you should now have a better understanding of what a wedding ceremony is and how to go about writing one. However there are many other aspects of preparing for the wedding other than writing the ceremony. On this page you will learn:
Planning can be the most stressful part of weddings, and you don’t want that stress to spill over into the event. The sooner you take care of the details, the better. Coordinate with the couple and get the answer to these questions…
This takes care of the important logistics. Getting these points out of the way early will help to establish the tone you want to set when you begin writing the ceremony.
Now that you’ve nailed down the what, when, and where,, it’s time to get started on the ceremony itself. Before you begin writing, we recommend you follow these steps.
Block out at least an hour. Put on a timer. Go to our website. Oh, you are here! Read through our ceremony training pages. This is not complicated stuff, but it is important for you to understand. After reading through our materials, you will have a solid understanding of:
At this point you could begin writing but before you do that, we recommend that you first meet with the preweds. This meeting need not be long, and you can even do it via email, so long as everybody is communicating clearly. The purpose of this meeting is to:
The following questions will help the couple tell you what you need to know as officiant and will save everybody valuable time.
The answers to these questions will provide all you need to understand the scope of your responsibilities and writing directives.
If the couple doesn’t have a wedding planner, chances are one or both of them may be going a little loco planning their wedding. You, as a minister, are in the unique position to be a valuable and helpful resource to the couple, especially when it comes to writing their vows.
You may have never provided wedding vow counsel before. Don’t let this hold you back, or make you think you are unqualified. You do not need a philosophy degree to help someone with their wedding vows. All that is involved is an honest conversation, the right questions, and listening.
On that note, follow the steps below for the bet results.
Is the couple interested in your help with their vows?
The first thing, of course, is to find out if the couple wants help. Maybe they want to do this on their own. That’s fine, it means one less thing you need to do, and you can move on to other things. If they do want help…
Set up an appointment with the prewed individually. We highly recommend that you do this in person, snapchat doesn’t cut it, and face to face makes all the difference for this sort of task. When you meet, you can start by asking the following questions.
If not, then use the opportunity to give the couple some direction. A great way to do this is to ask...
If the prewed has written their vows then this is a great opportunity to ask…
This is a wonderful opportunity that benefits both parties through collaboration. These conversations will provide insight into the tone of the ceremony and you will help the prewed accomplish a task that can be quite daunting.
Stay in touch. Keep each other accountable. If the prewed planned on writing their vows, but has been procrastinating. Follow up with them. They won’t resent a helpful reminder to get it done.
By this point you should have everything you need to start writing the ceremony. If you want more details and options, check out our revised version of Asked to Officiate, the AMM’s comprehensive guide to planning and executing marriage ceremonies. Following the list below ensures that you cover all your bases.
The two biggest challenges for most writers are procrastination and distraction. In order to set yourself up for success we recommend that you:
Set your timer for an hour. Sit down and tell yourself that you will dedicate yourself to this task for the next hour. Do not allow yourself to get distracted with another task until that hour is up. It may not even take an hour to write the ceremony, but be deliberate about setting aside the time.
Having your focus broken can really slow down the writing process. Chances are you will be writing your ceremony on a computer, possibly within a web browser. As great as computers are, their multifunctionality means that distractions are just a click away. We recommend that you do the following to avoid common pitfalls:
Register your Wedding - Weddings logged in your AMM minister account include a personalized ceremony. This helps you kick start the writing process as you already have a foundation. You can copy and paste the ceremony from our website, and then work on it using your software of choice.
You now have your first draft. It’s time to take your script and make sure everything reads out loud the way it sounds in your head.
Pay attention to anything that feels clunky, that you have trouble saying, or otherwise doesn’t feel quite right. Make the necessary corrections.
Find someone to listen to you rehearse the ceremony. Having a second pair of ears is a great way to uncover potential issues that you were unaware of. Take and apply all constructive feedback.
At this point you should have a polished ceremony with (more or less) the final wording. In the weeks and days leading up to the ceremony, we recommend that you set some time aside each day to practice the script.
This should take between five and ten minutes each time, maybe even less. The following are thing you can work on to perfect the ceremony.
If you have followed all of these recommendations you should be fully prepared to conduct the wedding ceremony. That being said, here are a few useful tips to make sure things go extra smooth on the wedding day.