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  • Stan Orlovsky

Wedding Ceremony Music Amplification Dilemma. Q & A by Art-Strings Ensembles

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

The age-old question is whether to have the musicians amplified at your ceremony, cocktail hour or any other event such as a corporate party.

There are many considerations to be made which include the size of the ensemble, the venue, your budget and the number of guests. Also, there is a personal preference which is not always measurable, but we will discuss the basic elements of the amplification dilemma here.

The ratio of guests to musicians is an important factor in the decision-making process. Obviously if the event is outside and there are no acoustics, and say, you have a duo performing, amplification may be considered. But the number of guests should always be considered relative to the size of the ensemble- so if you have a duet performing and 50 guests attending you may not require amplification, and if you have 100 guests and a string quartet performing, you may still be ok without amplification.

But when you exceed the 100-guest marker outdoors, amplification becomes a necessary tool, regardless the size of the ensemble, since you want the music to be heard during prelude music as well when guests are waiting for the ceremony to begin. Indoors, amplification is less important since the acoustics of an enclosed space amplify the sound naturally, and this is often more beautiful than sound routed through a speaker.

However, during cocktail hour, or a corporate event where your guests will mingle, slightly different considerations should be used. Acoustic instruments are not loud by nature and are designed to be performed for a quiet audience located in front of the performer in acoustically perfect conditions such as a concert hall or church. Since the music will compete with guests talking, amplification is a good idea, particularly when there are over 100 guests, and you prefer that the music is not drowned out. Also, there is an additional fee when amplification is required due to the process of delivering and setup of equipment at the venue.

We know that all of this might sound confusing - Advice this is why Art-Strings is here to help you with any questions you might have concerning amplification. If we are made aware of the number of guests, venue and type of event, we will help you in your decision-making process in order to make you event a memorable one!

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