Tim’s Top Tip Three

I’m glad that The Wedding Guru Oskar asked me to make this series of little movies, because it’s reminded me what’s at the heart of a humanist wedding: self-expression.

Your big day is usually months, if not years, in the planning. It’s both the culmination of your lives together so far and the start of a new chapter, so it’s normal to be a bit nervous, and that’s why a rehearsal can be a good idea.

I’ve written before about the pros and cons of rehearsals, and if you’ve got a moment, you might want to take a look at this post from 2010.

All I’d now add to what I said then is this.

Your wedding ceremony is the sum total of everything you want to say about why you’re getting married and what that means to you. These aren’t the kind of thing we say every day, so inevitably it’s a time of heightened emotion – not just for you, but for your family and friends too.

The couples I’ve married who chose to have a rehearsal agree: it settles the nerves. It means the groomsmen know what their role is; the bridal party know where they’re going and what to do when they get there; readers and musicians have a chance to check out the acoustics; photographers and videographers can see how you’re going to stand and what that means for their sight lines, and most importantly, you’re not worrying about what you do with dad (or mum) when you get to the end of the aisle.

Having said that, you don’t need to have a rehearsal, especially if your ceremony is intimate or informal or in a remote place, and I’ve put together a useful checklist of things to think about if that’s what you decide.

Before I trained as a celebrant, I worked for a long time as a writer, director and producer, and that experience still helps me now. Just as in a film, there are two aspects to a wedding – the creative and the organisational. A writer or director can have the most exciting and original of ideas, but it’s the producer who makes sure they’re delivered in time and on budget, and in this context, the producer’s role is taken by the wedding planner. Of course you can do it yourself – and there are lots of books to help you – but a great wedding planner is worth their weight in gold, so have a look at the list on my site for some options.

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