Table setting at the Metropolitan at the 9.
Table setting at the Metropolitan at the 9.
Photo credit: Making the Moment
Beautifully dressed tables at New Year's Eve wedding with amber lighting
Bride and groom enjoy their first dance at their New Year's Eve wedding
New Year's Eve wedding guests having fun

Metropolitan at the 9: Iconic wedding venue that will wow your guests

Tell your guests your wedding is at The 9 and they will already know where you’re referring to.  That is what Metropolitan at the 9 states on their website.

Metropolitan at The 9 features the Mint ballroom as well as the original bank vaults. Not only are these incredible wedding spaces but one of the most epic wedding spaces you will find in Cleveland, Ohio.  Filled with intimate and interesting visuals, superior staff and inspirational design, this is the venue your guests will talk about for years to come.

Art, history and luxury fuse seamlessly at this wedding venue, Metropolitan at The 9.  The rooftop bar area is perfect for your ceremony as well as an after party. There are also many different vaults to host your cocktail hour for your guests.   As a Cleveland wedding DJ company for almost 35 years, we are always excited to work at the 9.

The Flow of a Wedding at Metropolitan at the 9

When you first step into The Metroploitan at the 9, you automatically feel like you’re in a hotel that is so upscale that you’re part of the rich and famous.  When your guests arrive, they will be immediately greeted by a welcoming valet service that feels like they are out of a movie scene. After this, greeters guide your guests to the rooftop for your ceremony.

After your guests enjoy a ceremony like no other, they will be escorted downstairs into the vaults. These are located near the Mint Ballroom.  The Vault area, for cocktails, is an absolute historic space. Without a doubt, your guests will be taking pictures like crazy.  During this time, hors d’oeuvres will be passed out, teasing your guests’ palates.

When cocktail hour comes to an end, your guests will be escorted into the Mint Ballroom. This is truly one of the most luxurious hotel ballrooms in Northeast Ohio.  Amazing service with world class chefs will keep your guests talking about the amazing meal they will have eaten at The Metropolitan at the 9.   After dinner, everyone will dance the night away with your very classy and tasteful band or wedding DJ.  When the festivities come to a close, those guests who aren’t ready to turn in, will be invited up to the rooftop club/bar (weather permitting).

A couple quick tips for enhancing Metropolitan at the 9:

For more information on how Selective Sound Entertainment can enhance this space through lighting as well as how to pack your dance floor all night contact us now! 

Caption regarding wedding planning tips by Jay R from Selective Sound Entertainment

Wedding Planning Tips from Cleveland Wedding Expert Jay R Rich

Selective Sound Entertainment (SSE)’s founder, Jeremy Rich, has been helping couples with their dream days for over two decades. While each couple has different tastes, goals, and visions, many experience the exact same pitfalls in their planning experience. The reason for this is varied. Typically, this is due to the enormous amount of pressure and lack of experience in planning their own wedding. A driving force behind this blog is to educate couples in order to avoid these issues regardless if they end up working with our company or not. We want to work for the couples who we are a good fit for. Our goal is to make sure everyone can benefit from the experience. The wedding planning tips we share enable couples to have a much better experience leading up to their ceremony and reception.

We sat down with Jay R in order to document as much wisdom as possible to share with you. As you will hear on the video, Jay R is very passionate about wedding DJ entertainment, lighting design, videography, photo booths as well as live wedding music. However, he spent most of his time discussing how couples end up with up so much stress. This is mostly due to planning and communication issues. Many of these issue can be avoided but it requires everyone involved getting as organized as possible. The following is a compilation of a few of the biggest wedding planning tips Jay R discussed in the interview.

Choosing a Vendor on Price Alone

Wedding planning tips from Jay R are to research, look for value not price and meet your vendor in person.

Meet with the vendor you have in mind before you sign a contract.

The difference between offering value and being the least expensive can be vast. Low price offerings don’t automatically mean an inferior product or service. However, there are usually reasons why a vendor is so much less than their competitors, especially with wedding DJ’s. Wedding entertainment has no barrier to entry. To be a professional DJ doesn’t come with any tests or certifications. In fact, many do it for fun on the weekends while mostly focusing on their day job. While that’s admirable, there’s a level of professionalism and honing of your craft that you never reach unless you put in the time and are “all in”.

Another limitation with working for people with low prices because of a low overhead is a lack of back-up systems. With Selective Sound, we invest money in training our team members before they ever lead an event. We also have warehouse staff, on-call entertainers, and technicians available as runners. If something happens to your entertainer on the way to your wedding or if a piece of technology breaks down, we are always prepared.

Well-paid professionals are also one of the reasons we have maintained a long history in Cleveland as trustworthy professionals. We keep the people happy who are in the position to make or break an event. This is because they are talented and reliable. We’ve seen a lot of the lowest bidding entertainers come and go. This is because they didn’t have a sustainable business and couldn’t maintain their credibility. There’s no do-over for a wedding reception. Therefore, you need to make sure you ask all the right questions when you are choosing who will help make your day the way you want it.

Budget – Be Open and Honest

Wedding planning tips from Jay include setting your budget and priorities early on.

Open communication is the key to success!

We’ve written before about the importance of setting your budget early before you start the hunt for vendors. This may be one of the most crucial of wedding planning tips. Jay R believes this is a critical point on the road to success for families celebrating a wedding. Make sure everyone with a vested stake in the wedding gets their say and lays out what they are willing to contribute. This form of open communication and organization should follow through to your conversations with those you are willing to hire as well.

While your research online may have turned up pricing and packages for the vendors you want, it’s always worth having a conversation with them. This way you can see if there is something they can offer that would meet your goals while staying in your budget. You’d be surprised by how much creativity and budgets are connected. A true professional isn’t going to change their pricing because they were asked to go lower. However, they can offer you alternative solutions that have less hard costs, such as labor and less products.

All of this is to say that the biggest regrets couples have had seems to center around compromises they made for the sake of their budget. This, unfortunately, resulted in selecting vendors that didn’t perform. The best way to get around this is to talk about budgets early, often and with everyone while asking your preferred vendors to be creative.

Meet Face to Face

Millennials and Generation Z are the most skilled researchers of any generations. That’s because they’re adapt at seeking out online information in order to make better buying decisions. That said, we still advise you to meet with the vendors you are considering face to face. Some wedding pros look better online than they do in reality. This is due to slick marketing. Others could look ideal but when you meet with them you immediately don’t connect.

We think online research is extremely important to decision making for weddings in Cleveland. According to Jay R, listings like The Knot and Wedding Wire work because they are peer reviews. Research can get you 80% of what you need to make a decision so we agree that reviews, videos, testimonials etc. are useful to pick your top few choices. After that, make at least three appointments with the most important vendor types (venue, catering, DJ/entertainment, photographers) in order to have an in-person talk to see if you click. It might seem like a redundant step but it can make a huge difference.

For More Wedding Planning Tips – Watch The Video

Here’s the video of Jay R being interviewed about decisions couples regret making. We don’t want to scare anyone with negativity but it’s important to us that you learn these lessons the easy way before your big day.

Acacia Country Club dance floor is packed due to the best wedding DJ company.

Acacia Country Club wedding

Acacia Country Club wedding in Cleveland, Ohio with Selective Sound Entertainment.

Great vendors.  Incredible wedding guests. Put the two together and you get an epic wedding that won’t be forgotten. You also get some amazing moments like these that were captured by our friends at Making The Moment photography.

Acacia country club is an amazing venue with a ballroom that is unique and classy. Acacia is also exclusively catered by Dinos catering. Their food and service is second to none. As a result of putting these two together, you get a dream wedding reception without having to re-finance your home. 

Selective Sound Entertainment provided amazing wedding DJ services. Furthermore, SSE provided the wedding decor uplighting, cryo and cocktail sound.  The grand introduction featured music that was eclectic and fun. SSE used a variety of music from the 50’s to today to make for an exciting entrance. All music choices had input from the couple themselves as it was their special day.

Finally, we hope you enjoy the photos from our friends at Making the Moment

For more info on what Selective Sound Entertainment can do for you… contact us now.   

Wedding guests dancing to the best wedding DJ

Their Answers Will Tell You A Lot

Couples need to find and work with the wedding DJ they are meant to. It is our intention is to arm you with the right questions so that you can find yours. We’ll be the first to tell you we aren’t the right fit for everyone. We have a lot of experience and we plan on continuing to offer our services for years to come. That means we don’t make a lot of compromises when it comes to anything that could affect our client’s weddings or our reputation. We are not risk takers.

Everyone has different sets of values but if what we just described sounds like values you share, we can tell you the right questions to ask prospective wedding DJ’s and MC’s in order to determine how aligned you are before you sign a contract. These are ten questions we feel will get to the heart of the question “Is this DJ the right fit for our wedding reception?”

Experienced Cleveland wedding DJ

It is imperative that the wedding DJ you choose has actual experience working weddings

1. How Long Have You Been DJing Weddings?

Weddings are fast. In a few hours a room goes from being empty to hosting a family’s biggest day and empty again. There’s not a lot of room for errors and there are no do-overs. The more “shows” under the belt of a performer is what separates competent from great. To be great, you have to have a focus. Wedding DJ’s have to be able to collaborate with vendors, motivate a dance floor, and make sure all of your important moments happen exactly how you planned. Each venue has quirks, some vendors have different requirements of those they work with and situations arise that no one could have foreseen. These are all reasons why experience matters. Besides, if you are looking for a wedding DJ to create a unique experience for you, it helps if have they can draw on many examples of what worked and what didn’t.

2. What’s your backup plan if you get sick or something happens to you on the day of our wedding?

We have nothing against “solopreneurs” (who are often called “single-ops”, as in singular operators). The amount of employees you have or don’t doesn’t determine how much passion you have or how good you are as an entertainer. It is, however, a riskier proposition for weddings. As we mentioned, weddings aren’t a corporate monthly meeting. You don’t get another chance to get it right.  There is a reason there are so many ways to say “Stuff happens” and “The show must go on”. Event professionals are real professionals when they have Plan A, B, C, etc. People get sick at their jobs every day but when your job is to provide entertainment for someone’s wedding, you don’t just get to call off. Our company has wedding DJ’s and MC’s on call at our warehouse every weekend to help eliminate risks. If something happens, we’ve already planned for that possibility.

3. What is your insurance policy?

The bride and groom who rent the venue for the night are techically responsible for anything that happens inside that venue from your guests. This means that if the DJ is rolling equipment in and breaks the $6,000 glass front door from being carless – YOU, THE CLIENT, are technically responsible. The client can technically get into legal trouble if someone trips and falls over a tripod or light stand and gets hurt. If the DJ or entertainment company has insurance, it is a buffer to protect them. That all said, $1,000,000 in liability insurance should be the minimum for anyone you hire.

4. Why do you love performing at wedding receptions?

Asking this question will tell you if the entertainer is passionate for weddings or if this is just a profit center for them. There are a lot of ways to make more money than being a wedding DJ. We don’t want you to be scared of sharks trying to take you for all you have, but there are varying levels of passion for this type of event. We love changing peoples perspective the second they get to a wedding. Most think that they’re going to eat some cold food, have a few drinks and listen to the same music they hear at every other wedding. This isn’t the case with what we do. We change the atmosphere through the right music choices, and keep the evening moving so guests are never bored. If we build the atmosphere they will dance.

Could you show us 3rd party reviews

A reputable DJ should be able to easily show you 3rd party reviews

5. Could you show us third-party reviews from your clients?

Reviews on pages like WeddingWire and The Knot can give you insights from couples who have worked with the DJ you are considering. Look for genuine reviews that truly look like you would have written them and not a DJ company “faking a review” after reading a dozen or so reviews from other companies, you will know which ones are real and genuine. Everyone has their own scale and ranking system so make sure the company you are looking for has enough reviews that it all balances out.

6. How many meetings will we have leading up to the wedding?

Asking this question will give you insights into their processes. Do they have automated reminder e-mails, questions you need to answer before your wedding day, systems, checklists, etc. A lot of what you are looking for in a wedding DJ is preparedness and organization.

7. What will you be wearing during the reception?

These questions exist to help you find the right entertainer for your sensibilities. There are a lot of options for attire for entertainers at weddings. We don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer for everyone. There just needs to be communication and a clear understanding. That’s why you should ask! We generally wear black formal wear like a suit, not a penguin suit or colored vests, as we don’t want to be the centerpiece or stand out. We’re very open to other options, however. We have even worn toga at weddings before as well as Halloween wedding costumes. It’s your party, we’re just there to compliment your vision.

what if there is a technical issue?

A good wedding DJ will have a back plan. Make sure you ask!

8. How many hours are included in the reception package?

Being told the price for another hour of reception entertainment during your wedding is definitely not a surprise any couple wants to deal with on their special day. Negotiate how many hours your reception entertainment price will cover up front to eliminate bad surprises later.

9. What’s the plan if there is a technical issue with your equipment during the reception?

Technology is the best…when it works right! When it doesn’t, it can really ruin the fun. Like with the single-ops, having back-up plans separates the risk takers from the prepared. We have backup equipment onsite. Packed backup speakers and computers are standard protocol for teams on-site. We also have runners at our warehouse standing by for any issues. When a company charges a little more for their services, these are the reasons…they have done their due diligence to ensure you get what you paid for – no excuses!

10. What are some of the ways you motivate a dance floor that hasn’t loosened up yet?

This question is once again about sensibilities. Every veteran wedding entertainer has tricks to get energy on the dance floor at the beginning or during any lulls. Entertainers may teach dance moves, we’ve heard of a few who get on the microphone and sing, while others might go out and find grandma for a dance. Asking this question lets you know more about a DJs strengths and also prepares you for what they might be doing on the day of your wedding.

There are some tasteful ways to get guests to the dance floor that work EVERY SINGLE TIME. We’re confident that we can get 80% of the guests to dance the first open dance song of the evening every time. GURANTEED! To learn more, schedule a call or meeting.

We hope these questions provide you with a resource you can use to find the right wedding entertainer for your wedding. Regardless of who you choose, asking the right questions now can make your entire planning process much less stressful.



Wedding DJ, Jay R working his magic behind the DJ booth.

The Truth About Wedding DJ’s

We love what we do and we’ve been doing it for a long time. That said, event entertainment has always had a low barrier to entry. Being able to claim you are a DJ and truly acting as a professional entertainer aren’t mutually inclusive. The last thing we want to do is say anything negative about our profession nor create fear in couples minds needlessly, in regards to wedding DJ’s. We do, however, have a responsibility to educate our clients. With our wedding clients specifically, there’s a very difficult learning curve for most looking to hire professionals in order for their dream day to be realized. In our experience, very few couples have had significant entertainment negotiations prior to their wedding which often results in undue stress and even bad decision making.

While we could tell you horror stories we’ve heard from our wedding industry friends over the past decade, we don’t want to do that. In all honesty, most wedding DJ’s we’ve encountered are good people who got into entertaining for the right reasons. There is a wild skill level difference between the different ends of the spectrum but we encounter much more instances of altruistic entertainer than charlatans. In our ongoing effort to educate our region on what professional wedding entertainment services should be, we’ve once again asked regional industry leaders what they look out for. It’s our hope that these third-party voices might give you suggestions on things to be aware for not only professional and unprofessional behaviors but also traits that aren’t compatible with who you are.

Brett Yacovella, Creative Director / Wedding Photographer

Making the Moment

Whats a common mistake wedding DJ’s make that negatively impacts the event?

People whispering secrets in one picture and wedding DJ's hand on equipment in another picture

A professional DJ guides your event, they don’t make it theirs.

Most of the DJ’s we work with on any given event are professional and help everything go smoothly for our couples (especially the team over at Selective Sound!). However, there are some decisions that (from our perception) can make the event feel a bit funny. The most noticeable is when a well intended DJ makes the mistake of making the event about themselves. Everyone loves a good emcee that will help guide the event, but the more I experience events and listen to feedback from couples, we’re all annoyed by a DJ that showboats too hard; leading the night with long winded diatribes, predictably cheesy jokes and one-liners that they’ve rehashed and re-used throughout past events. In short, speeches and toasts should be reserved for the families or the couple, not for the DJ to become a pseudo-star.

What is a sign that a Wedding DJ really understands their profession?

A DJ really understands their profession when they work hard to understand what the couple wants out of the evening, rather than assuming and working on a pre-formatted script. The best DJ’s I work with know how to influence the night to become what the couple wants; paying careful attention to pace and flow of the night, while working in response to what the guests are providing  (in terms of energy and response) all the while using the couple’s desires as a north-star for the journey. On a professional level, I always feel confident in a DJ when they take the time up front to greet our photography and video staff when we arrive at a venue. It’s SUCH a great show of teamwork when I know the DJ is going to work hard to communicate with our teams to ensure we don’t miss a moment.

Whats one piece of advice you have for couples before they choose a DJ for their wedding?

Trust your friends, your instincts, and your vendors. Ask your friends how they felt about their DJ, would they recommend them? Have you been to an incredible wedding lately? Who was the DJ there? Ask your vendors  (photographers and videographers especially). Each of us are “attending” 20-30 weddings a year, and so really have the opportunity to give good feedback here. The Making the Moment staff knows who the great wedding DJ’s are, simply because we’re fully present throughout the ENTIRE wedding reception. We don’t leave the night early and we stay throughout the entire party. We LOVE experiencing a good wedding reception; not only is it fun for us and our couples, but it also makes the imagery and our wedding films SO much better.

Terry Superchick Goodman, Lead Photographer/Owner

Platinum Photography Ohio

A lady telling another lady a secret. wedding DJ's hand turning up the volume.

It’s important to meet with your DJ to make sure you mesh well

Whats a common mistake wedding DJ’s make that negatively impacts the event?

I find quite a few DJ’s who don’t know how to read a room. I’ve seen many dance floors empty because they just can’t seem to play the right song to pull someone onto the dance floor.

What is a sign that a Wedding DJ really understands their profession?

The sign of a great DJ is when the dance floor is packed and people are dancing the whole night.

Whats one piece of advice you have for couples before they choose a DJ for their wedding?

Talk to your actual DJ in person to get a feel for their personality. Talk to friends and family who’ve already been married and ask if they loved their DJ or not. Then you get a feel for who you should be checking out.

Justin Ketchem, Owner

Justin Ketchem Photography

Quote "Observe the DJ during the intros, speeches and parts of the wedding that require MC work." -Justin Ketchem Photography

Ask your DJ questions before your event to ensure they are well organized

Whats a common mistake wedding DJ’s make that negatively impacts the event?

Not taking the time to learn the names or pronunciation of the wedding party for the introduction.

What is a sign that a Wedding DJ really understands their profession?

Being well organized and knowing when to play certain kinds of music.

Whats one piece of advice you have for couples before they choose a DJ for their wedding?

Observe the DJ during the intros, speeches and parts of the wedding that require MC work. That will give a good indication of the DJ’s preparation, organization and style.

Nicole Sebrasky, Owner/Photography

Brass Key Photography

Quote:"If their personality doesn't match yours, odds are they won't on your wedding day either." -Brass Key Photography

Make sure your personalities blend together nicely so you won’t have any conflicts on your special day.

Whats a common mistake wedding DJ’s make that negatively impacts the event?

Dinner Music! Most DJ’s seem to default to a Frank Sinatra and instrumental playlist for dinner. In my opinion that is the worst thing you can do! What happens when you feed your guests a good meal, turn the lights down and put on slow music? YOU PUT YOUR DANCERS TO SLEEP BEFORE THE DANCE FLOOR OPENS!

Odds are your guests will be seated with people they either don’t know or haven’t seen in years. They need things to get them to socialize. Food and music are two things where people can find things in common and start conversations. We recommend our couples pick a playlist of their favorite songs that you love to hear but cant dance to. Coldplay, Queen, Smashing Pumpkins, 80’s & 90’s undanceable Hits and ballads, etc. That will get people saying “OMG! I haven’t heard this in forever”. Not only will it keep your non dancing guests around longer if they make a new friends, but it will also get your guests energized and excited for the dance floor to open!

What is a sign that a Wedding DJ really understands their profession?

Your DJ should outline the entire reception timeline. Knowing what is happening when and being prepared for it is key! Your DJ is your emcee for the night and once the reception starts, he is in charge of the flow. Having a game plan in writing that he can share with other professionals is a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page and ready to go when the time comes!

Whats one piece of advice you have for couples before they choose a DJ for their wedding?

MEET THEM! Spend time with them. If their personality doesn’t match yours, odds are they won’t on your wedding day either. If their energy level is low or they don’t speak clearly, you should look elsewhere. Your entertainment will make or break your party. You are paying thousands of dollars, spending months or years and countless hours planning this major event…. if you don’t have someone who can keep your guests happy and having fun, you are wasting all of the effort you are putting in!

Jeff Jones, Photographer

Jeff Jones Photography

Wedding DJ's: "Hire a professional that has many years of experience in the field." -Jeff Jones Photography

Experienced professionals are essential

Whats a common mistake wedding DJ’s make that negatively impacts the event?

Talk to much or sing with the song that they are playing.

What is a sign that a Wedding DJ really understands their profession?

Keeping the guest on the dance floor the entire evening.

Whats one piece of advice you have for couples before they choose a DJ for their wedding?

Hire a professional that has many years of experience in the field.

Heather Morse, Event Planner

Marigold Catering

What no one tells you about wedding DJ's: "Make sure the DJ wants to represent you as a couple through the music." -Marigold Catering

Your playlist should be unique to you and your event, not just a standard playlist.

Whats a common mistake wedding DJ’s make that negatively impacts the event?

Some DJ’s tend to talk a little too much.

What is a sign that a Wedding DJ really understands their profession?

They have a clear passion for the event and all vendors involved. They communicate their needs to vendors/the caterer before an event.

Whats one piece of advice you have for couples before they choose a DJ for their wedding?

Make sure that your wants are more important than theirs. Make sure the DJ wants to represent you as a couple through the music.

Brandi Hamerstone, Owner

All Events Planned

Wedding DJ's. "No matter how good the DJ if you don't "click" with them, they won't work for your wedding day." -All Events Planned

Matching personalities is key

Whats a common mistake wedding D’Js make that negatively impacts the event?

Trying to run the event “their” way vs the way that the client wants the event to run. Suggesting things because they think they “work” better instead of listening to the client and trying to make their way work for everyone. Trying to sell the clients on additional items and upgrades just to make money off of the account. Sometimes the client doesn’t need them and the suggestions are purely out of the desire to make more of a profit.

What is a sign that a Wedding DJ really understands their profession?

They are active in pursuing knowledge in all aspects of the wedding day so that they understand why the timing of the day happens beyond what they see. Great wedding DJ’s are open to clients suggestions and ideas and are always on the look out for ways to better improve who they are and what they do

Whats one piece of advice you have for couples before they choose a DJ for their wedding?

Sit down and interview them either in person or on the phone to figure out if their personality is a good fit. No matter how good the DJ if you don’t “click” with them, they won’t work for your wedding day. NEVER hire a DJ without talking with them.

Now that you’ve read these honest answers to simple questions that we asked veteran industry professionals, you have some homework. What are deal breakers for you when it comes to hiring a DJ for your wedding? How are going to alleviate problems that would cause you stress during your special day before they happen?  Do you have a list of qualities that you’re looking for within the event professionals you are about to hire?

With over two decades of event entertainment experience, we’ve seen a lot but no two events of ours is the same. Our clients stories are as unique as each reception we have the privilege of working on.

Ask us how we’d help express your dream.