Claudia Chan, of Kokoro no Melody (Melody of the Heart!) is a Toronto calligrapher and engraver.
As a gift to her future clients, she did a fabulous job at collecting Wedding Experts to do a video series on tips for newly engaged couples. After each interview, the experts offered freebies and some great checklists. I highly recommend checking them all out.
We had a terrible time with our audio/video delays, but she did her best to piece our conversation together. I offered a lot of tips in this interview, but here are the Officiant Tips I offered regarding what to consider before finalizing your wedding invitations:
1. Consider if you wish to have children at your wedding and make this clear in your invites. Personally, I love children and all of their cuteness and chaos at the ceremony, but its understandable that some couples prefer not to have them there. The extra plates add to the costs, children can be very distracting, and sometimes couples want an elegant affair and the full attention of their parent-friends.
2. Check to see if there are multiple venues with the same name as yours. Toronto has a number of venues that have the exact same names. Examples:
The Great Hall vs The Great Hall (at the UofT)
The Drake (Hotel) vs The Drake 150 vs The Drake Commissary
Fontana Gardens vs Fontana Primavara
Mercatto (College) vs Cantina Mercatto (Wellinton), vs Taverna Mercatto (Bremner) vs Locale Mercatto (Bay) vs Trattoria Mercatto (Yonge)
Balzacs Coffee Roasters (Distillery District) vs Balzacs Coffee Roasters (Liberty Village) vs Balzacs Powerhouse vs the other two in St. Lawrence Market and on the Ryerson Campus.
3. Rather than stating the Ceremony Start Time, present the Arrival Time. Basically ask guests to arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony starts so that if and when they are running late, they are not walking in with the wedding party. It gives them time to meet and greet, hug, remove their coats, pick their seats and generally get relaxed if they are running late. Remember, the people who arrive last also park in the spots furthest away!
4. And, if you change your date and time, please check with your Officiant to see if that new time works for them. It amazes me how often couples will let me know (or DON'T) let me know the 'actual' start time for their ceremony. Although I leave a two hour window around weddings, when the time changes its best to be open about this change and not leaving it the Officiant out of that conversation.