THE NON-OBLIGATORY MEETING
I don’t know if you feel the same way I do, but to me it’s crucial that you and your minister, officiant, have a good fit, a strong sense that you would make a good team. If that’s the way you feel as well, then let’s read on.
To see if we would work well together, I always hold a non-obligatory meeting either in person, over the phone or webcam, whichever is easiest for you. In this meeting you can get your questions answered, what’s in it for you if you work with me, get your visions, wants and dislikes out on the table, and gain a true sense of me, and what my over-arching “style” is. I provide you with a packet of information containing ideas for ceremony, sample vows, ring vows and how to obtain your license. On my side, I attain a personal sense of you, learn what you want, what’s important to you, what you don’t want and whether you could trust me and be comfortable with me from start to finish. That is critical to a successful minister/couple working relationship and it more certainly assures a great wedding experience for you.
(See “Personalizing Your Ceremony” below for how we’d work together)
Once our meeting is complete, I encourage you to go home and talk about it. Choosing your officiant is such a personal and delicate process, it would be abhorrent of me to push for a “close”. My job is to supply you with enough information and good feelings that you have both a comparative and a knowledge base upon which to make your decision. If you hadn’t already, I also suggest you interview several ministers so you know not only what’s available to you, but that you’re getting exactly what you want. You deserve that.
PERSONALIZING YOUR CEREMONY
(It’s truly customized, or a custom ceremony, but the Search Engines don’t get it)
I have a core philosophy that I am passionate about. It’s the reality that there is no one else on the planet like you, and no one else has your relationship or families and friends like you have. So that is the nucleus from which we work. We engage in 3-4 consultations where you talk about yourselves in depth, where you really share about yourselves, what you’ve gone through together, who you are to each other, what your relationship with your families are like, what your dreams and goals are, how you want to live your lives. In our conversations, we travel through your experiences, bringing you into amazing and fabulous focus. The Bigger Picture of your combined lives also enters into our meetings. I love this discovery of you and your greater magnificence. That by itself, is a mutually inspiring experience.
You also learn about me. This is a relationship after all, established in just a few meet ups, but one that impacts you for the rest of your life. So it has to be good. It’s only right you should know about me as well.
I help you write or choose your vows, provide, find or even write original readings, and/or invocations or prayers for you. We thought-storm on original concepts that suit you and express your philosophies. I counsel with you and assist you with sensitive concerns that can or will impact your wedding day. Together we design a ceremony solely for you that you are so excited about you can’t wait for your wedding day.
I also conduct your rehearsal and attend your gathering so I can meet your families and friends. I get a sense of them, they get a sense of me, and we can all relax knowing that the next day is going to be wonderful, including the ceremony. I get as involved and as close to you as I can, so you and those most important to you, feel comfortable and can trust they are in good hands. When I leave your gathering, I head straight to the office to true up your ceremony even more.
Day of, I leave room for the spontaneous and unexpected, weaving those surprises into your ceremony as if they were supposed to be there. It makes for a very real, safe, relaxed and alive experience.
With all this, your wedding ceremony is created and performed to be a context for your life and marriage, and a moving, meaningful, joyous experience for you and everyone you love.
And one other small detail—I dress for your color theme. I coordinate as best as I can with either your bridesmaids dresses, your groomsmen or your flowers. You can trust that all your hard work to establish the look you want will be replicated in my robes. That way there’s harmony in the overall theme and it looks great in your photos.
A LITTLE INSURANCE
I have a back up lady minister in the event we need her. She is informed of everything about your ceremony and of course, has a copy of your service. If I were to be in a serious or fatal accident, she would step in for me without a ripple. If I am sick, I still show up for you. I’ve had to do that, and the excitement of your day completely distracts me from how bad I may be feeling. Even with an injury I have sustained, the show goes on with me at the helm of your ceremony.
And, just for more insurance, I provide your coordinator/planner with a copy of the ceremony twenty four hours before your wedding. If by some off chance my backup was not available, then the coordinator could step in, and either find another officiant for you who would perform your ceremony—the one we created— or select with your clearance, a friend or family member who could read the ceremony—with feeling—and marry you. You’d be surprised to find how many people already have a “ministerial license to marry”. Even some coordinators have their ministerial license and could take over marrying you
And—knock on wood—I’ve not once had to use any of this insurance, ever. Instead, I’ve been the last minute minister many times over, called in to save the day—without a copy of the ceremony. And as that old saying goes, “Rain or Shine, Snow or Hail, the mail gets delivered”, I’ll add, “In Sickness and in Health, in Injury and Pain”, I will be there.
ABOUT PRESENCE AND PERFORMANCE
By the time your wedding day rolls around, we will know each other rather well. I will absolutely have no doubt about what you are and are not comfortable with, and whether or not you have a tendency to get a bit nervous in front of people.
It is my commitment to make you feel as comfortable, relaxed and present as is humanly and divinely possible.
When it comes to your vows, or really, your whole ceremony, it doesn’t matter what else the world is doing. What’s important is you, your experience. I do everything I can to diffuse any anxiety and nervousness in you, so typically by the time you get to your vows, you are so comfortable, so present, you’re not feeling worried at all. No matter how long it takes with your vows, if you have some tears, laughter, bloopers—whatever—the most important thing is that you have a wonderful experience and your beloved gets your vow straight in the heart. The truth is, the more real you are, the more your people are touched and inspired and the more you inspire each other.
After years of speaking in public, especially with such emotional content as weddings, I have honed a deep sense of purpose within myself. I know my presiding over your ceremony has nothing to do with me. It’s has everything to do with you, your love, your families and friends. I’m merely a vessel, a vehicle for your love. So I get myself out of the way and let those greater forces take over.
With those powers at work, what enters in is a grace, an ease and a depth of emotion. It is felt by everyone, including myself. People can feel a “force field”, an energy that is the symbiosis of your love and theirs. Feedback over the years has affirmed again and again that couples and guests feel fabulous after your ceremony and go into your reception uplifted, inspired, relaxed and moved. It starts your party off on a very high note. It just gets better from there.
One of the great gifts I receive from this work is a rich and fulfilling grace. When any of us can comfortably speak in public with love pouring through our veins generating even more love in our midst, we are blessed. For me, it’s all because of you and the power of your love.