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Deaf Wedding, please help
in my 17 years doing this, I will be performing at my first deaf wedding in May. Just to clarify, the only deaf people at the wedding will be about 3/4 of the bridal party including the bride. So I am more there for the entertainment factor for their guests, but the groom did confirm that he and she will be doing plenty of dances together including their "1st dance".
I was asking the groom about the logistics of that, and how it all would work ideally. They will have two interpreters on site and they have asked that those two people have dedicated lapel type mics which makes sense.
Here is my question.
This wedding is at a beautiful smaller country club. (sits about 150). The groom mentioned that they do in fact rely on "bass notes" to feel the music to dance and interact with the music like regular hearing people. Sooooo, I normally bring subs to wedding, but I don't get crazy... I keep it to two SBA 760's in most cases, sometimes even just 1. Do I add two more for this event? I normally use 4 at school functions... But 4 could potentially destroy this particular venue if I ran them at high levels. Do I "lean" on the lower frequencies more to benefit the bride and her family? and purposely go out of having balanced sound?
Anyone with experience with this?
I did one years ago where the Bride was almost completely deaf and their son was deaf. I do not think that any other guests were deaf. Not sure. I recommend a lot of bass. They dance to the vibration from the music. I had it nice. It was an older building that had a soft floor and it really vibrated. If you are on concrete, it might not work as well.
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I just did one at a tent venue that does not allow subs and it went great, all the deaf people in attendance were having a blast on the dance floor. I would recommend getting one light fixture that reacts well to the beat of the music, for me it was the Chauvet Colorstrip.
My deaf wedding was a couple, their friends, and a large portion of the guests, so your mileage may vary but...
2 good subs for bass so that the hearing impaired can still feel the music will be fine.
enough lights on so they can see the sign language.
I see you said they'll have interpreters, which is the last thing you'll need and you're good. Just don't be afraid to lean on your interpreters when you're not sure.
I should mention that at the wedding I did, there were also some legally blind folks in attendance, one being the mother of the groom. They required extra light at their tables. I went old school for that and mounted long nose 90 watt halogen powered par 38 cans on the tent diagonal braces (2" pipe) to spotlight the specific tables; worked out great! Maybe you should inquire if there will be any vision impaired people there as well so you can bring up the lighting issue.
I worked several deaf events, from me being the only hearing person in the room except the venue staff to just a few. The term deaf is very wide range, from some hearing loss, to profound deafness. Most can hear the music enough to dance to it, but no idea what the lyrics are. Yes there will need to be enough lighting in the room for the interpreters to be seen. But in general should be a normal party, make sure you have a notepad on hand for messages to and from the deaf guests. One of the parties where about 90% of the guests were deaf, the hosts passed out balloons. The guest could hold the balloons and feel the music. Of course once they started popping them it was chaos.
Michael, great story!
Thank you for the great advice. Thank you for sharing your experiences and stories and suggestions. Very helpful! Steve, was there a particular program that you used on your colorstrips? or did you just use the 21 program that runs all of them? I would have never thought of using lighting cues to enhance the bass notes. I have colorstrips, so I will definitely use them!
thank you again!
Randy, I used 21 but any of the built-in programs react really well to the beat as I'm sure you know.
I used to DJ in a city that had a school for the deaf in it, A whole group of them would show up every week and dance by feeling the bass and vibrations on the dance floor. They were always a great crowd and had lots of fun.
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