Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wedding Ceremonies 101

Can we write our own Vows??
In theory, it sounds like an excellent idea and I am delighted if you want to contribute to the creation of your ceremony by the writing of your vows. I’ll be happy to help you turn your thoughts into words, or your words into a memorable part of your ceremony. But, you certainly are not required to do that. A very small percentage of my couples seriously consider it and fewer yet actually end up using them in their ceremony. I have some lovely vows that you can repeat after me or read them to each other in unison or by alternating lines...

What is the Officiant's Fee based upon??
Being a minister is my passion and my primary source of income. As I am not affiliated with one particular church/denomination, I do not receive a salary as some Pastors do. To date, I have performed over 150 ceremonies and ultimately, spend many hours with each of my couples (either by e-mail or phone) in order to make certain that the final Ceremony is the one they’ve always dreamed of! There are many hours spent "Behind the Scene" in order to prepare for the amount of time it eventually requires to actually perform the wedding! If you consider the Officiant fee, as compared to the Cake, Dress, Flowers and Photographer, it really is quite reasonable...

Will you do outside/location ceremonies??
Yes, considering Travel, I’ll come to any location (with good directions ;-) Inside or out, big or small, fancy or simple - my goal is to provide you with the Ceremony that best meets your needs, which includes the Location...

When should we get our license??
I have performed weddings in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Each state has different time constraints so check with your local County courthouse. However, there is usually a three day waiting period so do not wait until the last week, unless absolutely necessary. Also, you must present your License to me Before the ceremony so I can verify it’s validity. Make certain once you obtain your License that you put it in a safe place and remember to bring it along to the ceremony - put someone else in charge if you think you may forget!

Do you require counseling??
I do not require it, but it is available should you feel the need to “compare notes” in a Judgement Free environment. Weddings are stressful, especially when it comes to spending money! Also, often each of the couples family’s come from different backgrounds, different religions - sometimes it helps to have someone that can listen and offer advice to each of you without having a vested interest!

Can my Photographer use a Flash during the Ceremony??
That is totally up to you - it’s Your Day! Of course you want as much as possible to be remembered on film so we’ll work together to accomplish that goal. During the ceremony, you’ll be facing each other (rather than me) and holding hands so everyone can see your faces. If you decide to add a Unity Ceremony (Candle or Sand) I recommend that you stand behind the table, rather than in front of it, so that everyone, including the photographer can see what is taking place. Other than that, I just request the discretion of the Photographer as it is a solemn occasion!

What other type of elements can be added to the Ceremony??
Other than a Unity Ceremony, there are Remberances for Absent or Deceased family members, presenting Roses to the Mothers and special Readings done by other individuals. If there are children of the Bride and/or Groom, we can include them in either of the Unity ceremonies, a Medallion or Ring Ceremony or even just a short passage that speaks of how a Marriage creates a Family!

Do we need a Rehearsal??
Again, that is totally up to you. Before you decide to have one think about why you’re doing it... If you’d like to include the Groom’s family by having them provide the Rehearsal Dinner, that doesn’t mean that you need to have a full-blown Rehearsal at the facility where the wedding is occurring. I often find that couples can have a simple run-through (without paying for my time and travel) on their own and still enjoy the company of friends and family at a Dinner. However, should you decide that you’ll be more comfortable having me there, that can certainly be arranged!

The Wedding is a only a week away - what do I do, now??
The most important thing, in my book, is to be thankful. Think about how grateful you are that you have found your soul mate, and that you are pledging each other your eternal love and loyalty - and that you’ll be spending the rest of your life with your Best Friend Other than that, it’s all icing on the cake ;-)

Do you perform other ceremonies??
Yes, I provide a full Ministry. I offer Baby Blessings/Christenings, Vow Renewal Ceremonies, Commitment Ceremonies, House and Business Blessings. I also offer Memorial/Funeral services for humans and even for animal companions! Basically, I offer my services for any “Rite of Life” occasion that you would like to memorialize.

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