In 5 easy steps you could be working with Maria from A Sweet Start, one of Maine’s best wedding officiants! Wait, I’m writing this post, so I should say “You could be working with me!”
Step #1 The Inquiry Email
You might not know this, but the inquiry email is very important. You want your inquiry to stand out from all the other ones I receive. So, make it interesting and give me information about your wedding and your mate.
Step #2 The Meet-n-Greet
This is my favorite step because it’s when I get to meet you two! We’ll schedule a 30-minute video chat to get to know each other and see if we’re a good fit. You should look for an officiant you feel a warm connection with; someone who can earn your trust. Hopefully it’s me, but it might not be, and that’s totally ok!
Step #3 The Paperwork
This is when you read the service agreement carefully and then electronically sign it. Easy, peasy!
Step #4 Pay the Deposit
I require a non-refundable save-the-date deposit of 50% of the fee to officiate. The balance, including travel, parking, accommodations (if applicable) is due one month before the big day! You receive an electronic invoice and I accept all major credit cards.
Step #5 That’s It
We’re off to a sweet start! Woohoo!
Really the title of this post should be 5 questions I’m going to ask you. As your wedding officiant, I want to get to know you and your sweetie, so when we meet for the first time there are certain questions I’m definitely going to ask. I can’t say this is true for all professional wedding officiants, but my approach involves forming a relationship with my clients so these are some of the things I want to know about you two.Read More
Now that we're in the full swing of "wedding season," I thought it would be interesting to describe to you my process of preparing for your wedding. I'm no ordinary officiant, so you might be surprised by all that I do to get ready for your wedding.Read More
Do you want the answer to how much a Maine wedding officiant costs? Well, like a lot of other things, the answer is: it depends. Sorry, I know that's so annoying, but, like many other things you're trying to define in your wedding budget, when it comes to wedding officiants, the cost depends on a number of variables.Read More
It's totally normal to be nervous on wedding day. For a lot of people, the thought of being the center of attention for eight hours straight is enough to give them a panic attack. There's so much pressure for everything to be perfect on wedding day, that it's no wonder people get a little anxious. I'm going to give you a technique that will help to calm your nerves on wedding day, because we want you to enjoy the experience of the day!
How to Calm Your Nerves
When things get crazy on wedding day, try this technique:
Step away from the wonderful chaos to be by yourself for just a few moments.
Take a few sips from a glass of water and just be still.
Listen to the birds or waves or laughter in the background. Focus in on your surroundings.
Take a deep breath. As you exhale, imagine all your energy going down to your feet.
Feel your feet firmly connected to the earth.
Take another deep breath. As you exhale, let your shoulders drop.
You'll notice that your breath will start to slow down and you'll become aware of what's going on around you rather than feeling like things are out of control. I'm speaking from experience here, because on my wedding day I was (ahem...am) a bit of a control freak. I wish someone had given me this technique, I think it would have helped me become much more present and would have helped me to enjoy my wedding even more.
If this doesn't work, sometimes a shot of tequila will do the trick! Hahaha! Just kidding, actually, it's best to avoid a lot of alcohol before the ceremony. Excitement and anxiety affect your body the same way, and they both dehydrate your system. Make sure you drink lots of water as you're getting ready. And while you're at it, make sure you eat on wedding day!
I want you to know that before every ceremony, I do this technique. It helps me become grounded which allows me to be calm and relaxed during your wedding ceremony. I've heard from many couples that my calming presence really helped them be "in the moment" during their ceremony. It's my gift to you!
It's time to start looking for your wedding officiant. You're getting married in Maine, and it's a destination wedding, so you have no idea who's going to perform your ceremony. You thought about asking a friend to officiate your ceremony, because it would be so meaningful, but, although that friend is a great public speaker, they're kind of disorganized and you're not sure you can trust them to pull it all together by wedding day.Read More
I'm totally biased
Oh boy, this is a big one! First of all, I'll say that I am totally biased about this. I'm not going to pretend to be all fair and balanced on this topic. Because I'm a professional wedding officiant, you can't blame me, right? I believe strongly that you should hire professional wedding vendors for every aspect of your wedding and especially for the ceremony. I understand why a couple would consider asking a friend to be their wedding officiant, but before doing that I want to give them my advice. This is based on being a professional wedding officiant with years of experience.
Let Your Friend be a Guest
As you can see, there are many, many pros to having a professional officiate your wedding. Another reason that didn't make the graphic is: it's nice to just let your friends be guests at your wedding. It's a lot of work and pressure to officiate a wedding ceremony, and it can also be very stressful, especially for someone who isn't experienced. Rather than putting your friend in this position, just hire an experienced professional. As a professional, I've perfected the process of collaborating with my couples to craft a custom wedding ceremony. I've organized and run many rehearsals and it's a stress-free and efficient process.
Relax, You're in Good Hands
I understand the importance of this significant moment and that's why I manage all of the details of the ceremony so you can just let go and be present with your beloved. With me or another experienced wedding officiant, you can relax, take a deep breath and focus on what's important rather than worrying about the speed of the processional, or whether or not the microphone will work, or if your friend remembered to make sure the best man has the rings, or if they'll say the correct words to make your marriage legal, or...you get the idea.
Hire a professional!
When working with my clients, the wedding ceremony length all depends on the couple, but I really encourage them not to make it too short. There’s a trend right now to have a wicked short ceremony, sort of just "get it over with" and then have a great party. While I’m all for fun parties, I try to remind my couples that the ceremony is what really matters. Pledging your love and devotion to one another in front of all the most important people in your lives is what matters.
I think a Super Sweet Wedding ceremony that is less than 20 minutes is too short. You just don’t get enough time to digest what’s happening. It goes so fast anyway, it’s nice to slow it down a bit. Add in some elements. Add in some other voices. Let there be a nice flow to it so it’s not just your officiant talking for 10 minutes and then it’s over. This is a significant moment in your lives and it’s worth savoring.
This is a significant moment in your lives and it’s worth savoring.
That being said, I also think really long ceremonies can loose their significance. If there are too many readings or songs or interjections, it’s hard to make each one meaningful. Or if the officiant drags on too long, your guests can loose interest, heck, you and your sweetie can loose interest. And that's not good. We want you and your guests to be engaged, to be present and to be able to reflect upon what's happening as it's happening. A ceremony that is either too short or too long will loose its meaning.
I think the sweet spot is a 25 -30 minute wedding ceremony, including the processional. What do you think? How long will your ceremony be?
Based on my experience as both a professional wedding officiant and an assistant wedding photographer, I’m providing you with 10 tips to make sure you have the best wedding processional! Use these tips to get the best photos of your attendants and most importantly of YOU as you walk down the aisle:Read More