Wedding Sites & Services Blog

Noise Ordinances, the Law and Your Wedding Venue

This is a modified transcript from a speech given by 14 time award winning Northern Colorado wedding DJ, Matt Martindale in fall 2016 to Northern Colorado wedding venues. It’s very relevant to today’s brides as more and more municipalities are enforcing strict “noise ordinances” against venues, levying fines, or simply shutting down wedding receptions due to so many un-professional DJs. Every bride needs to know about noise ordinances, the law and your wedding venue.

From the speech (part 1):

As the leading Estes Park DJ, Fort Collins DJ, and the preferred wedding DJ in almost all of Northern Colorado, and frequently performing in prestigious venues for weddings like at: Della Terra Mountain Chateau, the Preserve at Bingham Hill, Ellis Ranch, Brookside Gardens and Windsong Estates, let’s talk about noise. 

Nothing can dampen a fun party faster than a bad DJ who doesn’t respect nor know the difference between sound and noise. We’ve helped numerous Colorado wedding venues navigate the problems coming up with local municipalities and sound ordinances over the last couple of years. The key is, that whomever the bride hires as her Colorado wedding DJ, the person performing must absolutely know the difference between sound and noise, noise ordinances, and respect the local laws. If not, you as the venue looks bad when the party gets shut down, or may face the $1,000 fine when a neighbor complains.

Most of us can hear just fine. It’s one of our primary senses, but it’s also a complex one too. Hearing is really our ears’ ability to detect sound, and then our brain’s ability to give those sound vibrations a meaning. It plays a tremendous role in our lives by allowing us to communicate, warns us of danger and provides a form of entertainment with music.

Sound is nothing more than just vibrations through the air. It’s what we hear. Let’s go on a quick audio journey…

It’s a nice, warm day. You’re at the beach, you close your eyes and feel the warmth of the sun wrap around you. The waves are gently crashing on the rocks, how do you feel?

How about hearing a soft, babbling brook in a quiet, serene forest as you pause on a winding path?

Maybe thunder gently rolling in the distance as a soft rain lightly patters against a window.

A baby laughing?

Then there’s noise.

That’s a sound that is an unpleasant, or unwanted sound. It causes a disturbance. It’s well, un-desireable.

According to several studies, scientists put these unpleasant sounds (or noise) into 2 categories: annoying (like a car alarm or snoring); and those that trigger an immediate negative visceral reaction…like nails on a chalk board.

What’s the difference between sound and noise? Simple.

Every bride can understand the difference between sound and noise by understanding these 3 ingredients:

It’s the listener. 
It’s their interpretation.
It’s the circumstances in which it’s heard. 

Basically, it’s completely subjective.

You see, a sound to one person, can also be a “noise” to another person.  Remember, a noise is just an unpleasant, or unwanted sound in a circumstance, that frankly, causes a disturbance. Sound, is, well, desired. It’s something the listener wants. A noise, they don’t.

Sound can be noise based on magnitude (how loud it is), the characteristics in which it’s heard in, duration (how long), and time of occurrence.

So, it can vary.

For example, you are excited to attend a rock concert. In fact, it’s your favorite band. It’s going to be a great show and you expect it to be loud for the 3 hour show. In fact, rock music can be pleasurable to one person, and frankly, annoying to another person. It’s subject to the listener. Some people like rock music, or rap or jazz, and then others don’t.

Even if you love rock music, the same rock music heard from your neighbor’s yard for a BBQ at 1pm can be very different than at 1am when the baby is trying to sleep. It’s the same song, same sound system, same house, same distance, same volume, but very different circumstance, right?

Another one now: you are trying to concentrate for a big exam while studying at the library but you continue to hear a whispered conversation by a group of people next to you. Or, maybe the same whispering non-stop during a church service. That’s classified as noise, not because of the volume, but because of the time of occurrence and the characteristics in which it’s heard.

Is that sound at that time, desired or not?

So, it really is subjective with the three ingredients that distinguish between sound and noise. A qualified, competent wedding DJ will know the difference; repeatedly walk the room to monitor the sound; know how to read the crowd to keep guests involved and engaged. Set a standard, and measure it, but we’ll talk about that in part 2, and what to do about it…”

So, let’s work together to…

Make a statement or tell your story.

Showcase your own style.

Brand your wedding.


Blog by Amore’ DJ Entertainment

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