Why It is Important to Know your Noise Limit

An increasing number of venues are implementing strict decibel level regulations on their premises, with these requirements even being incorporated into booking contracts. Consequently, couples looking to reserve venues are advised to ask about music sound levels and carefully examine the details outlined in their contracts.

Some venues have noise limits so low that it was pointless hiring a DJ as you can barely hear them. We don’t want you to waste your money!

Venues often try to mitigate decibel levels within their premises to comply with the law. Strategies venues often take include:

1. Installing sound barriers
2. Strategically placing speakers
3. Incorporating noise-reducing technologies
4. Outdoor venues might consider utilizing natural barriers like foliage, while indoor venues could invest in acoustically designed spaces.

Whilst all of these strategies help, it is still no help to you if, on the day, you are disappointed by how quiet the music is being played.

When you ask your venue for the noise limit, it should be given to you in decibels (dB) which is how volume is measured. It’s important to note, that decibels do not work on a linear scale. That is to say, that 100dB is NOT twice as loud as 50dB. It works on more of a bell curve.

As a general rule of thumb, each increase in 10dB is about about double. So twice as loud as 50dB would be approximately 60dB.

What Constitutes Excessive Volume? Sounds below 85 dB are generally considered safe. Let’s examine a few common examples falling below this threshold.

• 10 dB: normal breathing
• 20 dB: leaves rustling, mosquito buzzing
• 30 dB: whispering
• 40 dB: quiet office or residential area, light rain
• 50 dB: moderate rainfall, refrigerator
• 60 dB: normal conversation, electric toothbrush
• 70 dB: washing machine, dishwasher
• 80 dB: noisy restaurant, vacuum cleaner, garbage disposal
• 85 dB: Blender, heavy traffic
Sounds surpassing 85 dB can lead to hearing damage. Besides the decibel level, the risk of damage depends on two key factors: distance from the sound source and duration of exposure.
• 90 dB: lawnmower, shouting conversation
• 95 dB: electric drill
• 100 dB: nightclub, train, snowmobile
• 110 dB: power saw, jackhammer, motorcycle
• 120 dB: ambulance siren, chainsaw, rock concert
• 130 dB: stock car race, jet engine
• 135 dB: loud squeaky toy (next to ear)
• 140 dB: airplane takeoff
• 145 dB: fireworks
• 150 dB: shotgun blast

Given that list, if you are told that the volume maximum is 70dB, consider that as far too low. There are venues that are happy to take your money, tell you that they have DJs here all the time, but don’t explain to you that 70dB is the same as a dishwasher and that whilst you HAVE a DJ, you just can’t hear them.

Imagine a dishwasher working away in the same room as all your guests talking, you definitely wouldn’t hear it at all.

We hope this article has been helpful to you in exploring your options when it comes to choosing a venue that suits what you are hoping to achieve with your entertainment at your wedding.

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