Tasteful Toasts Backyard Broadcast

Three tips for wedding toasts at an outdoor venue.

Backyard weddings can be intimate and less costly but sometimes come with a legion of logistics. A primary concern is sound. Indoor venues have walls to amplify voices and music giving guests clear sound, but the great outdoors requires microphones and speakers. Take heed of the following tips to ensure the newlyweds and witnesses can hear your well wishes.

Tasteful Toasts Backyard Broadcast

Hour of Power

Arrive at least an hour early to test the equipment and acoustics, both frequently overlooked – often due to event day errands (and excuses): You need to pick up black socks for the groom, tissues for the bride, the minister from the airport, or you got stuck in traffic.

I was the officiate and emcee for a couple last July, and by design I arrived two hours early. My time was well spent; about twenty minutes adjusting the microphone volume and rearranging speakers into “the cone zone” (see below) before lending a hand with the decorations to fill in for absent helpers.

The Cone Zone

For outdoor venues speaker placement is critical. You’ll need to take advantage of the speakers’ natural amplification. Be sure that the speaker output, which travels outward like a cone or triangle shape, is faced towards the audience from the corners of the area so that the sound is focused to the center of the seating arena (see picture above).

I relocated the speakers from the floor of the alter to opposite sides of the yard, in lieu of stands, placed them on top of tables because sound travels out and down. An additional benefit to the speaker separation is an unobstructed view of the bride and groom – plus there’s less chance of someone walking in front of the speakers and cause feedback.

Manage the Microphone

Speak into the microphone. It seems a given, but people get excited and start talking with their hands, which can accidentally move the microphone. Then your audience hears every third word – if they’re lucky. Pay attention to the basics and you’ll be you looking and speaking like a pro.

Whether the knot is tied in a courtyard, vineyard or backyard, make sure you know the broadcast basics so that your Tasteful Toasts can be heard.

For more tips and trick about microphones read Acapella Amplified.

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