Home News How to Set Up Microphones and Sound Systems for a Wedding Ceremony

Thursday29 September 2022

How to Set Up Microphones and Sound Systems for a Wedding Ceremony

How to Set Up Sound Systems for Wedding Ceremony | Wireless Wedding Microphones | Phoenix AZOne thing is for certain: Your wedding ceremony will only happen once. There will be no “take two”. After all the time you spent preparing the perfect ceremony and vows, what good is it if your guests can't hear?

We’ve all been to wedding ceremonies that simply could not be heard. There are three reasons this happens:

  • There was no sound system.
  • The sound system provided was not adequate or did not include proper equipment.
  • The sound equipment was not operated by a qualified sound man.

Remember, problems with sound at your wedding ceremony can affect a lot more than the people who attend. The sound at your wedding typically shows up on your wedding video which will replay the same problems for years to come.

Click here to browse our available wedding ceremony sound system rentals.

For smaller wedding ceremonies with fifty guests or less, you may not need a sound system at all. But even with smaller weddings, you may still need to amplify the ceremony a bit if the bride or groom have soft voices or if your location is outdoors. Possible background noise such as traffic or the waves at a beach location can dramatically interfere with being heard. The bottom line: If you think you might need amplification, you probably do.

While some brides think that microphones can get in the way of how their carefully planned wedding looks, a good sound company will work hard to keep the equipment as low-profile as possible. Most will agree that a microphone isn't really that distracting -- and it is much less distracting than guests who are straining to hear.

Who Will Need a Microphone in Your Wedding Ceremony?

While microphones can be shared, in a typical wedding setup, you will need a microphone for:

  • The officiant/minister (person performing the wedding ceremony)
  • The bride and groom.
  • Friends or family who will be speaking or doing readings.
  • Singers or musicians.

Wedding Ceremony Sound System Options

Unless you’re having a wedding with over 500 guests, a relatively small sound system with speakers on stands will do the trick. While it is not required, we recommend in all cases to use wireless microphones in order to avoid the distraction of cables getting in the way. It also allows the mixer/amplifier to be placed farther away from the wedding ceremony. There are three different types of microphones you should consider using:

  • Handheld Microphone: The typical microphone you see used just about everywhere.
  • Clip-On Lapel Microphone: Also known as a lavaliere, these inconspicuous microphones are very small and can be clipped on clothing. The microphone wire goes to a transmitter pack which you can put in your pocket or clip to your belt.
  • Condenser Microphone: These microphones are used to amplify acoustic instruments and can cover a larger area, like an entire string quartet.
 How to Set Up Sound Systems for Wedding Ceremony | Wireless Wedding Microphones | Phoenix AZ

Handheld Microphone

 How to Set Up Sound Systems for Wedding Ceremony | Wireless Wedding Microphones | Phoenix AZ

Clip-On Lapel Microphone


Having set up tons of wedding ceremonies over the years, Big Deal Entertainment in Phoenix, Arizona has done it several different ways:

  • Good: One handheld microphone used by the officiant/minister, passed around to other people speaking or singing, and pointed at the bride and groom during the vows. This is the bare minimum and will require some rehearsal to make sure the microphone is always in the right place at the right time. If you don’t mind the “look”, putting a microphone straight up on a stand between the officiant, bride, and groom can pick up all three if you remember exactly where to stand. Using a lapel microphone on the officiant/minister and assuming it will pick up everyone will never work.
  • Better: Several microphones used in order to avoid having to pass them around. Typically, the extra cost is minimal because it actually makes the sound technician’s job easier.
  • Best: One microphone for the officiant/minister, one wireless lapel for the groom, and one microphone for everyone else. Let’s face it, the last thing a bride wants is a microphone wired to her dress. If you place the groom’s lapel microphone at the same level as the bride’s face, it can be effective enough to pick up both, so long as the bride remains aware of where the microphone is.

In all three scenarios, you may want your musicians and singers to have their own microphones since they are typically further away from the action.

If you are using recorded music, you can also request a cable to input an iPod, MP3 player, or CD player into the sound system. This can be used as background music played before the wedding ceremony start or for playing backup tracks for any singers you might have.

Other Tips for Sound at a Wedding CeremonyHow to Set Up Sound Systems for Wedding Ceremony | Wireless Wedding Microphones | Phoenix AZ

  • Microphone Wind Screens: Whatever kind you use, be sure to put a windscreen on it if you're going to be outdoors. There’s nothing worse than hearing the wind blowing loudly throughout your wedding (and your wedding video).
  • Podium: If the officiant/minister or other people speaking are going to be reading, make sure to include a podium or music stand to hold their material. It can be very difficult to hold this material and speak into a microphone at the same time for people who have never done it before.
  • Light: Having your wedding at night? Make sure the people reading anything have enough light to see it.
  • Rehearsal: While you may not want to pay for an extra day of renting sound equipment, having a rehearsal with sound can make your wedding sound nearly perfect. This is the best time to iron out the kinks and go over proper microphone technique. Since most people aren’t used to using microphones, it can alleviate a lot of potential problems before the actual ceremony. We have seen nervous best men giving their speeches in barely a whisper with the mic down by their belts and maids of honor practically eat microphones while breathing heavily into them. The average person is simply not very good at projecting their voice, or using/holding/speaking into a microphone properly.
  • Experienced Sound Technicians: DJ's and the AV guys at resorts aren't professional sound technicians. Relying on them to properly provide sound at your wedding ceremony is usually not a good idea.
  • Be Aware of the Microphone: Keep in mind that once they wire you up, the microphone can be on at any time. If you’re wearing a wireless lapel mic at the alter or while walking down the aisle, any talking or whispering between the bride and groom will probably be heard loud and clear. A good sound technician will know when to mute the microphones when they are not being used, but given the excitement of the day, the happy wedding couple can often forget that microphones are being used.
  • Quality Equipment: Following all the advice we've outlined won't mean a thing if you're not using quality equipment. For instance, cheap wireless microphones that cut in and out can be a wedding nightmare.
  • Speaker Placement: The number one cause of the feedback squeal is using a microphone in front of a speaker. Make sure that the speakers are at least four feet in front of the microphones – and never walk in front of a speaker while using a microphone.
  • Fresh Batteries: When using wireless microphones, always use brand new batteries. Trusting that your previously used batteries will be fine isn’t worth it.
  • Backup Microphones: A good sound company will bring backup equipment and have it plugged in and ready in case of a complete microphone failure. Talk to your sound technician about what to expect should that happen.
  • Microphone Stands: Some people are more comfortable using a microphone stand, so make sure they are available. At the very least, it gives you a place to put the microphone while it is not being used.
  • The Officiant/Minister: Most people who do wedding have had some sound experience. Let them choose what type of microphone they are most comfortable with (handheld or lapel).

Click here to browse our available wedding ceremony sound system rentals.


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