I recently provided lighting, photo-booth, live-streaming, and audio services for a beautiful Fall wedding at Green Villa Barn out in Independence, Oregon. The venue was rather large, so navigating the event would be tricky for a host of reasons, and a few last minute changes were made that presented some obstacles to executing a smooth ceremony and reception. I provide some tips down below on how to tackle and adapt to some of the challenges that arose.
The size of the barn presented both benefits and drawbacks. On the positive side, there was room enough to fit a full-service photo-booth area, a large dancefloor, lighting, and a DJ booth.
Starting with our open air photobooth, we placed it in a far left corner of the barn, close to the bar, so that people would naturally drift over to the booth after or in between getting refreshments. The photobooth allows guests to take celebratory photos, which they then get to bring home with them at the end of the night. At this particular event, the couple rented out the booth for five hours, with a custom backdrop and a custom print template of their choice which features their names on it. They also added our guestbook to the package, which means that we print two copies of every photo–one for the guest to take home, and one to glue into a guestbook for the newlyweds to take home.
One of the more significant problems that came along with the sheer size of the space was controlling sound–without a solid audio setup, it would be difficult for people in some parts of the room to hear music and speeches, since everything was so spaced out. Particularly during speeches, some speakers are quieter than others and need proper support through a PA in order to be heard properly. We tackled this spacing issue by evenly distributing speakers throughout each corner of the large room, that way no one would be left behind or have to strain to hear what was being said. We also took steps to run a clean signal from the mixing board to the speakers, filtering out unwanted pops, crackles and background noises. Our audio setup is always contingent on the type of room provided and the amount of guests we have. Since this was a wedding of 150+ people, our setup was a bit more intensive than a smaller wedding might be. If possible, we always prefer to do a walkthrough before the day of the wedding, so that we can get a better sense of how to cover audio for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception, since these stages often take place in different areas around the venue.
For this wedding, we set up a one-camera livestream, which is our most basic livestream package. To execute this, we take audio from our DJ board and feed it directly into the camera for clean, professional audio. Our DJ monitors an audio mixing board throughout the ceremony to ensure the best audio quality not only for those streaming at home, but also so that guests physically at the ceremony can hear as well.
Using our Liveview solo, which serves as a data plan that hooks the camera and audio directly up to the internet, we’re able to deliver the highest quality possible streaming experience to various platforms. This makes for a far better viewing experience than a non-professional livestream setup, which typically fails to capture sufficient audio and often relies on the closest internet network, usually with a fairly weak signal, delivering poor video quality.
Since we were working with such a spread out space and a large crowd, I had to make frequent announcements, acting as MC to ensure that people were on the same page. Having a designated MC is critical to keeping a wedding organized. In between events, they may use the mic to direct people to a certain area, getting guests seated before the ceremony and dismissing tables to line up for dinner.
One of the most overlooked and important announcements the MC can make once the ceremony is over involves making sure everyone knows how to locate the restroom. The MC should hop on the microphone and essentially give guests the lay of the land, saying something like, “Hey, my name is Alex, I’m going to be your entertainer tonight–we have our bathrooms over in this area, we have a designated smoking area over here, this is where you can get water, there’s also a dinner chart,” and so on and so forth. People should not have to ask for these things individually.
To end the night, our couple participated in a fun and light-hearted anniversary dance, in which the longest standing married couple wins a prize. After the dance, they make their grand exit, which involved our safe and stunning cold-spark machines for that visual “wow” factor. This is oftentimes the perfect way for newlyweds to top off their special day and leave guests in awe.
Whatever the challenges a wedding might bring, we at DJ Cutt Entertainment are always prepared to adapt and adjust, providing exceptional audio, photo booth, lighting, and DJ/MC services.