Top 10 reasons you should not use an Ipod for your wedding and you should hire a Cleveland ohio wedding dj

Picture of figurines dancing with an ipod

Why Professionals Never Recommend DJ -ing Your Own Wedding

The Consequences of DIY

Ever since the iPod was released, blogs and wedding magazines  have posted DIY, money saving wedding tips. They are 100% correct that creating an iTunes playlist is less expensive than paying for a professional DJ. However, they really miss the point of why experienced wedding DJ’s are hired in the first place. If all you want is background sounds, articles like this one are correct. Just borrow equipment from generous friends (if you’re that lucky to have ones with speakers and wiring), queue up your playlist, press play and walk away. We are not disparaging that option.

We always want to do our due diligence when it comes to educating couples on the consequences of certain decisions. As long as your are armed with information, you can decide where your priorities are for each aspect of your wedding.  With that said, it’s hard for us to choke back the passion we have for wedding entertainment! We work hard to provide a lot of value for what we do and believe entertainment is a significant part of a wedding reception. To help us educate more objectively, we’ve asked a few of our favorite Cleveland wedding professionals to weigh in on this topic.

Covesa Gragg, Owner

Covesa Kelly Events 

Hire an experienced Cleveland DJ

An experienced wedding DJ is worth every penny

Q: What would be your biggest fear if you found out the couple at the wedding you were working on decided to try to DJ their own wedding?

A: Timing. Do they have enough music for the duration? Is the music family friendly? Do they have all AV and technical components necessary to play the music?

Q: Have you ever been to a wedding without professional entertainment that ran just as smooth as when pros are there?

A: No

Q: How do DJs compliment, enhance, and collaborate with what you do at a wedding?

A: They help keep the energy high. They keep guests informed of what’s going on. They can help bridge the gaps if things are off track (catering, waiting for bridal party etc)

Q: What would you want couples to know if they were considering an ipod playlist instead of a professional DJ for their wedding?

A: You’ve spent all this money, just hire the DJ. It’s just not worth the risk.


Sara Fouts, Staff Photographer

Making the Moment

Be sure your Cleveland DJ is experienced with weddings

There is a difference between a DJ and an experienced wedding DJ

Q: What would be your biggest fear if you found out the couple at the wedding you were working on decided to try to DJ their own wedding?

A: While I would understand why someone would choose to try to DJ their own wedding, my biggest concern would be the extra stress the couple would experience with someone who isn’t familiar with DJing weddings. I would also be concerned that the DJ wouldn’t be experienced in communicating with the photographer. There have been multiple occasions where we told the DJ (who was a friend helping out the couple) we were leaving the room to use the restroom. Because they were inexperienced, they initiated events anyways and we weren’t present to capture them.

Q: Have you ever been to a wedding without professional entertainment that ran just as smooth as when pros are there?

A: No

Q: How do DJs compliment, enhance, and collaborate with what you do at a wedding?

A: DJs allow us as photographers to set-up for reception events at appropriate times. They ensure we are present and ready to capture events before they begin. To me, ensuring that the photographer is present and ready to capture before an event begins is a factor that separates professional DJs from non-professional DJs. DJs also help us have more fun! They do so much more than play music.  They read the crowd’s energy and direct it through an entertaining flow that enhances everyone’s experience at your event. We love working with DJs who love their job!


Riki Schmigel, Catering Sales Manager

A Taste of Excellence

Your Cleveland DJ plays the key role of timing during the wedding reception

The DJ plays the key role of timing during the reception

Q: What would be your biggest fear if you found out the couple at the wedding you were working on decided to try to DJ their own wedding?

A: Technical malfunctions that disrupt the flow/schedule of the evening. There also wouldn’t be a master of ceremonies to help keep things moving. i.e. transition from cocktails to dinner, speeches, cake cutting.

Q: Have you ever been to a wedding without professional entertainment that ran just as smooth as when pros are there?

A: I have catered very casual weddings that DIY their music and it has been a beautiful occasion. Typically the more traditional things like The Grand Introduction and Dances do not take place at these events.

Q: How do DJs compliment, enhance, and collaborate with what you do at a wedding?

A: DJs help to keep the timing of the event for us. This is important because we cook our food on-site and rely heavily on a timeline to time our meals.

Q: What would you want couples to know if they were considering an ipod playlist instead of a professional DJ for their wedding?

A: DJs help inspire guests to dance and be involved with the important activities of a wedding – for example cutting the cake. Sometimes without some energetic encouragement you won’t have people dancing at the wedding.


Robert Drago, Photographer

RAD  (Photography)

Wedding DJ's produce the feel of the reception

The DJ can make the reception exciting or drab; make sure they are experienced!

Q: What would be your biggest fear if you found out the couple at the wedding you were working on decided to try to DJ their own wedding?

A: As a photographer, I look forward to the reception because I know it’s taken care of and I can sit back and do my job. A large percentage of my job is coordinating and organizing throughout the day. However, when the reception starts, it’s the DJ’s show. So if I were to photograph a wedding without a trained DJ I would be very nervous and anxious about how the evening will go.

Q: Have you ever been to a wedding without professional entertainment that ran just as smooth as when pros are there?

A: Fortunately, in the last 15 years, I can only think of two occasions that a couple decided not to have a DJ. Both very small events. In both occasions, the timeline for the reception did not go smoothly and there were things missed throughout the night.

Q: How do DJs compliment, enhance, and collaborate with what you do at a wedding?

A: DJ’s are the wedding coordinators of receptions. The amount of time that is put into a reception schedule should never be overlooked. The entire feel of the reception is produced by the DJ. Every event is elevated when you have someone with experience. It can really bring the party to the next level.

Q: What would you want couples to know if they were considering an ipod playlist instead of a professional DJ for their wedding?

A: Do you like having a party with dead air and awkward silence? If so, fire up that iPod and enjoy your evening.


Diana Elizabeth, Floral Designer

Diana Elizabeth Designs 

Cleveland wedding professionals highly recommend using a DJ

Wedding professionals highly recommend using a DJ

Q: What would be your biggest fear if you found out the couple at the wedding you were working on decided to try to DJ their own wedding?

A: It would not be as smooth as they planned.

Q: Have you ever been to a wedding without professional entertainment that ran just as smooth as when pros are there?

A: Yes I have and it was confusing. The dinner music was not right and then their laptop shut down mid reception. They had to reboot and there was dead silence for a few minutes. TRUE STORY!

Q: How do DJs compliment, enhance, and collaborate with what you do at a wedding?

A: Vibe

Q: What would you want couples to know if they were considering an ipod playlist instead of a professional DJ for their wedding?

A: I just wouldn’t recommend it.


So there you have it. Five experienced wedding professionals who have seen it all with very similar answers. In short, you CAN DJ your own wedding with an ipod or iPhone. It is possible. You can also act as your own plumber, electrician, or even doctor but…you probably don’t. The reason is that when a professional is hired, you get the results you want without regret. As long as you know what you’re getting yourself into, the decision is all yours!

If DJing your own wedding sounds stressful, then perhaps an Emcee is the way to go. We have an Emcee who will make sure your event runs smoothly. Skip the stress…email an experienced DJ who will ensure you get the wedding of your dreams!

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Selective Sound – Cleveland’s Wedding Event Lighting DJs

Most of you know Selective Sound as Cleveland’s premiere wedding DJs. For the past 20 years, we’ve created thousands of custom wedding celebrations. You might not know, however, that we’ve grown quite a bit recently. Our services now include state of the art lighting, photo booths, green screens, games, and more.

Here are a few photos that show what is possible with our professional event lighting for your event. These photos were taken at the following venues: 700 Beta, Cleveland Airport Marriott, Embassy Suite in Independence, OH, and Wagner’s Country Inn.

Let us show you how we can make your event just the way you always wanted: www.selectivesound.com

Band Vs. DJ at your wedding reception

Many people over the years have mentioned to us that they are looking at bands as well as DJ’s for their Cleveland wedding. I personally had a band….AND a DJ at my wedding, so I know the impression live music can make. But lets’ take a better look at the difference between the two and why it may be more benefitial to go with one or the other. When reading this post, understand that this is 100% based on my opinion and experience of 24 years in this field.

Important NOTE: Most people have seen such BAD and un-impressive DJ’s and are sooo turned off by seeing that, they naturally lean towards a band.. It does NOT have to be that way. Read more below.

Band: ranging from 1 man bands to 15 or more pieces

Costs: As low as 795.00 to 8000,00+ on average

Pros: Classy, Live performance, Real genuine sound,

Cons: More expensive, Lack of coordination, In most cases NO Emcee, In most cases no meeting with band leader, rather just phone calls, Smaller music library to play, will have to learn custom songs, very loud and hard to control volume, larger equipment.

Having a band is truly an amazing touch to a wedding reception. Usually you have to pay 2k plus to have a semi professional band. We are not saying not to get a band, rather consider this when thinking about getting one. Do they have an Emcee/coordinator whom you will get to meet with one on one to go over the announcements, names,activities, feel for the evening? How long are your breaks? Do you require meals? Will you coordinate with all the vendors so everyone is on the same page?

We have worked with several bands over the years as DJ’s and done all the coordinating/Emcee work. Most of the bands we have worked with, unfortunately did not produce the same “dance” results as we were able to achieve as experienced, professional DJ’s. I know that their are plenty of great wedding bands that have the dancefloor packed at many receptions, we just haven’t worked with them. I have heard many stories of bands not being able to get the atmosphere fun to get a “music groove” to where people had an amazing time.

DJ’s

Pros: Less expensive, More variety of music, Emcee skills, Coordination, in most cases meetings with your DJ/MC  directly, can control the volume level, can play just about anything

Cons, Have to do much research to find the right DJ,

Costs: 600.00-1900.00

Experienced, Professional Dj’s can be as, or more classier than a band. They can be very fun and easy to work with if you hire the right one. They can coordinate with your other vendors and Emcee the entire evening so each guest will know exactly what is going on and when. The benefit of hiring a DJ over a band, usually falls within the way they communicate with the other vendors and how they can keep the evening running smoothly. If you do end up hiring a band, then we would strongly reccomend hiring a coordinator and an Emcee as well to cover the other angles. A cleveland wedding DJ can truly make your wedding reception as much if not more fun that a Band can. A band can be an amazing choice if you hire one with all of the things your profesional Cleveland wedding djs can offer.

Please feel free to add to this article by posting.

DJ’s don’t play music at weddings anymore…

One of the most misunderstood areas of your wedding planning is music selection. Most Brides and grooms automatically think that they are the ones who are supposed to choose the music (all of it) for their wedding. That answer couldn’t be further from the truth. While most Brides and grooms are expected to choose formality songs and a few others, the rest isn’t and most likely NOT necessary to choose.

Part of a DJ/mc’s Job is to create an evening of fun and ongoing events where there is no dead time in a wedding. Even in the middle to end of dinner you should be playing some more upbeat music. The transition between dinner and dancing is EVERYTHING. If your guests are bored because too much time passed, then chances are they will become more bored/tired and less likely to get up and dance.

If you keep the evening running smoothly and build up the music and atmosphere, it will surely get all age groups up and dancing. The common denominator is the “fun atmosphere”

With the atmosphere in fun mode, everyone from grandma Marge to your young friends in college will see how contagious the fun is.

As a Cleveland wedding dj for 24 years, I utilize the input of the bride and groom in regards to some must plays and play if possibles and they give me a better feel for what they want and I mix that in with the reaction of your guests.

The Anniversary dance.. The classy and right way to do it.

One of the biggest fears of any bride and groom is interaction at their wedding reception. Why? because they are scared that the DJ will do something foolish or dis-tasteful to embarrass their guests.  Weddings need more interaction than ever, however we have to do it in a tasteful matter that will involve almost everyone and be fun at the same time.

The Cleveland DJ wedding slow dance

An option that is almost a must at any reception

The Anniversary dance, if done correctly, will not only pack your dance floor, but is a very tasteful icebreaker that involves almost everyone (married) at your wedding. Sometimes you will never see “all” of your guests dancing, but this will guarantee at least “all” of your married couples are out their dancing at least one song at your reception.

What we do differently…. After making a few announcements that you are inviting everyone to join the bride and groom on the dance floor for the anniversary dance,  you play a classic song to start and then start excusing those in order of marriage. We usually start with 8 hours or so (find out ahead of time when the bride and groom said I do) that usually gets a laugh. Then 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years and so forth.. BUT>>>>>>>> WE DO NOT excuse them from the dance floor, we (you must repeat this 3 to 4 times) excuse them to form a circle around the dance floor in a circle to salute the longest married couples.

As we get down to 40 years and over, there is an amazing atmosphere that develops of ooohs, ahhhs and applause each time we do the countdown and get higher. When we have 1 couple left we finish the dance out to “Young at Heart by Jimmy Durante” and get the couples name and ask how many years. We do announce it and sometimes ask for some advice for the newlyweds.

NOW……………after doing all of this you didn’t realize one thing……….WE HAVE A PACKED DANCE FLOOR already in a circle.. what do we do…….Right into an awesome song for all ages. Sometimes we us the twist, sometimes we do Shout, and sometimes we use Old Time Rock N Roll..  These are songs that everyone knows and likes and is GUARANTEED to keep at least 40 to 50% of your group dancing.

The above way is just how we do it. It is a great way to get everyone involved and keep the evening moving. In most cases brides and grooms do not want to do the garter and bouquet anymore, therefore we use this as an alternative. If they have the bouquet as an extra, we have them present that to the longest married couple. In some cases we have had brides and grooms present bottles of wine, champagne and even some unique things.

Good luck and contact us for more information on some of the ways we can help with tasteful interaction at your wedding reception.