Monday, May 9, 2011

5 Fun Wedding Dont's

Here are five fun Uh-Oh's I've gleaned from my years as a Wedding Officiant... enjoy!

1. The Tide Stops for No Couple
When having a beach wedding, check the tide clock. I officiated a waterside wedding in Rockaway Beach in which the ocean tide crept closer and closer to the open-air tent of the ceremony. The tide stopped about three inches away from us!

2. Baby, Light my Fire... the First Time
Candle ceremonies are beautiful, evoking both passion and peace, immediacy and longevity. Couples often choose lighters over matches because they feel 'easier.' Yet, lighters all seem to have their own personalities. I've seen a number of couples trying to flick the wick, and getting giggles or uh-oh! feelings in the moment. Practice with your lighter before your ceremony!

3. Can You Hear Me Now?
Check your sound system before your guests arrive. At one wedding, when I arrived and saw no mic at the altar, I quickly and kindly reminded the venue to set it up. If you must check your sound levels in front of your seated guests, have fun with it! I simply said, "The bride is en route... and we are checking the sound," which got a big laugh. You can have members of the wedding party say a welcome, or invite people to make a new friend among the guests they don't know yet. All of those are sweeter than a curt, "Check 1, 2, Check." If the guests are there, be with them.

4. Can You Hear Me Singing Now?
For small outside weddings and elopements, you may want to play music off your mp3 player or your smartphone. Unless you are in the woods, outside is louder than you think. I officiated a wedding in hopping and happy Times Square where the couple wanted to play two tunes. We just had an iPhone, and had a laugh trying to hear the music amid all the bustle. Mini speakers are worth it!

5. A Picture is Worth 1,000 Miles
My little Canon point-and-shoot camera once saved the day. The wedding photographer for a very small international wedding, 8 guests, lost all the shots when his house was robbed, and computer stolen. I had spontaneously, or psychically, taken pictures of everyone alongside the photographer after the ceremony. Since I was not a guest, my pictures had everyone in them, providing sweet shots of the day. That photographer handled the situation with integrity, refunding their money and giving them a free photo day when they return to the US to renew their vows. The couple handled the situation with grace, the vital energy for a healthy marriage. So many guests taking pictures at every moment can feel overwhelming, especially when you're not sure which camera to look at! Just smile, and celebrate your ShutterBugs!