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Create Peace of Mind on Your Wedding Day

Thinking and planning ahead
By: Judy Winkler

Unveiled Photo As a minister, I’ve witnessed hundreds of weddings. The scenes surrounding the ceremonies were either masterfully orchestrated events, or disorganized soap operas drenched in tears or slapstick comedy embarrassment.

Scientific theory might spout, “stuff” happens, yet outcomes can be predicted based of specific absolutes. Here’s what I know for sure:

The most awkward and unhappy weddings are those done without thinking ahead and planning for the desired outcome. That means considering the comfort and ease of guests and vendors.

I recall conducting a beach wedding in August for a lovely couple from Minnesota. Their families and friends all flew into town for the event. Guests in high heels had to walk at least 700 yards to a restroom. They looked wilted before the ceremony began. Choose a location that will provide the greatest comfort for your guests.

When you save a few dollars by choosing a remote, outdoor location, away from the comforts of electricity, restrooms, and water, but you may create chaos and upsets. Having conducted weddings at popular sites along the beach and in parks on both very hot & cold days, I seen guests faint, shiver, or become so uncomfortable, they couldn’t enjoy the ceremony. Portable sound systems failed, guests fell down embankments or stairs and no back-up plan was in place for inclement weather.

A different set of problems occur when the bridal party and/or weddings guests have not recovered from drinking parties the night before. I’ve seen groomsmen, vomit (yes, on their tuxedo), and guests become quarrelsome.

Conversely the smoothest weddings have had professional planners who had everything lined up and handled ahead of time. Preparation averts problems. If emergencies did happen, professional planners handled them with grace so few people ever knew a problem had occurred.

If your budget can’t manage a wedding planner, go over every detail with at least one person who will be at the wedding site early to answer questions from vendors.

A thoughtful touch for your guests - whether indoors or out, is to assign two people to warmly greet guests between the parking lot & ceremony site. These people should be able to direct guests to the gift table, restrooms, refreshments, & seating - bride’s side is on left (facing the alter) & groom’s side on the right. “open seating” means they may sit on either side.

If the bride or groom is nervous about making a mistake or having to speak in public, be certain you can depend on your minister/rabbi requires few words from you, prompts you and is willing to physically move you where you are supposed to stand so all you do is stand and breathe – she or he will do the rest. Having someone take complete responsibility for your ceremony will give you peace of mind.
After the ceremony, have your minister point guests to their next location, for example, “While family photos are being taken, please enjoy refreshments in the patio on your left.”,

If you have thought and planned ahead everything that will make your ceremony run smoothly and your guests most comfortable, you can relax with absolute peace of mind.

Rev. Judy Winkler
Spiritual Coach
(619) 795-9996
San Diego, CA


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October 23, 2014


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