SILVER BIRCH MINISTRIES

Weddings for All Seasons

A FEW TIPS FOR OUTDOOR WEDDING SERVICES

Be Prepared!

There are many attractive, romantic outdoor places where couples can have a wedding, and we are delighted to conduct services in the location of your choice. It might be on the castle grounds such as Boldt and Singer, a lighthouse such as Tibbets Point near Cape Vincent, a state park, a beach club, the grounds of historic buildings, elegant hotels, gardens, and other places. However,there are a few things to watch out for.

Open spaces can be breezy, even on almost calm days, and this can play havoc with a Unity Candle Ceremony, even if the candle is positioned in a deep glass bowl. The couple having a battle with a reluctant candle can be a bit embarrassing. We do recommend an alternative: This is the Unity Sand Ceremony where the bride and groom pour different colored sands into a central container -- symbolizing the joining of the couple and two families.

Incidentally, talking of breezes, if the bride is wearing a veil, ensure it is effectively secured. If the ceremony is near the water -- St. Lawrence or Lake Ontario -- advise guests to have something to wrap around their shoulders if the need arises.

For ladies, whether the bride, bridesmaids or people attending the ceremony, shoes with highish or narrow heels can be challenging, especially on cobblestones pathways, gravel or uneven grass. Once you have the location earmarked, warn intending guests that uneven paths exist and appropriate shoes should be worn. Have backup shoes tucked away for the reception.

Strangely, in all the weddings we have conducted in the past several years, we have never had to suddenly relocate a wedding ceremony because of rain. However, it's always a good idea to have a backup venue.

Inside Gazebos are favorite locations for a lot of couples getting married, but they are bad news if you are looking for good photos of the ceremony with the congregation in the background. Professional photographers can usually manage to work inside a gazebo, but you may find a lot of family members and friends feel a little irate because they failed to get a good shot of the two of you getting married. Use the gazebo as a background, and it will add to the picture and everyone will be happy. (Rev. Robert was an award-winning news photographer and writes from experience.)

Newly weds -- practice walking slowly! When the minister has made the presentation of "Mr. and Mrs...." and the two of you prepare to walk out along the aisle - WALK SLOWLY! You would be surprised at how many newly weds try to gallop off into married bliss. Families, loved ones and friends want to see you in your moments of achieving Holy Matrimony. They also want their own photos of you...so please walk away slowly.

These notes are written from the point of view of the actual service. There are other things to watch out for, and things to plan for. If you are considering a large gathering for your wedding, it's worth while considering a Wedding Planner. We, as officiants can assist with the processional, and a rehearsal, but there are many other points you may wish to consider. Check the Alexandria Bay Chamber of Commerce on our set of links on the Index Page or call them for the names of wedding planners, 315-482-9531 or 1-800-541-2110, One major wedding planner is Happily Ever After at 315-324-6291.

If you ever have any questions about the ceremony, kindly call us at 609-351-5878. We'll be glad to talk and assist.

Blessings. Robert





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