Dr. Alan Viau

Grooms: Take Charge of the Wedding Ceremony

The first person I seek out when I arrive at a wedding site is the groom. I check in with him to confirm the plans for the wedding ceremony. The 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony, his bride is busy either getting ready or in transit. He is the only one available who can make a decision if things need to be changed. His timely decisions can ensure that the wedding ceremony runs smoothly.

Grooms get ready…

In theatre, there is a position called the stage manager. This is the person who has the sole responsibility to ensure that all the elements needed to run the show are in position and ready. They run through a checklist to ensure that all the lights are working, sound is good, props and sets are in position and actors are ready.

A wedding ceremony also needs a stage manager to ensure that all is ready. Since the bride is busy either getting ready or in transit, she cannot intervene if the musicians don’t show up, if the flower vases fall over from the wind or if we need to move inside from the outdoor venue.  The obvious person to take charge is the groom, since it is his wedding, too.

A Stage Manager is in control looking after every detail of a show.
There are many times when I approach the groom with a question. I get the deer in the headlights look and his panicked answer is “I dunno, we need to ask the bride!” Unfortunately, time is of the essence and we need a decision so that the show can go on.  I scramble to reach the bride and see her anxiety increase because she is not here seeing what is happening.

The time leading up to the wedding ceremony is one of the few times during the day where the groom is separated from the bride. She is playing the role of an actor getting the last touches to her makeup and wardrobe completed for the show. It is the opportunity for the groom to show some leadership and take charge of the wedding ceremony. He is now the stage manager, and as such, needs to know every planning detail and contingencies. If something goes astray, he can confidently take action to correct any situation. When his bride arrives, all is calm and ready for the wedding to begin.

The time leading up to the start of the wedding ceremony is a very stressful one. This is especially true for the bride, who usually has done the bulk of the planning. It comes down to this moment. With her groom having taken charge of the preparations, she can approach it with calm and savor the moment. It is a great time to show how the bride and groom work really well together as a team.

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