Most brides tend to shy away from conversations when a DJ talks to them about gear. They maybe even tune out the conversation altogether thinking they have a certain gene omitted from their DNA when it comes to this kind of stuff. I want to tell you there is no such gene and you probably know everything you need to know regarding audio equipment at your wedding. You do not have to leave this to the guys. There is no secret knowledge base inherent in men. The key is to know what details actually matter, not the specs and technology that is often more about the DJ’s ego then quality.
Sound It is easy; if it sounds good, it is good, if it sounds bad, it is bad! Listen to the system; if it fills the room and sounds good everywhere in the room, this is what you want. You want people sitting on the left and right as well those in the back to all hear the same quality. The volume may be different but the quality should sound similar in all parts of the room. Many systems are set-up to sound good directly in front and are often much weaker on the sides, this is too bad and not what is optimal.
Can you hear the bass, treble and all the sounds in the middle? Would the system sound good for Classical songs that may be part of your ceremony as well as Elvis, Madonna and Beyonce with enough oomph to let the DJ crank out some Bon Jovi if this is something you want? Many systems can do rock or classical, dance or R&B, if you are only going to have your DJ play one genre of music this is fine, if you want everybody to be happy with a diverse mix of music, the gear needs to support this.
Aesthetically Pleasing It is your wedding, why let a big, ugly sound system ruin all your photos? This is simple; you’ve gone to great lengths to make the room look exactly the way you want and maybe even better. No reason to compromise now. There is no reason no matter what anybody tells you that you need big, ugly speakers taking up all the space and energy on your dance floor! It is myth. Nice, sleek attractive speakers are one of the benefits of modern technology used for a positive reason. It is also not necessary anymore for a DJ to have stacks of equipment piled up on a table looking more like a recording studio then a wedding reception. Remember, you are getting married, not hanging out in a club on Friday night with your friends from college. Make sure your DJ’s equipment expresses your elegance and style.
Volume Loud is important and necessary, booming is not, in fact it is unattractive and usually a sign of a system that has some kind of failing or lacking in quality. The place where volume matters is not in the numbers like watts, it is in reference to making certain the music covers the areas of the room where you want it to and fills the dance floor with enough oomph that you can feel in your belly. If it does not have enough oomph, you will probably not be happy. Unfortunately, most manufacturers have found ways to raise the amount of watts without actually increasing the quality of sound. They do this to make you think you are buying something better or louder but it is really a way to add to its marketing value without needing to include better quality parts. The end result may or may not be of value to you as a bride. A general rule is that if you are having about 250 guests, ask your DJ if the equipment can handle 300 guests, or just add about 25% to make sure you are covered for your wedding. Most systems will work up to about 450-500 people in a large banquet hall. I encourage you to use common sense and not let a DJ convince you that numbers like watts and impedance are what matters. Sound is what matters.
Ask your DJ if you can hear him/her perform somewhere to experience their system live and in operation. You will know if it will make you happy or not. Trust yourself and what you do know instead of being afraid of what you may not. Your ears are equipped with all the technology you need!