Week 9: The ceremony and the run sheet

On your wedding day, timing is important.  Wrangling a huge crowd of partially intoxicated, distracted and hyperactive guests away from your ceremony venue, into allocated seating and onto the dance floor is not an easy job – so a good run sheet for your MC and celebrant is absolutely essential.

P-WEDWhere’s the reception? Is the bar open yet?

There are many good examples of running sheets online – such as this one or this one (which is probably too detailed, but you get the idea).  In hindsight, ours was probably a bit over the top with detail but it probably helped settle my nerves to write down exactly how I wanted the day to run.  Here it is – feel free to use it as a template for your own wedding.

Running Sheet

I wrote a little about the ceremony in one of my earlier posts about finding a celebrant – hopefully by now you have found an awesome celebrant and have an idea about who you would like to give a reading, which music you want when you walk down the aisle and how you would like to be announced.  If you are getting married outside, make sure your celebrant has a PA system and a decent set of speakers for music so your thoughtful choice of words and lyrics are heard by your friends and family.

AP117

Rap battle ceremony.  Drop the mic, I’m out

Now is also the time to write down exactly what you want to say in your vows and practice them so you are less nervous on the day.  The same applies for guests giving readings – give a copy of the readings to your guests early so they won’t feel awkward about speaking in public if they have had a month or two to mentally prepare and practice.

Importantly, if you are adamant that you do not want to be introduced as “Mr and Mrs (insert partner’s first and last name here)” make sure you tell your celebrant how you would prefer to be introduced as a couple.  Most civil celebrants should be flexible enough to say whatever you tell them, except for specific requirements to ensure your marriage is legal, which is summarised nicely here.

Some ceremony advice based on experience from my own wedding and as a wedding guest –

1. Make sure you have the option to get married undercover in the event of rain

2. If it looks like it will rain, put someone in charge of bringing a few umbrellas

3. Test your PA system and have enough extension cords or battery power to see you through the ceremony

4. Don’t ask anyone to give a reading that is longer than 3 minutes – your guests will be bored and you will be too

5. Save the french kiss for your wedding night and spare your guests the trauma of witnessing your tongue wrestle

6. Find someone trustworthy to hold on to your wedding certificate!

AP135A pink feather quill pen is optional for LOLs

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