Is a wedding venue on your land a good idea?

Stanbrook Abbey interior

If you own farmland or other open space and parkland, the idea of establishing a permanent wedding venue may well be in your thoughts. There is no shortage of farms, barns and country estates which have become top choices for weddings and other celebrations. The average daily venue hire charges around £6,000 according to Guides for Brides, so there’s clearly a way of earning a significant income from your estate.

Around 250,000 couples tie the knot every year, and the wedding industry in the UK is worth a staggering £10 billion. Demand for wedding venues is there, with a growing trend favouring rustic or grand rural locations. However, that also means there’s a lot of competition throughout the UK. So what do you need to make your country wedding venue a success?

What kind of wedding venue can you create?

First things first. How much land can you devote to the venue? Is there enough room for a large marquee or do you have a big enough barn or hall for 100-150 people to meet, eat and dance the night away? Is there room for a kitchen for food preparation? And a bar area? Are there WC’s?

If the facilities are not already in place, it is essential to put together a realistic plan and budget for putting them in place.

How much demand will there be for your new wedding venue?

As with any business venture, you need to have an idea of how much demand there will be for your venue. Fantastic venues attract interest from far afield, but it is reasonable to assume that most of your business will come from within 30 miles of your location. So when you’re thinking about how many bookings you might get, it’s worth taking into account who lives in your likeliest catchment area.

The choice of a wedding venue location usually takes into account how close it is to the bride’s family home, or where she currently lives. Knowledge of your local area will tell you how many family homes are nearby, and how many people there are around the average marriage age. That’s 35 for women and 38 for men, according to an ONS survey quoted in Harper’s Bazaar. Other surveys put the ages a few years lower.

You’ll also have an idea of local incomes which is another factor in gauging potential demand. It’s impossible to make a hard and fast prediction of how your wedding event business will do – but by thinking things through you’re more likely to have a successful business.

What do wedding venues near you offer?

A golden rule for every business is to know your competition! There is almost certainly a range of attractive wedding venues near you. You may well know some of them, but searching on a wedding venue directory will give you a fuller picture. You need to know what local competitors offer in terms of locations and facilities. You also need to research what they charge. How does your venue match up? What can you learn from your competitors? and what could you offer to stand out?

Is yours a wow factor wedding venue?

Do you have features – lakes, woods, buildings, arches, walled gardens – that make your venue unique?

Gorgeous landscapes and gardens are right at the top of venue hunters’ wish lists, so it’s always worth making the very best of your location and position.

 


 

“Venues should focus on making outdoor grounds useable and photo-ready to impress couples who place a high value on garden aesthetics.”

– Hamish Shephard, CEO of Bridebook.co.uk

stats on wedding venues via Bridebook.co.uk

Do you have super-stylish spots for official wedding photographs of the bride and groom? Ask yourself how ‘instagrammable’ your venue is – wedding pictures are shared on social media and your venue will be a major part of the visual show.

If you can add extra ‘wow’ to any part of the venue, don’t hesitate to do it. Think about investing in something distinctive – how about adding some free-roaming peacocks for example, or maybe a rustic tractor?

How many guests can your wedding venue take?

The essential element in any wedding is a covered space that’s big enough for all guests; this includes those at the wedding reception and evening only invitees as well. Average numbers for a wedding reception are around 100, with a further 50 guests joining for the evening party.

To work out the size of room or marquee your clients will need, you can work on the basis of 10 sq ft per guest for the reception. If you have a bar area or buffet area as well, you need to add 5 sq ft per guest.

10 sq ft per guest for the reception
+ 5 sq ft per guest for bar and buffet area
+ 5 sq ft per guest for dance floor

That’s a rough guide only, but it should help you understand what kind of wedding you are best suited to cater for. If your venue is limited to smaller than average weddings, you will miss out on some potential business, but you could still be a runaway success. If, on the other hand you are set up only for larger than average weddings, some couples might be put off having empty space on their special day.

Ideally your venue will have some flexibility, perhaps with the ability to open up or shut off parts of the main wedding space. You need to be realistic about existing buildings and floor areas, and whether you need to build more, or introduce more space with a marquee – for example one which leads off a large barn doorway.

Marquees come in a huge range of choices, and can be either permanent, seasonal or more temporary. Time spent researching to find what will work for you is time well spent.

Shilstone House external with wedding ceremony in progress

Don’t forget the loos

Your venue must have enough loos for guests to be comfortable. Aim for a minimum of one loo for 50 guests, but remember that you also need baby changing facilities too, as well as accessible facilities. You can always supplement permanent facilities with hire loos.

Do you need a licence for a wedding venue?

Yes you do. To hold a civil ceremony on your land you need a Grant of Approval from your local council. Licences are only given for permanent buildings which are ‘seemly and dignified’. There are no options for marquees and tipis.

You also need a premises licence and personal licence to sell alcohol.

Do you need planning permission for a wedding venue?

Yes, if yours is a permanent, year-round business. You can get away without planning permission if you use a marquee that is up for less than 28 days during the year – but with the time taken to set up events that equates to a handful of occasions. You do need planning permission for new buildings, and for change of use of old barns. If you have listed buildings you might have to deal with further issues. There are also potential planning complications if you are in a flood area, and if access for transport is limited or difficult. That’s not all you need to think about. You must have public liability insurance, and to carry out a health and safety risk assessment (especially if your venue is on a working farm), preferably by a qualified consultant.

How noisy will your wedding venue be?

When you set up a wedding venue your planning application has to cover the issue of noise. If you disturb your neighbours with music and the sounds of celebrations, you will get complaints. Especially if it happens repeatedly. Complaints can escalate to local authorities and could result in fines, enforcement notices and the withdrawal of licences.

This guide to The Top 5 Causes of Noise at a Wedding Venue highlights some of the main issues. Solutions are available for most venue noise problems, but the first issue is for a qualified consultant to carry out a Noise Impact Assessment.

The noise feasibility study will include the gathering of local underlying background levels using state-of-the-art equipment. This provides a base level to model the predicted noise level at your neighbouring properties when events take place and therefore establish if mitigation is required.

Formal assessments are of real help in dealing with local authorities and neighbours. They also provide acoustic engineers working on the site with measures that they can work to and control noise within the agreed limits.

Are complete wedding packages popular?

Two growing trends in weddings are for more informal events in rustic settings and the availability of complete wedding packages. Couples increasingly want a non-religious ceremony, reception, evening event and accommodation all on one site. The attraction is easy to see – everyone can let their hair down, without worrying about transport. The availability of nearby accommodation for guests is always a key consideration, but having somewhere to stay for close friends and relations helps contribute to a memorable day.

As a result, more and more venue owners are looking at on site accommodation options for guests. That might mean converting outbuildings to bedrooms, or installing shepherds’ huts or glamping tipis, or simply providing room for tents.

converted barn internal wedding venue with chairs and stage

How do you market your wedding venue?

Two absolutely essential building blocks for spreading the word about your venue are a solid website and lovely images. Highlighting positive reviews is always a good move. Make sure you include clear details about making enquiries and always ask for contact details with the appropriate wording about how they would like you to stay in touch.

Without breaking the bank, you can keep posting on Pinterest and Instagram, and if the budget permits, pay for ads on Facebook and Google. You could also pay for the services of online marketing agencies, including the cost-efficient SEO experts we use.

You can also encourage clients to tag their social media photos with your venue name, and to write 5-star reviews. Links with local businesses can help too, especially the ones you use. While it’s not directly under your control, if your venue lives up to expectations, word will spread.

What services do you need for your wedding venue?

There is a huge list of potentially useful links you can provide for your clients to make their celebrations a little more special. There is no shortage of wedding planning web resources such as bridebook.co.uk and hitched.co.uk.

Your wedding venue website could also have links to local businesses you rate including:

  • Printers
  • Transport
  • Access
  • Hair and makeup
  • Florist
  • Wedding cars
  • Celebrant
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Catering
  • Wine merchant
  • Kitchen
  • Live band
  • DJ
  • Loos
  • Local accommodation

Some nice extra touches could include:

  • Sweet stalls
  • Photo booths
  • Fireworks
  • Lanterns
  • Magicians
  • Kids’ entertainers
  • Creche
  • Jukebox
  • Guest book
  • Cocktail bar
Mojito

For a free demonstration of our noise control technology,
get in touch with Direct Acoustic Solutions now.

Sound Sources In Marquees And The Effectiveness Of Noise Barriers

guests dancing on dancefloor in marquee

What Are The Different Sound Sources Found In Marquees?

  • Live Music
  • Recorded Music
  • Construction Noise
  • People Noise

Characteristics of Sound

sound waves illustration blue

Sound can be characterised by two primary variables, frequency and amplitude. The frequency defines the cycle rate of the waveform and therefore the type of sound we hear i.e. low frequency (bass), high frequency (treble), or anything in between.

Amplitude defines the loudness of the sound i.e. it is quiet or loud. Both of these characteristics will affect (a) how far the sound travels and (b) how much is absorbed by an acoustic barrier.

What Is The Local Environment?

Noise can be simply defined as any unwanted sound i.e. one man’s music, is another man’s noise. Taking personal preference out of the equation – noise pollution is therefore the impact that a sound source has upon the ambient noise level, bearing in mind that ambient noise levels vary between urban/rural, day/night etc.

Once the source, time and environment have been identified we are able to either measure or estimate it’s characteristics based on previous experience. In some instances it is possible to reduce the sound source itself, this should always be prioritised as in turn it reduces the amount of energy we need to contain.

What Time is The Sound Present?

clock illustration
With the sound characteristics established, we should consider the time at which the source is active, and the likely impact it will have upon the local environment. To put this in context, and without considering any technical regulations – in the daytime the ambient level would be louder and in the evening the ambient level would be quieter. Therefore the same sound source would have a greater impact upon the local environment in the evening as it would during the day.

Barrier Options and Lab Tests

graph illustration blue
Within our range of marquee acoustic linings we have a series of composite products, each designed to fit independent criteria. The effectiveness of each of these products has been engineered through extensive in-house R&D, followed by testing under laboratory conditions. This means that we are able to either apply these accredited characteristics, using broadband measurements (a single figure number that represents total frequency spectrum), and we are also able to define the frequency specific performance of our products in individual scenarios. This raw data is available and we will happily pass it on to acoustic industry professionals upon request.

Real World Effectiveness

Whilst laboratory testing is a vital part of identifying the performance characteristics of any acoustic product. We must also consider how effective that product will be in the “real world” – dependent on how it will be installed relative to the sound source. By incorporating an understanding of the issue and criteria that needs to be met, we are able to specify the exact acoustic barrier required to meet your brief.

Product Design

acoustic lining black outline sketch

As part of the design process we have considered the following criteria to make sure each is catered for within our product range.

Low Frequency Attenuation
Speed of Installation – for Temporary Environments
Maximum Performance Relative to Mass
Product Durability

Range Of Barriers


MAL16 – lightweight marquee lining, high acoustic absorption, temporary events

MAL22 – mid-weight marquee lining, excellent broadband attenuation,

MAC33 – heavy-weight rigid solution, maximum low frequency attenuation, long term installation

Interested in finding out more?

Get in touch and we’ll be happy to have a chat. With over 10 years experience we’re ready to solve your noise problem!

How To Deal With A Noise Complaint In The Hottest Summer Since 1976 (Or At Any Time Really)

black and white sound reading device in foreground with blurred marquee in background

High Court Conviction…… Liable Offence Contravene Section 80 Prohibition…… Aaaahhhhh….. Panic!!!

Scary language!
Big threats!
Shut up or shut down!
More panic!

What have you done?

How loud was it last Saturday at Sarah and David’s wedding?
Did that DJ crank it up when you were helping the caterers to load up?
Was it the Iron Maiden cover band?
Which neighbour have you irritated?
Is it that nice young couple with the new-born?

don't panic sign red on black background

Understanding The Acoustic Impact Of Your Events

…put the kettle on, make a cup of tea and take a breath.

There are some simple questions that you can ask yourself which should help you to scrape yourself off the ceiling and find some practical solutions to overcoming the state of anxiety you’ve just found yourself in.

Here we go…

– How many events are you doing a year?
– What time do they finish?
– How quiet is it where you live?

Measuring The Problem

The reason we ask you these questions is that there are various pieces of acoustic legislation which guide us in helping you to set up your venue lawfully, and they’re all hinged around these three simple points. Measuring noise is on the whole an objective business. There’s little value in getting into a back and forth about who can hear what, where and when. We all have different ideas about what might be acceptable. There’s a tool called a type one sound level meter which acoustic consultants, environmental health officers (and us) all use to establish whether noise is at a nuisance level or not.

Based on the ambient volume level around your venue and how much that changes when the music’s on defines whether it’s too loud or not. That data; the number of events you run, and the time they go on until come together to provide a picture of what you might need to do to control the noise at your venue.

black and white sound reading device in foreground with blurred marquee in background

Build Relationships With All Parties

It’s always going to be most beneficial for you to engage in dialogue with your local council, and if possible your neighbours too. If you’ve been served a notice, you’re going to need to take some action and a conversation about what exactly the problem is, is going to be the best place to start. The next thing that you’ll need to do is make a plan – we call this a noise mitigation strategy – and this is something that we can work on with you, as we do with most of our clients.

A noise mitigation strategy lays out the steps that you are planning to take to reduce the impact of your venue on your neighbours. It may involve looking at the kind of speaker system you use, a review of the layout and usage of your venue, it may involve soundproofing, and deciding on what time to shut the doors and windows (if you have doors and windows). With a few simple and cost-effective steps, clearly laid out in a noise mitigation strategy, you’ll be making significant gains towards reducing the noise problems your venue is up against.

Your heart rate should be returning to normal by now.

Can I Continue To Run Events?


Each council operates differently, so there’s not a clear-cut answer. However, if you’re prepared to take steps to prevent upsetting the neighbours again in most cases you should be able to continue to trade.

A noise mitigation strategy will invariably turn into a noise management plan, which is your tool for developing your venue in a sustainable way, using appropriate equipment and controls to keep noise at acceptable levels, and, let’s not forget, to provide sufficient volume to keep your customers happy too!

We are called into provide solutions at various stage of the process – sometimes during planning and sometimes because a Noise Abatement Notice has been served. We like to think we’ve seen most circumstances, if you need advice on controlling sound for any type of entertainment event – please feel free to get in touch.

Interested in finding out more?

Get in touch and we’ll be happy to have a chat. With over 10 years experience we’re ready to solve your noise problem!

Marquee Noise – Finding The Solution Before There’s A Problem.

white marquee set in green surroundings

The chances are if you are using a marquee to host events and are within close range of a residential dwelling you may well have noise related problems on the horizon. The most important piece of advice we can give is to spot these potential issues as early as possible and begin to manage the situation yourselves.

The materials a marquee is made up of mean it is very close to being acoustically transparent but various measures can be taken in order to control noise pollution. In order to identify the best ways to manage this in each individual case, a basic understanding of how sound attenuates is required. Sound pressure levels (SPL) reduce naturally and can also be encouraged to do so by utilising the following processes/techniques.

Distance

Sound pressure with diminish naturally over distance, positioning the marquees as far as possible from noise sensitive properties and using any permanent structures or natural features as a barrier will help attenuate noise levels to some degree. Although it is unlikely these steps alone will cure an existing issue they should certainly be taken into account when choosing a site for erecting the marquee.

Barrier (Absorption or Mass)

Soundproofing a tent is never easy due to the temporary and lightweight virtues which make it a great event space in the first place. Various steps can be taken to increase its acoustic absorbency, using solid sides throughout or in certain areas will help, other absorbent materials can be used to treat the roof and aid this but successfully soundproofing a marquee is very difficult to do. Whilst high-mid frequencies can be partly controlled by insulating the marquee, the lower frequencies are much harder to attenuate and are likely to continue to cause complaint.

Isolation (Break the transmission path)

It’s unlikely that this will be relative to marquee structures, is more applicable to buildings which are actually adjoined.

Cancelation (Wave propagation – Destructive interference)

Our systems use speaker placement to focus sound – specifically low frequencies – within areas which need it. Dependent on your situation it can be the most effective solution in containing high volume audio from marquee events. Learn more about how the Zone Array could help you reduce noise.

Noise Management Plan

Alongside identifying what can be done in relation to acoustic treatment, putting in place a noise management plan can get you ahead of the game. Identify the various issues which may arise from holding events and workout counteractive measures to cure them.

 

Noise Monitoring

This may require you to carry out some noise monitoring, in its simplest form just have a walk around and listen. Without the knowledge and experience in dealing with sound measurements professionally your own ears will be a far better judge on levels and whether something is too loud.

 

Choosing the Act

It might be that you need to look at limiting certain acts to specific timeframes, the noise breakout from a band is usually more than that of a DJ, which is generally more manageable. It could be that you limited bands to 9pm and any entertainment afterwards has to be recorded music.

 

If you are in an area which is noise sensitive, make sure you get in touch with visiting acts and give them prior notice. Just explain the situation and that they will be playing under certain noise restraints for the evening, giving a warning beforehand takes away the element of surprise and should make the issue much easier to broach during the event.

 

If you are having problems with managing certain acts investigate the possibility of using resident entertainment, these will usually make each event much easier for you to control. Building a relationship with a band or DJ means they are much more likely to listen when you ask for the volume to be turned down a notch.

 

Be One Step Ahead

In short make sure you’re one step ahead of any complaints which may be coming your way, find out what your weaknesses are and put procedures in place to neutralise them. Noise legislation is very complex and can be increasingly difficult to overcome as you become more involved, keeping off the radar in the first instance can save you a huge amount of trouble in the future.

At Direct Acoustic Solutions we specialise in providing marquee venues with specific audio packages, whether we are involved at the initial concept or as part of the final solution we pride ourselves on finding the right solution for you. If you have questions or need advice on anything sound related, please do get in touch – we are more than happy to help.

Interested in finding out more?

Get in touch and we’ll be happy to have a chat. With over 10 years experience we’re ready to solve your noise problem!

Syon Park

external shot of syon park with green lawn and tree in foreground

Syon Park

A 21st birthday party that posed the challenge of needing to deliver exceptional volume levels with people sleeping less than 80m’s away. We created a one of a kind marquee to achieve it.

Introduction

The 200 acre London residence of the Duke of Northumberland with its grand 16th century house makes Syon Park a picturesque and unique venue. Looking to celebrate a 21st in style, the client chose the site but understood it couldn’t accommodate the size or style they desired and opted to use a temporary marquee attached to the rear for the main party.

However, this posed an issue, less than 50m’s from the marquee were a number of houses. The proximity of these dwellings meant noise disturbance would be an issue, especially with the client wishing to party until 4am

Challenge


red puzzle piece illustration

Unrestricted dancefloor level and a 4am finish time with neighbours less than 80m’s away meant any typical audio setup would always cause a noise poblem

Solution


lightbulb illustration

Employing multiple layers of composite soundproofing including our innovative Acoustic Lining alongside the Zone Array, unique bass floor and standard PA we created a one off acoustically enclosed marquee

Results


green graph illustration

Working alongside multiple organisations we ultilised a control at source and boundary strategy to allow a 100dB dancefloor level with no impact to nearby residents

Plan

Direct Acoustics were approached to work in conjunction with the acoustic consultants, production company and marquee supplier to create a bespoke solution for the event. Considering the proximity, low ambient level and required volume level on the dancefloor it became clear that we’d need to employ our full range of products to meet the brief. 

external shot of soundproof marquee

After extensive planning and coordination with all parties we formulated a mitigation plan. Our team, collaborating closely with suppliers, worked within a tight timeline to install the solution in the 15x15m marquee with a 4m leg. 

We fitted a double layer of our marquee acoustic linings combined with traditional soundproofing in the marquee totaling 4000Kg’s, achieving an impressive 48dB Rw Ctr. 

A 112 panel Zone Array was installed in conjunction with a standard PA and a unique vibrating bass floor giving the acoustic consultants complete control over volume and frequency specifics. 

 

Results

The consultants were onsite to monitor the event and reported running the dancefloor at 100dB whilst having no audible impact on the nearby residents. In fact they ended up turning down the system because it was too loud for the guests!  

The combination of the bass floor and Zone Array created a unique setup complimenting each other. They delivered great results across the spectrum of sound whilst maintaining complete control in where and how much sound was present. Add in the extensive soundproofing we installed to absorb the excess sound energy and we ended up with a one of a kind environment that performed beyond expectations!

How well does the Zone Array Work?
0dB
Dancefloor Level
0dB
Boundary Level

Want to know more? Give us a call, we love having a chat

Live Music In A Noise Sensitive Wedding Venue

live musician with trombone on stage tinted pink and yellow lighting

If you have a noise problem when live music is played at your venue you’re going to have to do something about how that live music is played, and this will involve a conversation with the musicians who play there.

The three things that we need to talk about when it comes to bands are:

1. Amps
2. Drum Kits
3. Monitors

Before we get stuck in we need to make a little detour to understand why bass is such a problem.

Frequencies travel in waves – up, along and down again and again and again….till the diffuse into just air.

sound waves illustration blue

Low frequencies are more powerful because they transfer less energy to a medium as they travel through it. In addition to this every time sound hits something some of its energy is diminished – it’s absorbed a little by the ground it comes into contact with – so sounds that hit the ground more frequently (higher frequencies), travel less distance as there is more opportunity to chisel a little bit away with each contact.

When you consider how bass travels it helps to visualise the shape and size of the sound oscillation. This shape is governed by a simple equation; The frequency, divided by the speed of sound. The speed of sound is around 343 meters per second, (for the purposes of this example lets say 350). e.g 350/50Hz = 7m. So therefore a Low Frequency beat like 50Hz jumps 7m high and 7m along, so over houses, barns and forests!

Right you’ve got the basics down, now let’s talk about where those pesky bass frequencies come from and how to control them!

Bass Guitars

The bassist has a guitar, which they usually plug into their own amplifier that will have a specific character to it. 

The range of amplifiers is vast but some of these will throw out the kind of problem frequencies that we described before – with the bassist’s amp in operation the frequencies that are produced when the band start playing will jump over obstructions and travel further than we want them to.

If you have an in-house PA, the simplest thing to do to address this is to ask the bassist to use a direct injection box – a relatively cheap piece of kit – these can often be plugged into a special output on the amp. This way the bassist can keep their amps sound without relying on it to produce the high and uncontrolled volume level.

DI Box Pro D2
A typical DI box
marshall bass amp
Sennheiser In-ear Monitors for noise monitoring

Band Monitoring

Okay brilliant we’ve stopped the bass amp from being a problem but the bassist and the rest of the band still need to hear themselves play! 

The traditional option is to use monitors, speakers on the floor that feed the instrument back to musician. We run into the exact same issue as the bass amp here though, it’s an uncontrolled sound source, so we need to use something else. That’s where in ear monitors become your best friend.

This is something the musicians will need to supply themselves (they go in the ear so you wouldn’t want to share them), and not everyone will have them, but those who’ve been trained in recent years are accustomed to using this method of monitoring.

What about those drums??

Drum kits are arguably the most difficult to control simply because they don’t have any kind of volume dial. The harder they are hit, the louder they are…. and drummers love to hit hard.

There are many “tricks of the trade” that can be utilised to help – pillows in kick drums, blankets on snares, these can be partly effective in dampening the sound depending on the noise sensitivity of your venue but often don’t work well enough.

A digital drum kit is the last link in the chain, they work the same way a keyboard works to a traditional piano. Drummers aren’t usually best pleased about having to use one but compromises have to be made to ensure you remain within your noise limit. 

electric drumkit

Is A “Silent Stage” Needed?

You probably only need to go this far if your venue is extremely noise sensitive. For example – if you’re in a marquee and the nearest noise sensitive location is less than two hundred and fifty meters away – then your venue would fall within this bracket, the same may be true of a building in a particularly quiet area.

You can read about how we identify acceptable noise levels and help you to develop a noise plan in our article How to deal with a noise complaint in the hottest summer since 1976 (or anytime really).

We have worked with a number of venues to implement a silent stage policy, either in full or partly, dependent on their requirements.

We’ve got a bit more information about these venues and how we helped them overcome their noise problems on our projects page if you’d like to have a bit more of a read.

If you’ve got any questions about controlling sound at a wedding venue or about any of the equipment we've spoken about give us a call.

Mitigating Noise at a Wedding Venue

wedding guests in long domed room with purple lighting

Mitigating Any Noise Issue Is About Understanding Three Things:

What Is The Cause?

Can It Be Controlled At Source?

Can It Be Attenuated?

People Noise

People at wedding events make noise – it wouldn’t be much of a party if no-one was allowed to sing along to the “Summer of 69”.

Can it be reduced or controlled at source?

You can certainly ask people to leave quietly and it’s a good idea to display signage along these lines. Making sure that guests leave according to designated routes, taking them away from sensitive properties is also good practice.

Can it be attenuated?

bride and groom with confetti and bouquet

The human voice on mass contains a considerable punch, even without a speaker system a dance floor in full swing would be expected to hit 90dB. That said a human voice does not have the low-frequency impact of a PA system and depending on the structure you are in, attenuating barriers can be very effective.

People also like to move at weddings, in some instances foot stomping on the dancefloor might be of concern. If your structure is adjoining and if there is structure-borne transmission then you would be best taking professional advice. If the dancefloor itself is creating substantial sound, perhaps you can dampen that sound – fill any cavities under the dancefloor or add a damping membrane to the dancefloor itself.

Music Noise

Most weddings provide music of some sort – whether that is DJ, Live band or even just background music – depending on your structure and proximity to the nearest neighbour. The fact music gets going later on means it is often the primary cause of complain

black and white image of electric guitarist on stage

Music Noise

Anything amplified can be turned all the way up and all the way down. Leaving it easy to control as long as you have the controls!

Acoustic instruments e.g. drum kits, brass etc will have their own properties – sometimes these can be digitalised an electric drumkit or a DI from a bass guitar’s amp are examples (we’ve written a blog post just about this topic) – doing this will mean you have the same level of control as turning up and down the main PA.

What you have to consider is that the party itself has a threshold – we at Direct Acoustics think that is around 95dB. That is the magic number for any wedding event – a little less than that and you’ll be ok – below 90dB and the dancefloor starts to suffer. Much above 100dB and some of your guests will be complaining it’s too loud.

In order to reach our dancefloor level, we have to consider the following: what is the directionality of the source? What material is there between the source and the receptor/what acoustic properties does the material have? And finally what distance does the sound travel from source to the receptor? With that information, we can model a dancefloor sound level. Going back to that magic number 95dB  – if you are close then maybe just turning it down a little will do the trick, if not then additional measures will need to be considered.

One of these would be using a highly directional speaker system – our Zone Array has been designed exactly for this task.

Can it be attenuated?

The nature of music means that there is almost always a significant low-frequency presence, and low frequency is notoriously difficult to contain.

If you are in a building then works can be undertaken to improve the building envelope. In our experience these should not be taken lightly – just patching up gaps or applying an extra layer of plasterboard will not be effective. Soundproofing is about introducing mass and isolation – if you need to treat something and the main source is music, consider approaching professional help.

Much of our work takes place in marquees or other temporary structures. Introducing mass into a lightweight marquee goes against the very nature of its design – i.e. put up, take down over and over.

Our range of Acoustic Linings has been designed to maximize acoustic performance and compatibility with a variety of structures. We can install it in conjunction with a tight schedule and have the flexibility to meet most demands.

We have also recently worked in conjunction with Roder HTS to design a HWM Acoustic Barrier system. This was installed into a permanent wedding marquee in Ireland – the structure’s acoustic attention has been improved by 31dB.

Hopefully the above gives you a few pointers in controlling noise at wedding events or any other event for that matter. At Direct Acoustics, we specialise in providing solutions to venues looking to minimize their sound footprint. Sometimes this is achieved using a pre-designed product, sometimes we can come up with something completely new.

If you want any further info on anything we can do – drop us a line we’d love to chat.

If you’ve got any questions about controlling sound at a wedding venue just drop us a call. We’ll be happy to have a chat and advise you!

Dulwich Picture Gallery

overhead shot of Dulwich large building

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Established as England’s first ever public picture gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery is a unique and architecturally intriguing venue.

Introduction

The events team have been holding events for years, predominantly within the gallery itself however occasionally the need for larger parties to be held within the grounds of the venue arises.

Historically a few events have seen noise complaints occur, understandably considering neighbouring properties are just 83 metres away. This proved an issue for one particular couple who needed to obtain a TENS licence from Southwark Council. As is becoming often with granting TENS applications, Dulwich Picture Gallery needed to prove noise emissions could be controlled to meet relevant criteria and ensure complaints would not occur.

Challenge


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A wedding party needed unrestricted volume limits but with houses only 83m’s away any typical setup wouldn’t be able to offer the control to get permission

Solution


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Zone Array directional speakers and a combination of MAL16/MAL22 acoustic linings.

Results


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Dancefloor levels of 98dB were achieved while the boundary readings did not exceed 43dB

Plan

Direct Acoustics compiled a site specific acoustic mitigation design, incorporating the bride and grooms need for an 8 piece jazz band, 1am finish and uncompromised dancefloor volume levels.

After a night of ambient data gathering for Richard, a venue specific noise management plan and regular mediation, Southwark Council approved the TENS application in the knowledge that our heavyweight 22dB acoustic lining and Zone Array speaker system will be used to full effect to create a soundproof marquee dance tent

black and white image of checkered dancefloor with Zone Array panels

Within the incredibly tight timeline we installed a 80 panel Zone Array above the dancefloor and fitted the marquee facing the nearby residents with our Acoustic Linings. 

During the event we had a acoustic engineer taking measurements, relaying this information to a sound engineer in the marquee who could control the overall volume and specific frequencies. 

 

 

Results

The combination of the high directionality of the Zone Array with the acoustic absorption of the lining meant we were able to provide 98dB on the dancefloor while at the boundary maintaining only 43dB even while a 8 piece jazz band played! The client was ecstatic at how well the night went and the gallery very pleased with the results and lack of any complaints.

How well does the Zone Array Work?
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Dancefloor Level
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Boundary Level

Want to know more? Give us a call, we love having a chat

Riverford Organic Farms

riverford organic farmers carrot logo

Riverford, Wash Barn Farm

Our client was Riverford Organic Farmers. They’ve got a big warehouse in Devon which smells of strawberries! It’s where they box up their organic meat and vegetables into the 47,000 boxes they dispatch to homes across the country every week.

Introduction

The manager of the facility wanted to provide a sound system for the staff at Wash Barn so that they could listen to whatever music they wanted to while they were at work. There were ten areas across the factory – from a bright white sauce packing room full of people in lab coats pouring herbs and spices into vials, to refrigerated chambers where organic steaks are wrapped up, roots packing (spuds, carrots and kohlrabi), the green room (green vegetables), offices (even vegetables need administrators!), and the recycling area – each of which should have its own zoned speaker system.

Challenge


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10 zones across a vast and complexly laid out production center each needed independent source selection and centralised control. Due to their production schedule all work had to be done during the night.

Solution


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We installed an array of speakers, each specifically selected for it’s zones limitations. The technical team developed a unique distribution and control system integrated with their network that allowed authorised individuals to take control from any workstation

Results


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92 speakers, over 3km of cable and 11 Raspberry Pi’s created a single distributed system that gave employees some much wanted music and managers much needed control.

Plan

Due to the very varied environmental and architectural conditions of the different areas within the warehouse, a diverse range of speaker types and installation solutions were required, from directional pendant speakers, to waterproof sealed speaker cabinets, to ceiling cans. In addition to the plug-and-play pleasure that workers at the facility could enjoy through the sound system (via both wired and wireless inputs), managers can also deploy the system for health and safety or emergency announcements.

instruction guide control panel for Wash Barn PA Control

The team worked across two weeks at night, installing the kilometers of cable needed and fixing speakers according to our plan. 

The technical team followed them, developing a site file that integrated with the 10 Raspberry Pi’s the clients team had provisioned to stream the audio to each zone. Finally, we built a remote control system that gave the managers the ability to control source, volume and emergency overrides from any workstation. 

Results

The effectiveness of the zoning of the speakers means that Chopin’s piano concertos can be tinkling away in one space, while in the adjacent area Metallica can blast out without a power chord clashing with a dainty G minor. It gave the employees a break from just listening to machinery hammer away all day while ensuring that management could maintain control in the case of an emergency or a much better song to play.  Oh, and if it’s your birthday then you got to chose what music played that day, neat.

Want to know more? Give us a call, we love having a chat

TOP 5 Causes Of Noise At A Wedding Venue

drum kit on stage. amps in background

Anyone setting up an events venue should give some thought to how noise might affect their surrounding area. Even in the remotest of locations, your ambient level will likely be reduced leading to the potential of an issue.

To help you out we have compiled a list of the Top 5 causes of noise that need to be considered.

1. Instrumental & Recorded Music

Whilst all others can be considered as contributing factors this is the main cause of complaints for a wedding venue. The vast majority of weddings have some kind of music which by its nature reaches the loudest point late in the evening.

Recorded and live music each have positives and negatives as far as noise control is concerned. We’ve written more in-depth articles on controlling each of these here.

Sometimes it can be as simple as turning things down, in more sensitive situations a directional speaker system or acoustic marquee lining might be required to provide a solution

drum kit on stage. amps in background

2. Guests – Congregating Outside – Ingress/Egress

Guest will need to arrive, move around and then leave the venue. Even the most respectable of parties will increase in volume as the afternoon/evening progresses. As a venue owner, you will need to consider this before the event and work out a plan for how the impact on your neighbouring properties can be minimised.

Guest arriving/leaving can be helped by providing a member of staff to co-ordinate the carpark and guide them along designated routes.

Considering the areas people will congregate is also important – rather than giving guests the free run of your venue, designate outside and smoking areas that have been selected for there relative noise protection.

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3. Traffic And Taxi Pick Ups

General increased traffic levels due to weddings can be classed as a nuisance. If your event runs till midnight it’s likely there could still be traffic later than 1am and although in itself might not be considered a noise problem it can be a contributing factor that pushes a neighbour to complain.

Taxi’s and pick ups. This one is much the same as people noise really, combine the sounds of cars coming down your drive, drivers honking to get people’s attention and the odd shout for someone to hurry up and get in and you’re definitely going to be making more noise than the ambient level around you.

We always suggest that you communicate with local firms in advance and advise them of preferred routes in and out of your venue

yellow taxi sign on top of blurred vehicle

4. Trades Loading In/Out

In most cases hosting a wedding will involve multiple trades visiting your venue to provide a range of services. Once the wedding is over you will need to make sure that packing up is done without causing you an issue.  You’ll be dealing with professionals in this instance so in most cases it will be as simple as considering the process yourself and recording this into a simple Noise Management Plan, this can then be passed on to any vendor coming onto your site.

This might include a few rules for them to follow – e.g. no bottling out after 22.00, setting routes that they should follow or switching engines off whilst vehicles are loaded etc. Once you have written the plan, it’s done for all and you only need to send it on.

donkey carrying extensive weight of bottles

5. Guests – Staying Onsite/Camping

If you have guests remaining onsite overnight you may need to consider the noise that will be emitted after the event itself has concluded.

Again, setting a few house rules early on can really help. People are much more receptive to being reminded of a house rule later in the evening as opposed to hearing it for the first time. If you can designate noise protected areas where people can congregate later on then make sure these are communicated in advance.

Setting in a cool down period can also be a good idea. If the event goes from 100 to 0 as soon as the last song finishes it can lead to a little “over-excitement”. Winding everyone down with low-level music or however you see fit can be helpful bringing a more natural conclusion to the party.

campfire with people sitting around in woodland
If you’ve got any questions about controlling sound at a wedding venue just drop us a call. We’ll be happy to have a chat and advise you!