There’s always so much to check before a ceremony, and that’s why I’m always at your venue an hour beforehand …
#1 Is the Marriage Schedule there?
If not, I can’t marry you!! Wee hint too … please keep it nice and flat – don’t give it to the best man to fold into a gazillion bits and stuff in his inside pocket – definitely not the best look for the photos! I’d suggest putting it in a bright coloured folder that’s (a) unfoldable, and (b) easily recognisable.
#2 Is all the information on it correct?
I always advise my couples to check over their Marriage Schedule when they collect it from the Registration Office on the week leading up to their wedding. If you check this prior to leaving the Registration Office, if there’s anything that needs changed, the staff are usually happy to change it there and then for you. If, for example though, one of your witnesses is taken ill the night before, and isn’t there on the day, I have the authority to make those changes on the day.
#3 Coordination with venue staff/live musicians re cues
Arriving early gives me plenty of time to chat with the staff at the venue who might be in charge of a music playlist on your phone or USB, or with live musicians who may be playing for your ceremony. We’ll work out who does what, where and when … i.e. when I get the thumbs up from the back door to say the wedding party are ready to enter, I’ll ask everyone to be upstanding, that’s the cue for whoever’s providing the music to begin playing.
#4 Checking that everything’s there for any symbolic gestures you might be including
If you’re including symbolic gestures, i.e. handfasting, quaich, sand ceremony, etc, I’ll always remind you in advance what you need to bring. Again though, it’s great to be there early to make sure everything that we need for these is there and isn’t still at home or lurking in a box somewhere!
#5 Fixing kilts, putting on plaids and buttonholes, etc
On arriving at the venue, I’m often faced with ill-fitting kilts, grooms looking in a panic because they don’t know how their plaid fixes onto their jacket and groomsmen stabbing their fingers trying to attach buttonholes to their lapels. I’m always happy to help out. I have seen some real kilt disasters over the years … just glad, on those occasions, that the grooms had their boxers on!!
#6 Room Layout
I’ll always try to make sure, wherever possible, that there’s enough space at the front of the ceremony room for space between me and the couple. That way, me, and my folder, are not in every photo. I’ll also try to ensure that there’s plenty of room between the couple and the front rows, as the closer the couple are to the front row, the more restricted view your families are going to get of you!
I’ll always catch up with anyone who’s doing a reading in advance of the ceremony starting to calm their nerves and chat them through where they’ll be standing, when I’ll invite them forward, and also to remind them to speak in their “big loud voice” so guests at the back of the room can also hear.
The list is endless, but this is the part guests don’t get to see, but it really can be non-stop for the full hour before, but these are all the little things that help your ceremony flow perfectly ️