By Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
In order to be as natural and comfortable as possible, make advance preparations that will allow this experience to be smooth and joyful – such as organizing the processional and having a wedding rehearsal.
Have a wedding rehearsal. It is always a good idea to have your officiant and everyone in the wedding party do a run through--at the rehearsal dinner if your officiant is available or on the day of the ceremony is fine. Even though getting down the aisle may be a no-brainer for all your experienced attendants, you (and they) will feel better knowing exactly how it will go on the big day. There are subtle wedding day logistics – such as where exactly do you stand, how close can you be together (as close as is comfortable!), what do you do with your flowers during the ring exchange – that are best answered and resolved in a rehearsal. On the wedding day, there is always bound to be a little tension and nervousness, and the brain is not functioning a normal way. Preparing for the processional in a very organized and clear way will make your walk all the more easier. You will also feel more comfortable about what will be happening during the ceremony.
Handle logistics in advance. Make sure your attendants, the venue and the photographer know your game plan and have a time line for when the wedding will begin. Attendants should be standing right at the ceremony site at least 15 minutes before the ceremony is scheduled to start. The venue should have processional support to help round everyone in the bridal party up and line them up. If they don’t, assign this to a friend or family member and ask your officiant to help line everyone up. You don’t want to be hunting down a flower girl, or your groom for that matter, last minute.
Always have a microphone for your officiant. Even if you do not like microphones or it costs extra, not being able to hear the ceremony is distressing for guests. If you are exchanging vows, try to get a second mic so your guests can hear you.
Pick music to walk to that truly inspires you. Music that opens the heart and lifts the spirits is the new hallmark of the wedding procession. The days of piped in organ music are gone and these days brides hire string quartets, classical guitarists, pianists, or have a DJ play the music they want. If you are getting married in the same venue as the party, especially, you DO NOT have to stand on tradition. While the classic and beautiful Pachelbel’s Canon in D is always a favorite, you can also go for something unexpected such as The Prayer, By Celine Dion; She, by Elvis Costello; At Last by Etta James;I had a bride come down the aisle to Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. You can pick any music that inspires you and uplifts you!