The most spectacular locations to experience and share your wedding events are here along the Emerald Coast. Now as you begin planning the details of your Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Ceremony and Reception events, I will offer some considerations concerning the Audio Visual (AV) options for each.
The Rehearsal Dinner usually involves a PowerPoint type presentation. A projector and screen are usually needed for the video portion of this event. Often, these events are in small quarters (such as restaurants) where space is at a premium, therefore, a short-throw projector or large screen video monitor mounted on a stand are used. There will most likely be an audio component to the presentation so a small Public Address (PA) system is used. A wireless microphone or two are needed for toasts and announcements. Some nice ambient lighting can enhance the mood. You can prepare a musical playlist of background tunes to be played for the dining portion of this evening. The playlist would easily be piped in through the same sound system that your presentation and wireless microphones use.
If your Wedding Ceremony is outside, there should be a back-up AV plan for inclement weather. Regardless of indoors or outdoors, this event will require at least one lapel microphone on the officiant. If there is an exchange of more than just the minimum vows, I recommend another lapel mic to be placed on the groom. This microphone would pick up the brides vows as well. Lapel microphones present lots of challenges and should only be used in the PA system when an AV technician is present.
For a Beach Ceremony, a quality DC powered 100 watt or more PA system is recommended. That is because the beach can be very calm and quiet or it can become louder with wind and waves from day to day. Better to prepare for the later. Again, 1 or 2 lapel microphones (DC powered) will be required with an onsite AV tech. Your AV tech will coordinate with your planner on your pre-ceremony music and assist with any live musicians. NOTE: The reason for the DC powered equipment is that there is typically no electricity on the beach. There is the option of running generators but then of course, you have that noise to contend with or conceal.
The Reception portion of your wedding may have a live band or DJ. A live band will typically come with their own PA system. Remember, there will be lots of toasts and announcements going on that evening so it may still be a good idea to have a dedicated PA system just for that. Otherwise, you will need to coordinate with the band director concerning the use of their PA system. Also and very important; you still need a wireless microphone, sometimes 2 or 3 wireless microphones may be needed depending on the evening plans. Noteworthy is that bands usually use wired microphones.
A lighting GOBO with the name of the Bride and Groom adds a really nice touch. This can be displayed on the dance floor, on a wall or in a pool. White Pipe & Drape, sheers and stage skirting can create a breathtaking impact when used with complimentary colored up lighting and back lighting. Also, you may want to have a separate elevated stage for eating in addition to the stage for the performers.
Local DJ’s usually come with their personal sound systems. They may or may not need additional lighting and staging. It is always good to elevate the DJ or any performer with 8”, 16” or 24” stage.
Sometimes DJ’s are flown in from other cities. In that case, a PA system would be set up by your AV tech to the DJ’s specs. Typically, the AV tech and DJ would communicate on the preferred setup, within the given budget. The microphones for the toasts and announcements would be included.
A common practice is the DIY DJ setup. Do-it-Yourself DJ is very practical and affordable in many cases. An AV setup would be done that resembles the DJ setup.
The mixing board would be setup so that one or two Smart Devices could be plugged in at the same time. A microphone with an on/off switch would be provided and a wireless microphone would be needed. A powered sub-woofer would be required for this AV setup. Your Audio Visual Consultant would arrange for your equipment to be setup prior to the Wedding Ceremony. Also a brief overview of the simple operation would be shown to a groomsmen. Your playlist (along with the playlists of your friends and family) become your music for the evening.
An Audio Visual Company that specializes in Wedding Events will typically assign a no-cost Audio Visual Consultant to you. That AV Company will employ competent technicians and consultants to advise you on the most effective and cost efficient Audio Visual options. Working with an Audio Visual Consultant early in your planning stages will provide a well thought out, well prepared, stress free AV experience and assure that your family and guests get to see and hear the magic of this once in a lifetime experience!
Jesse Deese is an Audio Visual Consultant at Emerald Coast Audio Visual Solutions in the Destin/Panama City Beach Florida area. He holds degrees in Electronics and Technical Management and is a veteran of the US Army. You can direct questions to him at jesse@EmeraldCoastAV.com Website: www.EmeraldCoastAV.com