• DJ Ben Boylan

Do I Need a Microphone for My Wedding Ceremony?

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Are you planning your wedding and aren't sure whether you need a mic at your ceremony? Maybe you have a small wedding. Or maybe your officiant says they are great at "projecting." But you're still worried that won't be enough. I'm no microphone expert, but I did DJ over 50 weddings last year. With my experience and a little bit of googling, together we can answer the following question: Do you need to use a mic at your wedding ceremony?

Yes. If you have more than 20 guests, then you need a microphone at your wedding ceremony.

Photo by Eileen Meny Photography

Do I Need a Microphone for My Wedding Ceremony?

By DJ Ben Boylan

Why do I need a mic at my ceremony?

Your ceremony is the highlight of your wedding for most of your guests so wouldn't you want them to hear it? If you have more than 20 guests, the ones seated behind the first or second row won't be able to hear well.

I have had many officiants tell me that they don't need a mic because they "project" when they speak. Usually after 5 minutes of them yelling, someone in the back shouts out "CAN'T HEAR" and I hand them a mic. Imagine if they made it to the couple doing their vows. Who wants to "shout their vows"?

And it's not uncommon to have guests at a wedding who are hard of hearing. If you're not using a microphone, they are going to miss the whole thing. So do your guests a favor and use a mic during your wedding ceremony.

What kind of microphones are there?

There are three types of microphones used at weddings:

Wired mic

  • Most stable. You will never get interference or dropouts with this

  • You plug it directly into a speaker

  • The most visible, you will see it in your photos

  • You are restricted as to how far you can walk with it and even if you are only walking 5 or 10 feet, there will be a wire dragging

Handheld mic

  • Wireless. You can walk around the area and set it down on a table easily.

  • You need a receiver for it that you plug into your speaker

  • Visible, you will see it in your photos

  • If you don't set it up right (and even sometimes if you do), you can experience interference or dropouts

Lapel Mic

  • Otherwise known as a lavalier mic. You clip it onto the lapel or collar of your clothes

  • Almost invisible

  • No need for a mic stand if your officiant wants to have his or her hands free

  • You need a receiver for it that you attach to your body or clothing and another that you plug into your speaker

  • If you move in the wrong way and your clothing brushes up against it, or if the wind blows in it, it will make a noise

  • If you don't set it up right (and even sometimes if you do), you can experience interference or dropouts

  • Good ones are expensive

Photo by McKenzie Taplin Photography

What kind of microphone should I use for my wedding ceremony?

A wired mic is the best for sound quality. You will never get interference or dropouts while using one so it's the safest option. As a DJ, this is always my first pick.

A handheld mic is best if you don't want a wire in your photos. Or if your officiant prefers one. Your DJ will set it up beforehand and test it. And he will be standing at the receiver to troubleshoot it if anything goes wrong. And I always have a wired mic attached to a long wire. I'm ready to run it out in case there's an unexpected interruption.

With the many issues lavalier mics have, they are the last choice. Talk to your DJ about it if you really want to use one. Make sure you allot extra time to "get mic'ed up" and do a mic check as close to your starting time as possible. And if you're having your ceremony outside and it's windy, they aren't a good choice.

If you aren't using a DJ and you're doing this yourself, use a wired mic. No exceptions!

What kind of sound system or speakers do I need?

Your DJ should have this covered. But if you are DJing your own wedding, buy a speaker that you can plug a mic and and a device (phone, iPod) into at once.

Most people will rent, but in case you want to buy one, here are two great options. The first one comes with a wired mic. Make sure you get an RCA-to-headphone jack cable to hook up your device, and a mic cable if you need one.

You can put them on a speaker stand, on a shelf or chair, or even on the floor.

How much does a microphone for a wedding ceremony cost?

$100 to buy. If you are DJing your own wedding, do yourself a favor and use a wired mic. You can rent one for cheap or buy one to plug into a speaker. I recommend this one:

Working with a Videographer

When I work with videographers at a wedding, we often interact in two ways:

  • They bring their own lapel mics

  • They ask to plug into my system to get a clean recording of the audio

So first off, I already warned you against using lapel mics. However, videographers are masters of these things and they love to use them at wedding ceremonies. So if you get a videographer, there is a good chance they will handle (at least some of) the mics at your ceremony.

Second, your videographer will need a recording of the speeches your guests give during dinner. These are almost never done with a lapel mic, so they always ask to plug their wire into my system and that goes out to a recorder they have. This way they get their recording of your guests speaking into my mic. I'm always cool with this and do my best to help them.

If you are DJing your own wedding and have a videographer they will probably attempt to plug into your speaker. If they are unable to (not all speakers have output jacks) then they will figure something out. I have seen them tape their lapel mic to a mic stand.


So, you should use a mic at almost every wedding ceremony. I have DJed at hundreds and can only remember one where I felt the mic was overkill. There's always someone who is hard of hearing or far away from the speaker.

If you are getting married and would like to talk to me about DJing your wedding, click here to schedule a conversation.

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