To Microphone or Not to Microphone?

Recently I was asked this about an upcoming wedding:

So sorry, forgot to ask, but do you bring a microphone and small portable speaker? If not, no big deal, we can project our voices!

To have a microphone/PA system or not to have it; i get asked this often. One would think it’s a simple answer to that question, but it’s not.

Not to have a microphone for me is fine. However, it comes with drawbacks.  Having a microphone comes with drawbacks too. You’ll have to decide which is best/most important for you two and your guests.

This is from my experience.

Have you ever raised your voice in frustration?  Maybe even calling for a pet?  In doing so it changes your emotions. I can project my voice, that’s not the problem.  I’ve learned how to do it and keep the feel of the ceremony the same.  However, it’s sorta like YELLING in ears of the couple.  Yes, that is sort of an exaggeration, but not much.  When I speak loudly so the people in the back of the room can hear it is like yelling at the two of you.  That in turn changes the dynamics and feel of the ceremony for you two.  Imagine listening to a TV program about romance with the TV volume level of high!  It’s sorta counter productive.

Next, the same reasoning applies for you two, projecting your voices so the people in the back can hear.  You’d sorta be like yelling at one another (again a bit of an exaggeration).  Not only is the listener affected, but the person speaking also has to change.  They are more worried about their volume level than the meaning and emotions which come with that most precious moment.

Having a microphone comes with drawbacks as well.  Yes, the people in the back of the room will hear everything.  The drawback is the actual microphone.  Yes, I’d have a lapel microphone.  People will hear me.  But what about the two of you?  Will each of you have a hidden microphone? Will the groom have one and his mic will have to be turned up so people can hear you?

If I hold a hand held microphone for each of you that would work, but what about how it looks?  I can hand each of you a microphone to hold, and that way you can still hold each other’s hand while repeating after me.  There are two different basic types of microphones: ones which are directional (blocks out all background noises) and which is omni-directional (picks up all sounds equally).  Another option is for each of you to hold the directional mic when it comes to you repeating after me.  Another option is for me to hold the omni-directional mic so it will pick up you two when you speak.

Your family will be the closest to you two during the ceremony, they will hear everything regardless of whether a microphone is used.

I could provide a good quality sounding portable speaker for an additional fee.  However, it would be less expensive if you have a DJ do it.  I would have to charge for a person to be there an operate it, adjust volume, eliminate any squawk/feedback issues, placement of both speakers.  Yes, I think it’s better if two speakers are used so that the volume is balanced.

Lots of things to consider.