wedding magazines, planners, and wedding shows provide a multitude
of great ideas and resources to help make your day special.
They focus on everything from hairdos and headpieces to transportation
and can be a bride's and grooms best friend as they plan their
special day. But what really makes your day special is the
ceremony. A wonderful ceremony will make for a wonderful celebration.
A terrible ceremony may cast a shadow over the remainder of
your day. So being prepared and taking care of the small details,
before your ceremony begins, can reward you with fun and pleasure
for the remainder of your momentous day. So, my wife Joanne,
who also conducts ceremonies, and I offer a few suggestions,
from 'lessons we have learned' to help you have a stress free
we suggest that you arrive early; not ON TIME or LATE, but
early. Then after you arrive, if you want to be a little
late that's OK. You are now in control. If possible it is
a good idea for you to dress in the bridal room. If that
is not possible it is still wise to arrive at least 15 minutes
early even if you wait in the limousine. This will provide
you with some 'personal time' to prepare for the most important
part of your day. In most weddings, the ceremony usually
begins a few minutes late. This is acceptable and often
unavoidable as it usually takes a few minutes to coordinate
the 'start up'. Beginning your ceremony reasonably close
to the invitation start up time is a small way in expressing
gratitude for your guest's presence and will assure a stress
final word on arriving on time. Some believe that it is
'fashionable' for the bride to be late. The truth of the
matter is that it creates a lot of stress on the bride,
the wedding party, the guests, and others involved in your
day. The ceremony may not go according to plan and many
of the scheduled events following the ceremony are often
the good news is that most of the guests do arrive early
and on time. However, the second potential cause of stress
is when your ceremony is delayed because guests arrive late!
For some strange reason this 'phenomena' is almost sure
to happen. People either are notoriously late or may be
late for legitimate reasons. Occasionally 'late arrivals'
may even enter during the 'processional' with the bridal
party. To prevent this from happening consider assigning
someone, to 'HOLD BACK' 'late arrivals' until the wedding
party has entered. Perhaps a friend, or the wedding hostess
could be asked to assist late arrivals by 'holding them
back'. After the wedding party has entered they may be escorted
to their place.
are a few other suggestions you may want to consider.
putting the 'invitation time' of ceremony one half hour
before intended start up time. Have snacks and nonalcoholic
drinks available as people arrive. This will provide everyone
with an opportunity to enter into a relaxed atmosphere and
assure ample time for late arrivals.
sending the boutonnieres with the best man and the groom
to the venue along with the license, the ceremony, the rings,
and the final payment.
brides and grooms distribute a detailed map with directions
to venue for 'out of town' guests. Also you may want to
ask immediate family to arrive one half hour early to greet
is prudent for the Officiant to be in charge of the 'start
up' of the ceremony. [On occasion, when other have been
in charge the bridal party has found itself coming down
the isle without the Officiant and groom in their places.]
the case where your guests are transported to the ceremony
site via a rented bus it is wise to instruct the bus drivers
to arrive early rather then just arriving on time.
your ushers to begin escorting your guests to their seats
no later then 15 minutes before the scheduled start of ceremony.
your Officiant know in advance your wishes regarding your
photographer and Video Recorder. Request that they coordinate
their activities with your Officiant.
Young Children love to take part in your ceremony but have
a contingency plan in place to prevent potential incident.
outdoor ceremonies which are held during a extremely humid,
sunny, hot day may be a source of stress for your guests.
Cold water, fans or sun protectors may be a thoughtful way
to lessen the effects of hot weather. Perhaps setting up
chairs in the shade could also be considered. Your guests
will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Most of the ceremonies we conduct run smoothly from beginning
to end. And we also realize that sometimes it is the 'unexpected'
that adds life and laughter into a great ceremony. It is
great when things go as planned. However, on occasion there
has been a few 'awkward' moments over the past few years.
Some of these 'moments' were due to unforeseen circumstances.
They could not have been prevented. Many were not even noticed.
However, others, happened because people did not understand
the significance of a 'stress free ceremony'. Enjoy