Does My Wedding Ceremony Need a Sound System? / by Stanislav Nikolov

Does My Wedding Ceremony Need a Sound System

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 small ceremony — under 50 people — a sound system may not be necessary. In the wide majority of cases, the benefits provided by a dedicated ceremony sound system and a qualified operator far outweigh the costs. A PA system is especially significant if you are having an outdoor ceremony. 

  1. Noise & Wind 

Even for someone whose voice carries well in an indoor setting like a church or courtroom, moving outdoors is an entirely 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 loud.
  • There are no walls to hold 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.
  1. Volume Consistency

Ok, let's say your wedding is going to be somewhere where you are 100% positive there will be no wind, and your officiant has a great and loud voice. 

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 want to be screaming in your partner's ear 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 has heard appropriately. 

  1. 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 the wind and ambient noise as speech--and while you can ask them to play louder, there is a limitation on how loud is possible.

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 placed 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 individual components of your ceremony--we can play recorded music through our system with no hassle whatsoever. 

  1. 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 making a live sound for their band or church of running it for you. But there are significant disadvantages. 

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 an offhand comment being heard by every one of your guests — get a full-service package with an operator specifically experienced with providing wedding ceremony sound.

There is nothing more frustrating for your guests than not being able to hear your most important words. Be prepared for your wedding, and make that special day be known and heard by all of your loved ones. Do your research before selecting a sound system for the ceremony.