“The meaning of marriage begins in the giving of words.
We cannot join ourselves to one another without giving our word.”
— Wendell Berry
The ceremony is the emotional heart of your wedding. It sets the tone for the celebration that follows...and well beyond as the words spoken this day take root and blossom into a lifelong love affair.
Yes, kind of a big deal.
I’m the professional wedding officiant who helps frame your wedding ceremony to contain your hopes, dreams, values and beliefs — as well as articulate what marriage looks like unique to the two of you. This is a collaborative process in which I really spend the time to know you both so as to craft an original wedding ceremony that gets at the essence of who you are as a couple.
I am also happy to co-officiate ceremonies with persons of the cloth, such as Rabbis or Priests.
No-Obligation Free Consult Over Coffee
At the no-obligation coffee meeting, things immediately start to take shape. That's when the three of us sit down to brainstorm. (If that’s not possible, we default to Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or conference call.) Right then and there, we begin the distillation process by roughly settling on the tone you might want:
From the tone, ceremonial elements start to shimmer into focus, such as appropriate readings, music and symbols. We discuss vows. Do you want to write your own, with or without my help, or just have me write them for you? Do you want to honor family members or your heritage in some way? Are there rituals — cultural, religious, traditional, pagan, animist — you already have in mind? If not, I will present some preliminary ideas. Over the course of an hour, we’ll banter about all this and more.
Once we officially decide to do this!...I’ll send you each a separate (but identical) questionnaire. It’s your opening to tell me the details of your courtship, like when you “knew” and how the proposal went down.
This is the magic dust from which your love story is hand-spun by me into the stuff of dreams using your own language. Because after receiving your completed questionnaire, I go to work seriously researching and honing ceremonial elements and verbiage into a polished script that could only have been written for and about you two in-love people.
Your 100% Approval
Several months before (depending), I’ll email each of you the first draft of your ceremony. You make your changes and send it back. I revise as many drafts as it takes until you sign off on the final with your 100% approval. Though I pride myself on minimal changes, or especially when a Bride or Groom writes back that they welled up with tears reading the First Draft. After that, the script is totally yours with which to tinker.
I do not speak a word at your ceremony not okayed by you.
Speaking of approval:
Unlimited Electronic Contact and Second Meeting
Throughout this creative process, I make myself totally available via email, text and telephone to answer all your questions and listen to your thoughts. This is my full-time vocation, so you are my top concern.
By all means if you want...closer to the ceremony we can meet face-to-face a second time to take care of any last-minute details or to calm any jitters.
The week before the ceremony, I’ll email you a pre-determined checklist of any items you’ll need for the ritual elements we decided upon, and other things to remember.
Rehearsal and Big Day
Without question, I plan to be part of the wedding rehearsal as it is my responsibility to make sure everything goes smoothly at the actual ceremony.
On the glorious day of your wedding, I arrive to officiate an hour early just to be on hand and make sure everything is set up properly. That’s when I touch base with your D.J. or musicians (or iDevice operator), and the Photographer (having already sent them their Cue Sheets via email earlier). And maybe you and I will have a moment to say hello before we begin.
If you're not hiring a D.J. — perhaps a string quartet/live musician is playing at your ceremony — I will provide my own portable P.A. system, which means I'll arrive even earlier to set up. Not being able to hear what's being said tends to put a damper on Guests' enjoyment of your ceremony, and that just won't do.
The ceremony itself lasts approximately 20-to-30ish wondrous minutes. But honestly, for the Bride and Groom...time barely exists up there, and neither does it for me. It's a transcendental experience.
I sign, copy, stamp and mail your marriage license to the County Clerk’s office from where you obtained it. Within a week or two, I’ll send your Keepsake Ceremony and a decorative Certificate of Marriage.