Behind the scenes of an eager Officiant…I can fly in and be ready to start a wedding in an instant, yet I arrive around 30 minutes in advance. I tell the couple that I arrive this early simply to put their minds at ease, which I do!
But there are 18 little extra checks I do to ensure the ceremony is as smooth as possible. If you have friend performing your ceremony, here are some tips of the trade to keep in mind:
I check the mic (if any); it should be loud enough so you don’t have to hold it in front of your face but just below, which makes for better photos;
I move the mic stand out of the way so it’s not in the middle of the couple or in any photos;
I check out where we will sign the Register and layout the materials;
I check to see if the couple has a special pen for the signing;
If we are signing on a table, I make sure there is only one chair and that there is no post right in front of the chair where the bride slides in for her to bang her shines on;
I check to ensure I have the vows from the couple if they have them printed;
I check in with the 'point person' who will let us know that the bride is ready and we can start;
I check to make sure someone has the rings;
I recommend to the ring bearer that they do not stand with their back to the guests, but on the side of the groom;
I check to see if the ladies have their bouquets in water and if so, I take them out and dry them off; flowers will survive without being in water for the whole ceremony and bouquets are drippy if kept in water;.
I remind the maid of honour to fix the train when the bride first arrives;
If there are kids, I get them warmed up to me so they will be more inclined to come up the aisle towards me and not be so freaked;
I remind the DJ to get ready to start the music right after the kiss to keep the energy raised in the ceremony and get the party started (they are always a bit slow on doing this if I don't remind them);
I check in with the photographer to see if I need to make any announcements about guests using their camera flashes and if this will interfere with their shots;
I remind the photographers to put their cameras on silent (especially if they are sports photographers, their cameras have a loud clicking sounds!)
The photographers usually check in with me to see if I have any restrictions, I do not.
I check in with videographers to make sure their stands are not blocking guests (I've had one who set up right in front of the groom’s mom. She was pleased I booted him to the side.)
I complete all of the paper work that has to be signed.
And then I stand calmly, and smile.