What you need to know about audio during your ceremony.
Audio is very important during your ceremony not only for your guests but for your videographer as well. Audio is one of those things that when it's captured properly you don't notice it. However, when it's poorly captured it draws attention to itself and not in a good way. Audio is often overlooked by couples because when they're searching for a videographer they look at the cinematic aspect of the highlight reels often overlaid with music. When it comes to your final film, you want clean crisp audio during your ceremony and speeches. Here at Candy Glass Productions, we use multiple techniques which include lavaliers and handheld microphones to achieve clean audio.
Below is an example to show you why we use microphones for video. You'll be able to hear the obvious difference between a regular camera microphone and a lavalier microphone.
With this wedding, there was a waterfall near where the camera was placed. Without the lavaliere, you could really hear that waterfall background noise. With the lavalier, the waterfall is barely even noticeable.
How important is it to have a speaker system during the ceremony?
It is extremely helpful to have a DJ or a PA system during your ceremony. This is good for the videographer but also good for your guests. If you're having an intimate ceremony with just a few family members it may seem overkill to have a speaker system. However, if you're having more than 20 guests it's a good idea to have some sort of system in place whether it be a DJ or a simple PA system. Otherwise, it would be extremely difficult for your guests to hear what everyone is saying. As videographers, we like to plug a recorder into the sound system. Having a soundboard to tap into can really help us get our perfect audio. It can also ruin our audio if the DJ or technician doesn't know what they're doing. Unfortunately, this does happen sometimes so we also place a microphones on the groom and officiant as failsafes. Please be sure to check with your DJ or technician on their ability to provide ceremony audio. Otherwise, if weird noises are coming through the speakers no microphone can filter that out.
The perfect situation would be to have a DJ during your ceremony. If your wedding is in a church being able to connect to the audio system would suffice. Ideally, you'd use a handheld microphone rather than a lapel mic. A handheld microphone is much more universal and way better at capturing members of the wedding party who do not have a lapel mic connected to them. For example, if any family members are standing up to share a reading. Also, the bride is basically 'un-micable' since the dress shouldn't be tampered with. A lavalier microphone on an officiant or the groom would be able to pick up the bride's audio but there would still be a lot of background noise since the mic is placed further away. We've seen some officiants literally take off their lapel mic and hold it up to the bride's mouth. We cringe when this happens since the officiant's mic is now picking up their hand noise rather than the voice of the subject. To avoid all around problems stick with a handheld mic. Whether you hold it or place it on a stand, the audio levels will be even and clear.
An example of a handheld microphone placed on a stand.
When it comes to ceremony audio we want to be sure to capture it properly since there are no do-overs. When shopping around for a videographer, be sure to check with them on how and what they use to capture audio.
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