Now that we're in the full swing of "wedding season," I thought it would be interesting to describe to you my process of preparing for your wedding. I'm no ordinary officiant, so you might be surprised by all that I do to get ready for your wedding.
By the time wedding week rolls around, we've already written your awesomely customized Super Sweet Wedding or you've already chosen your Sweet + Simple Wedding ceremony. We've also already planned out all the details of your ceremony - and here I'm defining ceremony as the time between lining up for the processional all the way through to signing the marriage license right after the recessional. So, the only thing that's left for me to do is prepare for the rehearsal and wedding day itself!
On Monday, I read through your ceremony one last time before I print it out. I format the margins so it'll fit into my "ceremony book," which is a hard-bound, fancy journal with blank pages. After printing your ceremony, I cut it down to size and glue each individual page into my ceremony book. I always do this in my office while listening to Spotify. I don't normally listen to music, for example, when I'm writing the ceremony, but whenever I'm gluing your ceremony into my book, I crank the tunes.
Then I format the readings and/or vows to fit onto a 4x6" index card and print those out. If you guessed that I then glue those onto the index cards, you're right! The readings will be given to your readers at the rehearsal and I'll keep your vows in my ceremony book until the wedding.
I also fill out your keepsake wedding certificate in my best "calligraphy."
I also send you an email that says "Happy Wedding Week!" and remind you to bring your marriage license, photo ID, and any other necessities to the rehearsal.
On Tuesday, I record myself reading your ceremony. I usually listen to it at least once after recording it.
I'll print out the rehearsal agenda and attach it with the rest of your file to my clipboard so I'll be ready to go on Friday!
If I haven't already, I also listen to the songs you've selected for your processionals and recessional. I listen to them as I imagine the ceremony unfolding.
Stating on Monday and throughout the whole week I am thinking about you. I'm saying your names in my head and sort of just keeping you in my thoughts. At random times throughout the week, I'll just think about you both, so you can bet that on Tuesday, I'll be thinking about you.
Wednesday is when I start obsessing about the weather. I'll check to see what it's going to be like on both rehearsal day and wedding day. I know there's nothing I can do about it, but I check anyway.
I'm still thinking about you!
I'll listen to your ceremony while gardening or driving to meet a friend. If my husband is working the evening shift, I even fall asleep listening to your ceremony. One time, I even printed out a ceremony and put it under my pillow, but that was my first year officiating!
I decide what I'm going to wear to your ceremony and make sure it's clean and ironed (truthfully, I sometimes don't iron it until Saturday, but at least I know if it needs ironing and to make sure I work that into my wedding day schedule).
If I have the chance, I might listen to your ceremony again, or make tiny edits to it in pencil in my book. Those tiny edits just help it flow more smoothly - don't worry, I'm not changing any content.
Still thinking about you two! :)
Friday - Rehearsal Day!
It's rehearsal day! On Friday, I pack my wedding bag, which includes my complete emergency kit, my notary journal, my ceremony book, the clipboard with your file and the rehearsal agenda, my water bottle, a snack and many black pens (the marriage license in Maine must be signed in black ink ONLY!).
I sit down and study the rehearsal agenda with includes the ceremony timeline, music selections, pairings of attendants, etc. I study it, visualize it, and internalize what's going to happen, so I'll barely need my notes at the rehearsal. I also study the names of your family and wedding party so I can start to learn them.
I leave for the rehearsal so that I arrive at least 15 minutes early (I'm usually there 1/2 hour early, but that's because if I'm on-time I feel like I'm late and I also try to account for unexpected traffic).
Check out How I Manage Your Wedding Rehearsal.