Wedding entertainment: Live music, deejays and tech effects make reception bash a hit

By Skylar Dubelko

During the wedding planning process, some brides enthuse over glamorous aspects like buying a gown, picking out flowers and taste testing reception foods and cake. 

But a truly enjoyable wedding reception doesn’t overlook the importance of entertaining guests. 

Genevieve Nisly Photography

So before hiring your cousin’s coworker’s brother to deejay the event for free booze, consider what Troy Entertainment President Pete Troy and Shari Conn of Marty Conn Entertainment have to say.

A good deejay has both talent and experience, Troy says. Referencing what he calls “the Amazon effect,” Troy says nowadays, people tend to go for the quickest and most convenient option. 

“But this is something that is talent driven or, I should say, is magic,” explains Troy, whose company is based in Strongsville. “It’s intangible. It’s not like it has a serial number or a model or a make.”

The best way to ensure you’ll be happy with the entertainment on your big day is to see the performer beforehand, whether it be at an event or in a showroom, such as the one Troy Entertainment has. To guarantee a couple will be happy with their wedding playlist, Troy Entertainment creates an online account, allowing them to login anytime and anywhere. In the account, the couple will see a music request form, a planning form and a timeline to fill out. They can listen to songs and create lists like “must play,” “play if you have time,” and “do not play.”

The deejay will also meet with the couple prior to the event to go over specifics.

“We talk about who’s going to be there, what they like, what they don’t like, what they’ve seen at other events,” Troy says. “We (also) ask questions in regards to the demographics of their guest list.”

If a couple is in search of a live performer, Marty Conn Entertainment works with a variety of regional and national bands from all musical genres.

“There’s three stages to a wedding,” Conn explains, listing the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. 

Conn also works with a number of musicians who will write custom ceremony music for a couple’s big day. 

“(There could be) a four- or five-piece band just for the music for the ceremony,” Conn says. 

During cocktail hour, she notes, some couples may want a keyboard player or vocalist, while others might prefer to keep it simple by just playing background music. 

“Then you have your band – some people want us to start right away,” Conn says. “So it’s very personal, everything’s changing; there’s no right thing and there’s no wrong thing.”

Wedding lighting by Troy Entertainment. | Troy Entertainment

Often arriving at the venue hours before the event’s start time to set up lighting, Troy says not only does his company provide uplighting, “there’s ceiling washes and different lighting fixtures.”

Other options Troy says set his company apart include a deejay console made to look like a sheet of glass. 

“It’s like (the movie) ‘Minority Report.’ The audience sees the other side of the screen as the deejay is playing on this large touchscreen,” Troy explains. “They’re seeing how he’s mixing music, and it plays music videos and that type of thing.”

Touch screen deejay console, which offers a unique look into mixing music. | Troy Entertainment

Troy Entertainment also boasts a 360-degree photo booth, as well as a robotic photo booth that travels around the room to photograph guests. After tapping on the center screen, guests can choose to take a boomerang – or a short video that loops back and forth – or select “Snapchat-type filters,” Troy says. 

“It brands it as well and then it sends it right to their phone or their email, whatever they would like to do. It’s very unique. I think I have the only one in Ohio and my partner has a patent on it.”

Troy Entertainment’s robotic photo booth. | Troy Entertainment

At the end of the day, a couple should choose wedding entertainment that speaks to their hearts. Make it a day – and a party – that family and friends will remember forever. 

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