Archive for September, 2010

When should you have a microphone at your wedding ceremony?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Welcome to the first blog ever for Jerry Schultz and Portable Party Crew-West DJ & Karaoke Entertainment.  About twice a week, or as time permits, I’ll be posting helpful tips and interesting stories from past events that illustrate those ideas.


The general rule is to err on the side of caution.  The worst thing is for guests to travel a long distance and spend time getting to your ceremony, only to hear NOTHING that is said.

Here are 3 rules to determine the necessity of microphones:

The volume of the officiant’s voice

If the officiant is soft-spoken, a wireless lapel microphone will make sure the guests can hear most of the words.

I would also recommend a wireless lapel mic for the groom so guests can hear what he is saying.  Also, this is an excellent backup for the officiant’s microphone.  Those 2 microphones can pick up what the bride says.  In this way you don’t have to worry about clipping a microphone and its bulky accompanying transmitter pack to the bride’s dress.

A handheld wireless microphone on a chrome mic stand can be brought into play for any musicians or singers that are performing during the ceremony.

The number of guests you have

The more guests that are at the ceremony, the farther the ones in back are from the center of activity.  Microphones will prevent them from having to strain to hear.

Extraneous noise

If there are noisy planes going over your reception site, everyone involved in the ceremony should have microphones.  If the ceremony location is close to a noisy highway, make sure you are using microphones.

One wedding venue I work at has peacocks.  Peacocks make loud, distinctive sounds.  Microphones would be a great thing to have when these and other animal noises are in the ceremony area.

Several years ago I did a wedding at a winery next to Highway 29 in the Napa Valley. The groom insisted that he didn’t want any microphones for the ceremony.  I mentioned that there was a lot of LOUD traffic noise from the highway.  He begrudgingly agreed to have a wireless lapel microphone as long as it wasn’t on him.  The videographer and I managed to attach both of our microphones with accompanying packs to the officiant’s dress.  This was no easy feat!

Afterwards he was glad we had the microphones.  That was because right in the middle of the ceremony a pack of motorcycle riders revved all of their motorcycles for what seemed to be forever.  Despite that, EVERYONE HEARD EVERYTHING PERFECTLY.

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