So I am starting into wedding videography for a company, and we are having a lot of discussions as to the best way to capture wedding vows. The way they are currently doing it is a zoom h1 set to auto slipped into the grooms pocket with a 3.5mm lav mic. Coming from more of a corporate production background, this makes me nervous because I can't monitor anything. Someone pointed out to me that monitoring doesn't really get you much since you can't go up there during the ceremony and change anything. Wireless is an option, but if we get any interference from all those folks on their cell phones we are really screwed... I'm thinking maybe mic split into the zoom and into a wireless system?

So how would you guys capture wedding vows?


When I borrowed a Zoom H4, I got a lot of GSM noise from my blackberry when doing field recordings. Later, I bought a Sony M10 and an iPhone, and haven't noticed any GSM tones in my recordings. The downside of the Sony is that it doesn't have XLR input, so any external microphone is likely to be a source of more noise. The good news is that cell phone interference seems to fall off fairly rapidly. There may be enough distance between the couple getting married and the guests that cell noise isn't really a problem.

An Olympus LS-100 may be an even better choice than my Sony. I plan on getting one once I start buying microphones.

Another option would be to use a full-sized mic and PA and actually integrate it into the ceremony. Then the couple can hear themselves doing their vows, so they have an idea of what they will be getting.

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You should look into buying a shotgun mic. It's the microphone used on movie sets for recording things when they can't get a boom mic above the actors. Basically it's a very directionalized mic, so it has excellent off-axis rejection to avoid picking up audience noises, and you can set it up from the back of the auditorium and aim it at the alter to pick up the vows as well as the rest of the ceremony. You may even be able to set up several from mutiple angles, that way you never have to worry about someone blocking the direct sound.

There are few options, some of them fairly reasonable in price. Check out this link for some discussion on budget shotgun mics.

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Whilst my experience comes from a sound reinforcement background not recording I always had success using the vicar's wireless mic to pick up the vows, turning it up for the couples repetition and back down for the vicar. If you're recording this can be done in post-production making it a bit less stressful!

In 15 years of using radio mics I've only ever known them pick up interference from other mics on the same channel or a phone in the pocket of the person wearing the mic. When it's from a phone it's the unbalanced lead between the transmitter pack and the mic capsule which picks it up, not the RF side. Which frequencies you can use for radio mics depends on where in the world you are based, you can either use the license free frequencies in which case you might suddenly get someone else on the same frequency as you, or purchase a license which means no-one else should be on the same channel. Obviously a wireless system is slightly less reliable than a wired system but having done sound for dozens of weddings by making sure the mics had new batteries I never had any problems with them.

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