Aisle Runner · Handkerchief · Minister/Officiant · Weddings

Why hire an officiant rather than having a friend officiate the ceremony?

Not to be flippant but why hire a professional photographer when a friend has a phone, maybe even a camera?

Why hire a caterer when a friend has a kitchen?

Why hire a florist when you can get flowers at the store?

Why hire a professional when a friend can do it?

Recently a very popular and beautiful wedding venue in Savannah told me about a “horrible” (their words not mine)  experience with a guy who went online and “got” ordained just to officiate the ceremony of people he didn’t know but hired him for their ceremony.

At the ceremony he went on and on for 10+ minutes about another couple from another state.  He’s a great story teller and the story was interesting but it didn’t fit with this couple’s wedding day!  And the ceremony was over 30 minutes in length, nearly a 1/3rd was a story that didn’t even fit the wedding.

Simply because someone goes online and gets ordained for a minimal cost, doesn’t make them qualified to preside at a wedding.  It makes them legally able to officiate a ceremony, that’s different!

Here are things which 99% of officiants don’t know and are important for a great ceremony!

  1. Have a good quality handkerchief for either the grooms perspiration or the bride’s tears, or both!  I’ve given away hundreds of them over the years, maybe even 500.
  2. I know the best way to have exchange of rings go absolutely smoothly!  I should patten it!
  3. Listen for the pauses when the couple repeat their vows.  It’s important to listen for their emotions when they speak, listen don’t rush.
  4. How loudly should I speak during the ceremony if they don’t want a microphone for me?
  5. No stories off the cuff!  The ceremony dialogue is known ahead of time by the couple.
  6. Who stands first when the bride walks in?
  7. Is an aisle runner a good idea?
  8. What to do during awkward moments?
  9. The wedding ceremony is not from the bible.  “Jesus was a guest at a wedding the Cana of Galilee” is about the best one can do other than the readings often read at weddings.

Let me know what questions you have about hiring the right officiant for your ceremony.  You don’t even have to hire me to officiate your ceremony.  I don’t mind helping!

Aisle Runner · Awkward Moments · Handkerchief · Lipstick! · Minister/Officiant

Some dos and don’ts for your ceremony

I can give you a lot of examples of why the don’ts don’t work!

Don’t have a traditional style aisle runner – Do consider using some flower petals. I’ve seen bride’s heels get stuck.

Don’t have flower petals on the beach. Sea gulls think it is food and will attack.

Don’t wear heals if your gonna stand in grass, unless you put those high heel protectors on them – to keep you from sinking into the grass.

Don’t laugh during your vows – do let tears and emotions happen.  If you are a laugher, then you may get laugher in the wrong time:  “I _____ take you ____  to be my ________.  To love and to cherish “laughter.”  I’ve seen the laughter at “and I promise to be faithful to you.”  Awkward.

Don’t wear makeup which will give you streaks if you shed tears.  Do wear make up which will not leave streaks.  This is different than mascara.

Don’t wear red lipstick – Do wear lip sealant.  Otherwise your spouse will have red lips, too!  Awkward for pictures.

Don’t let the groom arrive to ceremony without a real handkerchief.   Do get the groom one so that he can dab your tears or his perspiration.

These are just for starters!

Let me know your thoughts and your experiences!

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Aisle Runner · Elopements · Indoor Location · Outdoor Location · Weddings

To runner or not to runner at your Savannah Wedding, that is the question

One detail often overlooked is “how practical is the wedding aisle runner?” Let’s forget the history of them when they were used to cover up mud and dirt brought in by guests and how it was used to cover it up (saving the dress!).  I will just focus on todays weddings. Yes, they add romance, they are great for photos, and they just say “don’t step on me, I’m for the bride!”  And, when the flower girl(s) throw flower peddles on it, you really notice the peddles.

My thought: check the “no” box for Aisle Runner!

Whitfield Square

Practical issues with aisle runners that I’ve seen over the years.

In a church wedding, I’ve seen where the aisle runner was started at the door of the church and pulled forward.  The problem with that is, where does the rest of the role of plastic aisle runner go?  Do i step over it?  What about the cord that was used to pull it, where does that go?  If there is a chancel with steps, do the bride and groom have to step over it?

Next, and these are in no particular order, how does one attach it to the floor before starting to pull it down (or up) the aisle?  Yes, there is double sided tape that has a peel on it.  Yet, it never holds.  It always comes up when you start to pull the aisle runner.  For this example, the runner is up by me and is pulled down the aisle right before the bride and flower girl.  With most runners, I end up waiting for the guys to start the pull, and then I step on it to hold it in place.

The cord on the aisle runner.  Since the guys have never pulled and aisle runner and since the cord is always too short, they have trouble pulling it smoothly down the aisle.  One side or the other is getting stuck with the cord.  Once down the aisle, the runner is never straight, never, ever straight, when it is pulled down the aisle before the bride.

Holding the aisle runner in place in the church.  Impossible.  If there is carpet in the aisle, the runner always moves.  The bride, after all the bridal party has walked down the aisle, will notice the runner is horrible out of shape: wrinkled, pulled when each person steps on it.  If there is no carpet, then the runner normally stays in place.  But with carpet it never stays in place.

Outside aisle runners are the, not the, but thee worst.  But first, they have all the issues above, plus many more. Here are just some of the issues. One, when it is on the grass it moves even worse than on carpet.  Every time someone takes a step on it, one end or the other pulls to compensate for the sinking into the grass.  (one of the reasons they put stakes in the corners of tents is to hold them down from the wind, but the other is because with every step you take it moves – so with stakes it won’t move as much). Imagine parents, bridesmaids, ring bearer and flower girl walking on it.  It will look horrible. Trust me.

Wind will cause the wedding aisle runner to go air born.  I’ve seen it.

Let’s say you want to secure the aisle runner by putting lanterns or small stakes every so often (very time consuming and costly), on grass they won’t stay in place. The runner will rip and/or the lanterns will fall over.

Forsyth Park Fountain, Photo by Coastal Savannah Weddings

The next issue on how impractical wedding aisle runners are, is they are never wide enough!  Trust me, no bride wants to think they are wide!  However, by the time you add the width of the dress at the ground AND if she is escorted in, there is NEVER room for anything to be sat on the aisle runner, such as lanterns.  They just don’t have enough room for both the escort, bride and size of dress, unless the dress is completely form fitting.

I’ve seen aisle runners made out of a long piece of carpet.  Good idea?  Not on grass.  It too will move on the grass.

But with all that said, none of those compare with the following reason why you shouldn’t use an aisle runner.  It is very dangerous!  I know you are thinking, how can a simple plastic/cloth aisle runner be dangerous?  It’s very simple: heels.  The heels on your shoes will poke holes in the runner.  And it could stay attached to your shoe, causing you to fall.

Please don’t use aisle runners outside!  Well, unless you are video taping it and you want to be on AFV, America’s Funniest Home Videos.  We could make money because of it!

So, now what?  You want to have an aisle runner outside, but with all my suggestions you have second thoughts, but you still want something.  Try lots of flower peddles.  Roses. Carnations. Those can be broken up and used.  And it can look incredible!  I’ve seen a “white carpet of flower peddles,” and I’ve seen peddles down both sides of the aisle.

With all that said….

The most awesome aisle runner I have seen was recently at a wedding at the Mansion on Forsyth Park.  It was black, with a gold border.  It started at the door and went beyond where I normally stand, all the way to the edge of the water fountain, and then bit more: it went up and to the edge of the water!  It looked to be made of thick construction like material, yet didn’t rip when stepped on.  It wasn’t plastic.  It wasn’t carpet.  If anyone knows what it was made of, please let me know. When the gorgeous bride walked in, it didn’t get stuck in her shoes, nor did it wrinkle up when stepped on. It stayed in place!  I don’t think they used anything to hold the long section in place as I didn’t see it “gather” anywhere along the way when anyone walked on it (as it was down prior to my arriving at the site.)

Did you think that the topic of Aisle Runners at Weddings, would take up so much space?

Let me know your thoughts.

Share your experience!