Even though I received three ministry degrees, not one of my classes ever taught me to perform a wedding or lead a wedding rehearsal. I guess that falls under the "sink or swim" category. This means that the only way to learn is by doing them. It also means that the learning lab is the actual wedding and rehearsal. This can be very unfortunate for the couple and for the minister. Hopefully the minister will have a good mentor who can show him or her the ropes and walk them through it.
Fortunately, my first few weddings did not require me to lead a rehearsal. That allowed me to focus on finding a good wedding ceremony and a template that I still use for most of my weddings today. After I became a Pastor church members needed me to perform weddings for them in our church. Since it was a small, single staff church, that meant that I was responsible for scheduling the facility, leading the rehearsal, and performing the wedding, not to mention meeting with the couple several times beforehand to discuss the wedding and for premarital counseling.
Being very young and naÃ¯ve when I came to my first wedding rehearsal as a minister I only expected to rehearse the ceremony. I thought that would be my only responsibility other than opening and closing the building. I smile when I think back on just how young and naÃ¯ve I was. It was something similar to a lamb being tossed into a cage of lions. And these were people who liked me. You see, even though I was only expecting to be responsible for rehearsing the ceremony, the expectation of the couple and the family was that I would be in charge of the entire rehearsal. (This is why I believe every church should have a paid wedding coordinator who is responsible for coordinating the facilities, personnel, equipment, clean-up, and leading the rehearsal. This relieves the Minister of this role and allows him or her to function as a Minister to the couple instead of an umpire. This also enables a busy Minister to not attend a rehearsal when there is schedule conflict. Oh well, live and learn.)........
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