Rob and Sarah’s Wedding

Any wedding is special. Two people declaring their love for one another, for life – or whatever the modern equivalent is. I met Rob and Sarah in a bar in Leicester whilst working for Ian Robottom in April 2012, after meeting him (and Rob) at Oxjam in Leicester in October 2011. Rob’s in a band, Ian was best man, and they both mentioned the wedding to me. A few months later, Ian got in touch again and with a few pictures for ideas  we set about planning the lighting for the evening entertainment at the venue in Woodhouse – Beaumanor Hall. The original concept and design – drawn on the back of a napkin in the staff café at M&S – was a three-piece U shapes truss square, raised 3m in the air, with backlight provided by an array of PAR64s with scrollers, and lights on the truss a combination of spots and washes. When we got the venue specifications we realised that this probably wasn’t the best idea – the concept I’d had was limited by power and space of the room. We were asked to provide lighting for the reception in Room 1 at Beaumanor – this would include lighting the band, the DJ and the first dance – so, include a dancefloor.

Room 1 at Beaumanor Hall

Room 1 at Beaumanor Hall

Installation by Liam Singh

Installation by Liam Singh

The final design included sixteen moving lights, twelve colour uplighters, four LED par can and five blinder strips, and a 14ft square dance floor. The whole system was run from a Macbook running MagicQ PC on XP Bootcamp with a Chamsys Mini wing. We pre-programmed the show file in Liverpool, using Capture Polar as a visualiser. Here is a short video showing some of the programming of the first dance, which we were able to forward to Ian for feedback.

Fixture Schedule:

  • 3 x Robe Robin 600 LED Washes – Band wash
  • 4 x Robe Robin 600 LED Washes – Dancefloor wash
  • 3 x Martin MAC 250 Entours – Dancefloor spots
  • 4 x Martin MAC 250s – Stage spots
  • 2 x Showtec Clubspot 250s – Band’s logo gobo projection
  • 12 x Chroma-Q DB4 Colour Blocks – Upstage wall lighting
  • 4 x Stairville LED Par56s – Truss lighting
  • 5 x Showtec Sunstrip ActiveDMX – Truss blinders
  • 1 x 14ft Black LED Starlit Panels – Twinkling dancefloor

Light the Way, a hire company based in the North, had the perfect stock for what we wanted to put in, and a dance floor provided by Premier Event Services added a touch of class to the occasion.

Rigging begins

Rigging begins

Rigging for the event started on the Friday afternoon, when Ian and I loaded in the sound equipment and set up whilst awaiting the lighting kit arrival from Light the Way. As the bemused venue staff looked on, we wheeled flightcase after flightcase into the function room. The trussing was pieced together and pre-cabled, and then walked up into position by two burly men (and two midgets. Hi.) This enabled us to hang each fixture on its pre-measured mark, and just plug it in, and hope that the cable plan worked in reality. Of course, it did.

6pm, Friday Night

6pm, Friday Night

On the Saturday morning, my assistant Sarah Jo set about placing and cabling in the DB4s on the upstage display cabinet, whilst I finished the truss work and oversaw the laying of the dancefloor. The lighting desk was fired up and after double checking all the fixture addresses we started re-lighting from the visualiser file.

After long speeches and the wonderful band, Friday Street, getting a little irate, we got into the swing of things – started with the first dance, followed by two sets from the band sandwiched by Deano the DJ.

There was simply no stress in operating the event – Sarah Jo had it under control. The stress came after the venue had instructed us that our get-out was only to be an hour and a half long – capping the night’s entertainment at 11pm and with the help of Ian and his friends, Sarah Jo and the brilliant crew from Premier who got the dancefloor out through a crowd of people quick-smart and then brought our empty flightcases in from our van for us to load straight in to.  With the venue’s time limit approaching, we worked until the final minute and left a stack of jobs left to do – which saw us back at 9am, coiling cable in the car park!

The wedding was a massive success.  The lighting was simply stunning.  I was able to enjoy the wedding knowing that the team in place was the best I had ever worked in.  The set-up, operation and pack down were slick, showing the importance of planning.
I cannot thank Liam and Sarah-Jo enough for their hard work and dedication to this event.  I never doubted they could do it.  What they actually delivered far exceeded my expectations – The original spec of delivering a wedding night event to blow away all others, was achieved and then some.

And the best bit?  I could relax, drink and carry out my best man duties knowing that I had the best of the best taking care of the event.

Ian Robottom – See More Here…

Thanks to everyone who made our work easier and especially to Ian for employing me for this job. The wedding rig looked spectacular, and the entire project taught me a lot – namely to leave theatrical ties behind and be a tad more flexible in this sort of environment!