In the last five years I seem to be DJ-ing at a lot more wedding receptions at outdoor venues. It has become way more fashionable to have an outdoor event as opposed to throwing a party in a ballroom at a hotel. There are as many pros and cons to having your wedding day outside as there are to having it indoors but any way you slice it there will always be pros and cons.
One of the possible challenges of having your event outside can be a local noise ordinance to contend with. Every venue is different based on the location and its direct proportion to the surrounding residential area but honestly, noise does not need to be an issue if you do your due diligence in finding the perfect solution to create that outdoor experience that you’ve been dreaming of without it stifling your party. Here are a couple ideas to help you along the way.
Ask Your Venue About the Noise Ordinance
Ask your venue if they have to comply with a noise ordinance. If so, ask them what time the reception music needs to shut down. Usually the most common time is 10:00 PM. This is not bad at all and really quite reasonable. If you start your event at four in the afternoon this will give you six hours to celebrate and plenty of time for your guests to enjoy the party from beginning to end without feeling like it ended too early in the night. One of my favorite outdoor venues that falls into this category and I work at often is Walnut Grove in Moorpark, CA. You just can’t go wrong at this site.
Ask the venue if they have a decibel requirement. If the venue does require the DJ to stay under a certain decibel level, then you will need to get a little more creative and there is a way to do so. Anything under 70 db’s could be an issue during dancing, depending on the floor plan at the venue. You want to make sure the music is loud enough to get your folks out on the dance floor. If your guests can’t hear or feel the music they’ll have a tendency to sit down and chat instead of heading out to the dance floor to cut a rug.
You may ask your self “how can I possibly be creative in this situation”. Well the shorthand answer to this is… wireless headphones. Yes, I did say wireless headphones. These headphones are typically passed out during dancing and each person has total control over their own personal volume, allowing an individual to “turn it up “ the music that is, yet be compliant with the noise ordinance in the area because the main sound system can stay under the required db’s.
If I am at a venue that has a decibel requirement there is always a handful of guests who will come up to the DJ booth and ask me to turn up the volume. This is where the wireless headphones come into play. Not only do they solve the problem but they are so very hip that the guests walk away from the event saying that was coolest wedding they’ve ever been to.
If you have already hired your DJ and you realize that headphones are needed for your event, you can absolutely just rent the headphones. We’ve done many events where we weren’t the actual DJ but the client rented our headphones for their party. This is such an easy solution and allows the couple to have the outdoor wedding they truly desire while being freed up from any concerns of their party being shut down prematurely. I highly recommend our wireless headphonese for your upcoming outdoor event.
Lisa Capitanelli Kasberg