Event Case Study #4: Wedding Worship & Reception AV

Event-Management

This is the fourth case study / seventh article within the writing serial Event Production & Management, which consists of the following articles:

  1. General Introduction
  2. Review: Christians 20/30 Great Gatsby Ball, held 26 July 2014
  3. Review: Operation Christmas Child (OCC) – Surge Packing Party held 30 July 2014
  4. Case Study #1: Friend’s Wedding held 9 August 2014
  5. Case Study #2: Bucks Party Surprise held 30 August 2014
  6. Case Study #3: Birthday Party Surprise held 3 September 2014
  7. Case Study #4: Friend’s Wedding held 13 September 2014  (this article)
  8. Case Study #5: Christians 20/30 Music Festival held 4 October 2014
  9. Case Study #6: OCC – UCC Packing Party held 14 November, 2014
  10. Case Study #7: Friend’s Wedding held 15 November, 2014
  11. Case Study #8: Friend’s Proposal Surprise held 4 January 2015
  12. Case Study #9: Friend’s Wedding held 11 July 2015
  13. Case Study #10: OCC – Young Adults Packing Party held 29 July 2015
  14. Case Study #11: Friend’s Wedding held 22 August 2015
  15. Case Study #12: Friend’s Wedding held 26 September 2015
  16. Case Study #13: Christians 20/30 OCC Charity Program held 9, 10 & 17 October 2015
  17. Friend’s Proposal Surprise held 3 January 2016

For this wedding, the event was held “off-site” at Mt Dandenong. The venue handled most of the logistics and I worked with the event manager liaison to ensure the events technology requirements were fulfilled.

Wedding Rehearsal

Scheduled for the immediate Thursday before the actual wedding, we were allocated a 90-minute window to rehearse since another bridal party had booked their rehearsal beforehand for their own wedding being held on the next day. This also required the volunteers in charge of chapel decorations to limit their planning and wait for the Saturday wedding morning.

The need for my presence at the rehearsal was for multiple areas:

  1. Practice with the band for the ceremony – processional tune (Forrest Gump theme song)
  2. Worship songs:
    1. I Love You Lord
    2. I Stand In Awe of You
  3. Song Item for during the signing: A Thousand Years
  4. Planning for the reception dinner – projector positioning & connections for Macbook

For the song item performed during the signing, I was only vaguely familiar with the song (I had never watched Twilight). Going into the rehearsal, I had not actually expected to be playing for that item, but as a result of the rehearsal, I went away and took it upon myself to learn the song over the next 24+ hours. Thus, in the final wedding rehearsal that we did on the day I was able to contribute and play for A Thousand Years, having listened to it hundreds of times as my sole playlist for the day before. This was the first time in a long while that I got to play the piano with an audience – it surprised a number of people within the church that I could play, whereas for others, it was nothing special… (I have played numerous times for life group worship).

Wedding Ceremony

Playing Forrest Gump as a processional reminded me of previous friend’s weddings where they had also used the same song/tune for their own processional. Having that previous experience (although I hadn’t played the song live for that wedding) helped me quickly recall the tune, which I played as a solo item while the bridal party – page boys, bridesmaids, and bride all walked down the aisle.

The ceremony was very beautiful and smooth; in a later life group reflection/discussion, we talked about how we were all in the presence of a room full of angels, who were also in attendance in the Spiritual realm! A number of us in the life group sensed their presence, and one member who has the gifting, could see them herself – standing behind the wedding couple and surrounding the chapel.

The worship songs selected were very well known among the Christians who made up the majority of people present in the chapel – I found that a minimalist style was highly appropriate to allowing us all to simply worship God – which the three of us leading in worship did. Whilst the two vocalists had microphones, the acoustics of the chapel, with all the wooden benches and flooring meant that we did not really need much sound amplification. As I contributed to the playing of A Thousand Years, during the signing, I could see some people singing along to the performance which was mainly driven by the two vocalists and guitar.

Wedding Reception

For the reception, the projector screen was set-up to the immediate right of the main bridal table, which was at one end of the room separate from all the other tables. The layout of the venue also had the AV equipment located in the same area, so I had my Macbook set-up on a separate small table in front of the screen, along with the projector. Unfortunately, this venue did not have an in-built/ceiling mounted projectors.

Throughout the evening, a slideshow of photos that I had quickly created played continuously via ProPresenter, making full use of the next slide timer automation cue. During the program, there was one video shown, which was planned as part of the Groom’s speech. Over the fortnight leading up to the wedding, a select few of us from the cell group had assisted the groom with preparing this secret video/speech. The basic idea was to create a fun clip showing the groom learning and practising his speech in Chinese.

One weekend, four of us spent an afternoon at church where I utilised the sound and lighting equipment to create a basic setting. We had toyed with the idea of more elaborate concepts such as green-screening it, but the camera microphone was unavailable for use so we had to resort to a wired link between the sound desk and video camera – which is the same set-up used for a Sunday service video recording. One of the girls had developed and translated the original English script into Chinese, which was simplified along the way. We filmed 4 or 5 takes of the speech and added in funny sections where discipline and correction was comically part of the routine.

The final video is available here:

The bride had no idea and was very amazed and amused at the video, which was played only once the groom’s speech had been announced. Immediately after the video, the groom then gave the real speech, but stopped short of repeating the same speech in Chinese.

All the music was pre-selected by the bride, when I left my Macbook with her whilst the groom’s bucks party was being held. Special items in addition to the main selection of background dinner music included the song used for the bridal party entrance, the wedding dance, and later on with the throwing of the bouquet (Beyonce’s All the Single Ladies)

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