After you've said "Yes"... The age old question... "Now what?"
After you've said "Yes"... The age old question: "Now What?" You've got the ring, you've got the guy/gal - you even have your wedding officiant. But what happens now? The way I handle my affairs is as follows. Most all other officiants run more or less along these same lines too.
We meet and bond with one another. This initial meeting is simply a getting to know your affair. It usually lasts somewhere between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. At that point, I go over the process that we will share over the next few months and answer any questions you may have. If you decide we make a great match a deposit to "save the date" is required. That way, no one else can snatch up your special day on you. You see, there are only so many weekends in a year and every bride on the planet wants their wedding when they want it! And who can blame them? There are just not too many weddings happening on Tuesdays, etc! With that said, weekends are at a premium.
I then email you a questionnaire, for the two of you to fill out. It's aimed at just getting to better understand what you're looking for in a wedding ceremony, who will be participating, etc. Next, there's a fun form to fill out. No pressure here. From there, based on your answers to the questionnaire and from meeting you, I start writing and writing. I will pull together a series of ceremonies that I believe reflect what you are trying to create. I will send them to you and ask for your opinions. You will revise and send back to me making notes and from then on out, it's a series of give and take until we get it right! Even though we have the ceremony all worked out beforehand and you're ready for the BIG DAY, we will continue to keep in contact so that your comfort level is where it should be! If you want I will assist with the rehearsal, although most brides, if they have a wedding coordinator, rely on them! And that's okay. But if you're in a bind, call me and I'll be there! Rehearsals give you the opportunity, in a non-rushed evnvironment, to get the kinks out so that on your big day... everyone and everything runs like clockwork.
On the wedding day, I show up one hour before the ceremony to meet with the photographer, the musicians, the caterers and the coordinators. I basically just like to know that everyone is in their appointed places and everything is running smoothly. I firmly believe and spend a great deal of time reiterating, throughout the process, that the couple should always keep their eye on the prize -- each other! Maybe something doesn't go exactly as planned -- the flower girl trips or some unforeseen ailment. I'll try to infuse them with the mindset that the most important part of the day is them and the two of them becoming one by getting married. That's what it's all about! I believe that the bride's main mission on her wedding day should be simply getting dressed! That's it! Nothing else should keep her from enjoying the most important day of her life! After the ceremony, if they'd like me to be a part of the reception celebration, I am more than happy to partake if my schedule allows. Who doesn't love a celebration? Otherwise, I am available for the after ceremony photographs and then I'll be on my way. For me, being available to you is the most important factor. And that's the way it can and should be! That insures that you will arrive on your wedding day full of joy and anticipating the happiest moment of your life!
- Marie Tyler Wiley is with A CT Justice of the Peace & Minister in Mystic, CT, and has been a WedPlan Member since Nov 2005.