Once you have secured the site for your ceremony and have met with the officiant and/or his representatives you should have a good idea about ceremony requirements and guidelines. Working within those guidelines, you should be able to add your own personal touches with the goal of creating a beautiful setting that helps to create the mood for your ceremony to come. As guests arrive, the setting – candles, lights, flowers and music can create an impressive atmosphere. Instruct ushers to make friendly small talk with guests as they arrive and as they are escorted to their seats. This will help to put guest at ease. If yours is a small wedding, ushers can present a single flower to female guests along with a note from you welcoming them to the wedding. This welcome flower can also be presented with the programs. Consider having ceremony hosts greet guests at the entrance doors. Choose one from each family who is likel to recognize many of the guests as they arrive. Choose host couples to welcome your guests. Your parents may be mingling with guests at this point or may be needed with the wedding party. Guests hosts can welcome people in their name. If you have music playing as guests arrive and are seated, change that music – tempo or volume or both so that special music plays as the parents of the bride and groom are seated. More and more couples are choosing to have a card or note from them along with a single flower or small wrapped gift waiting in the pews for the parents as they are seated. Consider having a special song played as the groom and his best man take their places. As the processional begins, the music should break between the ceremony and the reception to allow for travel time. Arrange for a pre-cocktail hour at your reception site so that guests arriving early for the reception have a place to gather. You may wish to serve champagne or have a coffee bar set up. Stop in so we can discuss even more ceremony ideas that will make this most important day uniquely yours.