entertainment, we are no strangers to big, extravagant events; including weddings! But when one of our grooms came to us with a “bigger than Texas”surprise for his soon to be wife, we knew we had to help him!

After initially connecting with the groom, Brad Hewitt, through A Taste of Excellence, he informed us that he wanted to surprise is fiancé with a performance from her favorite country singer, Mark Wills. The surprise was to all happen at the Cleveland Courthouse, where their wedding reception was held. We knew we had to not only help him pull this off, but make it a unique and personalized surprise for the couple of their special day.

Once Mark Wills was secured for the event, the fun really began. Along with Selective Sound Entertainment, Brad was also working with event planner extraordinaire, Maria Kovacevich, Elegant Events by Maria.

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The Set Up

After meeting several times with Brad and Maria, we decided on a plan. We were to have the MC/DJ set up and the instruments and band hidden during the entire ceremony and at the beginning of the reception. This was so that the bride and none of her guests would know what was going on. We did this with white panels that would be taken down right before Mark and his acoustic piano mate came in.

Now It’s the Bride’s Turn

The groom wasn’t the only one that wanted to surprise his new partner in life. The bride, Model, Melissa Baker, had a surprise up her sleeve as well. We worked on some videos of Melissa and Brad growing up as a surprise. We added two 70’’ LCD monitors so everyone could enjoy the show. A fun little addition the bride wanted was to use socialcast, which is live hashtag posts that show up on screens from everyone they knew, whether they were at the wedding or not.


3 Different Itineraries

Because the groom had a surprise for the bride and the bride had a surprise for the groom, we had to have three separate itineraries. One for the bride, one for the groom, and the real one for all the venders to follow to make sure everything went off without a hitch. Selective Sound Entertainment, we had to be super secretive since we went into multiple meetings and couldn’t hint anything to either of them.

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Show Time

We did sound check with Mark right before the reception. This was also tricky because we had to hide Mark from the bridal party and bride, who were walking around the venue for pictures. Once the reception started, the white panels came down and Mark was set up on stage with his acoustic keyboardist.

As for the bride’s reaction…well you can check it out below!

After Mark performed, he took pictures with almost everyone at the wedding. He later came up to us and said that when he saw the bride’s reaction, he started to get “choked up with emotion,” which was pretty cool to hear a celebrity say!

Some special touches we added were acoustically adjusting the music, uplighting, and feature lighting.

This event took more than 100 hours of planning and coordinating, just on our end, to make sure all of the surprises happened flawlessly. We were able to combine the groom’s surprise with the bride’s surprise for one epic celebration. Congratulations Brad and Melissa!

Worried About the Acoustics at Your Wedding? Here’s Our Advice.

Posted on April 27, 2016 in Akron Wedding DJ,Cleveland Wedding DJ

Its’s finally here:  Your wedding day! So far everyone has made it to the ceremony on time, pictures are turning out great, and the cake was more beautiful than you could have imagined it. Then, its time for your Grand introductions, followed by your father giving a heartfelt welcome to his only daughter and then your lifelong friend and Maid of honor giving her toast.  The problem… You could barely understand the introductions (your guests as well) and a lot of your guests couldn’t hear what your dad was saying or your sister…

How could this have happened?

cleveland wedding djs, akron wedding dj, akron wedding lighting, akron weddings, akron ohio

Photo: Making The Moment Photography

Brides and grooms spend so much time thinking about and planning their big day, but with some of the venues they choose, did they really give enough thought to making sure that the entertainment they chose for the big day had the proper equipment to handle the sound at the space they chose?

The sound at your event could end up being too quiet, muffled or even too loud, causing guests to feel uncomfortable and want to leave early. To make sure the sound doesn’t ruin your big day, take these steps to ensure the acoustics don’t take away from, but enhance your wedding day.

Types of buildings that are more difficult to achieve clear acoustics

Traditionally, buildings constructed before the 1930’s, that were usually constructed of marble and stone, are designed more to carry voices. Because of this, music tends to have an echo effect because the sound waves are bouncing around erratically.  If your entertainers do not know the correct way to balance the sound or place the speakers, this could be a recipe for a long night for your guests.

Great examples of venues with challenging accoustics: The Cleveland Courthouse and The Cleveland City Hall Rotunda

Courthouse After #7 copy


Other challenging venue sites include: barns, outdoor spaces, and non-traditional wedding reception sites. It’s extremely important to make sure you have hired the right people and they have the right equipment on hand so that people aren’t struggling to hear sound clearly.

How to improving the acoustics at a wedding or event

The best option for making sure your reception has the best sound possible, would be to meet with several different vendors to discuss your concerns.  In this industry, you may get plenty of vendors that tell you that they know what they are doing and they have played at these venues many times before, however don’t just take that for granted.  Make sure you get a few referrals from these previous events, or speak with the caterers that may be doing your reception to see if they have worked with them before.  Most experienced entertainment companies have the options of adding computer delayed satellite speakers. These will delay the main front speakers by allowing the system to calculate the building’s specs, it understands how to effectively utilize the sound equipment, giving you and your guests a lot less echo and a more pure, clear sound at your reception.

connybarn1           Photo credit : Making the Moment

When a venue looks great, but doesn’t sound so great

If your venue is the perfect setting, but just needs a little boost in the sound department, make sure you do you your research. Qualified sound technicians like Selective Sound Entertainment, will go though all of the proper steps with you to ensure a great sounding event.


ProTip: When selecting DJ’s, be sure to go with a company that will not just put speakers on the floor, but instead elevate them. This will ensure that guests will hear the sound at a comfortable level.  

Other things to be aware of

In most cases, your reception venue will not help you with sound acoustics. Also, if deciding to hire a band, understand that they are typically a lot louder than a traditional DJ. This not only can lead to headaches for you and your guests, but also could actually cause your guests to leave early.

If hiring a band, it is imperative to make sure that the band you have hired has qualified sound technicians that have this proper equipment to handle the space.

ProTip: Ask to speak with past brides or other clients about their experience with bands vs DJ’s. They are a great resource and can help you made an educated decision.

Bottom line

Do your research! Having great sound at your wedding can really bring the energy and ensure everyone has an enjoyable and entertaining time.



Some great officiants we just met.

Posted on April 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

Clients are always asking us who the recommend for officiants.  The below are a few names that we refer.


Why do we refer them… simple…because they have the talent and experience to deliver what YOU the client want and expect.




A room transformation in less than 20 hours

Posted on in Uncategorized

Check out our latest lighting design at Executive Caterers @ Landerhaven.  The amazing drapery was from Party Decor and none of this would be possible without the amazing planner from Elegant Events by Maria

With less than 20 total hours to transform the Grand Ballroom at Landerhaven.. this masterpieces was just breathtaking.  Selective Sound Entertainment & Lightscaping really took this one to the next level.  As one of Clevelands “top wedding lighting design firms” they truly know how to put the WOW into wow factor.


This bride thought her first dance was ruined… you won’t believe what happened next:

The Story

ON a late fall day in 2015, we had a meeting with a groom who had alot of unique ideas, however his bride to be, only knew about a few of them. He wanted us to plan a wedding knowing there would be a surprise for the bride that we had to keep this a secret. The groom had retained the services of Mark Wills, who was a multi platinum selling country artist. Mark Wills was the brides favorite artist and their first dance would include one of his tracks.

During this entire process there would have to be three timelines as the bride also had surprises for the groom. One timeline for the bride, one for the groom and one that neither of them could see, as it had all of the surprises together.

The Surprise:

Our original plan was to start the first dance song and have Mark sneak up and start singing the lyrics, however we thought it would be a better idea if we pretended their was a technical error in the song itself. We also talked about doing the dropping of the drape like they did in the Maroon 5 Sugar video, however we didn’t want to draw attention to the stage. It was indeed extremely difficult to conceal the stage, as we had to use 6 white facades to cover up the keyboard and sound equipment. The bride herself was upset when we came up to her (planned of course) and changed up the agenda with the formalities. We had to sneak Mark Wills into the courthouse itself where the reception was held.

In summary this wedding was an incredible amount of work, however Brad and Melissa were well worth it! We thank them so very much for letting Selective Sound and Maria from Elegant Events be trusted to put on such an incredible surprise and reception.

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