Your Wedding Ceremony and what that looks like with DJ Sound Productions.
The big day is soon arriving and small things might get overlooked or simply not known about! So we will talk about policy, procedure, some advice and a few ideas that we know works and might not work. In the end, we want to be informed and want you to know what to expect even if a few small things here, might be redundant to what we have emailed before.
One question we get asked is, “When is the DJ going to be here to set up?” That always varies, but we usually say anywhere from 90 minutes to 30 minutes. We have some DJs that can set up in 15 minutes, and some that prefer to take one hour, or two hours, and even a few that show up three hours before! This is also why we do not charge for set-up time, we just never know. However, if you NEED to have the DJ set up BY a certain time, let us know! For some packages, this may be included in the pricing, others may be an additional charge.
Another question is about wireless mics! We will break it down here. Wireless Mics do not have an unlimited range. Our most expensive mics that are in the $3000 to $5000+ range actually have a shorter range than the cheap $500 ones. Weird, we know. The major price hike isn’t about range, it’s about what the mic can do in terms of sound and is mostly applied to professional singers, not speech. Microphones outdoors on a sunny day actually have LESS range than indoors or outside on cloudy days. Why? The signal bounces off clouds and ceilings and walls to get back to the receiver.
So think about a concert. The mic receivers are always located just to the side of the stage. And it’s almost…..almost flawless. That’s because there is a direct line of sight from the mic to the receiver. Or, smaller bands, they are out with the sound engineer in the middle of the crowd, and that engineer is always raised up above the crowd for “direct line of sight” from receiver to mic. During your wedding, we get none of those advantages! Usually, we are set up behind the guests, through walls in another room even! People, cell phones, electronic devices, all block or misdirect the signal from the handheld mic to the receiver which is almost always with the DJ. So how do we combat that? Well, having the DJ set up to a back corner, or just off the back enough at an angle (preferred) so that the mic has a more “direct line of sight” from your alter to the DJ. No one electrical instrument is always perfect. However, we try and get the best mics and have the DJ set up with the best advantage we can, so that your wedding goes as flawlessly as it can.
What if I want my DJ to set up from a distance? We can do that, but remember, the further away, the greater chance of sound dropouts from the wireless Mic and that’s not desirable for anyone.
Can we have a mic stand, lavalier, or lapel? We can provide those…..but, really refrain from doing so. Why?
Let’s tackle the coveted Mic stand first. We really encourage your officiant NOT to use a stand or YOU use one. It’s not that we know better than the officiant, because honestly, we don’t. It’s because we have seen some things in over 10,000 weddings that haven’t been the best for the ceremony. Mic stands can be useful, for one person, not three! Usually, the Mic gets put on the stand and left there. Sounds easy right? But the issue is, the mics we provide do NOT pick up 360 degree sound. This keeps unwanted sound and even reduces wind noise going through the mic. So if it’s placed in one spot, although your officiant and you both can hear each other, your guests can not! And many officiants may forget to take the mic off the stand when you read your vows, your guests may not hear you. Furthermore, many videographers (or even guests recording) can’t pick up your voices either. This is a problem. If the mic is NOT on a mic stand, the officiant can easily and quickly move from his speaking to yours. This allows everyone to hear. When you are upfront, you don’t know that the people in the back of the seating area, the videographer, or the guests recording can’t hear. This will be an issue later on when you look back and……there is no audio! No ones perfect, but we try and eliminate that issue. And when the ceremony starts, no one wants to see the DJ go up and tell you guys to use the mic! Officiants forget, they do. We’ve seen it time and time again. We’ve never seen them forget to tell the guests to sit after the introductions and stand the entire ceremony! We’ve even seen officiants forget the couples’ ceremony paperwork and bring another couple’s ceremony info. Stuff happens, but we try and eliminate what we can, from our end.
Lapel or Lavalier. We also refrain from this. First, not many Brides want the DJ touching or clipping a mic onto their dress. Grooms and officiants usually don’t mind. But the officiant and Groom are not the only two, to be heard. The Bride needs her chance too right! So she would have to use a wireless handheld mic, and then that eliminates the issue of the groom and officiant having lapels or lavaliers. Next, we have to place them well before the Bride walks down the aisle, usually back in the dressing room. From here, we can NOT test the signal, clarity, or the connection. So when the Bride walks down the aisle and up to the altar, we’d have only “hope” to go off of that it’s working properly. And to stop the ceremony to get it to connect or work properly, is NOT something you’d want. Next, they are designed to pick up sound all around, more of the 360, because they are clipped away from the mouth. So if outdoors, you’d get wind noise, or even other sounds in the surrounding area. Yes, churches use them, and professional speakers use them, but they are usually indoors and in a room that is entirely quiet, wind, bird, and other notice free. It’s the main reason professional singers never use them, just a handheld wireless mic! And if a professional singer doesn’t use a wireless mic, it’s always a headset and no Bride wants one of those going through her hair or over her head.
Soloist or band.
Can we have the soloist or band run sound through your speakers? Usually, we really refrain from this and mostly say no, but will provide a solution below. Why no? Well, sadly, we have been accused of “ruining a wedding” when the soloist’s instrument doesn’t work or starts late because of it. And for us to provide all the options for every instrument to troubleshoot, is beyond the DJs scope. Yes, we do live bands and live sound and major concerts. But that’s a whole other type and kind of setup. We are responsible for our sound and performance. When you add another element to the mix that can not quality check and something goes wrong, we are usually the ones that the frustration gets taken out on. We check our sound when it comes in after an event, before it leaves for the new event, and at the event. We can not do this for a soloist and their instrument(s). When something goes wrong with either of the two (soloist or their instrument) most look at us as the problem.
For example. A guitar. There are three basic types, fully electric, electric-acoustic, and acoustic. All need something special. Whether it’s a certain DI box (converts the unbalanced, high-impedance signal output of an instrument to a balanced low impedance mic-level signal. This enables the signal to travel distances of up to 300 feet without adding appreciable noise) which there are different versions for each guitar type, or certain types of cables like a 5 pin or three-pin, balanced, unbalanced, shielded, or unshielded, the list goes on and on. For our DJ to carry all the options, wouldn’t be applicable to their actual responsibilities, nor would you want them to focus on that, and not your ceremony and coordination.
So what’s the solution? A few options. The most affordable is the soloist using the wireless mic that the efficient uses. When they are playing, the officiant isn’t using it anyway and it’s included in the price. They can use the mic next to their instrument to amplify the sound through the DJ’s speakers. This is usually a great solution and most common.
The other option is to go full-out stage sound. Adding extra mics usually requires a soundboard to input the extra mics or a receiver that has multiple mics and those types of receivers can be expensive. For best sound, a soundboard is usually the best choice. This way, each channel (singer, instrument, officiant) can have their sound tailored for volume, or even highs, mids, lows for clarity and tru sound. If you have a videographer, they can then plug into the output of the speaker, and that will sound amazing. How much does this cost? That depends. It could be from $50 to $250 depending on complexity. But in ALL situations, we require the soloist to provide their own cables, DI boxes (if needed) and anything between the speaker (or soundboard) directly to them.
In any instance, we can not guarantee or be responsible for anything other than the DJ and the equipment they bring.
Being outside and having a beautiful outdoor setting is like no other! Since 2020, about 40% to 50% of all our weddings, reception and/or ceremonies are outdoors. However, as a reminder, we do require the DJ be out of direct sunlight, wind, rain, and falling objects. No, our DJs do not melt. After all, they are made up of 60% water. It’s about the equipment! All our sound speakers are active (meaning the amplifier is inside the speaker and enclosed), NOT passive (old type where an external amplifier powers the speaker remotely leaving a wooden box and a paper cone speaker with a magnet) where the heat has no effect on the speaker. 99% of DJs use the active speaker types. More reliable, efficient, portable, better on weak power sources, etc. Direct sunlight can overheat the speakers. Ever leave your car windows up and doors closed in the summer? Get in and it’s HOT! Well, that’s what happens to the speakers if out in the sun. Now get in that car, and turn on the heater! That’s the same as the amplifier working, it too, adds heat! You might die, and the speaker might die. We want neither! So shade provides ambient air terps that the speakers are designed to work in.
So what about setting up under a tree? Well, last year, we allowed that. Until, twice, something fell on the DJs equipment causing a delay in the ceremony. One time the branch/twig turned off the wireless mic, the other time it partially crushed the DJs laptop. And at $3500+ a laptop, they typically don’t carry spares, or not at least their preferred performance laptop.
What’s the solution? What do we require? Not much actually! A cheap 10×10 tent does the trick and is the most affordable and most common. Under a deck, just inside a building (keeping in mind the distance for the sound and wireless mic like we talked about above).
This is forgotten a lot! During your ceremony, we are the ONLY vendor that needs to haul items in and out and do it efficiently. So keep in mind that the closer the DJ can get his vehicle to the set-up location(s), the quicker it goes and the cheaper your costs are. For some remote locations where the DJ has longer than normal distances to carry gear, there may be an upcharge. Going through grass and up/down hills is more laborious and time-consuming than going onto a building and into a room with hard flat surfaces. So we ask that you be mindful of how the DJ can access the ceremony location, especially if it’s outdoors!
In the end, we want you and our DJs to have every possible chance for success and perfection. Sure, nothing’s perfect in life, but usually, we have only 30 minutes (average ceremony time) to make sure we get it right, and you don’t have to worry about the DJ having issues that are unnecessary and unwarranted. A lot of this is tackled before your big day so that you have a piece of mind knowing that you will get the ceremony that YOU have always wanted and dreamt about!