One of the most important aspects of speech making at a wedding is to ensure that everyone in your audience can hear what you are saying. In order to achieve this you will either have to project your voice with sufficient volume to ensure that the people furthest away can hear you. Alternatively you may need to use a microphone.
In order to decide whether to use a microphone consider the following factors:
- Will your speech be indoors or outdoors. If outdoors, will there be any back ground noise to contend with? How big is the area?
- Will you be making your speech in a marquee? If so, how big is the marquee?
- If indoors, how big is the room?
- What are the acoustics like? Will you be able to speak loud enough to be heard by those seated furthest away.
- Will any of the other speakers need to use a microphone?
It’s a good idea to go into the room, stand in your place and go through a few lines of your speech to see what the acoustics are like. Have someone go to the back of the room and let you know if you are audible. Remember when the room is full of people you will need to speak louder than when the room is empty. If you are satisfied that you can be heard then there is no need to use a microphone.
If you do decide to use a microphone then ALL of the speakers should use it in order to maintain uniformity. If one person uses the mike and the others don’t it will seem odd to the audience / wedding guests.
You should test the microphone yourself before the speeches. A good time to do this is whilst the photographer is busy with the bride and groom during the drinks reception before the meal.
Make sure you know how to switch the microphone on and off.
If using a microphone stand familiarize yourself with this too. Set it to the correct height and position. Make sure you know how to adjust it. Work out how to attach and detach the microphone from the stand.
Check the volume level whilst speaking into the microphone using your normal voice. Hold the microphone 5cm to 7cm ( 2″ – 3″ ) from your mouth and keep this same distance at all times. People who do not regularly use a mike tend to let their hand drop away rendering the mike useless. Often they don’t realise that people can no longer hear them. Try to be aware of this an keep the mike in the correct position.
A common problem for wedding speakers when using a hand held microphone is how to turn the pages of their notes. It is easy to fumble when holding notes in one hand and a mike in the other.
Practice at home using an empty toilet roll or rolling pin as the mike. Get used to pausing whilst turning pages and holding the mike at the same time.
As a rule of thumb my advice would be that if you are in a smaller room and don’t have too many guests then you should be ok without a mike. If you have a lot of guests in a large room then you should use a mike.
Ask the venue to have a mike set up just in case you want to use it. You can then make a decision on the day.
Finally, you will have spent a considerable amount of time preparing and rehearsing your wedding speech. This will all have been wasted if no one can hear you. Do take the time to check out the acoustics prior to making your speech and do use a mike if you are in any any doubt about being heard.
Hope you found this useful. Comments welcome. Thanks, Ron