Don't let noise ordinances get in the way of your big-day bash. Plug in and encourage your guests to cut loose into the wee hours with the latest dance trend popping up at celebrations from Napa to the North Shore.
Credit: John Dolan

You've said your I do's, and now it's time to get down to the seriously fun business of celebrating your newlywed status. The only thing getting between you and a night everyone will remember? A noise ordinance, curfew, or neighbor forcing you to put a damper on the decibel levels at your event. Enter the "silent disco," a phenomenon that has grown out of music festivals and the club scene, where attendees don wireless headphones and listen to music broadcast through a radio transmitter.

"It's been pretty revolutionary for us because we have the 10 p.m. amplified noise curfew in Napa and Sonoma, so it lets us continue the party without having to move locations or move indoors," says wedding planner Jenna Lam of Jenna Lam Events.

Think the concept sounds strange? "The funny thing about it is that the minute someone puts on the headphones, it's like they think they're invisible," Lam adds. "You'll see someone who was previously sipping a drink nervously in the corner while the band was playing now singing out loud and dancing like a crazy person at the silent disco."

Credit: John Dolan

And the plusses don't end there. Planners we spoke to mentioned everything from the crisp and clear quality of the tunes in the headphones to offering guests a choice of what music they want to dial into (most headphones come with two to three channels, so you can have duelings DJs that your guests can flip between). One planner even mentioned that the silent disco can actually encourage conversation; by eliminating the need to shout over booming music, users can simply slide off the headphones partially or completely to chat. But perhaps the biggest reason the activity is catching on: it is something that you and your guests definitely won't forget.

Credit: John Dolan

To throw a silent disco at your wedding, prices typically range from $4 to $11 per guest, with batteries for the headphones lasting up to 10 hours. If it's something you are interested in to round out your event, especially if you are contending with potential barriers for a late-night blowout, raise the idea to your wedding planner or reach out to one of these companies that will arrange it all for you:

  • Silent Storm Sound System is a premier equipment provider offering two models of headphones (a two-channel model and a three-channel model) that are available for rental along with their transmitter.
  • Party Headphones has free shipping on quantities of 50 or more headphones. They've seen an upswing in the wedding portion of their business and love when a bride and groom each create their own playlists and put them on opposite channels for a fun (and slightly competitive) take.
  • Quiet Events was founded in 2012 by William Petz, after he discovered the silent disco concept during a Caribbean cruise. The experience was reinvented to create Quiet Events. Based in New York City, it caters to a diverse audience across the country. Its custom headphones can broadcast up to three different DJs, with colored LED lights that let you know what station your friends are listening to.
  • Silent Noize Events is an England-based supplier of silent disco headphones and equipment, but the company caters to clients throughout Europe and outside of the UK.
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