The Sweet Christian Bride

The Sounds of the Great Outdoors

by admin on January 29, 2013 in Logistics, Music, Venue with No Comments

Outdoor weddings can be breathtaking worship services.  You get to pledge yourself with holy vows to the love of your life underneath the heavens and amid the earth that God so intricately created!

As a guest at outdoor weddings, I have consistently been enraptured by the beauty around me, even when sun or wind was trying to distract me.  And at my own wedding, walking down the aisle towards the garden terrace and rock waterfall, it felt like the flowers and trees were worshiping God with me.

But there is a catch.

The great outdoors swallows sound.  Unless you are getting married in an ancient Roman theater, your acoustics will probably be terrible.  Part of the joy of having guests at your wedding is for them to hear your ceremony, especially your vows.

I went to a wedding where I never once heard the bride or groom speak because the pastor was the only one with a microphone.  While the homily kept me engaged, I found myself more interested in the bride’s dress or in the bridal party’s facial expressions than in straining to hear the bride and groom.

If your outdoor venue has hosted weddings before, it will likely have an available sound system.  Calamigos Ranch offered Chris and me an existing PA system that would link to two microphones, a standing mic in front of the pastor and a lapel mic for Chris.  For our music, we rented sound equipment for our string trio which played before and after the ceremony.  We also rented two extra microphones to pick up our guitarist and soloist who sang during the ceremony.  You might even be able to manage using the same microphones for different parts of your wedding day, which would cut some costs.

Having the sound equipment made a noticeable difference for our guests, which Chris and I realized when we watched our wedding video.  We could tell the difference between one of our pastors who spoke without a microphone and the other who spoke with one.  For the first ten minutes of our ceremony, I’m not sure that any guests in the back of the garden could hear what was going on.

If your venue does not already have a PA system or other sound system, you can ask your musicians or videographers if they do.  Because their services are dependent on good sound quality, they often have their own equipment or have access to equipment that can be bargained into your price.

Another great venue for sound equipment (and video equipment if you are doing a slideshow) is your church.  Youth ministries departments often have equipment that is used less frequently than the main worship sound system and is less expensive.  Both of which add up to a greater possibility of your borrowing or renting them.

However you are able to procure sound equipment, I recommend it because you are already losing the acoustic battle and you are also unprotected from unpredictable noise like airplanes, car horns, sirens, bird chatter, wind howls, and other outdoor melodies.  Your wedding deserves to be heard!  Sound equipment is an investment that will astronomically enhance your guests’ engagement and enjoyment, as well as your wedding video’s quality.

Article was originally published on February 4, 2011.

Photo © Rachael Siebenaler, RS Pix

By Lindsay

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