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The Anatomy of a Song Request

Wedding Song Request 101
Have you ever gone up to the wedding DJ to place your song request? If so, why did you make the request? Was it because you wanted to dance to it or just wanted to hear your song? Did you think more people would get up and dance if your song was played? What were you thinking at that time?

So you’re probably wondering “what’s with all the questions about my song request?” Well, some people simply don’t think before they request a song at a wedding. Listen…wedding DJ’s understand that everyone has their favorite songs, and if their job was about making everyone happy they would play every song requested. However, that’s not their job…not even a little bit. The couple has hand selected their DJ company and have entrusted them to pack the dance floor all night long. Trust us, this isn’t the DJ’s first rodeo. Selective Sound DJ’s have skills like none other when it comes to getting a room full of people to dance.

Now, if for some reason you just have to make that song request, then for the LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE take a look at the top 10 1/2 reasons why the DJ may not play your request.

Song request Denied!

Here are the Top 10 1/2 Reasons Why…

1.No one can dance to your requested song…

Example: Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Sure, it’s one the greats. However, these songs are best at the bar or around the campfire. If we play this, the dance floor is going to be empty and the bar tender is about to be overwhelmed. An empty dance floor is not what the couple paid the DJ for. The only way we’re playing something like this is if it was a request from the couple and at the end of night.

2. Just because you’re the closest family member to the couple doesn’t mean your request will get played any faster. Listen Aunt Ginny, we know you’re more important than everyone else but we just don’t care. We’ll get to your song when we get to it.

3. We won’t play a song just because you say it’s the bride’s favorite.

You have to do better than this. If this was the bride’s favorite song she would’ve told us this during one of our numerous meetings.

4. Novelty Songs

Example: The Hokey-pokey/The Chicken Dance.  If we don’t play these it’s because the couple gave us strict instructions not to. Believe it or not, some couples just can’t stand these songs. And management isn’t willing to take an angry bride call due to the chicken dance.

5. Non-danceable radio pop hit.

Example: “Marry You” by Bruno Mars. Sure it’s a fun song and we think it’s cute too. However, when is the last time you tried to actually dance to it? I’m picturing a hot mess like Elaine, how about you?

6. Inappropriate Lyrics

“Lick it like a lollipop” or “Bitch I’m a N***er” may send GramGram to her grave tonight. So unless the couple tells us to, we’re going to let her live one more night.

7. “This was my wedding song”

Well isn’t that precious? You’re so conceited that you just have to relive your special day through someone else’s. How about you let us play what this couple wants to hear? They paid us, not you. Move it along Karen…

8. It has the bride’s name in it.

“Oh Sarah”….oh poor poor Sarah. Sue, Brandi, Jessie… Chances are, these ladies begged us not to play this on their special day.

9. Trying to send a message.

Example: “Congratulations” by Post Malone. Yeah….you can bob your head to it, but you can’t dance to it. Trust us, the happy couple has most likely been congratulated by everyone in the room already. By the way, this song has NOTHING to do with a happy marriage.

10. Don’t wait until the last half hour to request a song.

First of all, this should REALLY be a no-brainer. But for those with no brains and must have an explanation here ya go: The bride and groom typically have a closing song they’ve already picked out and other requests (from those folks with brains) that still need to be played.

And a Half…
Firstly, please don’t try to bribe the DJ with money. Your dollar bill is cute and all but our main focus is to keep the dance floor packed and the couple happy. Secondly, don’t feel like you have to request a song. Just enjoy yourself, we’ve got this!

We don’t mind playing song requests…honestly, we don’t. We just ask that you be mindful before you start throwing songs out. Remember, our role at this wedding is to specifically keep the party moving at all times. If the dance floor isn’t packed, then we’ve failed. And we, at Selective Sound Entertainment, refuse to fail.

Cleveland wedding entertainment review

Recent Cleveland Wedding Entertainment Reviews

Starting The Year Off Right

When it comes to the Cleveland Wedding DJ Business there’s a seasonality-based flow to what our years are like for us. Because of the weather in Northeast Ohio and venue availability, those of us who are in-demand find ourselves very busy with the final planning and celebrations that peak between May and October. November and December cool down with the frequency our teams are performing while our sales team starts to really pick-up with initial meetings. By the end of December, our team is ready to take some time off after another very successful year.

knot Ohio wedding entertainment

When going through our non-critical e-mails at the top of the year, we saw a wedding entertainment review that has since been passed around the office quite a bit. It reflects the experience a groom had at his December wedding as well as a year’s worth of planning with us. His point person and entertainer was Jeremy, Jay R, Rich.

Jay R is the founder of Selective Sound Entertainment. He is just one of the many entertainers that we have and is also likely the humblest one. This review is very glowing of Jay R. because he was the right entertainer for this family. It wasn’t because he’s always the very best for everyone. While this review made him very happy, he didn’t share it with the rest of the team to toot his own horn. Rather, Jay R knows that inspiration at this time of the year is vital to the team. Seeing the results of our shared work is what fuels us to deliver consistent world-class wedding entertainment.

We’re going to share some of Kevin K.’s words with you here as well as a little commentary. Our hope is that it will give you helpful context while planning your own wedding. We think it would be amazing that when your wedding day is done you’ll have similar joyful sentiments that Kevin shared with our team about his experiences.

Here’s the breakdown of this brilliant wedding entertainment review:

Jay R is a 10 because I literally can’t think of anything I’d change about our experience.

We know that if you go into your wedding day with the right mindset, you’re almost certain to have a good time. That means you have trust and confidence that everyone helping to make your vision real will do just that. The secret to having clients often say “I can’t think of anything I’d change” is a simple one…we listen! The reason they think everything happened just the way they wanted is because they helped define what success looks like and we followed that playbook. It’s the result of never performing in a cookie cutter style.

Some things we especially liked: – Jay R was extremely responsive via all forms of communication.

This is a point of pride for us and something that we think speaks to our actual work on the day of your wedding. We listen, respond, and are accommodating in all points concerning your wedding. It’s not just a performance attitude, it’s our way. We think our clients deserve that level of respect because those working on your event are in the world of hospitality. There is a right way and a wrong way with very little gray area when it comes to service.

Jay R was perfectly accommodating of our requests, but he was also real with us (in a way that was polite yet clear) about the things that, in his experience, typically ‘work’ for weddings — something we newbies really appreciated. 

finger pointing to happy emoji due to great wedding entertainment review

This makes us so happy! It’s such a fine line with what we do. We’re service professionals. This means our place is to create the vision you desire. However, we must also be up front with you about the realities of your vision. Service is on one side and professional is on the other. If you don’t understand where we come from with that, it might seem like we’re being negative or not supportive of your ideas. Kevin got it right here, though. When you pay true professionals, you get their council, recommendations, and honesty. With decades of experience, we hope everyone understands that you can benefit greatly from hearing our perspective.

 

It was such a relief to have Jay R for our ceremony, which went perfectly; his mic-jobs (two lapel mics, one on a stand) were perfect and discreet – True to his word, Jay R vamped one of our processional songs with a smooth cross-fade that probably zero people noticed.

Kevin admits to being a newbie but he’s pretty savvy! We know our clients are smart, pay attention, and know what they want. It doesn’t matter that they’ve never hired a DJ before. It’s likely they’ve been paying attention to what matter the most to them with entertainment and sound for years. He also brings up another important aspect of what we offer – ceremony sound. As much as you can’t wait to have your meal and get on the dance floor, the vows are what we’re really here for. To have sound issues that exclude anyone from that special moment would be beyond disappointing. We take microphone placement, testing, and connections very seriously.

Jay R didn’t just care about getting his own job done and getting outta there; he seemed to have all vendors’ itineraries in his head at once — he was essentially our point man for the entire evening, for all things, not just music (and in that way, he partly helped us to plan the wedding!).

This is exactly how we define what an Emcee does. A DJ plays music. Making in the moment decisions between what’s been asked and what’s resonating with a crowd makes a DJ great. They also make sure everyone is having a good time. An Emcee can have these skills as well in addition to a host of other responsibilities. Exactly what Kevin stated in his review is what our Emcees focus on. We make sure there is cohesion with all wedding professionals so that you don’t have to micro-manage your big day.

The extent to which Jay R interacted with the crowd was just right — I wouldn’t have asked for any more or any less.

Jay R interacted with Kevin’s crowd uniquely. Meaning, he acts differently at every wedding he performs at. Nothing is cookie cutter when it comes to being a great DJ and Emcee. There isn’t a right and a wrong way to engage a wedding dance floor because it’s more art than science. A great Cleveland Wedding DJ uses the planning process to get to know the couple’s preferences. Then, he weighs that against the emotional responses he sees from the crowd as they react to music and engagement. It’s a balance between listening skills and experience which turns into muscle memory. It’s all the things an iPod can’t do!

One of our favorite things: we made a lot of Play-If-Possible song requests that probably weren’t very wedding-friendly (e.g. the full studio version of Richard Harris’s ‘MacArthur Park’), but Jay R managed to play a truly amazing percentage of them, and all at the perfect moments

wedding lighting Ohio Deep cuts, niche artists, and non-dance friendly music are frustrating to a lot of wedding entertainers…but not us! We make sure we’re all on the same page. Meaning that our main goal is making sure the most amount of people at your wedding are enjoying the music. Now that doesn’t mean there isn’t ways to introduce them to some of your favorites. That’s why we have lists of “Must Play”, “Never Play” (where the Chicken Dance often ends up), and “Play If Possible”.

Thorough communication and the sharing of mutual expectations, we ensure there’s a win/win for every wedding reception.

Jay R was immediately responsive to the movements (as it were) of the dance floor; he’d start a song and, if it wasn’t catching, smoothly beat-match it with another song and move on.

Honestly, Kevin is one of those clients who really pays attention to these details and we love it. He’s describing something most guests wouldn’t articulate this accurately but they’d instantly know when it wasn’t right. Our Cleveland Wedding DJ’s have honed skills over years of experiences with diverse crowds. What he’s describing is exactly what went down but most guests just knew they had a good time.

To top it all off, Jay R has a cheerful personality and a great sense of humor!

The secret to this one is loving what you do. There’s a level of stress involved with performing that never goes away regardless of how many engagements you’ve had as an entertainer. You only get one shot to make a wedding go well and there’s many variables. With all that, we know we have the privilege of doing what we love. Getting to do the thing you enjoy and are good at makes the whole process more fun for everyone. We’re definitely glad that adds something extra for our clients.

A few of our (older…) wedding guests mentioned that the music volume was just a touch loud, but I thought it was perfect, considering the event (and I have sensitive hearing!).

Ha! Well, we’ll take the constructive feedback! That’s what a wedding entertainment review is for, right? There’s a lot of subjectivity when it comes to entertainment. We do our best to please the most amount of people as we can but people are all built differently. Consider this feedback when you are working on your seating charts.

 

All in all, this is one of our favorite reviews because it articulates so many of the areas we believe are vitally important for a successful wedding reception. Contact us today if you’d like to have an experience like this. Nothing would make us happier than to read your positive wedding entertainment review of our work!

Click here if you would like to read Kevin Kane’s wedding entertainment review in its entirety.

Cleveland wedding entertainment company gives tips for Cleveland wedding venue, The Madison

Vlog – Cleveland Wedding Venue Tips for “The Madison”

Downtown Cleveland Warehouse Chic

The Madison is a newer Cleveland wedding venue with some very impressive roots. Built in the early 1900’s, The Madison initially housed the Republic Brass Company. After years of neglect, the 22,000 square foot warehouse was finally restored and transformed into a fully realized event venue.  The Madison brought together historic industrialism with modern minimalism to create an impressive event space.

The space offers white brick walls, twenty foot ceilings, and open layout which makes customization a breeze. The venue has table and chair options available so that couples can avoid the hassle of using a rental company. This one story venue has easy to access loading docks which helps greatly for load-ins. Due to large amounts of natural sunlight and creative design, the bridal party rooms are perfect for getting ready for the big moment. From a large private outdoor patio and 16 new bathrooms to 4 season climate control and track lighting, The Madison has so much to offer as a wedding venue. And from a vendor aspect, it offers many helpful things as well. A catering preparation area and ample electrical outlets help ensure a smooth set up and evening.

Selective Sound Entertainment founder Jeremy (Jay R) Rich has a lot to say about The Madison in his latest vlog.

Takeaways From The Madison Tips

Jay R was able to give an incredible amount of useful information when it comes to having your ceremony/reception at The Madison. You’re in good hands with them! Jay R also discusses the design aspects regarding The Madison. The Madison design, admittedly, is not for all couples. If you want a hotel space that is a traditional look, then this industrial warehouse wouldn’t really be for you. However, if you prefer an open floor plan that offers flexibility, The Madison may just be the perfect Cleveland wedding venue for you.

Features To Look For at this Cleveland Wedding Venue, The Madison

Some of Jay R’s favorite aspects of The Madison are the additional features that were thoughtfully added making this an ideal wedding venue. First, there are a few different options for onsite ceremonies. This makes things easier for couples looking to have everything in one spot. The private patio can be used for a number of different functions with many wedding lighting options including bistro lighting. Depending on your decor choices, these wedding lighting additions can help create an elegant or casual atmosphere. When it comes to both ceremony and dance floor sound, the acoustics are perfect. These types of details are important for anyone looking at Cleveland event venues and they are some of the things that impressed Jay R the most.

If you’re looking for even more information on The Madison, check out our Venue Spotlight.

If you want to talk to Jay R about working at this great venue, send him an email today.

The Madison set up for wedding reception with hanging bistro lights and vines.

Spotlight Wedding Venue: The Madison | Selective Sound Entertainment

Cleveland Spotlight Wedding Venue: The Madison

Looking for the newest and hottest spot to have your wedding? Well, look no further than Cleveland’s premier wedding venue, The Madison. Located in Cleveland’s growing and diverse Midtown district, The Madison offers indoor and outdoor spaces, fabulous aesthetics and so much more! Whether you’re looking for a spot to accommodate your wedding ceremony, reception or both, Selective Sound Entertainment believes this amazing space must be at the top of your list.

Wide Open Spaces at The Madison

This historical 22,000 square foot warehouse has minimalist white brick walls, spacious twenty foot ceilings and an amazing open layout. This is the perfect Cleveland wedding venue to make all of your wedding day visions come true without having to try to hide anything. A fantastic blank canvas like The Madison gives you the opportunity to let your your imagination run free. What’s better is that you can do this without having to worry about covering up odd colors and patterns that you may find at other venues. Instead, Selective Sound Entertainment’s lighting engineers can help you fill the space with colors of your choice. From uplighting beams of color to adding strings of bistro lighting, giving a warmer glow to the large space. Whatever you can imagine, our wedding lighting designers are always up for the challenge.

Small or Large, The Madison Accommodates All

Whether you’re looking for a small or large Cleveland wedding venue, The Madison can accommodate all.  “The Foundry Room” may be just what you’re looking for if your guest count includes just your nearest and dearest. You receive all of the benefits of The Madison just in a more intimate setting. This lovely space has the ability to seat up to 300 guests comfortably and if you are wanting it to feel even more intimate, the Madison also has pipe and drape available.

Also, if you are indeed having a large wedding, fear not. The main event space at The Madison can seat up to 500 people easily. And if you have always imagined dancing under the stars…well, The Madison has that covered as well. Their outdoor patio can seat up to 300 guests. With the bistro lights strung above, you will have a beautiful warm glow to create the perfect outdoor ambiance.

If you’re planning to fill The Madison near it’s maximum capacity, then we have a couple tips for you. Firstly, due to the exposed brick walls and ceiling heights our experienced Cleveland wedding DJ’s highly suggest adding additional speakers in the corners of the room. This way, everyone can hear everything as it is meant to be. Our wedding DJ’s also want to emphasize the importance of using an experienced wedding DJ for this particular venue. You’re big day will be as close to perfect as possible if you do. So be sure to do your homework before you choose your Cleveland wedding DJ.

The Madison has Thought of Everything

The Madison has truly thought of everything needed to have the ultimate Cleveland wedding with all the bells and whistles. From high-speed internet, a separate bar room, tables and chairs and more than enough electrical outlets. Be sure to check out their website, to see all of the other wonderful things they provide as well. You won’t be disappointed!

Also, a big thank you to Jenny Haas for these gorgeous photos of a bride’s dream come true! The bistro lighting, by Selective Sound Entertainment, hangs above to provide a warm and romantic ambiance. Not only do the hanging vines and wood chairs give a natural earthy feel but is a fantastic example of a couple letting their imagination run free at The Madison in Cleveland, Ohio.

Let’s Enhance The Madison together!

Selective Sound Entertainment is much more than just the best Cleveland wedding DJ’s. We also have an entire team of visionaries, who are always excited for the next challenge that comes along. And if you’re having a difficult time solidifying a plan, even after hours of browsing on Pinterest, our creative designers are more than happy to help! To the right, you will find a few suggestions that we think would be amazing attributes to The Madison. Leave us a note and ask us what we can do for you!

The following are just a few suggestions to help amplify The Madison into something magical.

Tips for lighting, entertainment and more for Cuyahoga County Courthouse weddings.

Before Choosing Cuyahoga County Courthouse For Your Wedding

Cuyahoga County Courthouse Weddings

We’ve put together a handy guide of information for you to ponder if considering the Cuyahoga County Courthouse for your wedding day. We’re one of the most frequent vendors to work there in a variety of different roles including DJ and live music entertainment, lighting, decor, videography and photo booths. Since we’re there often and in different capacities we have a good vantage point to help inform your planning decisions. We love Cuyahoga county courthouse weddings are going to give you a few tips on how to make sure yours is absolutely amazing.

Top 3 Things To Know about the Cuyahoga County Courthouse

Our founder, Jay R Rich and his team, have some of the most experience at this venue.  Jay R is a respected Cleveland wedding industry veteran. Therefore, you can trust that he knows most of the vendors in the community. He can easily tell you how their skills relate to different spaces. We sat down with Jay R to talk about Cuyahoga County Courthouse weddings as part of our Vlog series. Here he tells us about planning weddings in Northeast Ohio. Here’s what he had to say…

To summarize, Jay R really believes that you need to understand that you have to bring all your vendors into this space in order to pull off a wedding. Unlike a hotel that has much of the necessities built in, Cuyahoga County Courthouse weddings require you to do more homework in order to fit your budget. First, you need to figure out everything you need as well as the costs. Next, look for suppliers who have the most experience working at the Cuyahoga County Courthouse. Lastly, pay special attention to your choices for catering as they have the most logistical obstacles to overcome. Do all that, and your experience there will be everything you dreamed of.

Basic Information About The Cuyahoga County Courthouse

A few things you should know before booking the Cuyahoga County Courthouse for your wedding:

  • The space is available for Saturday rental. Sundays, as well as holidays, are available but at an increased rate.
  • The space can accommodate 400 guests for dinner and dancing.
  • You may serve alcoholic beverages at events taking place there.
  • There is no smoking inside this historic building.
  • The building does not have a preferred list of vendors (but we think those experienced with the space have an edge).
  • There is a metal detector at the door that guests will need to walk through.
  • Use of Huntington Park Garage requires a rental cost during events.
  • You can expand the footprint of the space to include the upstairs for an additional rental fee.
  • For current pricing and more information for weddings, email the Cuyahoga County Courthouse here

What Northeast Ohio Couples & Wedding Pros Say About Cuyahoga County Courthouse

We interviewed couples we worked with who had their weddings at the Cuyahoga County Courthouse and asked them what made them choose this space. We compiled the top ten answers as part of a comprehensive blog post about this wedding venue. In addition, we surveyed a number of the most prolific Northeast Ohio wedding professionals so they could give their opinions about what to expect at this space. We think this is a pretty valuable resource for you to check out,

Venue Spotlight: Cuyahoga County Courthouse

We believe that, as many do, the Cuyahoga County Courthouse is one of the best wedding spaces in Cleveland. Therefore, we covered this venue as part of our venue spotlight series that you can view here. This will provide you with photos and insights that will help you create your vision.

We hope you use this resource in your planning process. The Cuyahoga County Courthouse is one of the true gems of Cleveland. Because of this we are always happy to so frequently find ourselves there. Feel free to contact Jay R if you have further questions about how working with Selective Sound Entertainment can make your wedding planning for this venue less stressful.