Preacher. No one’s perfect…. #WeddingRescue

This past Saturday I had a #WeddingRescue!

At 6:15pm a Savannah Police officer called me, while I was having a quick break between weddings, at Leopold’s Ice Cream which is a Savannah staple!

He said “This is Captain so and so with the Savannah Police Department.”  My first thought was something had happened to my son.  He continued “Lt. Gunther gave me your number because the preacher for a 6pm wedding didn’t show up and he thought you could help.”

“Yes, I can, where is the ceremony?”

“Greene Square.  Let me give the phone to a person in the bridal party”

“Hello.  The preacher we hired didn’t show up can  you come and perform the ceremony?”

“Yes.  I can be there in 5 minutes.”

“Seriously?”

“I just so happen to be down the street. I’ll be right there.”

When I arrived everyone was so grateful for me showing up.  I went inside the rented home and spoke to the groom.  While doing so, word came that the “preacher” showed up at 6:30pm.  “It doesn’t matter to me who officiates your ceremony, I can stay or you can have him officiate.”  “You stay.”  So I did.

The “preacher” wasn’t a preacher.  He was an internet ordained wedding officiant.  He wasn’t a pastor of a church, nor had he ever been to seminary to study the Bible or theology.  He is recognized by the State of Georgia as clergy because of his internet ordination.   Basically: he does weddings for the money.

While working out at the local YMCA one day, about a year ago, I heard this “preacher” brag to his friend about how he gets $175 to marry people and that he could hook him up too.  “It’s easy.  You show up, read the words and you get paid.”  The “preacher” didn’t recognize me from when we worked together on a volunteer school resource team in 1995.  I was 30 then, he was about 60.

I take what I do seriously.  Have I ever been late to a wedding?  I believe twice: both times about 5-10 minutes due to traffic.  Have I ever missed a wedding?  No.  Have I ever filled in for an officiant who missed a wedding?  Dozens of times.

Even if you don’t hire myself or my company, find out the reputation of the person/company you hire.  And also see if they have a business license.

I am a pastor of a local Lutheran church, yet I still have a business license for weddings.  For me, a business license separates those who are serious and professional from those who just do it for the money.

Share your stories and your thoughts.

Pros and cons of a non-local professional wedding coordinator

It’s great to have all of your friends and family at a wedding.  But is it great to have someone from your own town (or not local to Savannah) be the professional wedding coordinator for  your special day?

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Behind the scenes photo by Andy Resende of a photoshoot for a local project – no connection to the post other than I like the photo 🙂

Here is the list of cons:

  • They don’t know the area.
  • They don’t know the how long it takes to get from your lodging to your ceremony, etc.
  • They don’t know the details of how to keep people out of uninvited guests out of your ceremony (that, BTW, is not the security/police’s job at your reserved park/square wedding).
  • They normally aren’t worried about time lines, since they may be doing your ceremony at a reduced rate in order to have it on their resume.
  • They don’t have the connection to local vendors to get you the best ones.  Some coordinators bring all their vendors from out of the area.
  • Rarely do weddings start on time (one wedding started 45 minutes late – imagine your guests sitting for 45 minutes waiting for you).

Here is the pros:

  • You may know the coordinator personally – may have more fun.
  • They may give you a huge discount to get the out of town/state business.
  • They may be a friend, so you would only have to pay for their lodging.

Nothing against out of state/town professional wedding coordinators but I find that for the most part, local Professional Wedding Coordinators are steps above out of town ones.

Share your thoughts!

http://www.RevSchulte.com  #RevSchulte

Awkward moments at weddings….

Over the last 20 years that I’ve been officiating weddings, there have been many awkward moments.  I’ve been hesitant to share any of them for fear of embarrassing the bride/groom/guest. Most of these examples below are years ago 😉

  • Brides, when you show your garter at a wedding/reception, make sure you keep the dress from going above your thigh!  Not sure if guests want to see your underwear.
  • Grooms, if you think you my emote (cry/tear/runny nose) bring a hanky.  it’s not pretty when your running nose drips to the  ground in long strings all while you try to sniff it back in.
  • Unless you are French, please don’t french kiss.
  • Brides, when you go to pull out the vows you have written for your groom, please don’t turn towards me to hide that fact that you are pulling them out of our bosom.
  • Don’t let the skinniest groomsmen go out drinking the night before a wedding – he may just pass out.
  • Brides, if you’re going to have a drink before your wedding make it just one, not seven!  It will be obvious to everyone, but you, that you are not walking down the aisle straight.  And, guests will notice if you call out their name as you are walking down the aisle waving to them.
  • If you say you’re going to write you own vows, PLEASE have them written and DO NOT do them extemporaneously.  It might sound good in your head, but not to your guests when they hear you say, “you’re the best women i’ve ever slept with.”
  • If the groom is going to drink so much that he has to go to the bushes to relieve himself minutes before the wedding starts, make sure that the one been seen coming out of the bushes with him isn’t a female. Especially if he’s zipping up his trousers.
  • If your groom hasn’t met your father, consider choosing a time that isn’t when I ask “who gives their blessings to this bride to be married to this man?”
  • Grooms, if you’re going to start your wedding on time, make sure your parents know that you’ll start without them.  (It’s beyond me why a parent would be 30 minutes late to a wedding when it’s across the street from their hotel).

If you have more awkward moments, PLEASE share them!

http://www.RevSchulte.com #RevSchulte @RevSchulte

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!

my website: http://www.RevSchulte.com

I’ve been a slacker!

I cannot believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted a blog!  But that is changing. Some new and exciting things are happening and I can’t wait to share it very soon.

One thing is me blogging again!

The second is well, is more exciting!  If you or any couple you know will be in town on February 7, 2015, and would like to meet with me about your wedding or a wedding, to ask questions and/or to be given advice on weddings,  please let me know.  There will be a film crew/person(s) following me around that day. Can’t wait to share more!!

Congratulations on your pending nuptials!!

My website is: http://www.RevSchulte.com

Which Square or Park is right for your wedding.

Needing a few ideas on which outdoor locations in beautiful historic downtown Savannah is right for you.  Here is a list of these parks and squares with photos.   All of these locations are the most popular in Savannah, and are listed in order of popularity.

Short blog post, but great information!