I have had the honor and experience of officiating and overseeing over 1600 weddings. Over the years I have learned some things about wedding details and potential glitches in planning the ceremony, especially when it comes to how to incorporate your ideas into the ceremony flow without throwing the crescendo of the moment off track.
Having the honor of being a part of so many weddings has made ceremony coordinating second nature for me. I have literally walked into formal weddings where there were large bridal parties in disarray and because of my experience I was able to pull the groups together for a successful ceremony.
As a church pastor I typically attend my parishioners’ wedding rehearsals at no-charge, because of the relationship history they and their families have had with the local church through attendance and support. However, as a hired officiant the demand upon my schedule is becoming a premium, as I balance family activities, church ministry, and my calendar for wedding officiating.
2 Ways I Can Help With Your Wedding Rehearsal
1) Book Me For Rehearsal Attendance…
If you are wanting me to attend your rehearsal, because you would like me to help coordinate or just to be present to play my part or a combination of both, I can do that if I am not already booked for another wedding or event and you pay my scheduling fee, the same as officiating fee.
The fee for booking me to attend the rehearsal is based on scheduling demand upon my time and resources, and like I shared above, as a church pastor I typically attend my parishioners’ wedding rehearsals at no-charge, because of the relationship history they and their families have had with the local church through attendance and offering support. However, as a hired officiant the demand upon my schedule is becoming a premium, as I balance family activities, church ministry, and my calendar for wedding officiating.
2) Use My DIY Rehearsal Planning Help…
If I am unavailable to attend your rehearsal or you are saving your budget for bigger or better things, please know that I am always available to brides, grooms, or coordinators for weddings that I am booked to officiate, without cost or additional fee. f you have booked me to officiate your wedding ceremony, you have my ear through the planning process and even if you decide to hold a small rehearsal event. You or your assigned wedding planner have access to me about the wedding plans from the moment you book me to officiate to the moment I sign the marriage license. You can call me or contact me anytime, including the day of your rehearsal or even during the rehearsal as questions arise.
If you are a professional wedding planning and I am officiating your formal wedding, this help is available to you as well. Wedding planners have told me that the information I have provided was more than sufficient for their planning need for the rehearsal. One planner even told me that she enjoys having me officiate and likes having fun with making a game at the rehearsal of who gets to stand-in as the minister.
On the day of the wedding, I typically arrive at least 30 minutes before the wedding start time so I can be available to answer last-minute questions, review the bridal-party processional plans, to help with any last minute or needed coordinating services, and to meet and answer questions for your planner or photographer.
When you book me to officiate you have these options for your rehearsal planning available to you…
- I am available to be contacted with any questions you may have as we countdown to your wedding,
- View my Ceremony Overview video where I talk about ceremony flow and options,
- My book, “Simple Wedding Ceremony Planning Guide” covers the planning issues and options,
- I will gladly meet with you at our chapel or via Skype or at a location to help you in the planning,
- Know that during the ceremony I will quietly coach the couple through the process and key transition points of the wedding ceremony,
- View this YouTube video where I specifically deal with how to plan and prepare for an effective rehearsal:
VIDEO SUMMARY POINTS…
During the ceremony I will coach the couple along the way, but here are some issues to think about:
- Bride’s entrance. If someone is walking the bride down, I just need to know if they want or are willing for me to say “Who gives this bride away.” And if someone is walking down the bride, they need to know to stop about 6 to 10 feet before more, in order to give the groom enough walking space to actually go and get his bride.
- Vows. If there is no preference, the majority of couples go with traditional vows with the bride and groom merely answer “I do.” But you can write your own or have the “Dr. Seuss Vows.”
- Vows. Also, you both will need to decide how you want to stand during the vows. You can remain standing facing the minister, turn to face each other, or slight turn toward each other but yet still toward the minister. Also, will you hold hands during the vows?
- Exit. After the minister pronounces you husband and wife and introduces you both as such, you will just need to know where or if you are going to exit or have friends and family come up to greet you in the front or or in the back