|This is one of those e-mails to be converted to a blog posting which has little merit after a wedding. However, as all couples with whom we have served as wedding ministers will note, our emphasis on securing a "sound" professional was really excellent advice when a wedding had 25+ guests. This is one of those extended articles to serve future couples in their planning.|
When Wedding Ministers say you need sound ... believe them
I never understood why wedding planners often neglect telling couples the importance of sound for the ceremony, whereas sound for a reception would never be neglected. The most important part of a wedding is the ceremony. It is the core part of the celebration which has brought family and close friends from great distances to hear the depth of a couple's commitment to each other. It is a rare and wonderful half hour for the couple, and it MUST BE HEARD. Without sound for the minister and readers, inside or outside, any minister or officiant speaking in an intimate voice to the couple will simply not be heard beyond a few rows of seating. Without sound enhancement that can mean the difference in total enjoyment of the couple's personalized 30-minute ceremony, OR at least half of an audience simply sitting in the sun periodically hearing noise from the front. Nothing is more disappointing for grandparents with less than perfect hearing to be totally shut out of a day which is so meaningful to them.
There are consequences when hiring the less than professional
It is not possible to remember all of the sound people with whom we have worked over the years. There have been many who simply were not prepared to accommodate the ceremony, but were hired as a DJ for the reception. The less acquainted have come with a hand-held microphone and no stand to hold it, not realizing that a minister's hands must be free at all times. Some less acquainted with sound may place speakers in a position where feedback can suddenly scream at the audience. Some less acquainted will not have wireless microphones and not enough cable to do the job for a large wedding. Some less acquainted will not have scouted the wedding ceremony site (or asked about the site) to check if the sound system may need battery power, since the site is far from an electrical connection. Some less acquainted will place the system at the site without monitoring the ceremony, and when something goes wrong, there is no one to immediately correct the matter. Some will be dressed far too casual for a large formal ceremony.
SO ... why not hire a Professional?
Recently, I wrote to a number of professional sound professionals, many who are not only employed for the ceremony, but also for their other professional skills. Each of the persons listed below are people and firms who know their jobs and have the equipment to make it happen. I will only offer the four (4) with whom I have experienced several times, and with whom I am gratified each time they appear at a wedding site. Please read the short notes provided to me, and then explore their websites for complete details. Then - email or call to secure their services. As professionals, please realize that their bookings are made many months in advance.
Eric Cunningham of Choice Entertainment ... My radius is normally 75 miles from Richmond. So I will travel to Norfolk, South Hill, Charlottesville and NOVA. Pricing depends on the number of microphones needed.
10035 Sliding Hill Rd Ste 200
Ashland VA 23005, 804-788-4603
Ran and Linda Henry of Blue Mountain Weddings ... offer a unique blend of services as husband and wife, helping to create and capture wedding memories. From Charlottesville churches and Blue Ridge Mountain wineries to the ballrooms of Richmond, the District of Columbia and the Maryland shores, the Henrys entertain and photograph joyous, romantic celebrations.
Ran Henry is a wedding dee jay and emcee performing at over 1700 events since 1984, with stellar sound, unobtrusive speakers, tasteful lighting and the skills to compose a musical menu brides and grooms and wedding guests will savor. Ran Henry is an expert reception planner and emcee, assuring a timely flow of formalities and the enjoyment of every blissful moment. Ran Henry uses Shure microphones to amplify all the voices of a wedding day, and compact discs, not computers, for warm, natural sound.
Ran and Linda Henry provide premium photographic services as a couple, giving you over a thousand images of your wedding day, depicting you and your family and friends through eyes only a husband and wife can share. Linda Henry is the portrait artist, Ran Henry the photojournalist, focusing on the highlights you can't forget and those candid shots that bring smiles. The photography of Ran and Linda Henry is featured in the Miami Herald, the St. Petersburg Times, the News-Virginian and the Charlottesville Daily Progress. For complete details:www.bluemountainweddings.com
Josh Nicol, DJ ... I am willing to travel around the Central Virginia area if I am not booked at Khimaira Farm in Luray. I would be more than willing to travel between Northern Virginia and Winchester down to between Charlottesville and Harrisonburg.
Address: 432 Sunnyview Drive, Rileyville VA 22650
Phone: 540.860.2653(cell) 540.743.9425(home)
Here is the link to our website detailing info and our Khimaira Farm (Luray, VA) website:
Jason Rethemeyer, the AV Company... "We call Charlottesville home and the majority of our business is done within a 60 mile radius of Charlottesville. We have worked with most of the wineries in the central Virginia region that open themselves up to weddings and events. Our most popular package for weddings is our ceremony sound package that provides the client with a slim line Bose tower speaker, 2 wireless microphone systems (typically one clip on style microphone for the celebrant and one handheld style placed on a microphone stand for any readers or singers) as well as a technician to remain on-site during the ceremony to monitor the microphone levels and ensure everything flows smoothly.
We can also play client selected music for guest arrival, processional and recessional if that is requested via a laptop, mp3 player or CD. We can also offer our clients a large selection of event furniture and décor elements as well as event lighting, whether it be up lighting, pin spots, bistro/string lights, band lighting or dance floor color wash. Some pictures of past events can be found on our website www.theavcompany.net.
the AV company
1825 Avon Street Extended
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
tel: 434-977-8288 cell: 434-566-3772 fax: 434-977-1988
A Final Note
When a professional is fully booked, he or she will generally know of other professionals to assist in your area. Ask, so you can continue your exploration. If you know of a professional sound person with whom you had a favorable experience, please share with us, and in future offerings for couples in need of that advice, I will happily pass it along.
Blessings ... Reverend Elisheva