Importance of a Wedding Day of Coordinator

wedding planner

For a small intimate wedding or elopement you really don’t need a wedding planner or coordinator. But…once you start planning on a wedding procession, having a photographer, a DJ, catering, flowers, etc. you absolutely have to have a wedding planner or day of coordinator.

The Wedding Planner

From wikipedia, “a wedding planner is a professional who assists with the design, planning and management of a client’s wedding. Weddings are significant events in people’s lives and as such, couples are often willing to spend considerable amount of money to ensure that their weddings are well-organized. Wedding planners are often used by couples who work long hours and have little spare time available for sourcing and managing wedding venues and wedding suppliers.”

For a very large wedding with a big budget a wedding planner is almost a necessity. They can help with budgeting, hiring the necessary vendors, planning the procession, and ensuring that the 1,000 little details of a big wedding all come together.

The Wedding Coordinator

The Day of Coordinator is just that. You provide them a list of all your vendors and details about how you want your wedding day and ceremony to progress. Many venues provide a day of coordinator as part of their services, either included in the facility fee or as an add on.  Many day of coordinators will attend the rehearsal if you have one, particularly if you are having the rehearsal at the same venue as the wedding. Keep in mind that the coordinator is only going to be as good as the information and resources you provide him or her. You (if you planned your own wedding) are responsible for organizing and paying the vendors, that they arrive on time, and that their performance is as promised. The day of coordinator only coordinates.

Why You Need at least a Day of Coordinator

You really need at least a Day of Coordinator. Not someone that is in the wedding procession, not the photographer, and not the caterer. You need a person to act as a buffer for you, to make sure that everyone is arriving on time and that they know what is expected. Someone who can herd the wedding procession into order, make sure the flowers are arranged properly, the candles are lit, the flower girl has petals, the runner is laid down, the officiant is there and is prepared, etc, etc. You as the bride cannot do this. You are going to be too busy getting ready for your wedding; the dress, hair, makeup, etc. Your stress level as a Bride is already going to be high. Don’t become a bridezilla and ruin your special day.

Wedding Day Essential Photo Shot List

wedding couple

Your wedding day is a special day! You should make sure to get as many photos as possible to remember it by. A great way to insure you get those special photographs is to hire a professional photographer to take them for you. But whether you hire a photographer, or have a family member or guest take your photographs, you need a plan! You need a wedding day essential photo shot list. So many essential photos can get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of a wedding day. Here is a list of the most essential wedding photos you need to take if you can. Remember, this is the bare essentials.

Wedding Day Essential Photo Shot List
Pre-Wedding Ceremony
  • Bride with individual Bridesmaids
  • Bride with all Bridesmaids
  • Bride alone, close-up, waist up, 3/4, full length front and back
  • Groom with individual Groomsmen
  • Groom with all Groomsmen
  • Groom alone, close-up, waist up, ¾,full length front and back
  • Guestbook attendants
  • Program attendants
  • Groomsmen with minister in minutes before
  • Grandparents seated
  • Parent Seated
  • Grooms party enters
  • Bridal party down the aisle
  • Flower girls and ring bearers
  • Bride down the aisle
  • Groom’s reaction to bride (this has become a HUGE ordeal in the past years)
  • Standard Ceremony items: readings, prayers, unity candle/sand, rings, vows
  • Pronouncement of Marriage
  • Recessional
Family Portraits
  • bride and groom with bride’s parents
  • bride and groom with bride’s parents and siblings, in-laws, grandparents
  • bride and groom with both families
  • bride and groom with both sets of parents
  • bride and groom with groom’s parents bride and groom with groom’s parents and siblings, in-laws, grandparents

20+ creative shots of the couple in a variety of poses, smiling, kissing, in action, sexy poses, making sure to get a variety of styles, locations and crops, full length, scenic, close up, 3/4 etc.


Richland County SC Probate Court Online Marriage License Applications Now Available

florence county marriage application

You can now apply for your marriage license online using the Richland County Probate Court portal. Click on the link below to apply.

Richland County Probate Court Marriage Application

To complete your application you will need to;

  1. Upload pictures of your government ID
    1. Picture Identification – Picture Identification may be one of the following:
      • Valid State Issued Driver’s License
      • Valid State Issued Identification Card
      • Valid Military Identification Card showing the name and the date of birth
      • Valid Passport

      *If you are not a United States Citizen, we must receive your Valid Passport and current VISA

  2. Upload proof of SSN
    1. Social Security Number may be one of the following:
      • Social Security Card
      • Tax Return (page 1) showing your name and your Social Security Number
      • W-2 or Tax Form showing your name and your Social Security Number

      *If you are not a United States Citizen, we must receive your Valid Passport and current VISA.

  3. Pay the fee of $45.24 with a debit/credit card
  4. Have a valid email address

You can take pictures of your documents with your smart phone or scan them if you have a scanner to upload the application website. The pictures or scans must be in one of the following formats; .gif, .jpeg, .pjpeg, .png, or .pdf.

You should receive your license (3 copies) within a week after applying in the mail. The marriage license will be mailed to the address of Party A. If the online application is not completed correctly, an email will be sent to Party A, for any additional information/documentation.

If you want to pick your marriage license up in person, AFTER THE 24 HOUR MANDATORY WAITING PERIOD, and not wait for the mail, call the Richland County Probate Court at 803-576-1961 the next business day after you submit your license application to arrange to come pick it up in person. If you do not call them it will be mailed.

For example, you file your application online Monday and it is acknowledged as received by Richland County at 1pm. Richland County will not process the marriage license application until after 1pm on Tuesday. Calling to pick it up does not shortcut the mandatory 24 hour waiting period.

DO NOT sign or fill out any copies of the license in any way once you receive them. You MUST sign in the presence of an officiant or notary public. The court does NOT perform marriages.

If you have any questions give us a call or text and we will try and help you with the process. Call 803-446-3405

Richland County SC Probate Court Now Open for Marriage Licenses at Limited Times

Richland County Marriage License Applications

sample marriage license

The Richland County Probate Court will open beginning Tuesday, April 21 2020, for marriage license applications. The open periods are staggered between morning and afternoon, for only 2 days in the current week.

The applications are being taken in the lobby. You MUST wear a mask!

Visit their website for specific information.

Remember, you can also get your marriage license via mail from Lexington County and via virtual application from Charleston County. Visit our blog post here for specific information.

How Get Your Marriage License in SC While the Probate Courts are Closed

Get Your SC Marriage License During Court Shutdown


Its a terrible time right now isn’t it? Social distancing, virus scares, layoffs, even toilet paper shortages. But even so, some couples still want (or need) to get married! Nothing stands in the way of true love! Problem was you had to apply in person at the probate court, but the courts are closed and if they are closed that means no marriage license. Lucky for everyone though, several South Carolina probate courts have found a way to solve the problem. No matter where you are in SC you can use one of these services to get your marriage license and have it mailed to you. Now, you can apply by mail and the court will mail you a license. And no, you DO NOT have to be a resident of either of these counties or even the state of South Carolina. You can get your license from them and use it anywhere in South Carolina (but only in SC).

Charleston County Probate Court

chalreston county marriage license

Charleston County uses a virtual interview process. Just click on the link above, follow the directions, schedule an appointment, and pay the fee. Give us a call if you have any questions or when you are ready to get married after you have your license.

Lexington County Probate Court

lexington county probate coourt

Lexington County has found a way to solve this problem, at least for the short term during the coronavirus (COVID-19) scare.

How does it work? Go to this link here and download the marriage license application. It is a pdf file. Print it out.

  1.  Complete the application.
  2. Include copies of both applicant’s Social Security cards (if you don’t have a SS card then any official document that has the name and SS number on it).
  3. Include a copy of each applicants government issued picture ID.
  4. Cash, check, or money order for $30.00
  5. Indicate on the application which address you want the marriage license mailed to from the court.
  6. Sign the application in front of a notary.
  7. Mail the completed application, the documents, and the fee to;


And right now, the Marriage Notary is running a special to assist the court. Normally our basic fee for a small, simple ceremony is $90. But during this crisis,

  • We will meet with you and notarize the signatures on the application for you
  • After you receive your marriage license back from the court, we will meet with you again and sign the copies of the license
  • One of the copies you keep as your original certificate of marriage and we will file the other two copies with the court

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 803-446-3405

Good luck!


Your Wedding and the Coronavirus

7 Steps to Protect Your Wedding from the COVID-19 Virus

coronavirus and your wedding

A hot topic in the news today is the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In regards to your wedding ceremony, yes, you should be concerned. That doesn’t mean you should cancel your wedding, only that you should take adequate precautions against infection How to go about that? Eric Hunt a wedding officiant in Myrtle Beach, SC has a great post on his blog about this very subject.

“The Coronavirus (COVID-19), has certainly caused a lot of disruption all over the world in recent weeks and for couples whose wedding day is near it can definitely add a new level to pre-wedding stress. While we should all be taking precautions and use good ole’ common sense (WASH YOUR HANDS) when it comes to these types of threats, the Coronavirus does not have to be the end to your perfect wedding day. Below, I have compiled a few thoughts and ideas as this virus relates to the wedding day. ”

Eric follows up with 7 steps you can take to protect you and your guests from contracting COVID-19. You should definitely check out the complete article.

Read and enjoy. You can read his post here.

Inexpensive Wedding Bands

Etsy logo

Many couples are looking to save money on their wedding. One way to do that is to not spend a fortune right away on your wedding bands. Fancy, expensive diamonds might need to wait a couple of years, or, you just might not be into expensive.

A good source for inexpensive wedding bands is Etsy. You can order them online and have them shipped right to you. If you don’t know your size, visit a jewelry store and have them size you as you peruse their selections. Then go home and visit the Etsy site. Not only will you know your exact ring size, but after seeing the prices in the jewelry store you will be super happy at having saved so much money!

Visit Etsy here for wedding bands!


Example Budget Wedding for Under $1,000

wedding officiant sumter sc
Photo Courtesy Northern Red Photography

Last year I had the pleasure to perform the wedding ceremony for Georgia and Nathan. Today I came across a blog post about their wedding on the blog Budget Savvy Bride. A great read if you are thinking about organizing a simple wedding. Visit here to read the blog post and take a look at all the pictures.

An added note. I have officiated several weddings where Northern Red was the photographer and I can tell you she does a great job!

Sample Handfasting Ceremony

hand fasting couple

Many couples like to use a traditional hand fasting as part of their ceremony. Here is a sample ceremony…

Hand Fasting

NAME and NAME have chosen a traditional hand fasting ceremony to symbolize their entering into the bonds of marriage. In the history of some European traditions, weddings were celebrated by a simple ceremony in which two partners would join hands and their wrists would be tied with a cord, symbolizing the binding together of their individual lives. It is from this practice that we get the expression “tying the knot”.

(Couple joins hands.)

NAME and NAME, this cord is a symbol of the connection between your two lives. As your hands are bound together by this cord, so too, will your lives be bound together in marriage.

(The Couple’s wrists are wrapped and tied loosely with ribbon or cord. This can be done by the officiant or by the couple’s best man/maid of honor, parents, or other chosen person.)

These are the hands that will love you.
These are the hands that will hold and comfort you through the years.
These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement.
These are the hands you will each work with, create with, and use to build a life together.
The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords but instead by your vows,
the promises you make in your hearts and uphold each day through your actions.
Remember, you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union.

Just as your hands are now bound together, so too, are your lives.
Because you cannot always be physically joined together, you will each give to the other a wedding ring to symbolize that connection. It will be worn on your hand as a constant reminder of the bond shared between you as a married couple.

(The Hand Fasting cord is removed, without untying it, and Rings exchanged.)