Wedding Cinematographers
& Film Makers

Sound Sound Sound!

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It is the perpetual challenge of any cinematographer, but for the wedding cinematographer it is the most difficult thing we do!

The picture is the relatively easy part (well, easy relative to sound). So how do we get good sound?

There are various schools of thought on this aspect of the wedding day shoot but the most common is to place a lapel microphone on the groom during the ceremony and to then run with live audio for the rest of the day. And this is fine if your only concern is the audio from the groom during the ceremony. You will just run with whatever is arranged at the reception. But there are lots of potential little problems that have a big impact on the quality of your wedding film.

Here at WHITE we like to ensure that both the groom and the celebrant are wearing lapel microphones during the wedding ceremony. This gives us the chance to capture your precious vows. Obviously the bride is not going to be wearing a microphone on her beautiful dress so having a microphone on both the groom and the celebrant gives us the best chance of picking up the bride’s vows clearly.

Better yet is to have a professional DJ manage the sound during the ceremony for you. Mike Steffans from Mike Steffans DJ offers a complete and professional sound service for the ceremony and offers this advice, “Your guests have traveled a long way to get to your wedding and too often they do not get to hear what they are invited to witness: your vows. It is so important and relatively easy to ensure your guests can hear you. With a few well-placed microphones there is no reason why everyone cannot hear and enjoy the emotion of the words you say to each other.” In this case we will ask the DJ for a feed out from his sound desk and wirelessly capture the audio on camera. This will give us crystal clear audio for your wedding film.

If having a DJ at the wedding ceremony is not in your budget, then remember the golden rule: please speak up. As nervous as you will be and as intimate as the moment you exchange your vows will be, it is so important for all concerned. It is great for your video as well.

Make sure you also instruct anyone doing a reading to speak loudly and clearly. If there is a microphone available then be sure to tell them to use it and if possible show them how to use it. This is good job for your MC to take on as part of their duties.

Now to the reception. Most reception venues have sound systems, however if your’s does not then simply ask your band or DJ if they can provide a microphone for the speeches. It may cost a little extra but it makes the world of difference. Again we can plug into the sound system for an audio feed. There is nothing worse for the guests than not being able to hear the speeches properly. Obviously this helps with your wedding film as we will be able to capture clear audio which you can enjoy after it is all over.

A few simple tips for great reception sound.

  1. If at all possible use a lectern. It gives the speakers a place to stand and can provide comfort. (We can also put a lapel microphone on the lectern if necessary)
  2. Make sure the MC instructs all the speakers to use the microphone and how to use the microphone. (Hold it like an ice cream close to your mouth)
  3. Keep the speeches short, 5 minutes is often enough but if you must go longer keep it under 10 minutes
  4. Try and keep speeches to a maximum of 30 to 35 minutes in total (6 speeches with the 5 min rule). Beyond this your guests will get restless.

Sound really is an entirely different art form and science to that of capturing the pictures of your day. The quality of the sound can make or break your wedding movie, so it is important that you try and do everything you can to ensure good quality. Not only that, it is so much more enjoyable for your guests if they can clearly hear what is going on all day long.

In conclusion whether you are having a film shot of your wedding day following some of these tips will ensure great sound quality during your wedding day. Please email us and we will happily advise you as to the best way forward. Good luck with your planning.

The Team at WHITE

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