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Stage Craft and Ceremonies

A creative celebrant exhibits a high level of stagecraft that is achieved through planning and practice. Make sure that every person in the wedding party knows his part. Support and encourage them until they are confident.

Things to think about and discuss

  • To have a unique style.
  • Does the music match the style?
  • Visual presentation possibilities. – Weddings can and should be entertaining
  • Does the scripting of the ceremony flow! How will it enhance the presentation?
  • Body language and expression.
  • Make it be enjoyable and fun.
Rehearsal leads to Perfect Performances of Wedding Ceremonies

The celebrant must make the whole rehearsal seem simple, even though it is sometimes quite complicated, so as not to overload those nervous brides and grooms! The celebrant covers all of the following aspects when doing a rehearsal.

Plan, Prepare and Present

  • Entrances and positioning of The Celebrant, Bride and Groom, The Bridal Party, and The Speakers
  • Professional yet fun
  • The Business Side – Legalities in the ceremony.
  • Music Selection and Plan – Live or recorded - Choruses, Quartets and Other Mysteries
  • Variety
  • Audio-visual Aids - Lighting and sound.
  • Lighting
  • Make-up Technique
  • Attire
  • Energy Development
  • Visual Interpretation
  • How much is enough?
  • Practice, gain experience and build confidence.

When the Wedding Party has rehearsed its notes and words, listened to the music, polished its choreography and positioning, have their clothing there’s only one thing left to do: perform the wedding!”

Introduce variety into your Ceremony

Here are just a few theatrical ideas:

  • Audience participation. Involve the audience in the ceremony
  • Draw them into your ceremony.
  • Have them perform rhythmic hand clapping, lead them in a brief sing-along or incorporate the audience's name or locale into the ceremony.
  • Invite local school or community music groups to perform with you.
  • Develop a thematic package. A thematic ceremony can inspire the audience's imagination, and maintain more audience involvement than a conventional package.
  • Introduce visual variety. Visual variety maintains interest. Props, (symbols eg. Candles) lighting changes and movement keep the ceremony visually stimulating.
Special Effects – Smoke Fog Mist

These are the only way of producing a truly coloured smoke. The dyes used will mark scenery or drapes nearby. Pyro flash cartridges produce a jet of deeply coloured dense smoke for seven or thirty seconds when fired, and I think Stage FX pods produce smoke for about twenty seconds.

Dry-ice or CO2
A dry-ice smoke kettle is a sealed plastic box with electric heating elements in the bottom, and a metal basket that can be raised or lowered (think deep-fat dryer). The lower half is filled with water; brought to near boiling by the electric elements. The basket is filled with dry-ice. When the smoke is needed the basket is lowered into the hot water. The dry-ice sublimes and produces a very dense white water-vapour smoke. This is forced out of a nozzle on the front of the kettle. These consume a lot of power, 7 or 8 kW for a medium sized kettle.

Dry-ice smoke is very dense and low-lying.

Great effects can be produced by dropping dry-ice pellets into a beaker of hot water. Dry-ice can be bought cheaply from frozen food distributors, or 'borrowed' from university physics departments. It can be stored in a polystyrene box or cool box for 2-4 days. Make sure that the cool box isn't airtight - the CO2 build up can blow the lid off.


This article has been written by Marita Wilcox - Creative Ceremonies

This article has been reproduced on Wedding Central Australia with permission. © Marita Wilcox 2004. All Rights Reserved.



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