The wedding ceremony. This is not a new topic here on the blog. For me personally the wedding ceremony is the scariest part of a wedding. I’m not sure why. I guess because maybe 80% of it falls on me to get it right. At the reception, you have help from your vendor friends when a crisis hits, but with a wedding ceremony it’s just you and no lifeline. So to master this event, I prepare for it.
When I walk into a rehearsal, I’m familiar with the area; I know where I’m going to place the members of the bridal party and I know how I want them to walk in. If directing the wedding ceremony gives you a mini heart attack, embrace these helpful techniques.
It is extremely helpful to go over these details at your site visit. Please note that when it comes to a ceremony, there is no right or wrong way to do it. There is plenty of room for flexibility when it comes to a wedding ceremony. If you need help lining up the bridal party, check out our Ceremony Details Cheat Sheet inside the Ceremony Planner Kit.
The ceremony details sheet you create will be your rehearsal map and wedding day lineup. We create this sheet after getting back the client worksheet. It is very important to have a clear understanding of the bridal party and everyone’s role, and that’s where this handy piece of paper comes in. We recommend sending the ceremony detail sheet to your client right after doing the site visit. You will want to confirm who is walking with whom and when during your first phone call, and you can make any changes before the next call. If you’d like to understand this process a little better, check out our Ceremony Planner Kit.
#2 Ceremony Obstacles
For Indian weddings, Jewish weddings, and other religious/cultural weddings, the processionals and recessionals may be very different from the basic setup you’re used to. Your clients and the officiant can assist you with the specific logistics and details for such weddings if you need specific answers.
So, what to do with young children? Be sure to ask your bride what she envisions. Two suggestions are 1) have young flower girls and ring bearers sit in the first row when they get to the altar, or 2) if one of their parents is in the bridal party, they can stand with them.
Keep the older generation in mind when it comes to involving them in the prelude. We of course want to honor them, but make sure they are physically up for the task. Typically, the woman is on the left and the man is on the right when walking down the aisle; however, if they are sitting on the left, have them walk on the left. No one will notice and this can help alleviate any false footing.
If a wedding ceremony has started and you have a few late guests, make them wait until after the bride has walked down the aisle. If you allow them to go and sit down before then, it can be disruptive and loud—especially if the church is full.
#3 The Rehearsal
I once had a wedding ceremony delayed because the bride left the marriage license at home. To avoid this I remind my couples to bring it to the rehearsal and then I give the marriage license to the officiant. I’ve had a few officiants ask me to take care of it overnight, but I remind them I’m not the one signing it, so it’s better if they take charge.
Go Over the Timeline
After the rehearsal is finished, confirm that the bridesmaids and groomsmen know where to meet on the wedding day and what time they need to arrive. Go through the whole timeline with them. You may also want to make an announcement about the rehearsal dinner, if necessary. Make sure you know how all the personal items are getting to the venue.
Last Words on the Wedding Ceremony
When it comes to the wedding ceremony, get the officiant involved. Always ask how they would like to direct the ceremony. Most of the time they want your help with lining up the wedding party. If you have more questions about the wedding ceremony, feel free to check out our Wedding Management Certificate course.