Southdowns Manor is cosily embedded in the beautiful Hampshire countryside, in fact the South Downs national park, and perfect for weddings… and for bands. As a band, we always appreciate being able to park close to the load-in and setup space but especially enjoy working with team-orientated venue staff who see us as partners in the success of our mutual client’s big day, and Lois, the venue event manager for the day, was excellent.
The requirements for the day included providing sound for the ceremony, our acoustic duo for the drinks reception and then our 6 piece band for the evening reception. I love days like this, you feel really involved and even more integral to the success of the couple’s big day compared to arriving at 5pm to setup for just the evening show.
The ceremony was being held in the venue itself, something we see more and more these days, versus the traditional church wedding. On arrival at midday, we had a good opportunity to check out the venue space and decide on the optimal setup for ceremony music, acoustic duo as well as evening full band – three different spaces within Southdowns Manor.
The ceremony setup was in the heart of the venue; we setup two of our 15” Yamaha speakers, quite large some would say, but it’s not about the volume, it’s about the warmth that a speaker like this delivers; and one speaker either side of the front of the room, with a small mixer desk for us to discreetly run the music for key points of the ceremony behind a reveal curtain, was perfect.
The duo setup was at one end of the venue, in the lounge bar area, just enough space for us to rig up one QSC speaker on a stand and a floor monitor.
And the evening area discreetly hidden behind the reveal curtain, meant that we could setup very easily during the wedding breakfast and as the rest of the band arrived.
Like many venues, Southdowns does have sound/noise level policy; luckily this doesn’t involve a brutal sound limiter but rather a hand operated device by the staff, with discretionary advice. We had to turn down once but otherwise all was well and the room was pumping.