Selective Secrets – What Wedding Vendors Don’t Want You To Know – Part Two

Part Two: Atmosphere and Entertainment

We have all been to that wedding. The one where the DJ is playing some outdated, drab songs that no one wants to dance to. The décor is lack luster, the atmosphere is dull, and most importantly the dance floor is empty. There is nothing worse, coming from a DJ’s perspective, then looking out over a room and seeing that empty, cross-hatched wooden pattern with no one on it.

Ever wondered how to pack a dance floor at your wedding so you can avoid this catastrophe?

When it comes to choosing entertainment, weather a band or DJ, experience and talent isn’t something to thumb your nose at. This is what truly makes the noticeable difference, especially on the dance floor.

In our series of Selective Secrets, we will take a look at MC/DJ entertainment and how it is vital to trust someone that has the talent and experience to get your guests on the dance floor having fun.

The Reality – What average wedding guests will expect:

– some type of chicken/green beans with almonds in them, and roasted red skin potatoes for dinner

– an average bar with bottom-shelf liquors they cannot pronounce

– traditional wedding cake

– a DJ playing the same music you have heard at the last three weddings you attended

– the clock strikes 10 PM and most guests are on their way out the door

The common denominator in all these factors? Atmosphere. The way you build the evening and how it flows with the quality of entertainment will make or break your reception.

Atmosphere is something that is created and takes planning. It is the order of events, music, and the flow of the event that will change your guests attitudes about your wedding reception. You can have the cheapest food, well drinks, cheap venue with little décor or natural appeal, and still have an unforgettable reception.

Experience, talent, and creativity are the key factors that make your wedding entertainment unique. Having an experienced DJ/entertainer that knows how to read a crowd and build the atmosphere with a creative twist will guarantee the dance floor is never empty.

Now you may be asking, how do I assure I have the right person for my wedding? Fear not – we are here to help:

Step #1 – interview your entertainment in person. Check out their references and what people are saying online. Use resources like WeddingWire and The Knot to find out the kind of experience others had with them. Deciding on your entertainment based on price could be highly detrimental in the end. People will quickly remember a bad wedding reception and what made it miserable.

Step #2 – Make sure who ever is doing the announcements at your wedding has all spellings and pronunciations correct ahead of time. It is highly embarrassing for all parties when the mother of the groom has her name mispronounced. Meet with your MC/DJ personally.

Step #3 – Listen to the ideas your MC/DJ may present. Keep in mind that they get paid to party. They know what makes a party fun and what can kill the vibe instantly. They want to make your wedding as fun and memorable as possible. The more fun they are having the more fun your guests will have.

Step #4 – Don’t be afraid to push the envelope. Use your input with what you like and don’t like, but leave the rest up to the DJ/MC. This is what makes the party when the true talent reflects how great they can read the dance floor.

*Side note: Surely you could fill out a DO NOT PLAY list, however because you are meeting with your MC/DJ directly, they are going to get a better idea of what you don’t like, which in turn will eliminate a ton of music that you may not want played.  The last thing you want is some song you cannot stand. Or worse, the fight song of your rival college (it always happens that someone will request it in good fun, but be safe!)

Step #5 – Sit back and enjoy. Once you have done all the prep work you can assure your entertainment will be on pace for the whole night. When it comes to the actual wedding day you will have a million other things to worry about – don’t let this be one of those issues. Your guests will have a great time and the compliments will come rolling in.

Selective Sound is an  Cleveland Ohio based DJ entertainment company that is here to help you. These are the basics of what makes a wedding great. We strongly believe in these steps – so much that we are giving them away for free!

On top of that, we are going to give you some bonus wedding tips for building a memorable atmosphere. These are some Selective Sound tips that we have used for years. Tis the season of wedding giving:

– We open the dance floor with a slow song to pack the floor. This always gets the couples out early, guaranteed. There is a tasteful way of doing this to guilt the guests into dancing.. (Ask us how)

– We play the most incredible upbeat mix of dinner music to keep your guests tappin’ their toes and feeling fresh from the cocktail hour.

– We structure the reception so that things move along very smoothly.

– We get the dance floor filled before/while desserts are served. Why wait till guests are bored to tears.

– We put our DJ in the front of the dance floor so that we can see how the guests are reacting. This also allows for guests to put in song requests easily. No need for us to be on a stage.. we aren’t the centerpiece of the reception.

– Our extensive music library allows for playing all the classics with the most up-to-date hits. We can also mix in shorter edits of songs with the chorus so you can get to the good part of those old school songs and play almost double the amount of music that you normally would dance to at a reception.

In summary, the truth of the matter is, none of these are “real secrets”. If you hire an experienced professional, they will know how to build a memorable atmosphere and a party that your guests will never forget.

Want more Selective Secrets? Check out our other blog post on how to pick the perfect photo booth for your wedding.

With over 29 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Selective Sound is truly one of the most experienced companies in Northeast Ohio, let alone the state. We are the wedding DJ company you are looking for. We are here to help you above anything else.

*All photos from Selective Sound weddings courtesy of Making The Moment, Marc Anthony Photography, and Genevieve Nisly

Smoothest Groom Dance Ever?

Posted on May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

You be the judge. This groom has some slick moves. Ladies, it is time to take your groom to some dance classes so he can move like this!


Selective Secrets – What Wedding Vendors Don’t Want You To Know

Part 1: The Truth Behind The Booth

The wedding industry is a unique environment unlike any others. You have many different companies competing to work at the lowest cost to you. These businesses each have their own specialty – entertainment, floral, venue, dress, cake, and limo services just to name a few. Without one, the other could fail. You could have the most beautiful venue (like the Cuyahoga County Courthouse), but without proper lighting and audio, it will be drab and unappealing. You can have bridesmaids dressed in the perfect color to match your motif, but if the flowers clash, what good is it?
There are a lot of factors that play into making your wedding successful. Based on what we have learned from being in the wedding industry for over 25 years, we can pin point what you need, who you need, and what to avoid when it comes to bringing your perfect day together.

It is now time for Selective Sound to share these years of knowledge with you. Why would we do this? Because we want to have just as good a time at your wedding as you do! Of course we will be working, but who is to say you can’t have fun at work? It is a wedding after all!

This post is going to focus on a part of the wedding that has seem to become a staple in recent years: The photo booth.

Why A Photo Booth

A photo novelty (photo booth, green screen, slow motion booth, video booth) is a great way to provide an alternative form of entertainment for your guests. If they aren’t big dancers, they surely will have some fun behind the curtains.

Three Most Common Types of Photo Booths

  1. Standard 2 person seated photo-booths (enclosed)
  2. Open air (no drape) photo booths
  3. Open air (draped) photo booths


Open Air Photo Booths

One of the things most open air (no drape) photo booth companies don’t want you to know is that guests don’t frequent the photo booth until later after dinner, generally after a few drinks. This means that you are paying the same rate for minimal usage during the cocktail hour and dinner. When you have an open booth without any drape, guests can see you posing and messing around, which decreases the chances that they will want to visit the booth at the fear of embarrassment.


If your wedding reception has roughly 150 guests, you can figure nearly half of them will want to take a photo. Some companies limit the amount of prints you are allowed for the night. Older photo systems and cheap booth printing can limit the amount of prints, which is why they may stop you at 80-100 photos. Most entry level companies will use a standard ink jet printer, which is not ideal for photo booth printing. Imagine if you brought your home printer to the wedding to print 100 photos. It can already be a nightmare just trying to print a few pages in your office let alone full resolution pictures on photo paper. The time it would take can be up to two minutes per page. And we have all been there when you run out of color ink at home…

When it comes to the camera, what do you think is the best option? Would you use a tiny webcam to take a photo that you want to look professional? If your photo company uses a $20 webcam, how do you think the photos will look? You already know the answer. You want a company that uses a high pixel per inch DSLR camera and external flash. This way you get the photos that are professional lighted and in focus.

Photo Booth Prices

The cost of your photo booth is important. Price also reflects quality. If someone is charging $395 for a photo booth, you can bet they are using a cheap camera, cheap paper (possibly not real photo paper at all), cheap ink, and low-resolution printers.

Placement Of The Booth

The venue will generally tell you, “Just place the photo booth in the back corner so it is out of the way” when they generally do not have an interest in where you want the booth to be. They are looking for functionality of their services, food, and drink. The best place to put the photo booth hands down is right next to the bar. This will be the most trafficked part of the venue. After all, you did pay for the booth, you need to get its moneys worth! Always remember the old saying – out of site, out of mind.

Photo Technician

Be careful as some photo booth companies will tell you there will be someone there onsite, but how helpful are they really? What training do they have? Do they know how to fix the machine if/when it goes down? Do they know how to interact with the guests and step inside the booth each time and assist them with setting up the photo-booth system? Do they know how to print extra photos and how they can get the guests to add them into the scrapbook? If you have an experienced technician, you are going to get a ton more pictures and happy guests.


We will make this one easy. You need some props. Props are what make people laugh! Giant sunglasses, wigs, signs, hats, etc. It makes guests feel like they are someone else hidden behind a mask – and that’s when the fun pictures start to develop!

How To Find The Best Value

First: Look for a booth that is enclosed and that can provide privacy for your guests so they can be themselves behind a curtain. Make sure that the booth can be built onsite so you can fit it just about anywhere. Some older booths have issues with being able to fit into spaces and elevators.

Next: Look for a booth that fits your décor. This is important that you make sure it’s elegant and classy as well as extremely efficient.

Lastly: look for a photo-booth company that has printers that are dye sublimation vs. standard inkjet as printing will be extremely efficient and fast. The printers we use produce two prints at a time that are each 2×6 inches with up to four photos per strip. Average print time is six seconds for a photo strip. This means less waiting for your prints, and more guests can enjoy the booth.

Digital Photos

Make sure you get a copy of your digital photos. The photo booth company should be able to provide you with a UBS drive or DVD disc with your images. In addition, make sure your service posts the pictures for free downloads for your guests. Don’t forget to make sure your guests know where to download the pictures.

These are the Selective Secrets to choosing a photo booth. If you have any questions or want to hear more about the photo booths we offer, feel free to contact us. There are always more secrets we might reveal!

This article was written by Jeremy “Jay R” Rich – VP of Sales & Founder of Selective Sound Entertainment. Selective Sound Entertainment is the sister company of Rock The House. This article was written on opinions from being in the business since 1987 and is not based on exact facts.

We Provide Entertainment, But What Else Do You Need?

Posted on January 22, 2015 in Akron Wedding DJ,Cleveland Wedding DJ,Uplighting

So this is the year for your big day. You are probably about six months out and locking down your vendors, flowers, entertainment, and venue. We are here to save you lots of time, and more importantly lots of headaches. No we aren’t going to toot our horn about our entertainment value. We don’t need to. You already know Selective Sound is going to provide the best music, lighting, and entertainment for your wedding. We want to talk about how you can save yourself the hassle of everything else you need.

Julie Elizabeth Event Styling can help you plan the add-ons to your wedding at an affordable price with high quality service. Julie has her degree with interior design, so she understands the room. She can help create, design, and decorate any space to give you the grand wedding you might be looking for.

Here is an example of Julie’s repertoire:

– Event Design

– Centerpiece Design

– Rentals – Linens – Tablecloths, overlays, napkins, chair covers, etc.

– Chiavari chair caps and sashes

– Charger Plates

– Vases and Candleholders

– Centerpieces and Candelabras

– Personalized Stationary – Save-the-dates, invitations, place cards, menus, etc.

– Floral Arrangements

– Creative Consultations

– Event Planning Services

The above services are perfect for not only weddings, but birthday parties, showers, bar and bat mitzvahs, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, and special occasions.

We have worked with Julie several times and every time we see a bride talk to her, there is a special glow and smile that you just don’t see at every wedding.

Julie is easy to work with, and that is why we highly recommend her services. Our mission of providing couples with the most elegant wedding day without any hassle is perfectly inline with Julie’s work. Visit her website and set up a meeting to see how she can help add that special touch to your wedding day. Check out our services to see how we can make your wedding a reception no one will ever forget!

Selective Sound and Marigold Catering – An Unbeatable Duo

Posted on January 12, 2015 in Cleveland Wedding DJ,Uncategorized

Catering Done Right With Service To Match

When you are in an industry like ours, word of mouth references become a big part of the business you gain. Every now and then we like to do a special thanks to some of the best people we know in the wedding business.

Marigold Catering have been providing their services to weddings and other events for the past 14 years. They have been a staple in the wedding world and we have had the pleasure of working with them on hundreds of events.

Starting in 1997, Joan Rosenthal began her catering business with a simple idea: Provide good food for events where catering is not readily available. This has blossomed into the business that was named Cleveland’s Top Off-Site Caterer by CBC Magazine.

Our relationship with Marigold Catering has been going on as long as they have been around. We both have an understanding for the wedding industry, which is to provide high quality standards and collaborate with others to create a unique experience for every guest at the reception.

If you are looking for the best catering service in the Cleveland area, we highly suggest Marigold Catering. They are one of the best in the business and will make your special day even more magical.

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