If you've ever been to an outdoor wedding where the vows were drowned out by waves or winds, you know how unanticipated sounds can quickly ruin everything. Even if you're marrying indoors, a cavernous church or a large ballroom could squash the ceremony audio down to a whisper. Check out a few practical solutions you'll want to consider to ensure each of your guests can hear your heartfelt vows.
Pick the quietest time.
If you're tying the knot outdoors, find out when your spot is typically the quietest. For a beach wedding, you'll want to consult a tide chart—incoming tides tend to be noisy. You should also try to determine if there's an area where seagulls are less active or where you can find seclusion from whipping winds. In a park, check when garbage trucks make their daily rounds or when traffic (and honking) is heaviest. That's where flexibility comes in. If you discover that your preferred outdoor spot is near anything noisy—a babbling brook, a construction site, or a neighbor's lawn that gets mowed with loud equipment every Saturday afternoon—you'd be smart to alter your plans (get married earlier or later in the day, for example).
Have mics and a good sound system.
No matter what size your wedding is, or whether the ceremony is being held indoors or outside, the couple and their officiant should always be amplified. The groom and officiant can wear a lapel mic, which should also pick up the bride's voice, or you can have a standing mic set up between the three of you. If you're nervous about equipment interfering with your wedding's pristine look, ask for wireless mics and work with your planner to hide any cables or stands. You'll also need speakers, but small ones placed around the space will do the job.
Hire someone to manage the sound equipment.
The person must know what they're doing, so unless your cousin Joe has experience, go with a qualified sound technician. Your band or DJ might even be able to help you set up ceremony sound equipment, so be sure to inquire with them first.