Cleveland wedding entertainment review

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.

Bride, groom and their guests pose for a picture in the wedding mirror booth.

Why just please your guests when you can really “WOW” them?

Wedding photo booths have been around for years. However, wedding mirror booths are still relatively new to the scene and always bring the wow factor to every wedding we’ve seen with one. Selfie stations at weddings are rather new as well but don’t make nearly the same impact as the mirror booth. In this blog, Selective Sound Entertainment’s founder, Jay R Rich, explains to us exactly why the wedding mirror booth tends to be the best choice for couples deciding between the different wedding photo booths.

What exactly is a wedding mirror booth?

” A wedding mirror booth is an interactive photo booth that utilizes a mirror rather than a traditional t.v. monitor. Therefore, the guests can see their poses before the picture is even taken. The monitor, as well as a camera, can be found behind the mirror. The mirror has a beautiful frame around it. Depending on the couples wedding decor, it can be changed from gold to silver. This way it blends right in and doesn’t take away from the rest of the ambiance.”

What makes Selective Sound Entertainment’s wedding mirror booth unique compared to that of other vendors?

“Great question! First of all, it’s important to note that Selective Sound has the original, most innovative mirror booths on the market. The quality of this mirror is much higher than what most other companies use. Our wedding mirror booths are extremely reliable and have the best performance rate possible. The software itself is top end and actually speeds up the process for taking and developing the pictures which is fantastic for the guests.”

And, in the rare instance the mirror booth would malfunction, how would SSE handle this?

“Well, we have rarely had to deal with malfunctions with our booths due to the quality behind the software. Our technicians stay with the booth the entire time to not only interact and guide the guests, but also quickly resolve any issues that may occur. All of our technicians are highly trained and proficient with the software. If there is ever a malfunction, it can typically be resolved with a simple reboot of the system. However, if ever needed, our wedding mirror booths are actually hot-spot ready. This allows for our technicians to enter the system remotely and provide a quick fix so it’s up and running without a long delay.”

Let’s talk more about the pictures themselves. For example, how good is the quality? Will they smear?

“The quality of our pictures, believe it or not, is the same as that of a photo lab. The quality of camera being used is the reason behind this. At Selective Sound, we use an DSLR camera. Meaning, our mirrors use true photography cameras, not webcams like most other companies. By using the DSLR cameras, guests receive crystal clear photos every single time. It’s also important to mention that all of our pictures are printed on real photo glossy paper through the highest quality printer. With our software, pictures are printed in 8 seconds and with absolutely no smearing.”

“The part that couples and guests love the most about our wedding mirror booth pictures is the fact that every guest gets a copy of any picture they are in. It’s a fun memento that guests truly enjoy. Rather than the traditional strip of photos, guests receive 4×6 color photos with their choice of 1-4 poses on each. Every guest that was in the picture gets a copy, which usually surprises everyone.”

The wedding mirror booth is completely in the open. Won’t guests be more shy in front of this than they would be in a traditional photo booth?

“Honestly, the open air design of the wedding mirror booth is an initial worry for most couples. However, what I have found is just the opposite. People become so mesmerized by the novelty of the mirror and so intrigued by seeing themselves they tend to actually act sillier. There just seems to be a different mentality when people can actually see themselves in the mirror rather than trying to pose in front of a monitor.

It’s also great for group photos. Since everyone can see themselves, there’s no guessing as to who can be seen in the picture. The footprint of the mirror booth is much smaller than that of a traditional booth so many are surprised to find out that more people can actually fit into the mirror pictures. While the traditional photo booth can hold up to as many as 12 people, the mirror booth can fit as many as 14 people in!”

Tells us about the costs for this “WOW” factor. What extra fees should we expect?

“Unlike most other companies, everything for the wedding mirror booth is included. With that said, we do have a couple upgrades you can choose from when it comes to the extras, if you so choose. What’s also nice for couples, who get their mirror booth from SSE, is the opportunity for bundle discounts. If our clients purchase our other award winning packages, the discounts start adding up fast. This in turn helps our clients purchase other things they want without breaking the bank.”

No Hidden Fees!!!

  • Price includes tax
  • $0 travel fee (up to 1 hour drive time)
  • Basic props. All props are brand new and can go home with guests. (Custom theme upgrades available)
  • Unlimited hours
  • Unlimited guest prints
  • Online gallery for bride and groom includes free downloadable high resolution digital copies of all pictures from the evening.

If you’re ready to order your wedding mirror booth for your big day reach out to Jay R here. Don’t forget, he’s always happy to answer any questions you may have as well.

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

What You Need To Know About The Cuyahoga County Courthouse

We’re back with more information you can use to plan your Cuyahoga County Courthouse wedding! If you haven’t already, check out our previous post about on basics of this downtown Cleveland event space. We’re going deeper this time with more specialized tips including information on catering, entertainment and lighting. This is one of the most sought after and unique venues available to couples and that’s why it’s worth investing a lot of time into looking at the space with open eyes before committing.

It Has Character

While there are venues in Cleveland that are more affordable spaces to rent for a wedding, they usually require you to invest in decor in order to make it more grand looking. This is not the case with the Cuyahoga County Courthouse. Less is more because the venue is bold, big and breathtaking. When comparing venues, make sure to take this into consideration. The money you save on decor might be the difference you need to make the Courthouse fit your budget. Decor choices should be more subtle and reflect your sensibilities more than anything else. There’s no need (and no way) to cover up any of the look of the architecture. The goal should be to embrace the aesthetic and not overdo it. Here are a few tips from our founder, Jeremy “Jay R” Rich:


Lighting Design at the Cuyahoga County Courthouse

Not all lighting designs work in this venue. Because the building is not a neutral blank slate, going against its established design features is a waste if even possible. What works here is subtly. Warming up or cooling down the features of the venue is one technique that works and can make for some striking designs. If you start with trying to narrow down the feeling of what you want for the look of the night vs. getting into specifics, you’ll be in a much better place to collaborate with a true lighting designer who understands this venue. Ultimately, it’s your decisions that we’ll go with but we won’t hesitate to inform you on the building’s strengths and weaknesses. When you choose true professionals, you get more than order takers…you get invested consulting. Here’s what Jay R has to say about lighting at the Cuyahoga Country Courthouse:

Sound Works Differently Here

One thing you’ll hear about from any wedding supplier who works at the Cuyahoga County Courthouse is the acoustics are a little different there. This space couldn’t be less like a hotel ballroom with their uniform shaped rooms, typical ceiling heights, and soft sound absorbent surfaces. The Courthouse has none of those features! This is a marble very open space with pillars which would be a challenge for an entertainer less familiar with what they would be getting into there. Here are what Jay R says you should take into account because of the uniqueness of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse:

We hope all these tips we’ve shared as the result of years of experience serving couples at this historic and grand venue make a difference in your planning. If you have a specific question that was not addressed here, feel free to drop Jay R a line!

Outdoor wedding ceremony at Market Square at Crocker Park

Market Square at Crocker Park makes for a Beautiful Wedding Day

Erin and Sean united and became Mr. and Mrs. Pattison on June 8, 2019. Choosing Market Square at Crocker Park was a decision they made together, the first of many to come. With high ceilings, windows galore, green space and a modern feel, this venue had much to offer on their special day.

The Ceremony

Erin and Sean chose to take advantage of the gorgeous June weather by having their ceremony outside. A picturesque scene was set on the 25,000 square feet of green space at Market Square at Crocker Park.

Selective Sound Entertainment provided all of the sound equipment necessary. By using hidden lapel microphones we were able to capture all of the emotions through the entire ceremony. This was important to Erin Sean so that nothing would be missed by their guests. As can be seen above, the sound equipment is tucked away out of sight. We didn’t want any of the equipment to interfere with the natural outdoor beauty. Nor did it get in the way of pictures of the bride and groom. It’s always our goal to have all of the focus on the couple and not our equipment. The presence of Selective Sound at any ceremony is to always enhance and never to take away from any couples special day.

Transforming the Blank Canvas

Market Square at Crocker Park gave Erin and Sean the opportunity to work with a very unique space that was basically a large blank canvas. During cocktail hour, the guests were still able to enjoy the outdoors. This was due to the 6 glass pained garage doors and a wall of windows. As the time drew closer towards Erin and Sean’s grand introduction they chose to make things more intimate. The lights were dimmed and the curtains were drawn over the windows. This allowed the warm glow from the candle lit tables set the mood.

To create more atmosphere, Erin and Sean chose to add washed out blue lighting. The wireless wedding LED lights , provided by Selective Sound Entertainment, were strategically placed so that the 39 foot ceilings would be accentuated. With the perfect linen choices, beautiful flowers, candlelight and uplighting, this couple did an excellent job of transforming this blank canvas.

The Party

The curtains were drawn and Selective Sound Entertainment’s DJ Marcus was pumping Seven Nation Army by White Stripes. The lively bridal party came in coupled together through the curtain, setting the tone for Erin and Sean’s grand entrance. The infamous Danger Zone, by Kenny Loggins, started to play. The guests were on their feet to give a big welcome to the new couple as they came through the curtain and across the floor. With an introduction like theirs it was no surprise that the rest of the evening was just as fun. As DJ Marcus kept the music going, the guests kept the dance floor packed all night long.

Recommendations for Future Couples Using this Venue

Sometimes it can be difficult to transform a blank canvas, especially a very large one. At Selective Sound Entertainment we enjoy having the ability to transform spaces. Therefore, we would like to mention a few things to keep in mind if you decide to have your wedding at Market Square at Crocker Park.

Firstly, lighting is a must! This specific venue has industrial lighting which means the lights are on or off, dimming is not possible. This can be a challenge when trying to create the perfect atmosphere for a wedding reception. Our suggestion for this venue is to add bistro lighting. With this in mind we would definitely want to make sure they were on a dimmer. Therefore, we can have them brighter during things like speeches and the cutting of the cake. The rest of the time we could keep them at a warm glow for the perfect ambiance.

Next, uplighting like Erin and Sean used, is a great choice as well. This technique adds not only needed light but color and wow factor as well. SSE has thousands of colors to choose from as well as the ability to have the colors change at different times during the evening.

Lastly, we would also recommend something fun like cryoblasts when making your grand entrance through the curtains. Cryoblasts are perfectly safe for any venue and add a spark of excitement for you and your guests.

If you are planning to book your wedding with Market Square at Crocker Park make sure you reach out to us so we can help you with creating the perfect look for your big day!

wedding planning lists with sticky note reads "Way to make it happen"

In Cleveland, Ohio You will Need Wedding Planning Lists

Wedding planning lists

Chalkboard with "Wedding planning tips" written on it.

Save yourself some hassle by making wedding planning lists

Weddings don’t just happen. Just like two people coming together and deciding to spend their lives together isn’t magic – it’s work. Weddings and their receptions are joyous times but they can get complicated. There is often a lot of pressure from friends and family on both sides of the isle based on a variety of expectations. Regardless, it’s just a few hours of only one day. You only have a narrow window for everyone to get what they want. If all of that sounds negative and exhausting on the heels of the happiest moment of your life, we understand.

It’s never our goal to scare people or make things sound worse than they are. However, we want you to know that we understand where you are or where you will be soon. At Selective Sound Entertainment, we pride ourselves on de-stressing a process that shouldn’t be stressful. In fact, we use our experience to break things down to a few wedding planning lists of priorities.

Why you should take our advice

Here are a few tips that we’ve picked up over the years. When you specialize in weddings for decades, you see patterns of behavior that can lead people down the wrong roads. While we are specialists in entertainment and decor, our real super power is that we listen. By focusing on listening, we’ve been able to make subjective visions of what our clients want tangible. Beyond that, true listening has made us invaluable to couples for more than just advise on things like DJ’s and lighting.

Time and time again, couples face problems that could have been avoided. With more of the right information going into their planning process, so much stress could have been avoided. While these wedding planning lists aren’t meant to be the end-all /be-all of wedding planning tips, they’re a few of what we consider the most crucial steps you can take in order to have less stress while still having your absolute dream day.

(Updated Nov 2020) check the link out below for some additional tips during this tough time.

Guest Count First

Often times, determining who is invited to your wedding can be a very pragmatic and collaborative process. Rest assured there are usually less hard feelings than you’d think. Those who don’t make the cut are typically well aware of the costs associated with wedding receptions. The reason we tell our couples to focus on the guest count first (even before budget) is because it’s more important to determine who you want to share your day with than how much you spend. Couples we’ve worked with in the past have voiced less regrets about things like venues and vendors than who was cut from their ideal list.

We use the guest count for what we offer in a multitude of ways. This includes sound recommendations, photo booth add-ons and decor elements that are tied to the number of tables you have. If you want to read more about guest count tips, check out this recent blog post that goes deeper on the ins and outs of creating this kind of wedding planning list.

Create Budget & Must Haves

The hardest part of planing a dream wedding for many is balancing what you want with what you can afford. If you ask a veteran wedding professional if they can do something, the answer is almost always “yes”. We’re in the “yes” business and are trained to find ways to take intangible ideas and make them real. That said, that kind of work can carry a high price tag if depending on how grand the dream is. That’s why it’s important to share your budget with anyone collaborating with you on your wedding. It’s just one more challenge for a creator and most can adapt to it if everyone is being transparent. While you set limits on what you are willing to spend, you should also create a list of the most important features you want to see included in your wedding.

Break your list up into three groupings:

  1. Needs – These are your must haves. Make sure everyone with a say weighs in and base your budget around these items first.
  2. Wants – These are wish list items that you’ve thought about for a while. These could be the deal breakers when you are between one vendor and another.
  3. Extras – These are all of the fun things you would like. However, they would be the first to get cut from your budget.

Venue Pros & Cons

Hand resting on top of wedding planning lists with pen in hand

Prevent stress by creating wedding planning lists.

Venues for weddings can offer some flexible options but, due to their very nature, they can’t be flexible on everything. That means that most spaces meet some of your criteria for the perfect spot for your reception while they also lack in other areas. Since no place is truly perfect for everyone, it’s best to determine what you want most from the reception location. Once you know what is most important to you, you can start your research and tours with open eyes and asking the right questions. Once you’ve looked at a few places (and you really should see more than one spot), you can create a list of each venue’s best and least desirable attributes. With this in mind, you can make more reasoned and sensible decisions.

Objectives Calendar

Is there anything more satisfying than checking a to-do item off of a list? It’s something we at Selective Sound Entertainment love to do, at least! We believe much of the stress associated with planning a wedding comes from feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of tasks you have in front of you. To have the weight of them all on your back at the beginning of planning isn’t fair or realistic. Consider spreading out the tasks you have to accomplish over the time you have between engagement and your wedding. You don’t need everything figured out in the first month of planning and focusing only on the things that help you build towards your event will enable you to make better decisions.

Your initial priorities should be things like guest count, date, venue, catering, and entertainment. These are the core elements of a wedding reception. Don’t forget ceremony details as well. You’ll need to lock down a venue, officiant, and some basic logistics (sound, seating, timelines, etc.). A list in the form of spread out deadlines will take away the feeling that planning is a burden. Therefore,you will be able to make way for a calmer experience.

We Love Lists!

At any rate, those are a few wedding planning lists we think everyone should make when planning their wedding. We believe in lists because it’s a big part of how our business runs smoothly. In our meetings with you, we take many notes that we use to make lists of our own. We have lists such as “must play songs”, venue logistics, and even the phonetic spellings of the names of your bridal party. This level of organization saves the day every time and separates professionals from people who just try to wing it. If you’re an organized couple, we’ll get along immediately! If not, you’re probably going to want to partner up with people like us fast because you don’t get a do-over on your wedding day! Reach out today and check off one more item on your to-do list.