Sound Advice – Notes on Volume

My mother recently attended a lavish wedding at a lovely hotel in Boston.   The bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome, the food was delicious…but unfortunately, she left the event with only uncharitable thoughts. The reason:  the band (not Boston Party Machine, pictured in the photo above) was too loud!

Mom told me at length about how she fled to the ladies’ room to escape what she called “the noise.”  Unable to have a conversation with my step-father while the band was playing, and with a mounting headache, my mother decided it was time to seek the quiet sanctuary of the ladies’ room.  There, she found a like-minded group of women who had come to escape the volume.  Together they complained about how the band’s sound basically ruined a fabulous wedding.  The women concluded that they should bring ear plugs to the next wedding they attend.

Wow!  What an inauspicious start to wedded bliss!  While it’s not possible to please everyone when planning a big event, music CAN be the glue that brings everyone together.  Hopefully it IS.  A common fallacy in planning the music for a wedding is to think that the musical considerations are finished after the band is booked and the song choices are completed.   But if you combine the aforementioned with one more step…making the proper seating arrangements…then you’re on the road to ensuring that your reception is a success.

Your older guests will truly thank you if you give some careful thought as to where you seat them.  They usually do not prefer to be seated near the band’s speaker system (which was exactly where my mother said she “was stuck”).  Some older guests no longer dance and would enjoy being able to talk during the reception.  Placing these guests away from the main speakers, or off to one of the sides, will help facilitate easy conversation and create a more memorable time for these guests.

In closing, make sure that the band you hire has an awareness of appropriate sound levels, and is quick to adapt to the needs of their guests.   Boston Party Machine always employs an seasoned audio engineer, and adjusts the volume to accommodate the mood of the audience.  Good music + sound awareness = a fabulous event.