This last month I have received over a dozen emails or calls from frantic couples telling me that their hired Officiant has cancelled and they are panicking...they need someone now!
I am always so sad to hear this. Often times that Officiant was a friend or family member looking to help out. But, nerves or other obligations or who knows what has made it now impossible for them to be there.
I know it is tempting to save the money of a professional Officiant and just use a family or friend - but think of it this way, they are not "free" either, you still need to pay for their dinner and drinks. You will also spend a lot of time writing the ceremony for them, time that could be spent planning other parts of your wedding, or grocery shopping, or heck just having a drink and relaxing.
Your wedding ceremony is an important part of your wedding day. You need someone reliable, experienced, friendly and well, you need an expert. I mean, the reason your having this wedding celebration is indeed to celebrate your marriage, and you can't do that if no one is there to make it legal.
Hiring a professional, experienced Officiant with a stellar reputation will allow you to relax or focus on other parts of your wedding day. A pro will write the ceremony for you, a pro will walk you through the processional order and all the little details of music, seating arrangements, how to include your cousin that you never really talk to but your mom said she must be a part of your wedding.
I am a professional Officiant, I take my profession very seriously. My reputation which you can see reviews on several online sites is stellar...that is because not only do I have 10 years experience, but I truly love what I do. I want nothing less than for you to have an amazing wedding ceremony. I have dealt with and seen many, many different things throughout my 10 years and being present during so many weddings allows me the ease to deal with anything that may arise with a polite smile and swiftness so that you don't have to.
My experience allows me to be comfortable in front of a crowd of people, speaking, greeting and meeting and directing. When I speak your ceremony I am able to draw in your guests, I am able to speak with passion and tenderness or laughter. I am comfortable and excited and that will show.
Most importantly, we have a contract, one that say's I will be there and if I can not I will do everything within my power to get another professional there.
I urge you to consider all the circumstances and facts when hiring a Officiant. Check their references, ask for a video or pictures, check their online reviews. Remember you get what you pay for and we all know the price of a rose is more than a carnation. Both are lovely but the rose has a reputation of beauty, the carnation has a reputation also.
There is a crispness to the air, the tip of the trees are changing colors and the precipitation level is on the rise. Change is in the air, change in seasons that is.
As the seasons prepare to change I am reminded that the cooler weather and increase in precipitation can hamper the use of our local parks for an elopement wedding ceremony.
I would like to highlight some of the local wedding venues that make for a wonderful indoor location for your wedding elopement ceremony.
An indoor elopement ceremony is stress free! You no longer have to hope for good weather, the weather is always perfect. And with the right venue the pictures will be perfect to hang in your home.
Let me suggest:
The Holly Vault: This venue specializes in industrial chic events, bridal showers, baby showers, weddings and elopements. The Vault offers the perfect small space with amazing lighting and crystal chandeliers and even a fireplace.
(these pictures are direct from their site, your set-up may be different)
Next up is the Holly Hotel, its a restaurant, not an actual Hotel. And let me tell you, romance and ambiance is abound at this wedding elopement location. The Holly Hotel offers a few different rooms that make for a wonderful space for an elopement ceremony and dinner or dessert.
Did someone say cupcakes? Yes! Holly's premier bakery (ok, my opinion) Cupcakes and Kisses offers their space for rental on Sunday's only. So, if you looking for the cutest bakery with the perfect spot for a ceremony, then this is it!
It was a day to remember. For Alan and Jessica, love was at the center of their wedding ceremony. We spoke of all the little real life moments that truly lead you up to your wedding day. We spoke of romance and laughter as they exchanged rings and shared their promises to each other.
When you stood before me, and shared a little glance toward each other I know I saw the true depth of your love for each other.
I wish you the most happy of happily ever afters.
What tips do you have for our ceremony?
It's a question I get asked often, so let me put pen to paper...or blog to post to offer you some of the little things I've learned over the last 10 years:
DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY AND BE DAMNED THE REST
Yes, I'm serious, so many couples are worried for the happiness of their family and friends and guests that they loose sight of what it's all about. It's about celebrating your love. It's about your decision to be partners for your lifetime, it's celebrating the fact that you know together your stronger than apart.
So, when you plan your ceremony think of all the things your love represents, this is different for each couple and that's what you should focus on. Do you have an amazing group of friends that have supported you guys? If so, then make them a part of the wedding, have a large wedding party and celebrate the joy you find in those friendships. Or, do you feel it's the two of you against the world? If so, then keep it intimate and romantic and maybe it's just the two of you standing together before your guests.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
I have seen couples get lost in the little details and forget what the day is really about. It's about you and your spouse, about celebrating your decision to marry. For the ceremony at least, I think simple is best. Put the focus on the two of you and the words that will unite you in marriage. Spend extra time choosing your vows, spend time deciding what readings really speak to you and what you actually want to hear on your wedding day-those are the details to focus on for your ceremony.
DECIDE TO BE HAPPY
Make that decision right now, decide that your wedding day is going to be filled with happiness. That whatever happens you will find the funny and laughter in the moment and be happy. Something is going to go askew, different than the plan you had and you know what? It's ok! Your guests won't even know so, really it's you who will know and it's you who can choose how to deal with this deviation from the original plan. At the end of the day, your going to be married and that is what matters, everything else is literally icing on the cake!
Marriage 101 - it's all about respect
I'm 20 years into my relationship with my husband and I could not be happier with how things are going. I'm not talking about raising our kids or jobs, I'm talking about our relationship with each other.
We've grown up together and that was often times painful. It was hard to make mistakes and own them without feeling ashamed. It was hard to hear advice from my husband and really listen to it.
I am happy to say that we have reached a point where we can offer each other advice and we actually hear and listen to each other. We've learned to listen, even if you don't like what your hearing. To really hear what the other has to say and give them the basic respect as your partner to at least give them time to speak.
Heck I even seek out his advice. He's a really smart, ethical and level headed person; he always has been. I on the other hand am a bit more emotional, type A, jump first think later type of person. But...together we are an amazing team. I can motivate us and he can draw up the plan to make it work and together we get the work done.
So, in your own relationship offer respect to your partner and show that respect by listening to them, hearing what they are saying and really digesting their opinions and ideas. I'm not saying you have to act on it, just respect them enough to listen and hear.
It's true, you have to have a license to get married legally in the state of Michigan.
Many couples are not aware of this and at the least are unsure of how to obtain a marriage license. Have no fear, I'm here to help!
Information from the Oakland County Clerks Office is posted at www.oakgov.com and reads as follows:
How to do a unity ring warming ceremony during your wedding:
You don't have to have any sort of unity ceremony during your wedding ceremony, but for some couples they want to add a special something, and this ring warming ceremony is a great way to invite your guests to be a part of your wedding ceremony.
Do I have to have a unity ceremony?
The simple answer is no, you do not have to have anything in your ceremony that you don't want to have. Yes, it's that simple, well, working with me it is.
First let's understand what a unity ceremony is. It is a symbolic gesture to show the blending of your two individual lives into one united married life.
Some traditional ceremonies include a unity candle, unity sand, chocolate sharing, beer pouring, wine blending, heck anything you can think of can be used to do a unity ceremony.
I tell all the couples I work with that if you want to add a little something extra to your ceremony, go for it! But first, think of how it represents the two of you and how, it should be something that when your guests see it they say "oh, that's so them" not "why are they pouring sand into a vase?"
Their are many ways to make a unity ceremony more personal. For example, if your sticking with the traditional lighting of the candles then perhaps right before you light the unity candle we can invite your mothers or parents forward to light the individual taper candles and we can explain that in lighting these candles they are honoring that the children they raised now stand before them as amazing adults and that they support the joining of your lives in marriage and they welcome your spouse into their lives.
Or if you have chosen a tree planting ceremony, you could bring with you dirt from each of your parents homes, using this dirt to blend your lives on your wedding day.
Remember though, a unity ceremony is not required. It is perfectly acceptable to skip it altogether. If it does not feel right to you, then don't do it.
Feel free to ask me for suggestions on a unity ceremony and how to make it your own. I am always happy to share ideas and suggestions with you.
It may have been 7 degrees outside, but it was warm and just delightful in the Howell Opera House.
Adeline and Travis found me on the world wide web and through emails and chats decided to book my services. I was so excited that they chose me to share their words of love and unite them as husband and wife.
The gentlemen wore elegent tuxedo's with tails and the red details. The bridesmaids wore a complimentary shade of red and looked stunning. The flower girl and ring bearers made a grand entrance full of smiles and cuteness. Adeline wore a stunning white beaded dress that suited her perfectly - she was a vision of light and love.
We chose ceremony words that were sweet and loving and showcased their effortless love for each other. They made the choice to write their own vows and once again I could see the love they have for each other. Their written words and promises to each other were carefully put on paper and as they recited those words to each other we all got a little misty eyed to simply be in their presence. I was happy to share a reading titled Love is Friendship Caught Fire by Laura Hendricks and I Love You by Roy Croft. In my closing statement I asked them to take in the moment but to also look into the future to dream of what is yet to come. And with a few more words and a pronouncement of husband and wife they sealed the deal with a kiss!
As with every ceremony my hope is that you enjoyed the time spent with me, that I was able to make your cermeony stress free and relaxing. To you Travis and Adeline I wish you the happiest of happily ever afters - Cheers!