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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

 

 

 

 

Calendars and calculators symbolize wedding budget tips

Wedding Budget Tips for Planning a Reception in Cleveland

Weddings Should Always Be Positive

Many people believe that wedding planning has to be stressful. However, we would like to debunk that myth right here and now. We completely understand why there is a recipe for stress. First, you’re making a lot of purchases you’ve never made before. Secondly, there’s a great deal of family pressure from all angles on things you’ve never considered before. And last but not least, you likely have a vision for what your perfect day will look like and want to do everything in your power to make it a reality. We feel for you, we really do! And this is why we want to share some really helpful and important wedding budget tips with you.

We’ve been in the wedding business for decades and we see the same stressed out looks time after time. With that said, we believe part of our job while working with you is to also offer our professional perspective on all aspects of your wedding. The majority of your wedding experience is spent planning the big day so that’s often where you need the most help. Most of the stress we’ve seen related to planning is based on your budget. Since we know that’s a very real concern for anyone planning a wedding in our hometown of Cleveland, here are our wedding budget tips to help you out.

Set An Actual Budget

Woman at desk with calculator, determining wedding budget.

Planning your wedding doesn’t have to be stressful. Take a breath and use SSE’s wedding budget tips to guide you along the way.

There’s a joke that’s been going on as long as any of us have been in the industry when it comes to weddings and budgets. It goes something like this…a wedding vendor will ask the couple, “What’s your budget?” and will get the reply, “We don’t really have one.”. The wedding professional, knowing they need an actual number in order to help their would-be client then says, “Great! Let me show you what we did last year for this client for around one million dollars.” (While these types of weddings don’t happen everyday in Cleveland, they do take place.) The couple then says, “Woah! We don’t have a million dollars to spend on our wedding reception!”. Then the wedding pro responds, “Oh, I see. Well, let’s look at what we’ve done for one hundred thousand dollars….”. This goes on until they actually find a reasonable threshold.

The moral of that story is, couples do have budgets. In fact, everyone has a budget for everything. The reason that budgets are seemingly a taboo subject is that this is your dream day. There should be no restrictions on a dream. Except, it’s not really a dream once you get to these meetings – you’re in reality now. The reality is, you don’t want to go into debt for a wedding reception. We don’t want you to go into one either. Therefore, the first of our wedding budget tips is you should ask the tough questions up front with everyone who gets a say in your wedding. By doing this first, you can come with your prepared budget when you meet with professionals. True creatives can and will give you at least a version of your dream within your budget. Come test out our creativity and give us boundaries!

Negotiate

Two people reviewing a budget graphI bet you’re surprised to see a wedding professional telling you to negotiate when meeting with vendors. The reality is, most of us are small businesses. This means the person you are talking with is more of an empowered deal maker than a difficult sales person. The disclaimer we’ll put right out there is that the more in-demand the wedding professional is, the less they have to gain from negotiating. Someone will pay their prices for what they are offering if you don’t so they aren’t likely to budge. That’s why we suggest a different tactic if your goal is to work with true professionals.

Most of the pricing you’ll see are package pricing. Anyone who believes in the value of what they offer won’t give you a discount because you ask for it. However, they will break the package apart so it makes sense for everyone. This is one of our main wedding budget tips – ask for a custom package based around your budget. Just because someone has packages doesn’t mean they only sell those. Most of the time packages exist for simplicity because clients don’t know what they want. If you do your homework, are willing to compromise, and can find a creative vendor, you stand a good chance of getting the spirit of what you want for far less money.

Communicate With Your Team

Young couple meeting with parents.Wedding budget-related stress often happens when different parties all want specific things and there’s only so much money to go around. These issues can be avoided a number of ways. High on our list of wedding budget tips is to not shy away from communicating. The old-school “bride’s parents pay for everything” tradition is becoming less common. Sharing the financial responsibilities has become the norm. Consider giving people who contribute a stake in the decision making so everything is fair. Remember, this is a party not their position in your life, it doesn’t have to be personal. Making lists of what’s important to everyone (like the guest list) and the necessities will ground the planning in reality. Ultimately, the people in your life are worth more than any element of a reception. Remind yourself of that fact as well as all involved. This will help alleviate much of the stress.

Wedding Budget Tips To Remember

Make a list from what’s most important to least and make compromises on the bottom half in order to get what’s on the top half. If a specific caterer is what matters more than anything, maybe look at a day of the week with a lower room rental minimum in order to get them. Consider that lighting covers more of the room than decor if you have a very specific vision of the ambiance that you want. If your heart is set on a specific wedding entertainer, negotiate on the length of time they are willing to give. It’s worth asking! All in all, we believe that you should do everything in your power to eliminate stress while planning your wedding and should have the least amount possible once it’s over. Of all the wedding planning tips we have this is the most important one: make the whole experience fun!

A bride and groom enjoy first dance with a snow machine.

9 Common Misconceptions About Your Wedding DJ

Common Misconceptions about choosing a wedding DJ in Cleveland

When looking for a DJ for an event as important as your wedding, it only makes sense that you want to find someone who is the perfect fit. However, there are many things to consider when booking your wedding DJ in Cleveland. While some may seem like good ideas during the planning stages, they can spell catastrophe the day of your wedding. With that being said, here are some common misconceptions of your average wedding DJ, hand-picked by our wedding pros here at Selective Sound.

1. I Have To Make A Playlist For My DJ

Myth! If you knew all the music your guests would want to hear, you would be DJ’ing weddings yourself. A skilled wedding DJ in Cleveland will keep the dance floor packed all night and can even take your reception to a whole other level! Your DJ should be able to read the crowd to determine what should be played next. Between using your input and their judgement to direct their song choices your guests will have a blast! Feel free to formulate a “must play list” of songs you would definitely like to hear at your reception. With that said, your DJ should be fully capable of taking charge once the party gets started.

2. A DJ Just Shows Up and Plays Some Music

Although you do hire a DJ to show up and play music, that’s not even half of their responsibilities at a wedding. A good wedding DJ in Cleveland helps direct guests throughout the night. Your DJ should be professionally handling all formal announcements. They are also responsible for working with vendors during the night to keep your reception running as seamless as possible. One of the DJ’s main jobs is to be the Host/Emcee of the night. The amount of experience your DJ has will have a direct effect on how well your wedding celebration flows. This is one of the most important reasons why you should make sure your DJ is highly experienced with weddings. DJ’s who are not well versed with how to direct a wedding reception could ultimately set your big night up for disaster.

3. I Don’t Want My DJ Playing Requests

Even if your wedding guests have the worst taste in dance music, you should still allow your DJ to take requests . Requests help a DJ determine what people may like to dance to throughout the evening. Also keep in mind that by default, not all requests will be played. It is the DJ’s job to filter out requests. If nothing else, it will allow guests to be interactive and feel connected to your special day. Nonetheless, you can always let your DJ know that you are adamant about specific songs or genres that are not to be played on your big night. Make sure you tell your DJ as well as write a list. A good Cleveland wedding DJ will always honor your wishes when it comes to something like this. If they don’t or won’t, find a new one fast!

4. My wedding DJ in Cleveland Already Has Lighting Covered

Cleveland courthouse with lavender uplighting

Lighting can truly make or break the look at your wedding. This lavender uplighting perfectly accentuates the pillars and high ceilings at the Old Cleveland Courthouse.

Lighting is a VERY broad term. Just because a DJ has lights doesn’t mean that they’re appropriate for your wedding venue. It’s easy to assume your DJ has all the lighting handled. However, the wrong lighting elements can be distracting during dinner, irritating for guests, and can leave your reception looking messy. When choosing your wedding DJ, trust the pros who have lighting designers and production departments to transform your wedding’s atmosphere. Real wedding DJ’s have teams of specialized departments, they’re not just a one man show.

5. You Can Have Either a Band or DJ, But Not Both

Untrue! Having both a band and a DJ may seem “over the top”. Even so, they can actually compliment each other very well. As we said in Myth #2, the DJ has many responsibilities aside from just playing music. So while the band plays your DJ can still coordinate your entire reception! Also, when the band takes a break, the dancing doesn’t have to stop. Your DJ can take control of the dance floor, making sure your guests are entertained all night long! Additionally, the DJ provides an opportunity for guests to hear songs that the band may be unable to play. This will also give your reception even more variety.

6. I Have To Do All The Classic Formalities That Everyone Else Does

Bride dancing with guests surrounding her to music by a weddign DJ in Cleveland

The perfect wedding DJ in Cleveland can make your special night everything you dreamed of.

It’s 2018, and you don’t have to do anything at your wedding that you don’t want!  A good wedding DJ can work with you to help formulate unique ideas for your reception. With their experience and industry knowledge, they can make your day unlike any other! Even if you want to keep things traditional but aren’t looking for the same old wedding, a seasoned DJ can help you create an event timeline. This timeline will be able to satisfy all your wants and makes your celebration one of a kind.

7. I Know Someone Who DJ’s – They’ll Do Just Fine

Weddings draw a wide variety of guests and are very different compared to most other shows a DJ may face. Therefore you don’t just want a DJ. You need an experienced, professional wedding DJ. Your DJ needs to be someone who knows how to run a wedding and has the right equipment to handle the job. They also have to have the ability to voice your announcements both formally and tastefully. Many club/bar DJ’s play a very different style of music than you’ll hear at most weddings. They also don’t have to keep a schedule of events on track for the night. You want to be sure that the DJ you hire has a vast knowledge of music and will be able to play any genre or style you want.

8. DJ’s Have The Easiest Jobs Ever!… And They Only Work For A Few Hours!

Pie chart of how many hours an experienced wedding DJ in Cleveland puts into each wedding.

While being a wedding DJ in Cleveland is fun and has its perks, it is far from the easiest job ever. In reality, a DJ puts about 90% of the work in for a wedding before the big day even arrives! There are many hours behind the scenes full of planning, coordinating, and preparing to make your special day flawless. Check out the pie chart, to the left, for a breakdown of how a wedding DJ at Selective Sound prepares for your event.

9. I’ve Seen A Picture/Video of My DJ, and They’re The Perfect Fit

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but they may not be the words you’re looking for. At Selective Sound, we get many people wondering why we don’t have video profiles or head shots of our DJ’s. Here’s why:

  • Outdated Content – Most DJ’s profile pictures or videos can be up to 10-15 years old in some cases. You don’t always get what’s in the picture.
  • Personality – You can’t see a person’s charisma in a picture! How do you know what a DJ’s personality is like from just a picture? There’s just no way to know if they would be a good fit for your group from a picture alone.
  • Prepared – Is your DJ familiar with the location of your wedding? How are they going to plan audio, power, and other production aspects for the day of setup?
  • PersonableA high-end DJ company will meet you and get to know you. They will figure out your feelings, wants, likes, and more before placing you with the perfect DJ. Let the company decide the DJ best fit for you. Who knows them any better?
  • Peace of Mind – Some DJ companies actually have you meet with your DJ 4-5 weeks before the reception. This is to ensure that you are comfortable with them. Selective Sound is one of those companies!

 

Bride and groom dancing at wedding

An experienced wedding DJ team will be able to provide the perfect lighting to set each mood of every stage of your big night.

In Summary…

As you can see, there’s plenty of things to consider before booking your wedding DJ in Cleveland. Some of these may seem more obvious than others. Even so, many are often neglected by engaged couples during the planning stages. Unfortunately, this can result in an tragic outcome when the big day finally arrives. If you’re going to go through all the work of planning a wedding and truly want to make it a night to remember, be sure to hire an experienced wedding DJ company.

Want to make sure all of these misconceptions are handled on your special day? Reach out to our team of wedding professionals to get started today! Photos by Genevieve Nisly Photography, Marc Anthony Photography, & Making The Moment Photography.

croation lodge wedding lighting

Had a great wedding on Friday night with Beck and Brian Dombek! Being a Cleveland DJ for years, I have worked with many people, but this couple had something very special! They were truly made for eachother and it was a great wedding.
The wedding was at the Croation hall in Eastlake Ohio and was about 300 guests. PIctures to follow along with full review.

INTERVIEW Part 1: About Selective Sound (with Jay r, Owner/Partner)

dancing at a wedding

Guests dancing at a wedding in Cleveland Ohio

How long has Selective Sound been in business?

Since 1987. We started the company with the name “Music in Motion” and changed in 1989 to Selective Sound.

Where did the company name come from?

Honestly, I can’t remember!

What is your role at Selective Sound?

I am the marketing director, accountant, human resource manager, scheduler, promoter, performer, worker, operator, technician and… owner!


Why did you start to DJ in Cleveland
?

In 1987, I joined a youth group because I was able to play the music on the sound system at the youth group school dances. By the touch of a button I was able to make 300 people go crazy and by that same touch of a button I was able to also calm them down. For a moment I felt like a god.

How did you get your company started?

I bought my first mixer/amplifier and rented speakers. I was using cassette tapes. I made $25 for my first gig, $60 for my second gig and the rest is history. We’ve done over $2 million in gross sales since then.

Where do you DJ now?

wedding dis

2 cleveland Ohio wedding dis

In Northeast Ohio for private affairs. Ninety percent of our business is weddings but we also do corporate events and bar/bat mitzvahs.


How many DJs do you employ every weekend?

We can do a maximum of five weddings and two other events per evening. Our busiest weekends are usually holiday weekends and we’ve done up to 19 events in one weekend!


How many weddings does your staff work in a year?


We average about 160 weddings per year.


What does your set-up consist of?


We are more refined in the DJ world. We use the new Bose l1 series 2 systems and a few Yorkville Unity systems (for the big events), a few wash LED lights and a compact computerized touch screen DJ system. Our systems are designed to blend into the decor, not be gaudy or noticeable.


How/where do you buy music?

Once a week we get CD with the top songs from each category from TM Century Prime Cuts. We own every song we every play.

What is a common misconception about your work?

That we just show up and play music. People don’t know about the 5 to 6 hours, pre-planning, coordinating, and music programming and so forth that we do before we even set up a speaker.

next week: part 2.. About the Jay r (CEO) of Selective Sound Entertainment.