What are your dreams and visions for your wedding ceremony?
How would you like to feel at the end of your ceremony?
What would you like your guests to remember about your ceremony?
Are there any traditions from your religion or cultural heritage that you would like to include? If yes, what meaning to these traditions have to *you*?
This is a great start. Take time to discuss your answers together, and use them to create the ceremony of your dreams. One step in creating an awesome ceremony is choosing your perfect officiant.
Choosing Your Officiant
Deciding who will stand before you and hold your ceremony space is a highly personal decision. For some, going to the county courthouse is just perfect. Others have a trusted Rabbi, Priest, or Spiritual Leader who will no doubt perform their ceremony. But for the high percentage of couples who want a meaningful ceremony, but don’t have a religious affiliation, they don’t know where to turn.
In many states a friend can be ordained for the day and officiate your ceremony. Here in California, it’s easy to do. In fact, I started down this path because my dear friends Aaron and Kari asked me to officiate their wedding. A few things to think about before asking the class clown from University or Uncle Eddie to be your officiant:
*Will it feel good and joyful to be standing up there with that person?
*Are they comfortable speaking in front of a crowd? Will they be heard?
*Will they write the ceremony or will you? It’s important to be clear on everyone’s expectations of each other. Some officiants, including myself, offer Ceremony writing support and consultations for people officiating for the first time.
The other choice is to hire a professional. And like the myriad of options for every aspect of your wedding, there are lots of professional officiants out there, each offering different levels of service.
Some officiants personalize your ceremony by letting you choose from pre-written templates, mixing and matching certain readings, and choosing or writing your own vows. For many, that level of personalization gives them just the right input.
Other couples want something that has never been done before, with a ceremony that focuses on their love story and symbolism that is authentic to them. For these couples, I recommend working with a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®. To find a Life-Cycle Celebrant® in your area, contact the Celebrant Foundation and Institute.
Meeting with three to five different Celebrants and Officiants to see who feels best for you can really give you insight into everyone’s unique style. Each Celebrant brings their own gifts to the table, and not everyone is right for every couple. Many officiants offer complimentary meetings to get to know each other. When you are sitting with your potential officiant, close your eyes and ask yourself ~ “Can I imagine this person standing with us during this important milestone?”
Your wedding ceremony can be anything you want it to be. You want your guests in a circle as you invoke the elements of nature, sweet! You want to exchange dog collars instead of rings, go for it! You want your guests to serenade you as you recess into the sunset, wonderful! Let your ceremony springboard you into your wedding celebration and the rest of your life together in love, joy and celebration.