The Knot best of weddings Hall of Fame

Consecutive Years of Excellence

The Knot best of weddings Hall of Fame

We are excited and honored to have become recognized by The Knot for Best of Weddings Hall of Fame

We’re very proud to announce that Selective Sound Entertainment has been inducted to The Knot Hall of Fame by earning the Best of Weddings 2019 Pick this year.  Being recognized as the Best of Weddings Pick for the past four years has been an honor but the Hall of Fame means so much more. This is for our contributions to Cleveland wedding receptions. Offering our clients superior entertainment, lighting, audio / visual production, photos booths and more, we’ve prided ourselves on offering the right services for the right clients. Being inducted into this Hall of Fame is wonderful reassurance that our hard work isn’t going unnoticed.

There are many self-described ways for a company to boast about their achievements. However, we find superlatives like this to be more meaningful.  The Knot’s Best of Weddings list requires a company to have consistent, high volume, positive reviews from clients. That means we’re not the ones saying we’re “the best in Cleveland”, our clients are!

A Winning Team receives Hall of Fame Award

Quote: We had numerous guests with music/DJ/performance backgrounds and several came up to us afterwards and mentioned he was the best DJ they've ever experienced. - Katrina M., The Knot

We truly enjoy exceeding people’s expectations.

There are a few ways we ensure consistent favorable reviews by those who hire us. Firstly, we take care of our team. Some companies are seen as “hit or miss”. This is because they have some super star team members and some that are just so-so. Team members train for months and are constantly evaluated. The team members must prove they are worthy to lead a team for a wedding. Then, team members are paired with clients based on personality and client needs.  In order for everyone to get what they want, we always do our best to make sure our DJ and clients will work well together. We’ve had team members work with us for decades because we listen to them and value their contributions.

The Right Clients

Quote: I love this company! Selective Sound is so professional organized. I never had to worry about anything. - Katrina M, The knot

Everything we do is for our clients to receive the best entertainment experience possible.

Selective Sound Entertainment tries to ensure events are consistently successful. You will see many subjective reviews on The Knot while reading through bad reviews. Consequently, we believe the event partner could have avoided the bad reviews if they had asked the right questions. If a review states that the company didn’t offer enough value, it’s usually because of a miscommunication in expectations. We let our clients know up front before they hire us that we are not the cheapest in Cleveland. What we focus on, instead, is offering value. Because of this, true professionals, who have seen it all, will give you things like insight, a worry-free experience and organized meetings. While that might mean we’re not the perfect fit for everyone, those who do appreciate those qualities will be rewarded.

Passion For Weddings

This isn’t a part-time job for us – this is our full-time focus. There are many ways to earn a living through entertainment and/or audio visual solutions.  We choose this path because our favorite part of our jobs is creating memorable positive experiences for families on these important days. When you compare us to many other organizations offering wedding entertainment, we think that’s an important distinction – focus on a specialty.

Couples have a lot of justifiable fears going into planning a wedding. This is usually due to the size of investment they are making in addition to the fact that most have never hired these services before. We believe that being a wedding professional means that you should also be passionate about education. We make sure our clients know what to expect throughout the process so there are no surprises. Even outside the scope of our offerings, our years of experience and local connections are available to clients on a host of wedding-related questions that they may have. We consider ourselves a resource and not just a vendor.

Quote: We booked with Selective Sound before we booked our venue-lol! We know the entertainment is a HUGE part of receptions and they definitely made ours AMAZING. -Melissa M, The Knot

We’re happy that you’re happy

If you believe your wedding deserves Hall of Fame level service, we’d love to talk. With over twenty years serving Northeast Ohio couples, we’re confident we won’t let you down.

E-mail us today so we can talk about your vision to see if we’re a good fit for you. Who knows, we could be celebrating your wedding’s five-star review soon!


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™