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.


Bride and groom kiss at the Old Cleveland Courthouse.

An Iconic Venue for Classic Weddings

Cleveland’s Old Courthouse is a venue unlike any other in Cleveland and really all of Northeast Ohio. They literally don’t make them like this any more! First time guests to this historic property are obvious. They walk in and immediately look up and up and up! The grandeur of this building can’t be understated – it’s jaw-dropping. We’ve written about Cleveland’s Old Courthouse before in our Venue Spotlights but we thought we’d take a deeper dive as a resource for those considering this venue. Hence, we asked clients and partners to weigh in as well so you can get different perspectives on this incredible space.

A few of our favorite features for weddings include its ceremony opportunities (which feature some of the most memorable backdrops we’ve ever seen). There are also practical considerations that have been accounted for such as the Huntington parking structure behind the building and the ability to accommodate for up to 400 guests with space for a dance floor and head table. These two, in particular, are sought after amenities for receptions in downtown Cleveland.

The Cuyahoga County Courthouse and the truth behind the right and wrong way to do sound…

Here are the most memorable reasons why our clients have chosen The Old Courthouse in Cleveland as their reception venue:

Our Couple’s Top 10

  1. The Marble!
  2. Tall Ceiling.
  3. Open floor plan.
  4. Multiple floors with balcony views.
  5. Located in the heart of downtown Cleveland.
  6. Sweeping staircase.
  7. Timeless beauty / fairytale backdrop.
  8. Stained glass windows.
  9. Murals.
  10. Can host ceremony and reception on location.

Next, we asked some of our favorite Northeast Ohio wedding professionals what they thought of this space as well. While this venue looks like it came right out of a storybook, there are challenges when it comes to working here. However, veteran professionals are unphased by these quirks of the building. Having experience working in this facility makes a  huge difference.

Event Pros On Cleveland’s Old Courthouse

Marcus Bierbaum, Lead Photographer

Making the Moment

Cleveland Photographers Making The Moment

The come back city

What are three of the best features of Cleveland’s Old Courthouse for a wedding?

First of all, there is plenty of space. This venue is ideal for larger weddings. Further, a 2nd and 3rd floor overlooking the space allow an excellent place for cocktail hour.

Secondly, it’s grandiose and graceful. There really isn’t another venue like it in the city. It’s almost regal. Almost too cool.

Lastly, it’s centrally-located. If you’re Cleveland people and you want a Cleveland wedding, this venue is right in the thick of it. It’s minutes from everywhere you’d want to go, whether it be for pictures or a separate ceremony. Also, it allows you to show your out-of-town guests how much of a Comeback City we are.

What are challenges hosting a wedding at the Cleveland’s Old Courthouse and how do you or other event professionals overcome them?

For photographers at the Old Courthouse, the issue is always light and color. It’s an incredibly warm space, and it has an awesome “feel” to it, but cameras can’t see as well as our eyes can. I’m almost always adding light to scenes within the Courthouse. Long story short, I LOVE the feel of the place. Hence, I wouldn’t change it.  The photographer you choose has to have the skill and experience to capture it correctly, which requires a fine balance of light and technical prestige.

What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding at the Cleveland’s Old Courthouse?

Do it! It’s one of my favorite venues that Cleveland has to offer. I’ll never get over the attention to detail, the craftsmanship, and the history that’s encapsulated within its walls. The only way I’d deter is if your wedding is attended by like 20 people, then it might be weird…

Riki Schmigel, Sales Manager and Event Planning

A Taste of Excellence

Cleveland Caterers A Taste of Excellence

Utilize experienced professionals for every need

What are three of the best features of the Cleveland’s Old Courthouse for a wedding?

Most of all, the Grand Staircase!

Then, the marble.

Followed by the great downtown location.

What are challenges hosting a wedding at the Cleveland’s Old Courthouse and how do you or other event professionals overcome them?

First off, the acoustics; knowledge and experience are a must! Also, there is no kitchen; we cook on-site in our truck.

What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding at the Old Courthouse in Cleveland?

Above all, utilize professionals who are experienced with the space and familiar with its needs.

Genevieve Nisly, Owner/Photographer

Genevieve Nisly Photography

Genevieve Nisly Photographer Cleveland

Ask your vendors questions! Make sure they know your venue.

What are three of the best features of the Cleveland’s Old Courthouse for a wedding?

  1. Stunning grand staircase.
  2. Classic architecture that needs minimal decor.
  3. 2 floors with wrap around balcony overlooking main floor that allow people to view and experience space from multiple angles

What are challenges hosting a wedding at Cleveland’s Old Courthouse and how do you or other event professionals overcome them?

Lighting can be tough but we bring our own off-camera lights to help remedy this. The high pressure sodium lights in the staircase are especially challenging since they give off a green light. Also, the natural acoustics reverb there is challenging. A great sound system, additional draping/fabric and filling the space with enough people and furniture can help minimize this. Finally, the minimal air conditioning and air circulation can be bothersome for some, especially in hot summer months. Extra fans/AC units can be brought in to help.

What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding at the Old Courthouse in Cleveland?

Above all, do your research! The space can be challenging if the vendor has never worked there or has only a couple years of experience. Look up photos for inspiration and figure out your likes and dislikes in that space. Be sure to talk to several vendors on how much experience they’ve had there and how they would approach your wedding based on your preferences and logistics.

Taylor Winter, Sales Manager

A Taste of Excellence

Be sure to hire a DJ or band that has worked at Cleveland's Old Courthouse before!

Make sure you hire a DJ who understands the acoustics at your venue

What are three of the best features of the Old Courthouse in Cleveland for a wedding?

  1. The Grand Staircase
  2. Floor to ceiling Marble
  3. Grand architecture

What are challenges hosting a wedding at Cleveland’s Old Courthouse and how do you or other event professionals overcome them?

Most noteworthy, for us, is that there’s no on-site kitchen available.  Therefore, it’s imperative to have a caterer that can bring ovens & equipment to cook food on-site. Also with acoustics, PLEASE hire a DJ or Band that has worked at the Old Courthouse before (i.e. Selective Sound!).

What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding at the Old Courthouse in Cleveland?

Above all, be sure to hire a team of vendors that are familiar with the Old Courthouse and trust their recommendations. We all want nothing more than to make sure your day is perfect and that you and your guests have an amazing experience so please trust us!

Larry Spencer, Photographer

Spencer Photography

Spencer Wedding Photography In Cleveland

Hire vendors based on experience not on cost

What are three of the best features of the Old Courthouse in Cleveland for a wedding?

  1. Centrally located
  2. A Cleveland Icon
  3. Gorgeous interior

Bonus features:

  1. Great photo opportunity
  2. Fantastic acoustics

What are challenges hosting a wedding at the Old Courthouse in Cleveland and how do you or other event professionals overcome them?

First off, you will need to have all food prepared off site so hire a good caterer. Loading and unloading for DJ’s can be difficult.  Also, this a popular venue for wedding photos and you will need to work around other wedding parties (just be nice).

What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding at the Old Courthouse in Cleveland?

Plan ahead. Hire the best vendors (pay more for the really good ones). And have fun!

Karen Levin, Sales Manager

A Taste of Excellence

Utilize professionals who are experience with the space and familiar with its needs

Experienced professionals are a necessity

What are three of the best features of the Old Courthouse in Cleveland for a wedding

First, the traditional elegance in the heart of Cleveland.

Second, the historic landmark to “wow” your guests.

Third, large capacity but can be wonderful for a small wedding as well.

What are challenges hosting a wedding at Cleveland’s Old Courthouse and how do you or other event professionals overcome them?

Most noteworthy, acoustics are a challenge due to the marble floors and interior. I tell brides they must have a knowledgeable DJ or band who is familiar with the space. Those professionals can minimize the issue and provide a great experience for all.

What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding at the Old Courthouse in Cleveland?

Above all, put yourselves in the hands of those who do events there weekly. We know what works best to ensure you and your guest will have a great evening in one of the most beautiful venues in Cleveland.

Lindsey Mickler, Owner/Lead Planner

Elegance Ever After

Cleveland's Old Courthouse is a great downtown location with easy access to photo opps around the city

Cleveland’s Old Courthouse is a perfect place for a photo opp

What are three of the best features of the Old Courthouse in Cleveland for a wedding?

First of all, the pillars and tall ceilings (gorgeous interior).

Secondly, the amazing preferred vendors (Taste of Excellence, etc.).

Thirdly, it’s a great downtown location (easy access to photo opps around city & to fantastic hotels).

What are challenges hosting a wedding at Cleveland’s Old Courthouse and how do you or other event professionals overcome them?

First of all, parking issues. The closest entrance to the parking lot is usually not open to guests on weekends to enter or exit. Just assist guests as best as possible to exits. Next, construction. It just wasn’t ideal and a big mess when weather was bad. Lastly, heating and cooling in the building is not great. Plan ahead based on weather.

What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding at the Old Courthouse in Cleveland?

Get a Day of Coordinator or Planner to assist you. Book with vendors who have had a lot of experience working weddings at The Courthouse. Provide instructions about parking or suggest guests stay at nearby hotel and walk over.

In Summary

In summary, there are themes that keep popping up when discussing The Old Courthouse in downtown Cleveland. The parking and acoustics came up a lot as a challenge and a benefit. Both are right as long as there is sufficient budget for the adjacent parking lot and a real professional sound team. Catering has it’s challenges but the larger more experienced organizations have the ability to bring their own field kitchen.

Therefore, while there are a few aspects of working in this wedding venue that are different from traditional spaces like hotels, you won’t have to sacrifice anything to have this dream venue if you do your research and work with the best!


Also…it’s fun to let people know that the Avengers filmed here!

Avengers movie scene with Loki that was filmed in the Old Cleveland Courthouse

Marvel / Disney™

SSE set up at Cleveland bridal show

What To Look For Before You Go

Bridal shows offer couples the chance to meet their region’s wedding professionals face to face to determine if they are the right fit for their big day. Some people might think bridal shows are antiquated or a “cattle call” trade show but not us. Maybe we’re spoiled here in Northeast Ohio! Between Cleveland and Akron, we have had the opportunity to participate in many bridal shows. We find the consensus on both sides of the booth is that they’re extremely helpful for everyone.

We hear more and more that couples are making their decisions exclusively by what they see online about a company. With sites like Wedding Wire and The Knot to social media, there’s a lot more information to take in before you make a decision about your wedding vendors. The problem is, there’s more to it than just photos of their work. Most of your wedding vendors will be there at some point during your wedding as well as the time you’ll be spending with them leading up to your day. Time and time again, we’ve seen wedding pros who have excellent work but just don’t click with their couples due to contradicting personalities. This is just one of the reasons why meeting face to face is important.

Design Details

Bridal shows, like this one in Cleveland, are a great way to make sure the vendor is reputable and you mesh well with them

Bridal shows are a great way for you to see which vendors are reputable as well as who you will mesh best with.

Seeing them at bridal shows gives you a chance to see how neat they are when it comes to potential for details. Their booth represents them and therefor should be clean, express their aesthetic, and should a appeal to your sensibilities. For example, if you are looking at a rental company for their linens or decor, you would hope to see that everything looks new, shows off their design sense and is attractive to you. This is them on their best day trying to attract business. If they don’t look good today, they won’t for your wedding. Also, it’s not just if they are universally “good” this is about finding someone who compliments your vision. If they are a company that focuses on rustic looks, they might not be a match for you if you are looking for something more contemporary.

Real Expert?

In a world of Google, marketing design apps, and easy to use website builders, anyone can look like an expert online. If you ask a question of a potential supplier via e-mail, it’s the easiest thing for someone new to weddings to cut and paste the right answer. It’s different when you are face to face, however. If you ask an exhibitor if they’ve been to your venue, what they specialize in, or why they love weddings – you’re in a better position to get honest answers vs. what they think you want to hear. It’s always a good idea to meet someone before you work with them.

Look for these warning signs of disreputable wedding vendors:

  • Anyone who says you’re getting something for free.
  • Booths that look like they were put together last minute.
  • Vendors that don’t have professionally printed brochures or cards.
  • No photos of events they have worked on.
  • Have a Plan

If the bridal show you are attending has a list of exhibitors, it will pay off to do some research. Before you go, make sure you know who you want to visit, and what questions you want to ask them. Make a list of pros and cons as you see them for each vendor type. You may find that there is a supplier who seems like they are your perfect fit. If the job is basically there’s to loose, meet them to see if their marketing matches them in person and move a little faster through the process. Ask if they have a show special. That said, we’re not advocates of making decisions the day of the show unless you are all but ready any way. If someone is rushing you through the process with deep discounts, that should be something to be concerned about. Event professionals who are good at what they do believe their pricing offers a lot of value and won’t slash prices in



Tips and Tricks for attending Bridal Shows

For those of us who have been exhibiting for years, the following tips will seem old hat. We include them any way because most of our clients haven’t planned a wedding before! While these ideas have been written about before, we want to make sure they’re included for those going for the first time.

  • Create a special email address just for your wedding (you’ll be getting A LOT of emails from vendors you meet).
  • Pre-print out labels to give to exhibitors that includes your contact information.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Exhibit floors don’t offer much support!
  • Get there early and stay a while. No matter what, you’ll be saving more time attending a show than you would if you attended one-on-one appointments. Get the full value of the show.
  • Take pictures. Bridal shows are full of inspiration you’ll want to capture.
  • Take notes with pictures. You’ll meet and talk to more people about the same thing than you can imagine! Don’t get exhibitors mixed up. Take a picture with your phone and add notes that include your favorite and least favorite things about them.
  • Make it fun! The planning process of a wedding is longer than your wedding day – make sure it’s also a good time.

In summary, these are some reasons why you should meet potential wedding companies at a bridal show:

  • Determine if your personalities match.
  • Attention to details.
  • Do they know their stuff?
  • Plan ahead.
  • Use proven wedding tricks.



A wedding band posing for picture outside

Perception, Reality and Myths of Wedding Entertainment

A wedding reception without entertainment is a bleak idea. When guests look back on your big day, they’ll likely not remember details including your vows, centerpieces, or ice luge. Those features are important but they’re mostly only important to you. Looking back, guests will remember how happy you were on your big day and how much fun they had. Entertainment is the pulse of the experience you’ll be giving your guests and the decision to who provides it will set the tone. Wedding entertainment can come in many forms but the two most dominate are DJ’s and live bands.

When Bands Are The Right Choice

Live band on a stage

A live band can bring a lot of energy and fun to any event.

There’s just something about live music, right? The feeling of being in a room with musicians creating music right in front of you brings a different level of enjoyment for those who appreciate the difference. The best live bands have a style all their own which is how they create strong bonds with their fans. Bands are focused on being true to who they are as artists.  Because of this, they’re exceptional when their theme matches the theme of an event. Themes such as “Roaring 20s” or ones with a heavy emphasis on ethnic traditions pair well with live bands who share those sensibilities. What bands lack in flexibility they make up for in authenticity.

Entertainment Myths

Smiling DJ

Ask your DJ questions to make sure they can fulfill your visions.

The barrier to entry to become a DJ is smaller than that of a band. Bands require more investments in time and money and the team dynamic is also a crucible. Because of this, the myth of the “cheesy wedding DJ” is pervasive because…they’re out there. This myth is based in some fact because there are more wedding DJ’s than there are wedding bands. They negatively color how many see a profession that makes a huge impact on people’e most important days. This is why it’s important to compare apples with apples.

When you are evaluating between professional mobile DJ’s and professional wedding bands there are distinct advantages and disadvantages by their vary natures. When you’re exposed to tasteful DJ’s who double as or partner with Masters of Ceremony one of the biggest wedding entertainment myths disappear. There are DJ’s who are every bit as classy as live bands.

When it comes to bands, one myth we’ve heard many times is that bands are too loud for guests. We understand where this comes from. Some bands focus mostly on playing in bars or clubs where loud is the point.  Unfortunately, these bands apply a one-size-fits-all method to sound amplification and it just doesn’t work for weddings. If you compare those bands to a professional DJ, you’ll find the band lacking in control over decibels. The reality is, professional bands who focus on private events and wedding entertainment know how to provide an elegant evening of dancing.

What DJ’s Have Over Bands

Do you want a DJ for your wedding entertainment?

DJ’s can typically play any song you desire while a band will have limitations.

There are a number of ways DJ’s are different than bands but chief among them is flexibility. Bands have a style and they know the songs they know. DJ’s have access to any song imaginable and the skill to arrange them in a manner that segues coherently. If you need to include a song that is unique and means something special to you, is not a very well-known track, and/or is from a specific ethnic place, DJ’s have access to and can incorporate those songs into the night appropriately.

Another big difference is cost. While DJ’s and Bands swing wildly in both directions when it comes to pricing, the averages between the two usually result in bands costing couples more. Besides their specialized skill-sets and demands for gigs outside of weddings, bands simply have more people to pay. In addition, they often require additional labor to set up and tear down equipment as well as sound designers. As an example, Selective Sound Entertainment could provide wedding entertainment in addition to full room lighting and a photo booth for the same cost as most wedding bands.

Another area where we see the majority of bands (and there are exceptions in our market) have difficulties over DJ’s is work centered around being a Master of Ceremony. Some bands don’t offer this vital service because they feel it’s a different skill than dance floor entertainment…and it is. That’s why our teams have years of training in both skill sets because it’s a requisite of what we provide.

Best of Both Worlds

Band on stage for wedding entertainment

Pairing an experienced wedding DJ with an awesome band will make your special day unforgettable!

All this said, you can always have everything you want when it comes to wedding entertainment…for a price! We have our own party band, Party band, which was specifically put together for special events. After years of hearing the DJ v. Band debate, our family of companies decided to put together an option that includes the best of everything. We offer clients our MC/DJ services to handle breaks, introductions, formalities, and they get our coordinating services out of it as well. There isn’t any discount, but we do all the work coordinating with the band and all the vendors. This way, clients get the best of both worlds.

When you hire both, you have the ability to have the exact style of music you love for your reception. With both, you have the energy of live music, an organized evening, as well as an array or popular songs to dance to so everyone is happy. We offer a Party band which comes with our MC/DJ team who work and train together to create a unified complimentary experience for guests.

As long as you know the truth of the benefits and challenges of one form of entertainment over another, you can make an informed decision. We’ve been in business a long time while holding a stellar reputation because we ask the right questions before you sign to see if we are a good fit for each other. Our mission is for you to get the best wedding entertainment you can get and provide that to you if we’re right for you.

Let us know if we can help!

Rock The House Live Party Band




Wedding uplighting designers lit up the head table.

Light Is A Major Player In Experiences

Designed experiences, be it weddings, corporate holiday parties, fundraisers, or any of the hundreds of reasons why people gather, are interpreted through your senses. Your enjoyment is less about what you do and more based on how you are made to feel. Because of this, memorable experiences are a combination of how your senses interpret sensory input and that input’s relationship to other experiences you’ve had. When you take in smells associated with the ocean, you feel warmer. Tasting foods with traditional uses of spices remind you of a feeling of family and comfort. Sense memory also applies to lighting.

beautiful barn lighting and chandeliers

Who knew a barn could be so beautiful?!!? Photo courtesy of Making the Moment

Many couples come to planning meetings with barely any information on the opportunities available with lighting. While most have made their own meals and done some interior decorating in their homes, few have had the chance to really play with light for a desired effect of influencing how people feel. Lighting at events most experience, if done properly, don’t cause attention to the lights themselves. Instead, the lighting enhances the overall experience.

When clients initially come to us, they often believe that uplighting is the only way to use light to further design their venue because those are the lights that are the most obvious when they attend events themselves. We asked to match their wedding’s colors for the entire room, which we can of course do. However, we first make sure to educate them on the impact of light on guests’ emotions. We also describe the different types of lighting design available to them due to our vast inventory and experience.

Colors Affect Moods

Bride and groom share their first dance under pink lighting and chandeliers

The perfect lighting can take your venue from pretty to WOW! photo courtesy of Making the Moment

Brands spend a lot of money and time on choosing just the right colors for their branding to evoke emotion from you. Event lighting can make you feel different emotions subconsciously as well. Yellow and brighter colors can give a person a feeling of daylight and sun.  Positive memories are often associated with bright colors. While red lighting is very dark and edgy and might be more appropriate for a bachelor party than a wedding. Event lighting isn’t just ROYGBIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet). We can combine colors to give you more desirable results. That same red light as an accent with white, or brighter colors, can produce some warm beautiful looks that are much less aggressive.

The Blue Spectrum

Blue lighting (depending on the shade) can be beautiful or completely change the view of the room

Cleveland City Hall rotunda lighting DJ

Lighting at Cleveland City Hall Rotunda in different colors can help bring focus to different areas at your event

If we lean towards a layered darker blue, your guests eyes will naturally feel droopy and heavy. This will give a more subdued tone to the experience. Blue lighting isn’t a natural color our eyes are used to and it can make the room look very cold very easily There is a reason words like “cold” and “chill” are used to describe encounters and these feelings translate to color psychology as well. Blue can also help literally translate your intentions as well. We’ve washed bars in blue to make it more obvious that they’re an oasis from the more kinetic and energetic portions of the event.

Lighting and Food

Nothing says “cold food” like deep blues. Desserts, raw bars, and really anything meant to be served cold are accentuated by blue hues. Lighting with more natural and crisp incandescent temperatures makes stations and displays look like pieces of art without modifying the caterer’s intention. We love collaborating with venues and catering teams to play into their intent versus detract or confuse the decisions that they made. While the blue effect for chilled food is a favorite, our catering friends are even more prone to want warm food tightly highlighted with reds and orange glows

Bride and groom kiss at Cleveland Courthouse wedding reception

Bride and groom dance together at their wedding at the Cleveland Courthouse. Photo courtesy of Making the Moment


From a Venue to Your Vision

Some spaces are naturally beautiful. With lighting, in spots like that, we enhance without overtaking it. This technique helps highlight the architecture.  Layering lighting with pillars and supports can also define the space in the evenings without the aide of natural light. When we scout a venue for lighting we check for power sources. Then look to the ceiling to see what support is possible. We take into account the size of the room, ceiling height, decor and walls and many other variables before we make recommendations to our clients. After a few decades, we’ve learned a lot about the most popular spaces in Cleveland, Akron, Canton and everywhere in-between.

The Value of a Lighting Specialist

If lighting is an important element of your event’s design, choosing a specialist is important. You can over do and under do lighting. Therefor, make sure you hire someone who can interpret your goals. You also need to be able to ensure the services offered to you are the right scale. Some of our clients only required static lights, which are light fixtures that remain the same color in the same position all even long. While others were looking for a more dynamic effect that only comes with adding a lighting designer to the team. The designer has similar skills to a DJ but works in light rather than sound with the ability to change, dim, point, and spotlight different fixtures with colors to create different moods and looks through the evening.

Bride and groom dance at their wedding

Bride and groom sharing their first dance on their wedding night at the Tudor Arms hotel in Cleveland

Why Selective Sound Entertainment?

We have the passion for creating vision and not just selling lighting fixtures and packages. For years, we have assessed pictures of every event we used event lighting at. Our team critiqued each one to see if there was anything we could learn. This takes a lot of the guess work out of the process because of our experience and drive to innovate.

Our deep inventory of equipment includes staples, effects for different scales and newer technologies such as our magnetic battery operated pin spots which have revolutionized pin spotting on tables. Our wireless LED lights warm walls and wash ceilings even in buildings with limited power access. We have a separate lighting and production division so we literally have millions of dollars worth of lighting and production equipment available when needed.

Selective Sound Entertainment will under-promise and over-deliver on time, every time. We’ll walk you through the different possibilities and looks with each and every budget.