Good communication and teamwork among all your vendors is essential to make your wedding ceremony a gloriously memorable one. There are key ones that I interact with on the day; the photographer, musician/DJ and planner/coordinator. A check-in with these folks prior to the time is essential to make the ceremony go smoothly.
In every wedding ceremony that I conduct, I ensure that I arrive with plenty of time to do my pre-ceremony check-in with the vendors. I have already asked the couple at our wedding prep meeting about who the photographer, music provider and planner/coordinator are. In most cases, I have already worked with many of these local vendors and have developed good relationships with them. So I look for these people as soon as I arrive. I ensure that we all have the same plan for the day. In weddings, as with theatre, a well planned event makes it a successful one. When I meet up with each one, I go through my understanding of how the ceremony will proceed. We have to make sure we are all on the same script. Sometimes couples give a vendor a last minute change that the others don’t know. So it is important to check in together.
With the musicians and or DJ , I make sure that we understand what music is being played when. I give them the specific cues that I use so that they know when to go. For example, I start every ceremony with an announcement concering cell phones and taking of photographs. Once I am finished the announcement, that is the cue to start the procession. I also always say, ” We will now take a moment to sign the register.” to cue the music for that. And finally, how the ceremony will end. Since I am now using the Kiss n Go more often, I inform the musician/ DJ to start the exit music at the kiss.
I also seek out the photographer. They don’t typically know the specifics of the ceremony. I go over with them any special happenings so that they can position themselves for the best shot. I let them know of a guest reader or special ceremonial rites such as a sand ceremony. I always remind them that I’ve instructed the couple to hold the kiss for 10 seconds so that they can line up some nice shots. I also get out of the way so that there is not a threesome in the picture. I also have one rule for photographers – no nude photos – I don’t want any of those posted on the internet!
Finally, it is a blessing when I have a site coordinator or planner. They certainly help keep things on-track and on-time. They are the stage manager of the wedding, because they have the big picture for the whole event. I find couples are less stressed when they have a coordinator or planner helping them. They help line everyone up for the entrance and are there to move things along afterwards. I check in with them to make sure we have a common understanding of the ceremony and to divide up our duties.
Over time, I’ve developed good relationships with all these folks. There was a wedding I was conducted at a hotel where there was a party next door with a loud thumping baseline in the music. I had worked with the DJ at previous weddings. So it was not a problem when I asked him to lower the baseline for the duration of my ceremony.