No I am not talking about the love of your life, but the one that will ask you to say “I Do”.
Choosing an officiator for your event must be a perfect match but this is where most people settle. Why? Because people tend to think in terms of time and money…decorations take hours to put together, my pictures will last a lifetime, and the venue is costing me an arm and a leg…The problem is that under most circumstances there is one main person overseeing the entire ceremony, service,
or event. So my question would be doesn’t that in itself make finding the right person a priority?
The good thing is that the amount of time and money it takes to book someone to oversee the event is minimal, and having the right person can make your event the best it can be. So here is my list of the top five things to look for when choosing an officiator for your next event!
#5- Do you understand what I am saying?
Any basic communication class will teach you to speak clearly, slowly, and to annunciate well. If you have a tough time understanding your speaker in a one on one conversation, your guests definitely will.
Sometimes we still want what we want. So, if you are insistent upon having a particular person speak or even if you are chosen to speak at an event and have a difficult time communicating effectively, there is help. Organizations, such as Toast Masters, offer participants weekly speaking sessions with positive feedback and correction. Just plan ahead and give yourself enough time before the event to prepare for the sessions. If it is already last minute, you can always look for a seasoned speaking coach. DOV Sound Events even offers clients assistance in speech writing and coaching. If for some reason, DOV Sound is not available for your event, there are many amazing professional speakers across the country with similar services.
#4- Timing is everything!
Please, Please, DO NOT ask a long-winded person to officiate; especially if you are on a time schedule. Always, choose someone that you have heard speak and are confident can get straight to the point. A few short stories or examples are ok but keeping it short is always best.
“A good example is the best sermon”- Benjamin Franklin
#3-Think about your guests
For any type of event, remember talk to them not over them. Do not be hesitant to ask your officiator to adjust what he or she is saying to the audience. The message should be one of two things. If it is a personal event, such as a wedding or memorial service, the message should be reflective of the people it is honoring. Or, if it is a public event, like a church function or corporate meeting, it should restate and reinforce the purpose of the event.
#2- Get your guests Involved
Thinking about your guests is crucial. During the event, you will be wrapped up in the details while your guests sit through the service. With that in mind, not only should you gear the message to your guests but get them involved too.
One of the most memorable wedding ceremonies I attended, asked the guests to stand as the bride and groom finished their vows. The pastor then asked those in attendance to vow to hold the two accountable and support them through the good and the bad. It was simple and short, but gave the ceremony the perfect personal touch.
#1- Set the Tone from the start!
The single most important reason to choose wisely when it comes to who will preside over the event is… Your officiator will set the tone from the start!
Will it be an emotional night, or one that is uplifting? Will it be drawn out and boring or fascinating and engaging? Usually, it needs a little of both. The best way to balance any message is to use humor. Yes, it should be the right kind of humor, but a good chuckle can help ease the pain at a memorial service or break up the seriousness at a corporate event. Just make it poignant and something everyone can understand. The rest should simply make sense!
“Once you get people laughing they’re listening and you can tell them almost anything”
Who better to demonstrate humor, timing, and a message for the audience than Mr. Cosby.
Why Event Sense...because there are definitely some key components when it comes to planning an event. Where you decide to place your focus and attention should well... just make sense!
Most individuals have a general idea, a color, or a theme they want to get from an event. It can be a wedding that has to be pink, a corporate event that leaves employees feeling energized or a Bon Voyage inspired Retirement party. While all three of these might play an important role in the direction of the event, they will not determine the success of the event. What will however, is the use of your senses; what you see, what you taste and what you hear will not only be essential to the way you experience the event but your guests enjoyment as well.
That being said there has to be a careful balance between Great Food, Great Design, and Great Entertainment. That does not always mean that it will be a 33/3/33 split among the time or the budget. It does mean that all three areas should get careful planning and detailed attention. Unfortunately, this is a mistake that many fail to take into account and damage the event's success because the event not only impacts you but all those around you. I once went to a wedding that had amazing decor and a decent dance floor, but the food was picked by the bride for the bride. She was a very picky eater, and ate only a limited selection of food. As a result the menu was terrible and left most guests waiting for it to be over so they could grab something from the nearest burger joint. This happened simply because the bride considered only what she wanted on the menu and not what her guests would want.
This same response will happen any time there is a miss in one of the three areas but fortunately it can easily be avoided. For
example, let's say you are food lover, and you place all of your time and money into the menu. You will probably be satisfied at the end of the night. Your guests, on the other hand will leave with a feeling that the event lacked something, such as good entertainment and atmosphere. One way to solve this dilemma is to take your love for food and incorporate it into other areas of the event, such as the decor and design. For centerpieces, you can use edible centerpieces or incorporate fresh fruit. Most citrus fruits are very colorful,
inexpensive and do not require special handling or storage, making them great for decorating. Keeping a common thread like this throughout the event will help to maintain balance and minimize cost; leaving plenty of room for entertainment
in the budget. Balancing the senses will help to keep your 'want' the primary focus, and your guests 'need' taken care of. Remember at the end of the night...it should all make sense!
Summer Dawn is a published author and speaker. Taking on the role of a wife, a mother, a business woman and an individual; she is all about balance, creativity and out of the box thinking. Her eye for artistic design and knack for budgeting makes her an invaluable resource to her clients and associates.