Nearly all weddings call for a rehearsal of some kind. Gathering all the people who will form the moving parts of the ceremony is vital to ensure a smooth and beautiful wedding. Your officiant should be part of this process, even if they've done this many times before. One key reason to include even a seasoned officiant in the rehearsal is to let them know some important pieces of information specific to your big day. Here are a few of these important details to work out with the officiant.
1. Who Stands Where. While the officiant generally stands in a very obvious location during the ceremony, they should have some idea where everyone will be placed. This helps the officiant determine the best position they themselves should take. And it avoids confusion, miscues, or false starts during the ceremony.
2. How to Enter. Don't forget to let your officiant know how and when they should enter the ceremony. This is often overlooked because it's a small wedding element. Do you want them to walk in with the groom at his attendants, for instance? Should the officiant escort a member of the family? Or should they be in place before the processional starts? Work this out now to avoid confusion later.
3. What They Should Say. Before the rehearsal, you and your fiancé should work out with the officiant what type of ceremony and comments you want. Do you want a traditional ceremony or a more relaxed one? How long should it be? Which specific wordings do you want to include? At the rehearsal, have the officiant cover the highlights of the ceremony so that you and they are on the same page.
4. Additional Ceremony Elements. Will you have additional activities or readings as part of the ceremony? Couples may do a variety of personal, cultural, or religious traditions such as lighting a unity candle, having a sand ceremony, or reading a poem or scripture. The officiant needs to guide these activities, so tell them who will do what and when. Practice the extras if possible.
5. Any Announcements to Make. Once you've said your vows, the officiant generally has a few wrap-up tasks to complete — including making a few select announcements. Write down these announcements for the officiant and have them read during the rehearsal. Remember that while officiants are professionals, they don't know the specific details of your reception or wedding schedule.
Where to Start
Working with a professional wedding ceremony officiant will greatly reduce your anxiety about the big day and will contribute to a smooth rehearsal. Start by meeting with wedding officiants in your area today to find the right one for your nuptials.