Outdoor Location · Weddings

Outdoor ceremonies

This blog is different from other blogs.  The other blogs, for the most part, give advice.  This one is different.  Please bear with me as I vent.

I recently read a review of an really good colleague.   Upon reading one of his reviews, I am greatly disturbed by the comments made by the bride. She states that when the minister was talking during the OUTDOOR ceremony her guests in the back could not hear him because he spoke in his normal voice.

Whitefield Square Elopement with http://www.ElopeToSavannah.com . Congrats to Ken and Kathleen!

First, she should have had a PA System which would have solved it. Next, had he spoken so the people in the back could hear, he would have been YELLING in the ears of the bride and groom – that’s romantic, NOT!

I have done thousands of weddings and speak from experience: outdoor weddings are notorious for guests in the back not being able to hear unless the couple spends the money on a professional PA System. .

Share your thoughts, I would greatly appreciate it!


3 thoughts on “Outdoor ceremonies

  1. To be fair and honest, our wedding planning company has told us MANY times that the officiants know how to speak so that their voices can be heard by all at an outdoor ceremony. When I asked if we needed to rent a microphone/speakers, I was told no. Perhaps this is not an issue to take up with brides, but rather something that should be made clear to the planning companies and wedding planners who are telilng people that microphones at outdoor ceremonies aren’t necessary. Thanks to this post, I now know that we WILL, in fact, need microphones for our ceremony – but others who may not have the chance to read this blog are probably just going to follow the advice of their wedding planner.

    1. Thank you for your response. I really do appreciate it! In fact it gives me an opportunity to expand on my initial blog!

      Yes, some officiants do know how to speak up so that all are heard. But as I said in the blog, it is like YELLING INTO THE EARS OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM. How romantic is that? I can do it and have had to yell, because once I pointed this out to couple, they didn’t want to spend the money on the proper system and yet they still wanted to make sure all the guests heard.

      To hire a professional DJ (rather than a microphone and speaker (issues with feedback, volume, etc.)) is somewhat expensive and so some planners will say that a mic is not needed, in order to “close to sale”. Some don’t want to take the price out of their own pocket, and some are completely honest about it.

      And, yes, I agree with you about the advice of their planner. That is why I also suggest that when you go to an outdoor location/venue, that you always LISTEN and not just look at the place. However, the P.A. System is, for a good setup, is expensive, and some brides just don’t have the budget for it or don’t want to spend the money.

      I’m glad that your wedding planning company has told you many times that we officiants know how to speak so that all can be heard. However, I would strongly encourage any bride (and groom) to just go and stand where they plan to have the ceremony at about the approximate time of the ceremony and simply listen. It may change their mind.

      I work with lots of wedding planners in town – many of whom are good (please see my other blog about reputable planners in the Savannah area). However, what are they to do when a bride has a budget which doesn’t allow for a professional DJ for mic and speakers? Are they to tell them not to get married? I think what tends to happen (purely speculation) is that it is not often addressed.

      Let me give an example of something similar. Beach weddings are very beautiful and romantic: water, waves, sand, sunset, etc. Would a coordinator who specializes in beach weddings point out things that aren’t good and then risk losing the bride and money to an indoor/in town location? I doubt it. What things aren’t so good on the beach? Here’s a few: people who have trouble walking to the beach because of health issues may have to rent a special wheel chair (added costs); you cannot stop beach goers from standing in the background (some inappropriately dressed); nor can you stop a beautiful girl in a bikini from getting close to the ceremony and taking the attention off the bride (especially if the bikini girl gets close enough to take pictures of the bride when she walks in (I’ve seen this happen and in fact I snapped a pic of it!)); or sea gulls think that the flower petals which are dropped by the flower girl are actual pieces of food so they swoop down and try to get it – and then scaring the little girl (yes, I’ve seen this happen to).

      Here is the other thing about speaking loud enough for all to hear. Will the bride and groom do the same thing? If they do, it really changes their emotions. For example, try speaking really loud while being romantic? For the most part, we only speak loud when we are angry.

      And finally, I would love to take this up with wedding planners, however, all of the ones that I work with know my position on microphones for outdoor ceremony: they are needed but not all brides can afford the extra approximately $200-600 needed to make it happen. We just have to work within budgets.

      Again, than you for your reply!!!

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