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FAQ – What is AV?

We often hear the questions, “what is AV, do I need to book AV, and what questions should I ask my AV vendor?” So let’s dive into what AV is and why you need it.

Question: What is AV?  

AV stands for Audio Visual and vendors who provide AV for your wedding help you achieve a greater atmosphere and ambience by amplifying the sound, enhancing the lighting, and often providing power to support your vendors. AV makes the music play, the mics work, and the slideshows run!


Audio is integral to ceremonies and receptions. Speak with your venue first to check with their recommended Audio vendor. Ask for photos so you can view their equipment. Is it clunky or is it sleek? You wouldn’t want a system that clashes with your design or decor. We recommend having an audio system for the following areas:

Wedding ceremony: A wireless lapel microphone (lavalier) is placed on the officiant, readers and the groom to amplify their sound. The bride’s voice is often picked up through the groom’s lavalier. We recommend always having amplified sound for a ceremony unless your guest count is under 70 guests.

Reception speakers: This is important for the mic that is used for toasts. We want to make sure we encourage our clients to think about surround sound so it’s properly amplified to the front and back of the room vs just two speakers for the front. Working with a professional sound company is going to distribute the sound appropriately.

  • Tip: Confirm with your reception entertainment if they are bringing their own sound equipment and can handle emceeing and toasts

Depending on your needs for your wedding, you may also need additional power. Consider the following area. If you have a tented wedding, you will be required to provide additional power. Be sure to connect your vendors with Audio Visual company to be sure that they are covered.

Kitchen rentals & equipment (if off-site) including ovens, fridges, fryers, etc.

Band equipment

Restroom requirements (if off-site)

Question: Do I need to book this vendor? What do I need to book from an AV vendor?

You may think you can use the “in-house” AV at your venue or that you can have a friend or family member help. A professional AV tech will understand the nuances of the wedding day and know when to cue for the highlights of the day.

To book an AV vendor, send an initial email that includes the following information:

  • Date of event
  • Hours of event
  • Location of event
  • Any diagrams of venue or tent
  • Inspiration photos of the ambience you know you love
  • We think we need uplighting, pinspots, and sound for the ceremony, then ask what else they feel may be necessary.

Question: What questions should I ask?

After outlining your request, please compare the proposal. Items to include and consider in your comparison:

  • What was their initial communication style like? Did they respond within a timely manner?
  • Did they understand the ambiance and needs for your event?
  • Ceremony?
    • Cocktail?
    • Reception?
  • Ask for the cost of their service fee?
    • Is this inclusive of travel?
    • How does set up/break down work?
  • Did they ask you design-related questions to get an understanding of whether you like bright and garish lighting vs more subtle and elegant, colored or neutral, etc?

After viewing the proposal and discussing with the vendor, does one stick out to you more than the others? If so, we suggest you book that vendor. If you are torn between two and need guidance, we are happy to help you make a decision!

Part 2:
FAQ – What lighting do I need for my wedding?

Question: Do I need to hire a vendor for additional lighting? Do I need more lighting than what my entertainment already provides?

When it comes to wedding design, lighting is one of the most underrated elements! But lighting can make a huge impact in the overall mood for your wedding. Lighting allows you to show off all the pretty details you’ve spent time and money on, it elevates the design, enhances depth and intensifies the mood.   If you’re not sure where to start, or don’t know what to ask a lighting designer, here is our quick guide to wedding lighting.

Uplighting: Uplights are used to highlight architectural features, tent legs, and the area behind a band, to name a few. Most uplights are wireless and LED and have the ability to change colors. They are critical at most weddings to enhance ambient light as the evenings progress. We always recommend sticking to neutral colors for uplighting.

Pinspot: Think of pin spots as art lighting. They tend to be smaller, magnetic features that point down to enhance something like a wedding cake or a floral arrangement. Pinspots are used to highlight a moment.

Spotlight: A lamp that projects a narrow beam of light on one particular area or object.

String Lights: Also referred to as twinkle, fairy, bistro or café lights, these strands of light are the most versatile and cost-effective way to light up a space.

Pendants: Also known as drop or suspender lights, these single fixtures hang from the ceiling.

General Lighting: We recommend ceiling washes to cast a wide light across a ceiling, and oftentimes we use what are called, moving heads, on the dancefloor to create a party vibe.

Gobo: A gobo is a small stencilled circular disc, and used in lighting fixtures to create a projected image, logo or pattern. A lot of times this is a pattern used on the dancefloor to add depth and dimension, and is sometimes used to highlight your monogram.

It can be helpful to do a walkthrough or share a diagram of your venue with your lighting designer so they can create a custom plan for the space. Here are the places where you can add light to your special day:

  • Reception Tables
  • Overhead/Ceiling
  • Dance Floor
  • Ceremony Backdrop
  • Ceremony Aisle
  • Cake Table
  • Guest Book Table
  • Bar
  • Photo Booth
  • Lounge Areas
  • Cocktail Tables
  • Outdoor Walkways
  • Trees
  • Reception Exit


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