I often get asked about “what problems have you seen?” I like to claim that I have never seen any problems at any ceremonies that I have performed. Even the one where the two little boys in the matching suits in the front row were rolling on the floor fighting with one another as the bride walked in with her Dad was awesome. But here are a few things that you might want to avoid:
- Temperatures: It is rare that the temperature is perfect for everyone. So don’t start your ceremony 45 minutes late while your guests are roasting in the open sun. Keep the location of the sun during the ceremony out of the couples eyes so that they are not squinting!
- Weather Back Up Plan: If we have a tornado warning, where do people meet? Is there enough time for everyone to get to that alternate venue (including the marriage commissioner)?
- Music: I have seen a LOT of ceremonies where the person doing the music just turns off the song—and it is a harsh, abrupt stop. Fade out! Other issues: “The songs are on the Bride’s phone, and no one has her password.” “The groom sent me a Spotify Playlist to use, and I don’t have a Spotify account so these commercials keep coming up…”
- Choreography: If there are high expectations for timing (“I want the groomsman to come in just as the second verse of the processional song starts”) then you really need to have some help with those items (planner, day-of coordinator).
- Venues: Is the kitchen staff going to start banging dishes around just as the couple is doing their emotional vows? Is the outdoor venue in Leduc right under the flight path of the airport, and it is during the ceremony that you discover why it is so inexpensive? Background noise at a ceremony is a huge distraction for everyone.
- Wedding Party: Did someone in the wedding party think they would be the cool dude that wore sunglasses, and no one else did? It is always nice to see everyone’s beautiful eyes for the cermeony!
- Balance: Is one person going to “surprise” the other person with a very romantic set of vows? And the other person didn’t know they were doing vows, and they are really overwhelmed and feeling terrible that they don’t have a response?
In general, I think that the more planning into the logistics and ceremony script you have, the better the ceremony will progress.