Since I've been performing weddings, I've been using a Samsung tablet as well as having an additional tablet and a paper copy as a back up. I thought I was well covered. That was not the case.
I am a technologist by trade. In my former jobs I was responsible for massive human resources business systems for the entire federal government as an Associate Chief Information Officer. I had worked in technology, especially with business systems and hardware, for almost two decades. I had seen many failures so thought that my back up to the back up would be sufficient, especially since most wedding ceremonies usually take less than 30 minutes.
At a wedding this weekend, right in the middle of the ceremony my tablet crashed. At first, I was stunned and didn't believe what I saw. It didn't even reboot. I let everyone know what happened and excused myself to retrieve my second tablet from my bag. It took all together about 3-5 minutes to get back to the place where the other tablet crashed. It was probably the longest 3-5 minutes of my life.
Before the ceremony, I always boot up both tablets. I open the ceremony files and then I just turn off the display. After the crash, when I got the second tablet all I had to do was turn on the display and then find the location in the ceremony script where I left off. It was at the beginning of a section, so I just started it over and we proceeded without further incident.
I still could not believe it happened. But it did. I apologized to the couple, but knew that this incident had marred their otherwise storybook wedding ceremony. On the way out of the ceremony space, as I was giving the microphone back to the videographer, he said that he would edit it out and no one who viewed the video would know about the incident. I thought, "that's great - it's just a secret between 150 of us."
The point of this blog post is that couples should be prepared for technical issues not only from the Officiant, but from lighting, DJ's, photographers, anyone who uses technology to deliver the service. I always say, technology is great...when it works. To manage your expectations, things do go wrong. Not intentially. Not due to negligence or willfulness. Just because things do happen. Out of the last 50 ceremonies I've done, this is the first snafu I've had. It will not be the last.
What have I learned from this? I will still use a tablet, but my back up will be a printed copy of the ceremony put into document protectors (to protect against wind and rain), and placed in a nice notebook. It would have taken me significantly less time to flip through some pages than it did to scroll through the ceremony to find the right place.
For your wedding, I wish you perfection. I also hope that in the event that it is not perfect, you stay flexible enough to not let it ruin your otherwise beautiful wedding day.