Monday, December 13, 2010

I ran across this article on another blog and I thought it had some good points so I am posting it here.
The author is Maureen Thomson, a wedding officiant since 2001, and the owner of Lyssabeth's Wedding Officiants.

10 Ways to Help Your Wedding Officiant Help You

It is your wedding officiant’s responsibility to make sure that you are given every opportunity to make your wedding ceremony creative, memorable and stress-free. As in any relationship, however, it’s the cooperation and synergy of all partners that turns good into great. Here are some things you as the couple can do to assist your wedding officiant in giving you the best service possible and to ensure a wonderful wedding day memory for you and your guests.

1. Return emails, phone calls and requested materials in a timely manner. If we need something from you to spice up your ceremony, we need you to tell us what it is before it’s too close to ceremony time. Don’t wait to make wording choices or pick out your ceremony components until two weeks before the wedding. That doesn’t give your officiant enough time to pull it all together and practice the service until it flows smoothly. Don’t be like the groom who was dictating ceremony wording changes to one of my officiants as the bride came down the aisle! (true story!)

2. Be open with us about family issues that may impact your wedding ceremony. If your divorced parents can’t stand the sight of each other, we can help mitigate that if we’re aware of it.

3. Make your payments on time. The less time we have to track you down trying to get our fee, the more time we can spend creating a wonderful service for you. If you’re strapped, let us know. We’ll do our best to work with your ability to pay. (I collect the fee up front so you don't have to remember to pay me later at the wedding.)

4. Be selective about the friends and family members you ask to participate in your ceremony. You may love your great aunt Mildred to death, but if she’s uncomfortable speaking before a crowd and murmurs her reading in a too-soft, shaky voice, the effect will be lost.

5. Select your location with the comfort of your guests in mind. Yes, it’s your day, but grandparents on oxygen shouldn’t be expected to come to your Colorado mountain-top wedding (you know, the one with the quarter mile hike to the overlook with the breathtaking view) And you may have your heart set on an outdoor setting for your service, but if the temperature dips and the wind and rain pick up--or when the heat index is over 100 degrees, is it worth putting your guests through the discomfort of sitting huddling and shivering/ sweating through your nuptials?

6. If you have a medium-sized to large wedding (I’d say anything over 75 guests) or if there are any background noises (traffic, a rushing stream) then be sure to arrange for a microphone. There is nothing worse for guests that having to strain to catch every word--or not hear the minister at all. Not to worry, I have 3 sound systems so I come prepared.

7. Be sure you have of the ceremony essentials with you on the wedding day (e.g. rings, roses for rose ceremony, wine for wine ceremony, a lighter for the Unity Candle). Sure, we can scramble for these items and help out last minute in a pinch, but it’s much less stress for everyone if everything is present and accounted for.

8. Be ready on time. If your ceremony starts 30 minutes late, your guests will be grumpy from the get-go. It makes for a much smoother ceremony experience if everyone starts out in a good mood!

9. Give your ceremony musicians a copy of the ceremony beforehand (or request that your officiant forward a copy). While we do coordinate with your musicians right before the ceremony starts, it helps the music to start and stop more fluidly if they’ve had a chance to review the words that cue them to play.

10. If you are getting married at a private residence or any other location that is not a known wedding venue, be sure we know in advance of any potential glitches in getting there. Put balloons on the front walk if the number is not well-marked and if you know that Google maps gives incorrect directions to your home, then by all means let us know beforehand.

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