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Why Do I Need A Sound System for My Outdoor Ceremony?

No matter how perfect the setting, your wedding ceremony won't be much fun for your family and friends if they can't hear what is going on. If you are planning a very small ceremony--under 50 people or so--a sound system may not be necessary. In the vast majority of cases, however, the benefits provided by a dedicated ceremony sound system and a qualified operator far outweigh the costs. A PA system is especially important if you are having an outdoor ceremony.

Outdoor Ceremony Sound Reason #1 : Ambient Noise & Wind
Even for someone whose voice carries well in an indoor setting like a church or courtroom, moving outdoors is a completely different ballgame:
  • Is your ceremony setting near a roadway? You now have traffic noise to compete with.
  • Are there any trees or shrubs? If there is any wind whatsoever, rustling leaves can be quite loud.
  • There are no walls to contain the sound and reflect it back inward. Even if your wedding is in the middle of the desert and there is zero wind, voices won't carry as well as they do indoors.

Outdoor Ceremony Sound Reason #2: Volume Consistency
Ok, let's say your wedding is going to be in the middle of the desert, you are 100% positive there will be no wind AND your officiant has a great voice. You're set, right? Not exactly.

The officiant won't be the only person talking at your reception. You're going to repeat your vows, you might have a scripture or poetry reading, there may be a vocalist, etc. In the case of your vows, you're most likely going to be facing each other--so your voice isn't pointed toward the crowd--and you probably don't exactly want to scream into your partner's face anyway.

Ideally, you want your guests to be able to hear and enjoy everything in its entirety--including your vows. This is much easier to accomplish when microphones are used, as the operator can adjust the volume to ensure each person is heard appropriately.

Outdoor Ceremony Sound Reason #3: Musical Flexibility
Are you planning to have live musicians provide the music for your wedding ceremony prelude, processional, and recessional? If so, you may think that reduces the need for a PA system. However most instruments suffer the same effects of wind and ambient noise as speech--and while you can ask them to play louder there is generally a limitation on how loud is possible (or it will come at the expense of volume dynamics and expression).

Or perhaps you have musicians to play the processional and recessional--but not the prelude as guests are arriving. Then what?

Having an appropriate ceremony sound system helps overcome these issues. In the cases of electronic instruments like a keyboard, the musician can feed their signal directly into our speakers--which are positioned for optimum coverage of your entire audience. For string and wind instruments, microphones are positioned appropriately to amplify the sound--which allows for greater total volume, far better control over volume, and more even coverage of your guests.

If you aren't having live musicians--or only have live music planned for certain components of your ceremony--we can play recorded music through our system with no hassle whatsoever.

Outdoor Ceremony Sound Reason #4: Skilled & Experienced Operator
Perhaps you could rent or borrow or equipment at a lower cost than using our full-service wedding ceremony PA coverage. You may even know someone with a little bit of experience doing live sound for their band or church to run it for you. But there are significant disadvantages.

Our personnel are specifically trained in doing sound for wedding ceremonies--and experienced with this specific situation and the potential problems that may develop.

They know who to watch for coming down the aisle, and can fade out a song early if you and your wedding party walk down the aisle quickly--or make adjustments to seamlessly repeat the last verse so the music doesn't run out when you're still 10 rows away from your groom.

Microphones are only live when they're in use. The microphone sitting on a stand off to the side for the poetry reading won't be picking up wind noise or snickers from the groomsmen. Your officiant can help direct the flower girl and ring bearer where to go as they come to the front without your guests hearing him. Your musicians can switch their sheet music without everyone hearing the pages rustle through the speakers. Don't risk a careless comment being heard by every one of your guests--get a full service package with an operator specifically experienced with providing wedding ceremony sound.
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