Thursday, November 06, 2014

Five Things I'll Remind You To Do If I'm Officiating Your Wedding

Alexa + John + Me. LOVE IT. Photo: Laurel Isle Photography
I love officiating weddings, which I've been doing for the past couple of years. LOVE it. And not to overuse the word (too late) but I love it because of all the Love. It's a long day, and there is a lot of questions and stress management and logistics and rows of checkoff boxes, and  worrying and choosing and rejecting relationship management and STUFF on the way to the end of the aisle. But, man, once you get there, it's all Love. That's the one time when you realize that it's going to be okay, because you're finally there to do what you came there to do: Marry the Love of your life in front of your family and friends. Relief, seriously.

There are a few reminders I give all of my couples before I meet them at the altar, to let them know what to expect, and how to make it a better, calmer experience:

1. Check the rings. Double-check the readings. Who is going to have your rings, and how will they know to give them to you? If you have readers, who will have the readings? I often will have the readings in my leather binder, so I can hand it to each person. But definitely figure that out. And if you're saying your own vows, figure out where those are going to be, too.

2. When you get to the end of the aisle, huddle up. In other words, get close. Lots of couples get in front of me, and they're standing 10 feet away from each other, because that's where they ended up. Hold hands and lean in. Give your bouquet to your maid of honor. Yes, you may be blocking me from everyone else, but no one cares about me. And the only people who need to see me are you two.

3. No one knows that something went wrong unless you react to it. So, if the bridesmaids and groomsmen get out of order, or go through the wrong door, or the wrong music starts to play, you're the only one who knows. Smile, keep moving. Laugh - laugh, okay? - about it later.

4. Kids are cute, no matter what they do. Cry, run, stand and stare, laugh, sing, or complain (I have a friend whose flower girl kept tugging her Mom/the Maid of honor's dress and muttering, "Mama, let's go!), they're adorable. Everyone will tell you so.

5. Take a moment to look around and enjoy it. There's a part in each of my ceremonies where I have you turn to your guests - your family and friends - while I acknowledge your gratitude to them for being there, and ask for their continued support during your marriage and life together. "We learn to love by being loved."

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events (and/or Great Officiants)

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