Welcome to my new series on what happens as we create your wedding ceremony. Over the next few posts, I’ll cover some of the things that happen from our first meeting through to your wedding day. Here you’ll find some food for thought, advice, and questions to ask yourselves…and me. 😊
Creating your wedding ceremony part 1:
Things you should discuss with your wedding officiant
It’s important that you have a wedding officiant you like, one you’re both comfortable with, and one who understands what you want for your ceremony. Your officiant should be committed to creating a marriage ceremony that you both find meaningful and one that doesn’t include anything that you find uncomfortable or boring.
When we meet, my first priority is to make sure I’m the right officiant for you. Of course, I want to hear all about you, how you met, and what you love about each other. All of that is very important. But there are other important things we should talk about, as well, so you can be sure I’ll give you the ceremony you desire.
What’s your vision of your wedding ceremony?
Do you have a dream you’re trying to fulfill? Some couples have very clear ideas about their ceremony, who will be involved, what will be said, what traditions will or will not be included. Share your vision with me and we’ll talk about how to make it a reality.
Then again, this is a big question and you may not have an answer just yet.
What if you don’t have a vision of your ceremony?
If you don’t know what you want, that’s OK too. When we first chat, most couples I meet aren’t sure. We can walk through it all together, from the processional to the kiss at the end. I know the questions to ask to help you figure out what feels right for you.
Do the two of you have different visions for your wedding?
Don’t worry if you aren’t on exactly the same page when it comes to what you each expect from your ceremony. The very fact that a wedding is about two people means that, odds are, you’ll have different ideas about some things. I’ll show you how it can all be woven together.
Is there anything you definitely don’t want to include?
It’s your ceremony. What you don’t want is as important as what you do want. When you make your commitment to each other, I want you to be focused on the experience: the look on your partner’s eyes, the warmth of their hand in yours, the hope and intention behind your vows, and the beating of your own heart.
So, don’t hesitate to tell me if you’re shy about being in front of everyone or don’t want to exchange rings. Do you hate the idea of a processional or have you heard the same reading at all of your friends’ weddings?Let me know.
There are very few must-haves in your wedding ceremony. Those basically revolve around the marriage certificate and witnesses. I’ll make sure you’ve got that covered.
Do you have beliefs or traditions you want included in your ceremony?
Do you walk a different spiritual path? Or are you not religious at all? Don’t be afraid to be yourself with me.
Maybe you’re hesitant to mention that you’re Pagan or Wiccan or follow some other spiritual path. Don’t worry. I want your ceremony to be meaningful to you and that means honoring your beliefs.
Are reluctant to say that you want a ceremony that doesn’t mention religion or god? I’ll tell you right now, that’s fine too. Your wedding day is not a day to pretend you’re religious if you’re not. We can fill your ceremony with personal meaning,
If you’re concerned that the officiant you’re speaking to may reject you based on your beliefs or gender preference or anything else, be up front about those things. Any officiant who doesn’t respect you isn’t the officiant for you.
Tell me about any specific religious and cultural practices you want to include.
If you plan on including rituals and sacraments of a specific religious tradition, we should discuss that up front. There are some things that I can’t do because they can only be done by a specific member of the clergy. For example, I can marry you—but it won’t count as the Catholic sacrament of marriage, because I’m not a Catholic priest.
The same may be said for certain cultural traditions that should only be done by a member of that group.
If there’s something I can’t do, I’ll let you know. In many cases, I can probably suggest a way to bring that ritual or meaning into your ceremony by having someone else do it or by performing a ritual of similar meaning.
What an officiant will or won’t do is something you’ll want to know about me or any other officiant you speak to, before you choose who will create your wedding ceremony.
Who do you want to include in your wedding ceremony?
Is there someone who has an important role in your life? Let’s talk about giving them a part to play in rituals or have them offer a reading or blessing. Or you can take a moment to simply honor them with heartfelt words or a gift. It may be a friend, parents, or grandparents or maybe you want to include your child in celebration of your blended family. We can even include all of your guests.
Do you prefer your ceremony be focused on the two of you? Many couples do. And that’s also perfectly fine.
Knowing who you want to include opens the door to talking about how to include them. This will help you decide if the ceremony I can create for you is the ceremony you want to have.
Are there people you want to remember?
Are you worried that mentioning someone who has passed could dampen the mood of your celebration? I can show you ways to bring their memory and love in and add it to the warmth and joy of your day.
Whatever you decide, we’ll make sure it’s right for you.
Are there any family issues related to your wedding ceremony?
Planning a wedding can be complicated. It’s one of those life events where everyone has their own opinions and expectations. You’re not alone. Couples who choose to break with tradition or even just put their own spin on it often face concerns from parents or other family.
You can talk to me about this. If you need support as we create your ceremony, I’ll be your advocate. If you want to find ways to make your family feel heard and included, while still keeping with your own vision, I can help there too.
Where do we start?
Contact me today and let’s talk about your wedding ceremony. It all starts with the three of us meeting in person, by video call, or on the phone.
By the end of our chat, you’ll have a clearer vision of what your ceremony can be and whether I’m the right officiant for you. It’s a great place to start.
Email me at Cris@InclusiveCeremonies.com or call/text 973-985-0798.
LEARN MORE ABOUT INTERVIEWING OFFICIANTS
READ THE WHOLE SERIES–Coming soon!