How to Deal with Venue Noise Restrictions

You may or may not have heard of the event of Bruce Springsteen’s microphone being switched off at a gig he performed at Hyde Park a while ago. Springsteen had to leave the stage in silence as he had continued performing after Westminster’s’ noise curfew. Whether this comes as a shock to you or not there are rules and regulations – no matter who you are!

There’s a trusted article I always return to when it comes to beating venue noise restrictions, and it was written by London DJ Matt Maurice and Kelly Chandler from The Bespoke Wedding Company. I thought I’d share it with you as it is an important aspect to consider if you want your wedding reception to go as smooth as possible. Each wedding venue differs from the next when it comes to decibel limits and strict end times, so Matt and Kelly have created a number of rules to avoid any trouble on the day.

Rule 1: Know the policy
You can run into sound restrictions anywhere, from city-centre hotels with non-wedding guests to remote castles where music can travel for miles (thus disrupting ‘neighbours’ you can’t even see). “I’ve played Thames river boats, 5-star London hotels and country mansions with sound restrictions, so there’s no set venue type,” Matt points out. The key, Kelly advises, is “never assume.” The two big areas to clarify with the venue are finish times and decibel limits, which may require your band or DJ to use a noise limiter when they perform. And if, like us, you’re not super-clear on how loud a decibel actually is, follow this rule of thumb: a noise limit of 80 decibels would be quite low, 90 is average, and 95 is pretty OK.

Rule 2: Don’t panic
“There’s a misconception out there that, ‘Oh no, the venue requires a sound limiter, the party is going to be a disaster’,” Kelly says. “But really what it influences is things like the size of the band you can have.” (Swap the 10-piece band for a 4-piece and you’re less likely to exceed your decibel count.) With earlier-than-desired finish times, you can also ask the venue if it’s possible to extend (though, as they’ll have to apply to the council for late license, this will most likely cost you extra).

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Rule 3: Communicate with your musicians
Knowledge is power, and there are techy tweaks your team can make to get the most out of their sound even if a noise limiter is required. “There are certain things that set off the sound limiter, like certain types of vocals or the position of the mic in relation to the crowd, and professionals can work with it most of the time,” Kelly says.

Rule 4: Respect the noise limiter
So how does this thing actually work? “Most use a traffic-light system: green, amber, red,” Matt says. “It’s programmed to the unique level setting at the venue, and at green and amber you’re OK. Go into the red for more than the pre-set number of seconds and power to the entire system can be cut.” Multiple factors can affect whether you enter the red zone, like room set up, number of guests and music style. “Crowd noise like clapping and cheering can also send the noise levels up and cause the limiter to kick in,” he adds, so be sure to follow guidance from the musical pros who know best.

Wedding DJ_How to beat venue noise restrictions

Rule 5: Stay on schedule
Don’t want your first dance to be the last of the night? Be vigilant about timings earlier in the day – especially if you’re up against a non-negotiable finishing time at the end of the reception.

Rule 6: Plan an after-party
If a noise limit rather than a fixed end time is the issue, ask if your venue will let you stay in the space with your guests if you agree to switch to non-amplified music or an iPod. Or, move on to phase two: we’ve known couples to arrange pub takeovers or book private areas in nightclubs to extend the best night ever.

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Rule 7: Be honest about your priorities
“If you have your heart set on a 10-piece band and partying till 5am, then you need to focus your energies on finding a venue that will allow it,” says Kelly. Though in that case, as Bruce and Paul learned the hard way, Hyde Park is probably out!

Words by Julia Scirrotto

I do hope this was helpful, as many people do fail to take this into consideration. Music can be the life and soul of a wedding or event and the last thing you want is the atmosphere being ruined!

Image sources: 123

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Social Media Wedding Etiquette

Tweeting, Hash-tagging, Face-booking…social media is certainly part of our daily lives now. However, many engaged couples still ponder on the idea of sharing their wedding day and how to do so.

Many couples are now indulging in the latest trend of creating a specific hashtag for their wedding guests for guests to post images with. Definitely a great way of capturing candid moments of the special day, in my opinion. If you and your beau are keen on making social media part of your wedding day follow these social media etiquette tips to avoid any blunders. At the end of the day, you wouldn’t want one of your bridesmaids posting a picture of you before your groom-to-be has his first look.

Social media wedding etiquette

  1. Inform your immediate family first before tweeting your amazing news or instagramming a picture of your engagement ring.
  2. Do send out paper invitations to your guests. There’s no excuse not to. Emails can be overlooked, and let’s face it they’re not as special. Then there’s Facebook invites…a big no no! Plus, not everyone has a Facebook account.
  3. Enclose a small card in your invitation or wedding programme giving guests important information such as your unique hashtag, to avoid posting any images until you have shared the professional ones, and maybe to even keep posting to a minimum so that they can enjoy the day.
  4. Whatever you do, don’t think about taking your guests’ mobile phones away from them. That certainly won’t go down well!
  5. Change the privacy settings on your Facebook profile so that if anyone tags you in a picture you can approve of it first before it goes live for everyone to see.

 

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Image Source: Bride & Wedding

For the Groom: Cannes 2014 Wedding Worthy Grooms

This years’ red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival had an array of celebrities donning their finest gowns and tux’s. While some got it totally wrong, there were many that got it sooo right. I’ve selected a couple of the best dressed men who I believe could serve as some inspiration for wedding worthy looks!

First up, Mr Ryan Gosling. He opted for a classic black tux and white shirt ensemble, showing confidence is all you need to pull of this look without a bow tie.

Ryan gosling_2014 cannes film festival

Jon Kortajarena also takes note from the classic palette, but adds a stylish pocket square to finish the look. Sophistication at its best!

Jon Kortajarena_2014 cannes film festival

Luca Argentero opted for a midnight blue tuxedo with a black shawl and matching bow tie.

Luca Argentero_2014 cannes film festival

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West African Weddings: White Aso Oke Colour Inspiration

When you think of the aso oke styles worn by the bride and groom you immediately picture the rich and bold colour combinations. It’s not often you come across an outfit that incorporates white, yet alone a complete head to toe look in this shade. However, lately I have spotted a few regal white attires that are just absolutely stunning.

white aso oke_nigerian wedding_african wedding

 

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Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage looks beautiful in this white lace number

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Image credit: Bella Naija Weddings & The Atunbi Experience