The ceremony is the main purpose for the wedding day, and as such there should be time to go over it and change things if necessary so that the ceremony reflects what the Bride and Groom want.
Tell us more about Bands of Gold Wedding Ceremonies and what inspired you to become a wedding officiant.
While I say in my ads that I have been performing weddings for more than 15 years, I’ve actually been doing ceremonies since 1987, many in a church that I belonged to. During that time I encountered many situations, and learned a great deal about working with people and setting up ceremonies. I have a good friend who does weddings and he felt that my experience as well as my personality would lend itself well to performing ceremonies in other venues; whether in a catering hall, backyard or restaurant. In other words, while I can be solemn if called for, I can be casual and easygoing too.
When should a couple first contact you about performing their ceremony?
The ceremony is the main purpose for the wedding day, and as such there should be time to go over it and change things if necessary so that the ceremony reflects what the Bride and Groom want. In order to do that, and to put the couple’s mind at ease concerning it, I should be contacted around 6 months before the ceremony. Of course, I have been contacted 4 days prior to a ceremony and we’ve put together a beautiful ceremony, but there is usually some stress that accompanies that, which I don’t believe is something that is necessary at that point in time.
Isn’t four days cutting it a little close for a ceremony?
Yes, it definitely is, but there are sometimes valid reasons, such as a couple may decide to have a quick ceremony with just a few friends and they want more than just going to Town Hall. Unfortunately I’ve also been contacted in instances where a couple had made arrangements with an officiant, but for whatever reasons the officiant did not stay in touch with the couple. And actually, I’ve performed a commitment ceremony on two hours notice where one of the couples’ parents was taken to the hospital, and having the ceremony was very important to them.
How do you plan the perfect ceremony to fit each individual couple?
I believe that this day is for the Bride and Groom, and that the ceremony has to be meaningful for them, and memorable for their guests. We arrange to meet soon after the couple contacts me. If the couple feels comfortable with me, I ask if they have any ideas for the ceremony, and show them some sample ceremonies. As we go along I may make some suggestions, and show them where their ideas might fit into the ceremony. Sometimes they want to “mix n match” the ceremonies, and may have some vague idea of something they want. When I get home, I research what I have to, put the ceremony together and email it to them. I have them read it and listen to it out loud, and send me any changes they might want.
What advice or words of wisdom do you give your couples as they prepare for their married life?
I don’t have anything that I say to all couples; however, during our sit down together I listen and observe, and may give some advice. At some weddings I do have something that I say if I feel it is appropriate. Over 400 years ago these words were penned by a man of faith as a guide to a good marriage.
To the Bride: Make your husband glad to cross his threshold at night.
To the Groom: Make your wife sorry to have you leave in the morning.
While circumstances may have changed, and women leave the house in the morning, and come home at night as well, the sentiment does not. There are differences, and will be differences, but they should be spoken about and cleared, not allowed to fester. Maybe in today’s society the statement should be:
Make your spouse glad to cross over the threshold at night, and sorry to see you leave in the morning. If you do that every day, you will have a long and successful marriage.