Should I go ahead with my wedding during this pandemic?

So weddings are going on as promised.   As a Local Cleveland wedding DJ company we have been actively doing weddings for almost a month now.  The “norm” is no longer the normal….. or is it?

We cannot tell you to go ahead with your wedding as we all know things are changing day by day, state by state, county by county.   We do know that more of our couples are dropping the venues and putting up tents and getting married at their home or a family members property.   This is all well and good, but if you think you can plan a last minute wedding for 100+ people in a tent, your most likely going to be way over your head.. Hire a planner without second guessing it, make sure its a full time planner as they will help you in ways you thought would never be possible.  It will be the best money you will have never saved.

We did an interview with many of our MCs and DJs that have been doing weddings in the field for the past month.. Check out the questions and answers below:

Question: What is the main difference between doing weddings now than last year?

Answer:  1/2 way through the wedding, you would barely know there was a pandemic. It all starts out safe and then that all goes out the window.   So the only true difference is the set up of the dining tables, ceremony chairs and bar.  Everyone is doing things differently, so there is not right and wrong way.

Question: What is the average number of guests you have seen attend?

Answer:  Average number depends on venue size.  Most weddings are at 40-50% of original numbers.

Question: Who’s job is it to keep everyone social distanced? 

Answer: Technically the venue or caterer is responsible for enforcing the rules.   We have seen many caterers and venues try to enforce this at first and then they just don’t have the staff to do what needs to be done to keep this enforced.  A few of our weddings actually pulled the staff off of the floor the last few hours.  As the order reads right now for the state of Ohio, the liquor license/operating license/food license can be suspended if they are caught not enforcing this.

Question: What about photo booths..  what are you doing to keep it safe.

Answer:  We use brand new props so when it comes to the props, when someone uses them, they then go right into the trash..  As for keeping it safe,  for most cases we are bringing rope and stancions and our technicians have been coached on keeping distance in the line, how many go into the photo booth, and mask wearing

Question: I have seen pictures of many weddings where they are wearing their masks, however you say that they are all taking them off later in the night. 

Answer:  110% absolutely.. you may have a few older folks wearing them, but we have yet to see anyone but us and the help wearing them after dinner when dancing starts

Question: I am super worried that no one will dance at my wedding as my hall said they aren’t putting up a dance floor.

Answer:  No worries there.. we always make them clear a spot and with our extremely talented DJs, your guests will be dancing on chairs and tables before the end of the night.. GUARANTEED!

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.   info@selectivesound.com

 

 

 

 

Silent Discos – Yay or Nay?

Silent Disco – Is this a “Millennial Thing” only?

A Brief History

Before we discuss the pro’s and con’s of Silent Discos let’s talk about where the idea came from. If you do a little digging you’ll find the silent disco was an idea used in a Japanese sci-fi story back in the 1960’s, titled “The Summer of 1993”. Then this idea branched off and was used by eco-activists in the early 90’s in Paris. Headphones were worn at outdoor parties in hopes to minimize noise pollution as well as not to disturb local wildlife. The silent disco concept really took off in the late 1990’s in Europe. From Paris to London, silent discos were popping up everywhere and finally made they’re way into the US in the early 2000’s.

Infrared headphones used for Silent Disco

What on earth is a Silent Disco??

A silent disco is where 2 or more DJ’s spin and all of the sound is transmitted to the crowd through infrared wireless headphones. The headphones have channels on them so that every disco goer can decide which music they want to listen to at any time. Don’t like the music? Simply change the station with the click of a button…pretty much like changing the radio station in your car.

Don’t headphones limit the social aspect of a party?

Not really. If anything, we believe the social aspect is heightened by the headphones in many ways. First, if you want to have an actual conversation at this type of party, you can. There’s no need to scream over the music. Want to make new friends but you’re on the introvert side? This new form of entertainment can help.  Silent discos are known to be a “judgement-free zone” world-wide. The mentality behind this phenomenon is to completely loose yourself in the music with other like-minded people around you. There is also a great deal of mingling at these types of events and moving around from group to group due to wanting to dance with people listening to the same thing as you.  There’s also a lot of “Hey, switch over, you have got to hear this!”

DJ's spinning at silent disco
Girls smiling and dancing at a silent disco

What should I expect from a Selective Sound Entertainment Silent Disco?

First of all, an amazing time and superior quality! You can choose to have one DJ or up to four since our headphones have four channels. If you choose to only have 1 or 2 DJ’s then we can fill the other channels with preset playlists. This is a fantastic option for multi-generational events. For the younger crowd we can put a playlist on with all of today’s hits and on another channel we can play a mix of Motown and disco. Honestly, the options for mixes are endless and you can tell us what you prefer to have on them.

Our headphones change colors based on what channel you’re listening to. What’s exciting for us to see is when a group starts to get really pumped on one channel and others around take notice. Curiosity hits and channels start changing to see what all of the excitement is about. This excitement becomes contagious with everyone in the room, even with the DJ’s. The DJ battle is on!

So…. Yay or Nay? Is the Silent Disco just a “Millennial thing”?

Our vote is a “nay”, silent discos are NOT just for millennials. While we do believe that it’s popularity is mostly among millennials right now, we really do believe, that so many more people from all generations enjoy this. We also believe that Gen Z will most likely make this phenomenon boom like never before. With that said, there’s no reason why Boomers can’t enjoy this form of sound technology as well. As En Vogue once sung, “Free Your Mind and the rest will follow”. At SSE, we encourage you to give at least one silent disco a try during your lifetime. It’s truly a refreshing and freeing way to enjoy music with friends and strangers alike. When everyone puts on those headphones the excitement becomes contagious and the atmosphere is crazy fun!

Have you ever been to a silent disco? We would love to hear about it! Leave us a comment below.

Want to set up a silent disco for your next event? Contact us here! Selective Sound has everything you’ll need to make it a success!

Group of people dancing their own way at silent disco

The Anatomy of a Song Request

Wedding Song Request 101
Have you ever gone up to the wedding DJ to place your song request? If so, why did you make the request? Was it because you wanted to dance to it or just wanted to hear your song? Did you think more people would get up and dance if your song was played? What were you thinking at that time?

So you’re probably wondering “what’s with all the questions about my song request?” Well, some people simply don’t think before they request a song at a wedding. Listen…wedding DJ’s understand that everyone has their favorite songs, and if their job was about making everyone happy they would play every song requested. However, that’s not their job…not even a little bit. The couple has hand selected their DJ company and have entrusted them to pack the dance floor all night long. Trust us, this isn’t the DJ’s first rodeo. Selective Sound DJ’s have skills like none other when it comes to getting a room full of people to dance.

Now, if for some reason you just have to make that song request, then for the LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE take a look at the top 10 1/2 reasons why the DJ may not play your request.

Song request Denied!

Here are the Top 10 1/2 Reasons Why…

1.No one can dance to your requested song…

Example: Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Sure, it’s one the greats. However, these songs are best at the bar or around the campfire. If we play this, the dance floor is going to be empty and the bar tender is about to be overwhelmed. An empty dance floor is not what the couple paid the DJ for. The only way we’re playing something like this is if it was a request from the couple and at the end of night.

2. Just because you’re the closest family member to the couple doesn’t mean your request will get played any faster. Listen Aunt Ginny, we know you’re more important than everyone else but we just don’t care. We’ll get to your song when we get to it.

3. We won’t play a song just because you say it’s the bride’s favorite.

You have to do better than this. If this was the bride’s favorite song she would’ve told us this during one of our numerous meetings.

4. Novelty Songs

Example: The Hokey-pokey/The Chicken Dance.  If we don’t play these it’s because the couple gave us strict instructions not to. Believe it or not, some couples just can’t stand these songs. And management isn’t willing to take an angry bride call due to the chicken dance.

5. Non-danceable radio pop hit.

Example: “Marry You” by Bruno Mars. Sure it’s a fun song and we think it’s cute too. However, when is the last time you tried to actually dance to it? I’m picturing a hot mess like Elaine, how about you?

6. Inappropriate Lyrics

“Lick it like a lollipop” or “Bitch I’m a N***er” may send GramGram to her grave tonight. So unless the couple tells us to, we’re going to let her live one more night.

7. “This was my wedding song”

Well isn’t that precious? You’re so conceited that you just have to relive your special day through someone else’s. How about you let us play what this couple wants to hear? They paid us, not you. Move it along Karen…

8. It has the bride’s name in it.

“Oh Sarah”….oh poor poor Sarah. Sue, Brandi, Jessie… Chances are, these ladies begged us not to play this on their special day.

9. Trying to send a message.

Example: “Congratulations” by Post Malone. Yeah….you can bob your head to it, but you can’t dance to it. Trust us, the happy couple has most likely been congratulated by everyone in the room already. By the way, this song has NOTHING to do with a happy marriage.

10. Don’t wait until the last half hour to request a song.

First of all, this should REALLY be a no-brainer. But for those with no brains and must have an explanation here ya go: The bride and groom typically have a closing song they’ve already picked out and other requests (from those folks with brains) that still need to be played.

And a Half…
Firstly, please don’t try to bribe the DJ with money. Your dollar bill is cute and all but our main focus is to keep the dance floor packed and the couple happy. Secondly, don’t feel like you have to request a song. Just enjoy yourself, we’ve got this!

We don’t mind playing song requests…honestly, we don’t. We just ask that you be mindful before you start throwing songs out. Remember, our role at this wedding is to specifically keep the party moving at all times. If the dance floor isn’t packed, then we’ve failed. And we, at Selective Sound Entertainment, refuse to fail.

Cleveland wedding entertainment review

Recent Cleveland Wedding Entertainment Reviews

Starting The Year Off Right

When it comes to the Cleveland Wedding DJ Business there’s a seasonality-based flow to what our years are like for us. Because of the weather in Northeast Ohio and venue availability, those of us who are in-demand find ourselves very busy with the final planning and celebrations that peak between May and October. November and December cool down with the frequency our teams are performing while our sales team starts to really pick-up with initial meetings. By the end of December, our team is ready to take some time off after another very successful year.

knot Ohio wedding entertainment

When going through our non-critical e-mails at the top of the year, we saw a wedding entertainment review that has since been passed around the office quite a bit. It reflects the experience a groom had at his December wedding as well as a year’s worth of planning with us. His point person and entertainer was Jeremy, Jay R, Rich.

Jay R is the founder of Selective Sound Entertainment. He is just one of the many entertainers that we have and is also likely the humblest one. This review is very glowing of Jay R. because he was the right entertainer for this family. It wasn’t because he’s always the very best for everyone. While this review made him very happy, he didn’t share it with the rest of the team to toot his own horn. Rather, Jay R knows that inspiration at this time of the year is vital to the team. Seeing the results of our shared work is what fuels us to deliver consistent world-class wedding entertainment.

We’re going to share some of Kevin K.’s words with you here as well as a little commentary. Our hope is that it will give you helpful context while planning your own wedding. We think it would be amazing that when your wedding day is done you’ll have similar joyful sentiments that Kevin shared with our team about his experiences.

Here’s the breakdown of this brilliant wedding entertainment review:

Jay R is a 10 because I literally can’t think of anything I’d change about our experience.

We know that if you go into your wedding day with the right mindset, you’re almost certain to have a good time. That means you have trust and confidence that everyone helping to make your vision real will do just that. The secret to having clients often say “I can’t think of anything I’d change” is a simple one…we listen! The reason they think everything happened just the way they wanted is because they helped define what success looks like and we followed that playbook. It’s the result of never performing in a cookie cutter style.

Some things we especially liked: – Jay R was extremely responsive via all forms of communication.

This is a point of pride for us and something that we think speaks to our actual work on the day of your wedding. We listen, respond, and are accommodating in all points concerning your wedding. It’s not just a performance attitude, it’s our way. We think our clients deserve that level of respect because those working on your event are in the world of hospitality. There is a right way and a wrong way with very little gray area when it comes to service.

Jay R was perfectly accommodating of our requests, but he was also real with us (in a way that was polite yet clear) about the things that, in his experience, typically ‘work’ for weddings — something we newbies really appreciated. 

finger pointing to happy emoji due to great wedding entertainment review

This makes us so happy! It’s such a fine line with what we do. We’re service professionals. This means our place is to create the vision you desire. However, we must also be up front with you about the realities of your vision. Service is on one side and professional is on the other. If you don’t understand where we come from with that, it might seem like we’re being negative or not supportive of your ideas. Kevin got it right here, though. When you pay true professionals, you get their council, recommendations, and honesty. With decades of experience, we hope everyone understands that you can benefit greatly from hearing our perspective.

 

It was such a relief to have Jay R for our ceremony, which went perfectly; his mic-jobs (two lapel mics, one on a stand) were perfect and discreet – True to his word, Jay R vamped one of our processional songs with a smooth cross-fade that probably zero people noticed.

Kevin admits to being a newbie but he’s pretty savvy! We know our clients are smart, pay attention, and know what they want. It doesn’t matter that they’ve never hired a DJ before. It’s likely they’ve been paying attention to what matter the most to them with entertainment and sound for years. He also brings up another important aspect of what we offer – ceremony sound. As much as you can’t wait to have your meal and get on the dance floor, the vows are what we’re really here for. To have sound issues that exclude anyone from that special moment would be beyond disappointing. We take microphone placement, testing, and connections very seriously.

Jay R didn’t just care about getting his own job done and getting outta there; he seemed to have all vendors’ itineraries in his head at once — he was essentially our point man for the entire evening, for all things, not just music (and in that way, he partly helped us to plan the wedding!).

This is exactly how we define what an Emcee does. A DJ plays music. Making in the moment decisions between what’s been asked and what’s resonating with a crowd makes a DJ great. They also make sure everyone is having a good time. An Emcee can have these skills as well in addition to a host of other responsibilities. Exactly what Kevin stated in his review is what our Emcees focus on. We make sure there is cohesion with all wedding professionals so that you don’t have to micro-manage your big day.

The extent to which Jay R interacted with the crowd was just right — I wouldn’t have asked for any more or any less.

Jay R interacted with Kevin’s crowd uniquely. Meaning, he acts differently at every wedding he performs at. Nothing is cookie cutter when it comes to being a great DJ and Emcee. There isn’t a right and a wrong way to engage a wedding dance floor because it’s more art than science. A great Cleveland Wedding DJ uses the planning process to get to know the couple’s preferences. Then, he weighs that against the emotional responses he sees from the crowd as they react to music and engagement. It’s a balance between listening skills and experience which turns into muscle memory. It’s all the things an iPod can’t do!

One of our favorite things: we made a lot of Play-If-Possible song requests that probably weren’t very wedding-friendly (e.g. the full studio version of Richard Harris’s ‘MacArthur Park’), but Jay R managed to play a truly amazing percentage of them, and all at the perfect moments

wedding lighting Ohio Deep cuts, niche artists, and non-dance friendly music are frustrating to a lot of wedding entertainers…but not us! We make sure we’re all on the same page. Meaning that our main goal is making sure the most amount of people at your wedding are enjoying the music. Now that doesn’t mean there isn’t ways to introduce them to some of your favorites. That’s why we have lists of “Must Play”, “Never Play” (where the Chicken Dance often ends up), and “Play If Possible”.

Thorough communication and the sharing of mutual expectations, we ensure there’s a win/win for every wedding reception.

Jay R was immediately responsive to the movements (as it were) of the dance floor; he’d start a song and, if it wasn’t catching, smoothly beat-match it with another song and move on.

Honestly, Kevin is one of those clients who really pays attention to these details and we love it. He’s describing something most guests wouldn’t articulate this accurately but they’d instantly know when it wasn’t right. Our Cleveland Wedding DJ’s have honed skills over years of experiences with diverse crowds. What he’s describing is exactly what went down but most guests just knew they had a good time.

To top it all off, Jay R has a cheerful personality and a great sense of humor!

The secret to this one is loving what you do. There’s a level of stress involved with performing that never goes away regardless of how many engagements you’ve had as an entertainer. You only get one shot to make a wedding go well and there’s many variables. With all that, we know we have the privilege of doing what we love. Getting to do the thing you enjoy and are good at makes the whole process more fun for everyone. We’re definitely glad that adds something extra for our clients.

A few of our (older…) wedding guests mentioned that the music volume was just a touch loud, but I thought it was perfect, considering the event (and I have sensitive hearing!).

Ha! Well, we’ll take the constructive feedback! That’s what a wedding entertainment review is for, right? There’s a lot of subjectivity when it comes to entertainment. We do our best to please the most amount of people as we can but people are all built differently. Consider this feedback when you are working on your seating charts.

 

All in all, this is one of our favorite reviews because it articulates so many of the areas we believe are vitally important for a successful wedding reception. Contact us today if you’d like to have an experience like this. Nothing would make us happier than to read your positive wedding entertainment review of our work!

Click here if you would like to read Kevin Kane’s wedding entertainment review in its entirety.

Wedding bistro lighting at Windows on the River

Windows on the River: Exceeding Expectations

Spotlight Cleveland Wedding Venue: Windows on the River

This month, Selective Sound has chosen to highlight Windows on the River, and for good reason. This highly sought after Cleveland wedding venue shares a very personal and similar work ethic goal. This single goal makes both companies top notch, highly respected, and referred by clients time and time again. Exceeding client expectations every single time is what makes Windows on the River an exceptional Cleveland wedding venue. With over 25 years of experience, the sales staff at Windows on the River are masters of planning as well as making sure no detail gets missed. It’s not just a few people trying to ensure your wedding day is perfect. It’s every member in the organization which truly shows at every event.

A Gorgeous Waterfront Cleveland Wedding Venue

If we had to use one word to describe Windows on the River we would choose “stunning”. With high ceilings, exposed brick and tall arched windows, this venue has the capability of molding itself to any style. From modern to elegant, Windows on the River won’t disappoint. Incredible views of Cleveland’s skyline and gorgeous sunsets will undoubtedly wow your guests as they take it all in from the private outdoor patios.

Looking to add a truly unique element to your special day? The coordinators at Windows on the River will help you with the rental process for the Greater Cleveland Aquarium for your cocktail hour. This is sure to have your guests talking for years to come! To ensure that they do, you may want to consider adding live music for ambiance. However, if you don’t have plans to utilize the aquarium then live music would also be an excellent choice for your guests to enjoy on the private patio. From a string quartet to acoustic guitar and vocalist, Selective Sound Entertainment has a wide range of live music for you to choose from.

Thanks to Genevieve Nisly Photography for this gorgeous picture!

Enhancing a Venue that is Near Perfect

Enhancing perfection is what Selective Sound Entertainment, Cleveland’s leading wedding entertainment company, does day in and day out. We are also no strangers to Windows on the River. Infact, we are actually one of their preferred Cleveland wedding DJ companies to work with. Again, that shared work ethic goal. With that said, here is how we have helped past couples enhance their special day at this venue.

Lighting

No matter which room you choose at Windows on the River, the right lighting will undoubtedly elevate the beauty of each one. The architecture is fantastic. In fact, it’s probably one the reasons why you chose this venue so you will surely want to highlight it.

The Cityview Room can be easily enhanced with LED uplighting to enhance the brick, walls and support beams. Pin spot lighting is also a nice touch to show off your centerpieces and gorgeous cake. This room is also large enough to be able to utilize club lighting on the dance floor as well as Feature spot lighting for the grand introductions and speeches and more.

The Bridgeview room can also be enhanced with LED uplighting. However, if you want to make a different type of statement, custom string lighting through the middle of the room looks fantastic. Want a truly romantic and elegant atmosphere? Chandeliers are the perfect choice!

Some Unique Touches

Sometimes, with all the brick, couples want to find a way to add a little softness to the area. Custom draping is a simple yet elegant solution. Not only will the draping add a soft touch but it can also add a lovely element behind the head table. The draping can even be highlighted with uplighting. For a more unique touch our lighting team can create a personalized gobo to shine on the draping. Not using draping, but interested in a customized gobo? No problem! Let’s shine it on the dance floor for all to see!

If you would like to see how this experienced Cleveland wedding DJ and entertainment company can help you enhance Windows on the River contact us here! We would love to talk with you further about other special entertainment features to add to your special day!