The typical couple I work with spends countless hours on details and decisions for their wedding- from cake frosting to buttoneers, they want everything to be perfect on their special day. And yet, when it comes to choosing an officiant to help plan and perform their ceremony, they often underestimate the importance of this decision. After all, the ceremony is the first and most significant part of the day. It is the official start to your life together, a time of transformation- and it sets the whole tone for your wedding day. It is the reason everyone has gathered- to witness you taking your sacred vows, to be present at the moment you enter through a gateway to a new life together. For some who may know you individually, it is the opportunity to get to know you as the unique couple you are. There are a myriad of decisions as well as big and little details that when planned carefully, will add up to exactly what you wanted, but when overlooked can result in a clumsy and disappointing ceremony. At the very least, you might not get a ceremony that truly reflects you. When I work with couples, I ask lots of questions, listen carefully and take notes. I try to get a sense of what they are trying to express through ritual and ceremony- as well as the tone they would like. Are they religious? Spiritual but not religious? Do they want a ceremony that simply reflects their love and relationship? What is that relationship like? Should it be light and fun or serious and solemn? Do they have a story to tell about how they came together? Some may have a clear vision of the kind of ceremony they want. Others may need help creating a vision- and it's up to me to help tease that out and make suggestions for their consideration. I serve as a go-to person for any questions along the way and often coordinate with the event manager, wedding party, readers and the band to be sure we are all on the same page as to the set-up and flow of the ceremony. Most importantly, I try to gain a couple's confidence and become an "island of calm" for them to turn to before and during the wedding ceremony. They are entrusting a very important part of a very important day to me and I want them to feel, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are in good hands!