Before you finally settle on your wedding location, you’ll probably spend a lot of time shopping for just the right one. From that extravagant medieval castle to a gorgeous beach on the coast, every location has its advantages and disadvantages. The key is to be aware of them so you can spot and overcome all the potential ‘pitfalls’.
We’d like to point out the simple, practical things that too many couples overlook. Finding out about these critical factors before your wedding can save you heartbreak on the day of your wedding.
Here’s a great word to guide you: When you think of your wedding location, think of the word “A-R-E-A,” which stands for:
R- RULES & REGULATIONS
E- ELECTRICITY & EQUIPMENT
This will most definitely help guide you in your wedding location decision-making and hey, it’s easy to remember. Location / Area.
There’s nothing worse than planning a perfectly beautiful wedding music program only to have it fall flat because no one can hear the music. Or even worse, blasting everyone’s ears out in a small room with the horns of a 7 piece band all night – wedding music disaster!
The sound quality that you’ll get with acoustics is dependent on where you are – it’s different for outdoor gardens compared to the beach, large churches or hotel ballrooms, etc. The sound of a live guitar or harp is fine if your ceremony is in a small outdoor garden or indoor setting, but if you’re at the beach, or in a large cathedral type church, it can be drowned out or lost.
To avoid acoustic problems, always test out your music at your location, test your sound system and speakers and make sure you know how your DJ or Bandleader is handling the problem.
RULES and REGULATIONS
It’s only fair to play by the rules. Yes it’s true, and with religious locations, keep in mind that many churches and synagogues have strict rules about the type of music and/or instruments they’ll allow. Some houses of worship will insist that you use their musicians, or they’ll ask you not to use CD/MP3 players.
Do yourself a favor and check early on with your church, synagogue, or other location to see what’s allowed and what’s not. Also, if your wedding is going to be held at a private home or public area, check local regulations for city restrictions, etc.
EQUIPMENT and ELECTRICITY
Ah, there was that one wedding. It was held at an elegant old hotel where the DJ plugged in his amp, and blew out the lights and all the power in the kitchen. Probably, ‘Yikes!’ would be an understatement of the reaction! Obviously it was too late for the DJ to find out about the electrical problems in time to adjust his equipment.
To prevent things like this from happening, make sure your Band/DJ knows all about your location. If they haven’t played there, have them agree to visit the location to scope out the scene at least a couple of weeks before the wedding. They should also work together with the coordinator at your location to prevent problems that could possibly arise. Write these agreements into your contract before you sign or make any deposits.
Who said stairs aren’t expensive?! Musicians charge big fees for having to cart their equipment up flights of stairs or to remote, hard-to-get-to areas. If your location is tucked away in a secluded quiet spot in the mountains or in the wilderness, be prepared to keep it simple. Getting equipment and electricity to these areas might be too costly, or even impossible.
This is an issue that just calls for being aware. Find out the cost of getting the equipment you’ll need before you sign on the dotted line for the location. If you’ve already signed up for a more remote location, remember, there’s always a way. CD/MP3 players today may look small but they can be mighty powerful along with some good speakers! Plus, they can go almost anywhere. Just don’t forget the batteries!
We know that on your wedding day, you’ll be happy you found out about A-R-E-A before the wedding. To read more about your wedding music planning, check out our Wedding Music Planning 101 section!
Wishing you the best of wedding music plans and a fabulous wedding,
Gloria & Barbara