Many couples I work with now as a Temecula wedding photographer have a friend or family member officiate their wedding ceremony. This can be a highly personal experience and very enjoyable for the couple as well as their guests! However, because your friends and family don’t have experience officiating weddings, sometimes there are items that can be missed. Here are 7 tips for your wedding ceremony to help that part of the day go smoothly (and if you’d like a professional, be sure to check out my list of Temecula Wedding Officiants)!
With couples planning elopements, I often see a friend or family member officiating the ceremony, which is usually very touching and the ceremony is personalized to how they know the couple. However, these honored guests are not officiants, so often they are not familiar with your state’s requirements for a marriage license. They typically request the documents from the county – I would recommend asking them to take some pictures and email you copies so you are familiar with the instructions in advance. I’ve seen couples and officiants get a bit frustrated on a wedding day trying to figure this out, so knowing what you need to do in advance is one simple task to help your elopement run smoothly!
For more information on getting your marriage license in Temecula or Riverside County, check out Getting a Marriage License in Temecula.
Sometimes a venue chooses your ceremony time for you, but if you’re having a smaller-scale celebration, you can plan your ceremony an hour and a half or even slightly later, since you may not be having the traditional cocktail hour or grand entrance.
This is a technical tip, but this allows me as the photographer to get clear shots of your wedding party as they walk down the aisle, if you have one.
Another technical tip, but if you have a large bouquet, the florals can obscure your face! Make sure to hold your bouquet at your belly button so it doesn’t block your smile (or tears!). And if you’re pulling your bouquet out of a vase, make sure to tap-tap-tap the stems so they don’t drip on your dress.
This is what I see the most in ceremonies officiated by family and friends! The couple often stands there apart from one another. It’s so much sweeter to hold hands! Hand your bouquet to your maid of honor or someone else (heck, I’ll take it for you!) so you can hold hands with your spouse-to-be! This also allows your guests to see your faces and enjoy the emotions you’re sharing!
Your guests will naturally rise once the bride walks down the aisle! I’ve seen it happen before – if the officiant doesn’t tell them to sit, they will stand the entire ceremony! However, they’ll sit down immediately once given permission 🙂
The kiss at the end of the ceremony often happens so quickly it’s nice to get another kiss shot at the end of the aisle! So stop at the end of the aisle and lay another kiss on your new husband or wife!