Sep17

Sound and Lighting for Outdoor Weddings

Categories // Outdoor, Wedding, Guide

sound and lighting for outdoor weddings

How are outdoor wedding lights different? 

That entirely depends on what you mean. Lighting for an outdoor wedding can sometimes be simply a length of festoon lighting or some fairy lights. But people are getting more and more creative with their big day plans and sometimes outdoor wedding lights can be a lot, lot more. Just take a look at Pinterest.

Let’s look at some ideas for outdoor wedding lighting 

Festoon
Floodlights Mansion
Lights wrapping trees
Spotlight Effect


And what about an outdoor wedding ceremony sound system?

Why only hold the ceremony outside? If you’re planning a summer wedding then why not think about an outdoor wedding DJ setup or speakers for the reception? Honestly, with proper equipment and expertise, you could do it all.

What makes outdoor sound different to indoor sound? 


Outdoor lighting - what makes it different? 

Really outdoor lighting is much the same as indoor lighting but there are some specific challenges when it comes to working outdoors. Outdoor wedding lights are… well… they’re outdoors… and if they’re outdoors then they’re subject to the weather which is where the first little difference comes in. Outdoor lights should always be IP rated in case it decides to tip down. 

IP stands for Ingress Protection and, simply put, it defines the level of defence the unit has against both water and dust. An IP rating of IPx4 would show that a unit is “splash proof” and so can survive being hit by water droplets in all directions. Ipx6 could withstand jets of water or, more specific to your outdoor wedding lights hire, sitting in wet grass or a shallow puddle during a heavy downpour.


A few ideas for your outdoor wedding lights hire 

Outdoor Festoons & Fairy Lights

Outdoor Festoons & Fairy Lights

These can be used to great effect outdoors, strung up off posts to create perimeters, an aisle or around the outdoor area of a wedding venue for a bit of an intimate vibe. They need mains power to them but they and the associated cable are available IP rated.

Floodlights

Floodlights

Simple and really effective. These are powerful lights much like floodlights you get at sports fields and the like. The main difference is that these are fully colour controllable and wash buildings or scenery in an even spread of light.
IP rated battery uplighters

IP rated battery uplighters

Super useful and super effective. Not a cable in sight and weatherproof. Their uses are endless but you generally want quite a few. Why not put two or three around trees and pick them out in dazzling colour. A great wedding lights option.
Spots and moving heads

Spots and moving heads

Normally seen whizzing around at live music events and in nightclubs but equally useful for an outdoor wedding. Imagine a spotlight slowly scanning over the outside of your wedding venue or a custom GOBO projecting your chosen wedding message.

These are just a few ideas. We’d be happy to chat through loads of other fun options with you.
 


 

Speakers for outdoor wedding celebrations

First of all, it’s worth taking a moment to talk about the two main types of loudspeakers: active speakers and passive speakers. Active loudspeakers have an amplifier built in and require both a signal cable for music and a power cable for mains power. Passive speakers need a separate amplifier but only require a single cable from the output of the amp.

When we’re thinking about supplying a sound system for an outdoor wedding ceremony, reception or some other application, we have to think about if we have any shelter available in case the weather turns. Passive speakers are not only safer outdoors in bad weather but they also generally sound better. If you think about a festival stage the speakers you see there will generally be passive speakers with the amplifiers safely housed under the stage. There are some active speakers that are pretty much totally waterproof however these are still not really ideal as they require more cabling and waterproof power connections. Of course, if your outdoor wedding is in a tent, marquee or something along those lines then no worries – active is fine.


Here's an example for you:

Let’s say you’re searching around for speakers for an outdoor wedding ceremony and you need not only a PA system but a microphone or two so the big moment can be heard by all. In that application, your best bet would be a pair or more of passive speakers powered off an amplifier and a couple of wireless microphones. That way you’d just have two cables, one to each speaker, and everything else can be tucked away under cover close by. It’ll sound great, look neat and be safe if it rains.


One final quick note.

If you need an outdoor wedding DJ setup then you’re going to need some sort of cover. We can supply that for you too but it’s worth anticipating. A lot of professional sound equipment is more than happy outdoors even in poor weather but turntables, CDJs, Laptops and Mixers do not like water one bit.


power

Mains power plus water is bad news but we do have ways around that. Proper use of waterproof connectors like CeeForm connectors or TrueOne connectors means you can safely run power outdoors even if you can’t guarantee it’ll be dry. Of course, you can do away with mains power altogether and use battery powered outdoor lighting as long as it’s properly IP rated.

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