Below, you will find a series of questions. Think of this
The questions take into account the type of details
It might be very beneficial for your officiant to read this page.
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In order to have your wedding ceremony go as smoothly as possible, consider the following:
Q: How will the seating of the parents, grandparents, and any other V.I.P.'s be handled?
~~ This is an area that deserves thoughtful planning. If you have not devised a plan of your own, may we recommend one? The musicians will be playing prelude music from the time your first guests arrive until the start of the ceremony. It would be a very nice touch if the seating of the special people in your lives did not just blend in with the prelude music. This can be done in as follows: At five minutes before the beginning of the ceremony, you can have a special song selected for the seating of your V.I.P.'s. This song, along with the purpose for which it is being played, can be listed in the wedding program. Ushers could escort these special people in, either by couples or one at a time. At this point, if there is to be a Unity Candle in the ceremony, the mothers would go up and light the candles surrounding the Unity Candle. Once the mothers have returned to their seats, the special entrance song would draw to a close.
Q: Will there be an aisle runner?
~~If so, this is usually pulled out by the ushers after the mothers have finished lighting the Unity Candles and returned to their seats. If the ushers escorted the mothers down the aisle, they would then wait in a dignified manner while the mothers light those candles. They might even be of assistance if any stairs are involved. If there is to be an aisle runner, we plan to draw our special song to a close as it is being brought out. We then wait a moment before beginning the processional.
Q: How would you like to treat the entrance of the groom, officiant, and the groomsmen?
~~About half the time, the choice is made that the men go to their places silently, and once they have assumed their positions properly, the music begins for the entrance of the bridesmaids. The other half of the time, the decision is made that the music should begin before the men make their entrance. Of course, this is assuming that the men are coming in separately from the bridesmaids. The officiant and the groom do always enter separately. Most of the time, the men enter with them. Sometimes, the bridal party enters as couples. Which entrance plan will you choose?
Q: How many are in the bridal party?
~~Please tell us how many adults are in the bridal party, whether there are any children in the bridal party such as a ring-bearer or a flower girl, and in what order they will enter. Most often, the ring bearer and flower girl enter last, just before the bride. Sometimes, they are in the start or the middle of the processional. Please tell us how it will be for your processional.
Q: Would the bride like a fanfare?
~~Once the bridal party has finished their entrance, we draw the music to a close. There is a brief moment as we prepare for the bride's entrance music. We can play a fanfare for any musical selection. It is a nice way of heralding the entrance of the bride. Let us know if you would like a fanfare. Also, please let us know if there is to be anything unusual about the entrance of the bride. Regularly, the bride waits until the fanfare is concluded, then makes her beautiful entrance. She should walk majestically -- not too quickly! We usually plan to stop the music once she has reached the front of the church. Please alert us if there are any special instructions here!
Q: Are we to play during the ceremony, such as for the Unity Candle or for an interlude?
~~We need a program or notes so that we know our cue to begin playing. We arrive early before your ceremony, and usually find a moment to ask the officiant what cue we will get to start playing.
Q: What is the cue for us to play the recessional?
~~Very often, the cue is that the officiant introduces the newly wed couple. Sometimes, there is no introduction and the cue is the kiss. Whatever the situation with your ceremony, we want to know the exact last thing that happens before we are to play the recessional. Again, we are usually able to ask the officiant about this cue when we arrive, but it is nice to plan ahead in case the officiant is not available for questions before the ceremony.
Q: Will there be any type of announcement after the recessional?
~~Sometimes, there is a need for an announcement directly after the ceremony, such as, "Joe and Suzy would like to invite you to Joe's parents home for an open house where the receiving line will be held before the reception starts." If there is to be some sort of announcement, please tell us. Usually, we can keep playing but in a half volume so as not to drown out the announcement.
Q: How will the dismissal of the guests be handled?
~~If there is to be a long dismissal, where the bride and groom greet the guests row by row, we need to know that ahead of time. That affects the length of the postlude considerably, and in cases where there will be a long dismissal, we play a shorter prelude and a longer postlude. For a longer ceremony, such as a Catholic Mass which lasts an hour, additional charges may apply if a long postlude is desired.
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