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                                Established 1990
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As wedding Officiants, we see what goes on behind the scenes and before, during, and after the ceremony.  Here are some things we have witnessed and wish to share so that your wedding day is everything you dreamed it would be.
MYTH:  Weddings Never Start On Time & Are Stressful
Yes, they do start on time and should!  And no, they should not be stressful especially if you have hired a Wedding Coordinator or Event Planner.  These professionals work with a schedule  and see to it that every thing happens when and how it should, making the most important day of your life truly special.  Being nervous on your wedding day is expected, but being totally stressed out from being late is not.  The major cause for stress is being late and the surest cure is being on time!  Yep, it's that simple!
Two simple rules for every Bride and Wedding Professional:
#1.)  Have a schedule         #2.)  Be on time
MYTH:  A butterfly release is so Romantic - But Not Always
A butterfly release sounds so lovely but that often isn't how it works out.  Butterflies are sent to you as larva and must be cared for in a very specific and delicate manner.  They have not been trained and they are not the beautiful seasoned butterflies you see in the park.  They are released immediately after just being born. A wedding is not a natural environment for these precious little winged friends to begin their life's journey.  We have seen butterflies that did not fly away, but stick on the Bride's dress although they are butterflies, they still feel like bugs when they stick to you and your dress.
TIP:   Dove Releases are the way to go!
They are trained and they are released by their trainer.  The trainer sees to it that there is no mess  for others to clean up.  It is truly a beautiful experience to watch the Doves released and to circle over above before heading to their known destination.  Also, Doves can be released indoors!
TIP:  The Ring Bearer & The Ring Pillow
Never tie the REAL rings on the Ring Pillow and never give a child your wedding rings.  Would you give a child your wedding set on any other day?  Do not do it on your wedding day!  Have the Ring Bearer carry the pillow with Fake rings attached.  The child does not need to know they are not real wedding rings.
TIP:   Aisle Runners
Sometimes adding a plastic aisle runner for the Bride to walk on does not add a touch of elegance to the ceremony and it can be dangerous!  Outdoors, it gives the appearance that the ground is level when it is not and may cause someone to fall or if the high heel of a shoe goes through it, it's definitely not elegant to watch a lady in formal wear trying to kick it off or worse, drag it with them up the aisle.  Indoors, they may be slippery even when it's a soft fabric.
TIP:   Professional Photographers
Professional Photographers know not to cause a ceremony to start late and that the first photograph taken after the ceremony should be with the Bridal Couple and the Officiant.  If you are having a friend or family member as  your photographer, make sure they know about this procedure.
TIP:  Professional Disc Jockeys
Professional D.J.'s  know to fade the Processional music down when the Bride reaches the Officiant and the Groom.  Also, not to start the Recessional music until the Officiant introduces the Bridal Couple to their guests.  (Mr. & Mrs. Etc.) If you are NOT using a professional D.J.  make sure he / she is fully aware of these methods.
TIP:   Children In The Wedding Ceremony
Remember they are children, not small adults.  Children ages two to four do not have any perception of what a wedding is.  They may be mature for their age but still they're just children.  And they can surprise even their parents about what they are or are not willing to do when it comes to the ceremony time.  They may do well during the Rehearsal but there are not all those strange guests there who will be attending the ceremony.   Some may think it's cute to watch a small child cry all the way down the aisle, but the child may feel traumatized.  They pick up the tension or special energy from the adults that this is a very special occasion.  It can be overwhelming to them.  Children from age five and up tend to be more comfortable participating  and the older the child the more "special" they feel about their role in the ceremony.
TIP:   Contact Numbers
Often locations do not answer their phones on a day of the wedding and calls may go to voice mail.  Be sure to have a cell phone number that someone will answer on the day of the wedding, in case one of your professionals or guest gets lost, needs directions or there is an emergency.    Have a 'Central Contact No."  ready to give to  your vendors for the same reasons.  Do NOT leave things to chance.
TIP:    Invitations & Ceremony Time
 What time to put on your invitation?   The REAL time along with the word SHARP!   The first order of business is to be on time because timing is everything!  Perhaps you have family or friends who are never on time.  In this case you should call or e-mail them that the ceremony will be starting 30 minutes earlier.  But remember your Wedding Professionals will be working on "Real" time because they work with and are on schedule.   It is extremely difficult to determine how to factor in "tardiness."   Will they be a little late or real late?   Neither you nor your Wedding Professionals have a crystal ball to make such determinations so  stick to a schedule.
TIP:    Using Unity Candles Outdoors
Lighting a Unity Candle during an outdoor ceremony can be very tricky.  It is difficult to light a candle and keep it lit  when there is a breeze blowing.  Should you get them lit and they blow out, ....it is not a bad omen - It is just the laws of nature.  You might consider using a glass globe to cover each candle.  The Sand Ceremony is my choice for outdoor rituals.
TIP:    Writing Your Own Vows
Writing your Personal Vows is a very personal part of the ceremony because you as a Bride write your personal vows as a Bride to your Groom.  And he writes his personal vows as a Groom  to you - the two of you write them to one another expressing your love.  Writing your personal vows is one thing, writing the ceremony is quite another.  Your wedding Officiant will provide you with a copy of the ceremony he will be performing.  It will allow you to add or delete any verbiage you do not desire.  You should know the content  of the ceremony, but asking the Wedding Officiant  to perform a "pieced together" ceremony will come across as just that - a patch work ceremony.   Ministers are specialized the same as doctors.  Some Ministers specialize in giving sermons for Saturday or Sunday's church services.  Some specialize in bereavement services for funeral homes and  may also privately perform baptisms or pastoral counseling.  Not all Ministers are proficient as  Wedding Officiants, although all of these services are performed by a Minister.        



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