Tips for a Perfectly Paced Wedding Ceremony
Your wedding ceremony marks one of the most important moments in your life. You have chosen to join your life with the one that above all others, makes you happy, leaves you giddy, still gives you butterflies in the pit of your stomach. In short, the love of your life. It can seem that the lead up to the ceremony lasts a lifetime, while the ceremony itself, to some, happens in the blink of an eye. Here are some tips to keep in mind for your ceremony to make sure that it is your perfectly paced vision.
From the moment you find that someone, fall in love, get engaged and make your way to the alter, there seems like an infinite amount of time. However, everyone that has taken that long and windy road will tell you, it comes and goes in the blink of an eye. And especially your wedding day! Here are some tried and true tips that will help you plan a perfectly paces wedding ceremony.
1. Plan Your Processional Thoroughly and Don’t Rush
Odds are you will have some kind of rehearsal either the day before or of your wedding. Lots of couples and bridal attendants tend to stay really focused on their order of entry, which is a good thing! However, we often have to remind everyone that while this is a “dry run”, it is important to be present in the moment. No matter how many times you can ask bridal attendants to please walk slower… and slower, it is a very common situation that everyone is rushed and wants to just be at the front. Throw some young, curious and carefree flower girls and ring bearers into the mix and you can have quite a chaotic entrance, if you don’t plan and practice.
2. Creating Your Perfect Wedding Ceremony
Wedding celebrations take a lot of different shapes and forms. There are endless examples on line that you can look at, but when it comes time to ‘putting pen to paper” (or dusting off the laptop), sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. And even more so if you have asked a friend or relative to take the honorable role. Sometimes there is no substitute to calling on a professional wedding celebrant in to create the perfect ceremony.
Bringing in a professional wedding celebrant can make the processes go a lot quicker and smoother. From the time you meet and have a few video calls, pass back and forth some edits, to the final benediction on your wedding day…. Sometimes taking all the pressure off your guests and let them fully enjoy their day is priceless.
3. Take Your Time, Speak Slowly and Clearly
At your rehearsal, you will not only get your “marching orders”, but you will again go over the format of the ceremony. This is an optimal time to practice speaking slowly, clearly and with enough volume to make sure everyone hears you. An outdoor wedding is simply breathtaking but hearing the celebrant and the bride and groom can be difficult if you do not have a microphone. If you are having a microphone, plan on doing a dry run of how the microphones will be placed. Will you have a wireless lapel mic or will you have a handheld mic? Trying to hold a microphone and a fluttering piece of paper with your vows can be a little challenging if there is a breath of wind. A great wedding planner or celebrant will help you through these scenarios so that you will have the easiest and best transitions.
4. Incorporate Difference Voices and Pauses
Most ceremonies can last from 20-45 minutes or even longer if a religious ceremony is planned. Quite honestly, it can really seem like a long time to be standing up and being the center of attention. One-way you keep your guests present and engaged is to use a couple simple tricks taken from the public speaking world.
Add different speakers to vary the cadence and tone of the ceremony. Having a friend or loved one reading your favorite poem or sharing a cute story about you two can be a great way to break up the tone (vocal and topically).
Another trick is to make sure you pause often. A lot of people will shy away from pauses, but honestly, they bring an inference of gravity and grace. Pausing will break up the ceremony a bit and make it a lot more interesting to listen to, as opposed to the same person speaking nonstop for 30 minutes, no breaks, no pauses, no other speakers.
5. Remember to Stop and Breath
You and your partner have likely spent months and years planning to get to this point. Before the couple heads down the aisle, we try to remind them to relax and breathe. Not many of us are comfortable being the center of attention and especially on your wedding day. From the very first call we have with (nervous) couples, we try to tell them that yes, there will be a lot of eyes on them for the ceremony, but that this the penultimate moment in your relationship where you are coming together to publicly share your love for and trust in the one you hold special above all others. When you get to the front of the aisle, there may be a few tears or a few laughs and THAT IS OK.
It is at this moment that everything else will melt away. It will just be you, your significant other and the celebrant that will weave together your story of life and love. You will not notice anything except your significant other. Your celebrant will prompt you for responses. Trust me, the world will melt away for those 20-30 minutes, so make sure you stop, remember to breathe, and take it all in. This is what you have been waiting for!
I know that a lot of this information might not seem like anything new, but they are simply reminders for how to best plan and execute your ceremony. From planning and practicing your processional, creating your perfect ceremony, remembering to take your time, add tonal changes and pauses, and finally to relax, breath and have fun, you will be guaranteed to have the perfect experience! After all, you have spent what might seem like an eternity planning every moment of your celebration… enjoy every second!