Photo of SSE Founder, Jay R Rich - 13 planning tips for Cleveland weddings

Quick Tips That Will Help A Lot when Planning Cleveland Weddings

We interviewed the founder of Selective Sound Entertainment, Jeremy “Jay R” Rich, to ask him questions we knew would help couples planning Cleveland Weddings. Watch all or only the ones you need the answers to the most.

What Can Lead To Regrettable Wedding Entertainment?

Research your wedding DJ’s or live music, look for value and not just the cheapest price, and making sure to meet your potential partner first are three key tips to having less regrets when securing a wedding entertainer in Cleveland.

When Can Lighting Ruin a Cleveland Wedding Reception?

Lighting can hurt the look you desire for your wedding instead of helping if you select a vendor that doesn’t have a true background in lighting. Understanding the effects of color and how light changes spaces for photography are a few other things to consider before choosing a lighting vendor for your Cleveland wedding.

What Can Sound Amplification Do to a Wedding?

With the proper sound amplification at a wedding, you can ensure that your ceremony vows will be heard. In addition to that crucial service, a sound engineer can make sure nervous people know what they are doing with the microphones and there is always extra equipment in case something happens. This is especially important for those summer or fall Cleveland weddings.

What are couples biggest regrets years after their wedding?

The last thing we want to see are couples regretting the choices they’ve made for their wedding even if they aren’t our clients. Because we’ve been in the industry for so long, we’ve heard all the pains of couples who wished they had made difference decisions. One of the most frequent regrets is not buying videography in some form for their wedding. Likewise, sometimes the vendors they ended up with weren’t the best fit for them in reality. These issues and more are possibly avoidable as long as you do your best to educate yourself before hand.

Why is talking about your wedding budget important?

If you’re planning your wedding right, you should get everyone on the same page when it comes to your budget as soon as possible. If you get everyone involved together and set your priorities before you hire anyone, you’ll have a much higher chance for less stress. We’ve seen this time and time again when helping to plan Cleveland weddings.

What Wedding Couples Don’t Know about Lighting

Here’s what couples should know about lighting for their wedding…
1. There’s more to lighting design than uplighting.
2. The venue makes a big difference for lighting.
3. There are lots of lighting options possible, you just have to ask questions.

Where is Lighting the Most Impactful for a Wedding?

There are ways to get the most impact for your money when it comes to lighting options at weddings. Make sure to ask your lighting professional what will stand out the most. You should also concentrate on the areas that will be seen most often (especially in photos).

Should you add lighting to your wedding?

To determine if and what lighting options would be best for you, we think you should figure out a few things. Make sure you and your light professional know your venue well (even if that means taking a site visit). Determine what mood you want your guests to have at different times of the event. These tips and more have always resulted in better events from our experience working with clients in Cleveland.

What You Don’t Know About The Cost of Wedding Lighting

In order to be prepared for purchasing lighting for your wedding, ask your lighting provider to show you examples of what they’ve done in the same venue you will be having yours at. Make sure you know the overall effect you want to have and develop your expectations before you go into your first wedding lighting meeting. In our years of providing lighting for Cleveland weddings, this strategy has always benefited couples.

What We Wish Couples Knew About Lighting Design

There are a number of things we wish couples in Cleveland knew about wedding lighting before they even met us for an appointment. For instance, most don’t know just how much more pervasive lighting is on the guest experience over decor. That said, lighting can really bring out the best in decor if done right. There are a number of ways lighting can impact your wedding day, and we’d be excited to show you how!

How can wedding lighting impact guest emotions?

Colors affect the moods and emotions of people and lighting has the opportunity to wash a whole room in the colors of your choice. With a wedding lighting designer, LED lights can produce thousands of options. You can even change the colors of the room at different strategic times to get the feelings you want. We’ve had the chance to design spaces in Cleveland as well as many other parts of Northeast Ohio. With lighting, we have been able to bring couples’ visions to life time and time again.

What do Cleveland couples overlook the most?

There are a number of options that get overlooked frequently by couples planning wedding receptions. Videography is frequently overlooked and is also the number one regret from couples that pass on it. Don’t have regrets when planning your Cleveland wedding by making sure you are working with industry veteran professionals.

Live Music Tips for Cleveland Weddings

We believe live music can elevate both a wedding ceremony and reception. DJs, MCs, and Live Bands can work together very well so you get the best of all they can offer. Overall, live music can heighten the look, sound and emotions for your Cleveland wedding. We’d love to show you how!


We hope these 13 tips will help you plan your wedding reception with less stress and more knowledge. If you want to ask your own questions of Jay R, you can reach him here.

Up-close picture of harpist strumming live wedding music

We Love Live Wedding Music!

Some people might be surprised by our love of live music for weddings. With over 31 years of DJ experience in Cleveland Ohio, we have a reputation for providing the right music at the right time. The thing is, there is a reason we are called “Selective Sound Entertainment” and not “Selective Sound DJ’s”. We know there are times when live music is simply better for an event. If someone tells you a DJ is always better for a wedding they are simply wrong. Every event is different and requires different things. We recently wrote a blog post about when you should hire a DJ and when you should have a band (and times where both work together beautifully!). Not only is band vs. DJ not a real fight, they’re also not your only options for live entertainment for weddings.

Ceremonies – It’s Not Just A Party

There are many more suppliers focused on providing services for your wedding reception than the actual wedding ceremony itself. That makes sense too because outside of a couple and a officiant, you don’t need more parts to get married. While that’s true, there are logistical issues and specific visions that come into play that make enhancing your ceremony something worth considering.

Ceremony Sound Systems

picture of simplified sound system

Simplified sound systems that look good and sound great

There aren’t many regrets we hear about often when families talk to us about the weddings they’ve attended. Most of your attendees are happy to have been invited and don’t have anything to complain about. The only concern we consistently hear, in regards to the ceremony, is they wish they could have actually heard it. Some venues offer breathtaking views in picturesque settings…but when it comes to sound…you’re out of luck. That’s one more reason why working with professionals who ask the right questions and who have actually worked in most of the venues here in Cleveland are valuable resources.

Sound systems have greatly changed  over the last decade and are no longer eye-sores. These compact pieces of technology ensure everyone gets to truly enjoy your special day with you; they not only get to see you but they can hear you. The best part is that they are so simplified in appearance they will never take away from you or the beauty of the venue you have chosen.

Ceremony Music Goes Live

The beginning of any event is what sets the tone for the rest of the night. If you’re looking to elevate the experience to something magical, live music can’t be beat. Live music is something people experience far less so it can immediately create a wow factor. If you really want to raise the bar, create a fantasy vision, or just simply impress your guests, then wowing them as they enter the ceremony is a must! Your venue can do a lot of the wowing for you but the music should complement the scale you’ve chosen. Ensembles, such as trios and quartets, are popular in movies and television shows depicting weddings because the sound and feeling produced is a statement! Live ceremony music feels more grand because an artist is present for the event and is inherently more captivating than a computer and speakers.

There’s also a more traditional feeling with live music and traditions are a big part of ceremonies. We have a Live ceremony musicwho perform at weddings and can create the team that matches your ideas. From traditional groupings including acoustic guitars, cellos, and violins to various keyboard and piano options. All you have to do is tell us what feeling you are looking to have and we can make it happen.

Memorable and Unique

While there are many options that allow you to elegantly elevate a ceremony with cohesive artists, sometimes you’re looking for something that people will be talking about for years. There are a few categories of show-stopping (and appropriate) live ceremony entertainers.

Wedding Harpists

Selective Sound Live Music Wedding Entertainment

Violin and harp gives a fairy-tale feel to any wedding

One theme is “fairytale” which pretty much means you want a harpist! Is there an instrument that evokes a classic (and classy) ceremony better than a harp? We don’t think so! The most elegant instrument can also be pretty economic and flexible because it has a big sound that is often as rich sounding as a group of artists without the same sized footprint (ideal for challenging spaces and outdoors).

Ethnic Live Music Goes Big

Want to incorporate a festive sound with ties to specific ethnic backgrounds? We have options! Consider a bagpiper. If your wedding ceremony had bagpipes at the right moments, do you think people would ever forget those moments? Bagpipes have a long tradition of being used in weddings and they produce a sound you can actually feel when performed live. Want a celebratory sound steeped in tradition? A Mariachi band is another live music option that changes the whole dynamic of an event. You can’t help but have a smile on your face as these groups play while dressed in their signature suits.

The Keys To Elegance

violinist and keyboardist practicing for wedding

A piano and violin duet can make for a beautiful entrance to your wedding ceremony

A piano can take any song, be it classical or modern, and refine it to a state of elegance. There’s a reason so many venues have pianos in them, they’re ideal for live events (especially wedding ceremonies). While not every venue accommodates a piano, keyboard and sound systems can give you a similar feel with greater flexibility in placement. Whichever version of this instrument makes the most sense for your needs, a pianist can make a huge difference in a ceremony as a soloist or as part of a group.

Reception Entertainment – Live Bands

Live music can be put together in many different combinations as long as you have the pool of artists to make it happen. Cocktail hours, for example, can really benefit from acoustic sets from soloists. The same performers from your ceremony can also transform arrangements and make them more appropriate for a cocktail hour. What matters the most, is having a clear vision of what you want. With a clear vision, you can then rely on passionate, and experienced, wedding entertainment professionals to make the vision come true.

The most requested live music option we get is for live wedding reception bands. Bands come in all shapes and sizes with different strengths and weaknesses. As an entertainment company, we commit to being upfront with you about what’s possible, on budget, and what will work best. We’ve put together our own band after a long time of listening to what most in Northeast Ohio want from a live wedding party band. Versatility, classiness, and the ability to really rock when you want them to are the best traits in a wedding band. Rock The House Live was put together just for that reason. Take a look!

Dream Big – We Have The Answers

We are sincerely focused on putting together the right team for your wedding. In order to do so, we listen to you describe your vision. Then, we use our experience to choose from our deep range of talent to create a perfect combination for your special day. Many times we can utilize performers for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception which results in unique entertainment at prices less than you might have thought. Consult with us about your vision as we ask you the right questions to bring out ideas you might not have thought you had! Bottom line – we’re not a one-size fits all DJ company…we’re Cleveland’s wedding entertainment experts ready to show you the time of your life.

Contact us today to discuss your vision.