Often I find myself contacting the couples I book several times to get answers to very simple basic questions. I don’t like to bother people, but it is necessary to the smooth flowing of the ceremony to have those questions answered.
I know it’s hard to worry about the words that you are going to say, when you have food to organize, bridesmaids to dress, honeymoons to plan, a cake to choose. But, when all is said and done, and you are standing in front of your loved one at the altar, imagine how it would feel if you had spent all that time, effort and money for an emotionally bereft ceremony.
It matters. For instance, I had a couple book a wedding and want ‘the simplest and shortest vows they could get away with’ quote. No rehearsal. Just show up, stand there, and say this. After weeks of confirmation. The wedding day arrives. I show up and stand there. Only to find that the wedding party has about 15 people in it. Now picture this. Me, the groom at the altar. Music starts, flower girl…..walking walking…best man, maid of honour, walking, walking…..next couple….walking, walking, next couple….walking, walking….next couple….walking, walking……next couple….walking walking, next couple….walking walking….bride…walking walking….more music. Stop. ‘We are here, do you, do you, thanks Bye’
What a let down. After such a dramatic build up to the ceremony, which is, after all, what the processional is. there was a damp squib of a ceremony. The show was all cast and no content. The witnesses watched people walk for 15 minutes, heard 5 minutes of mumbling, then watched more walking for 15 minutes. How exciting!
In your ceremony you are creating a feeling. A picture is fine, the colours, the dresses, the faces, the decor, the cake, the food. But why are we there at all? Oh yes. These people love each other. They want to celebrate that love. We are here to witness their public declaration of that love. Then we have a good time and enjoy all the rest.
Think. Compose. Discuss. The officiant is the storyteller, the narrator of your relationship. The orator of your commitment at that precious moment. Let them build you a tale. Trust them to provide the words that will leave your witnesses feeling a part of your emotions. Value them for that.
We are NOT ‘just the legal bit’. We are the difference between a legal marriage and a commitment ceremony, that is true. But we are also the muse and the evocatrice of an ethereal experience that will stay with your witnesses always. Long after the actual words have faded into time. The way they felt at your ceremony will always be with them and you. Many times I have had relatives come to me after the ceremony and tell me how beautiful it was. Usually, it’s the more personal touches that reach the heart.
If your officiant doesn’t get to know you, how can that happen? Take my advice, build that relationship, and value your officiant. That’s what we are here for.