Eight Things That Need a Wedding Planner’s Help

Making it legal. Your planner knows what your local county clerk or other authority needs, in order to issue your marriage license. You may need medical exams, or at least blood tests. Be sure to check.

Pre-ceremony video. It’s fine for your videographer to shoot images of each of you getting dressed and groomed for the ceremony. Just keep it clean. Images of you separately won’t violate the tradition of a groom not seeing his bride before the ceremony. 

Do we need wedding programs? Yes, if there are special traditions that need explaining. Otherwise, it’s optional. Guests like to know who your officiant, attendants, musicians and readers are. And a program tells them. But the simplest program reads: “1) We get married 2) Everybody parties.” 

Your ceremony processional. Suppose you reach the altar when your processional song is only half finished. With a DJ, the song can simply be faded down. A string quartet can be told in advance to gracefully end the processional song early. If your processional song is a live vocal, no one will begrudge your singer finishing the song. Just face your guests and smile, as though you planned it that way.

Is it acceptable to wear an engagement ring to the ceremony? Of course. You’re engaged, aren’t you? When the wedding band is added to the engagement ring, together they become your wedding ring. You may prefer to hide the engagement ring during the ceremony, so your mate can slip the wedding band onto an empty finger. But that’s up to you.

When does the veil come off? Right after the ceremony, unless you spent a fortune on it, and you want to show it off at the reception. 

How do we keep our guests occupied between the ceremony and reception? If there’s no gap between the two, there’s no issue. If there’s a 3-hour gap, prepare a flier showing some local attractions your guests may wish to visit before they go to your reception. Perhaps schedule a narrated tour of the city.

We’d like a grand exit at our reception. Is that okay? Of course! Some couples like a big sendoff, with sparklers or fireworks or confetti. Sometimes it’s all staged for the photo op, then the couple returns and finishes the reception. But you don’t HAVE to have a grand exit, if you’d rather spend the end of your reception thanking each guest personally.

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2017 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company. 

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