Officiating weddings is now my full-time job. As such, it means that I need to book as many ceremonies as possible in order to support my family. That’s tricky, as the overwhelming majority of weddings take place on the weekend, and only in the afternoon and early evening. Because I have to cram a lot of very important events into a relatively short period of time, it means that – where rehearsals are concerned – I run into occasional conflicts.
I always make every effort to attend rehearsals. Even for ceremonies that are very simple, my presence at a rehearsal does one important thing – it puts the bride and groom at ease, which in my opinion is 50% of my job at any given wedding. However, occasionally I’ll have another wedding to officiate when your rehearsal is taking place, or a rehearsal for another couple who booked the date before you. Because these conflicts arise with some frequency, it states explicitly in the contract that you signed for my services that the rehearsal is not included.
If for any reason I’m unable to attend your rehearsal, I’ll invoke the spirit of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and implore you:
The rehearsal is predominantly a practice session for the “moving parts” of the ceremony – namely, anyone who must walk down and/or up the aisle. Getting those folks to move at the right pace and in the right order is what’s most important at the rehearsal. Strictly speaking, this doesn’t require me to be there.
But what about rehearsing our portion of the ceremony? The part where the three of us are actually standing up front and, you know, you’re getting married? That’s something that I can cover with you immediately before the ceremony. For any given ceremony, I arrive 15-45 minutes before it begins. During that time I do several key things, in roughly this order:
Remember, one of my 11 Rules is: No surprises. I promise you that you will feel absolutely prepared and calm going into your ceremony, whether I am able to attend your rehearsal or not. And I’m available at any time prior to your rehearsal to discuss the details of the ceremony, or to fill you in on what you need to cover at the rehearsal itself. We can talk on the phone or meet in person – whichever will make you feel most comfortable.
You want your wedding day to be perfect, and I am 100% committed to that same goal.