Rock Island Ceremonies: Your Questions Answered
Updated: Mar 24
We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions and some tips from our professional wedding coordinators for a smooth ceremony at Rock Island!
Q: Will we be provided with a ceremony coordinator? (Tap to Expand)
A: Yes, we include a ceremony coordinator for all onsite ceremonies!
Q: Do you offer drinks for guests upon arrival?
A: Yes! We include a champagne wall for guests upon arrival. We also offer the option to add on a cider bar, a hot cocoa bar or lemonade stand for an additional charge!
Q: What sides should my wedding party stand on?
A: That is entirely up to you and what's comfortable! We are flexible and willing to work with what works best for you.
Q: Do you provide speakers for ceremony?
A: For outdoor ceremonies, we have speakers built into the gazebo which is typically where your DJ or musician would set up. For indoor ceremonies, we provide our built-in sound system.
Q: Do you provide a microphone and podium for our officiant?
A: Yes, we have a podium and a microphone for your officiant to use! The microphone is connected to our gazebo speakers.
Q: Is your ceremony site wheelchair-accessible?
A: Yes, we have multiple ramps and golf carts for extra assistance.
Q: Do you provide a table for unity ceremonies?
A: Yes, just let us know ahead of time if that's something you need!
Q: Can we involve our pets in our ceremony?
A: You are allowed to have your fur baby in your outdoor ceremony only! We kindly ask that they are escorted offsite after the ceremony is over!
Q: Do we have to have an onsite ceremony if our reception is at Rock Island?
A: No, onsite ceremonies are optional at RI. You are free to have an offsite ceremony if that works for you!
Q: Where can we have our onsite ceremony?
A: We currently have three onsite ceremony options: (1) our outdoor location along the lake, (2) inside our ballroom (we totally transform the room during cocktail hour), and (3) on the covered ballroom deck (this is only an option for weddings of 130 guests or less). For each ceremony location, we provide an archway.
Q: If the weather is unpredictable on my wedding day, how close to the ceremony start time can we decide where to have it?
A: If your wedding day approaches with unpredictable weather conditions and you desire to have your ceremony outside, we will try our best to make that happen for you. However it is up to the staff's discretion the day of your wedding how much time we would need to make a decision. These factors depend on the amount of décor that would have to be transferred, the amount of labor, etc. It is typically decided within a few hours of your ceremony start time.
Q: Where does the sun set?
A: Behind the line of trees so you don’t have to worry about the sun being in any of your guests’ eyes!
Do you offer rehearsal dinners?
A: We don't offer rehearsal dinners, but please ask us for local recommendations!
Q: Are there any restrictions on ceremony décor?
A: We do not allow aisle runners, nails/staples into the archway or non-biodegradable confetti.
Q: Are we allowed to decorate the archway?
A: You or your florist are free to decorate the archway as long as you're not "installing" anything (staples, nails, etc.) - we ask that you please secure any décor with wire or zip ties to preserve our archway for all our couples.
Q: Will you decorate the archway for us?
A: All archway décor must be decorated by you or your florist! Our team will put out light décor for you, such as baskets, signage, ceremony programs, bubbles, etc.
Q: What are some alternatives to confetti?
A: Bubbles, dried flowers, real flower pedals!
What are some factors to consider when deciding on a ceremony start time?
- Season and day of the week - Sunday weddings typically opt for an earlier wedding where Fridays typically opt for later start times; Winter weddings are typically a bit earlier, Summer weddings are typically later.
- Sunset time - check out timeanddate.com for a sunset calendar!
- If you plan on taking pictures after ceremony (lightness/darkness).
- Restrictions on venue's time - at RI, all weddings must end by midnight, so the latest you can start a ceremony is 6:30 (without adding on additional time)
Q: How long does it take to walk down the aisle outside?
A: Around 45 seconds depending on how fast you are walking.
Q: Will there be someone to coordinate the timing of everything with our ceremony vendors?
A: Yes! Our team will coordinate with your officiant and DJ/musicians so you and your wedding party do not have to worry about that!
Q: How long does a ceremony last?
A: We include 30 minutes; however, most ceremonies take only about 20 minutes (depending on the rituals/traditions/unities). At that point, we will go right into cocktail hour. If your ceremony time is shorter than the allotted 30 minutes, we will not take time off the end of your night.
Q: When will we be able to do a walkthrough?
A: Your ceremony coordinator will do a walkthrough with your wedding party the day of your wedding, that way it's fresh in their heads when they walk down! We will coordinate this around your wedding timeline.
Tell your officiant ahead of time to step to the side for the first kiss picture!
Do not lock your knees so you won’t run the risk of tipping over during the ceremony!
Make sure all phones are turned off or on silent and put in pockets that are not guest-facing.
Have your MOH/bridesmaid standing closest to you pass their bouquet over to the next closest bridesmaid so they can fix your dress and veil and hold your bouquet. Make sure they pass it back at the end of the ceremony!
If you are planning to do extended family photos right after the ceremony make sure you tell all of the people involved to stick around after the ceremony ahead of time, that way they won’t wander into cocktail hour!