working with me
What's it like to work with you?
First, we set up a call. No cost to you. Expect anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes. A video call (via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom), or an old-fashioned phone call both work just fine. If we live or work in proximity, we can meet in person. On our discovery call, you will have an opportunity to share how you and your partner met, what had you choose to get married, and what you are envisioning for your wedding day. This is where we get to ask each other a whole bunch of questions, to find which ceremony package best suits your needs, and most importantly, to see if we are a match.
It's important to note that once we book a call, I will have pencilled your wedding date into my calendar. This means that your date/time is secure, even if our call is scheduled a few days out. It's also why I prefer to speak sooner, rather than later.
What happens if we like you, and we still want to do our due diligence and interview a few more officiants?
Absolutely! For weddings 6 months or more away, I will hold your date/time for 24 hours. Requests for ceremonies come in almost daily, and holding dates for longer than this may mean I say no to someone, only to find out you have found your perfect officiant elsewhere. For weddings within 3 months there is no holding the date.
And if we are a match, and want to proceed?
When this happens, we cheer...there is usually some relief on your part, (one more thing to cross off your list), and excitement all around. I will then forward you a Welcome Letter and Invoice. Once the retainer fee has been received, I forward you a shared Google document with wedding information form and preliminary questions about your day of/venue/people involved.
***Please note that the following example of what it's like to work with me, is based the standard package, of which the majority of couples choose.
What happens on our Creation Session?
Our Creation Session will be about an hour. I take you both through a traditional format of a ceremony; the bare bones of what is the 'standard' wedding. Why do I do that? I find most people don't know what they want, but they know what they don't want! After I tell you what is typical, I then share with you some of the creative options people have chosen in lieu of that. (For example, it is typical that the bride walks with her father, down the aisle to her partner. I have had some people walk on their own, some walk with both parents, some even walk down the aisle together. One couple chose to create two aisles, each walking down their own aisle and to meet in the middle). We will do this for each and every stage of the ceremony. By the end of our call, you will have a very clear sense of what you want to create, or you will know what areas you and your partner want to dream on a little further. You will also have some 'homework', things like vows (if you choose to write your own).
After that, I leave you alone for a while, to play with the format, to speak to your families, your wedding planner (if you have one), and your wedding parties. I make myself available via email/text (24 hour response time please), and when you have questions to ask, or information to share, simply reach out! If you need a call, send me a text. I'll do my best to answer right away, and set up a call for that day, if not the next. We will of course have calls as needed, sometimes more, sometimes less. I choose to leave it open, and support you in the way that best suits your needs. I never want couples to feel like they are taking up too much time!
As we get closer to the 'big day', you can come to me with your concerns, with any last minute changes (it happens). I will remind you to get your license, and email you the link to your nearest government office (no sooner than three months prior to the ceremony). I am available to proof read vows, or to send you examples of standard vows.
What happens between having everything finalized and the actual wedding day?
The week prior to your wedding, we meet in person, somewhere between your location and mine. This is when we fill out all of the paperwork on your license, as well as everything in my Marriage Registration book. I like to have everything filled out in advance, all except the signatures. This way, your 'signing of the papers' at the ceremony is short and sweet. Just long enough for the 'photo opp', and not so long that your guests get restless! We will also do a verbal walk through of the ceremony. I have a list of who has the rings, the names of the wedding party, the parents and even the grandparents! If you have written your own vows, this is when you would hand them to me (in envelopes if not meant to be seen by your beloved).
*This is not a rehearsal dinner (the rehearsal dinner is an added option that we will have discussed in the original
discovery call, and can always be requested at a later date).
And if we chose a package that includes a rehearsal dinner?
If we are having a rehearsal dinner, we do our best to combine this with our last meet-up (not mandatory). We have our final meet-up the hour before the rehearsal, and the walk everyone through the procession as many times as needed (some larger wedding parties need several walk throughs, some need only one. There is no 'right' way).
* I am available for rehearsal dinners from Monday-Thursday.
What happens if we attend a wedding the weekend before, or get a last minute inspiration and want to make a change?
No worries! You can make last minute changes. Truthfully, we could create a ceremony format in less than an hour, if need be. While having months and months to create is often preferable, it isn't mandatory! Some couples hire me, and don't even begin working with me until two months prior to the ceremony. In fact, there are people who get married last minute, and make spur of the moment choices. As long as you aren't changing the wedding time or venue, I can roll with almost anything.
And on the actual wedding day?
On the day of the wedding, I arrive thirty minutes prior to your ceremony, check-in with the wedding planner, DJ, venue folks, and you (if you are on location at that time). I introduce myself to parents, and then it's showtime as we planned!
When we are complete with the ceremony, I then give you a receipt, a temporary certificate of marriage. I take your license with me, and I send this to the Registrar's Office in Sudbury, Ontario. I do like to have a photo with the newlyweds before heading out.
After that? We are done? Will we ever see you again?
Twelve weeks later, you will receive a calendar reminder from me, reminding you to file for your official wedding certificate (I'll include the link). This can be completed in the written form included with your wedding license, and online is so much easier!
And yes, many couples stay in contact with me! Some are now friends who I've gone on road trips with, others I've met up with in other countries! Most of the time I am hired because of a guest who attended one of my weddings, which means I see the bride and groom as guests the following year. It's also wonderful to receive announcements of pregnancies, and see photos of new babies!
Anything else you want us to know?
Above all, please enjoy these months leading up to your wedding day. Have fun. Know that I will work with you to create a wedding ceremony that reflects your unique style, your individual personalities, as well as who you are as a couple, and the families that have come together to make you....you!
Ceremonies can be made to include the old and the new, along with family and cultural traditions. Your day will be intimate, no matter how big or small. No matter if we are in your back yard or at Casa Loma, you will receive the same attention to detail. I promise you and your guests will be remembering your day for decades to come.
Yes. Highly recommended is adding marriage readiness to all that you are taking on. The ceremony is important and it doesn't matter how lavish or how perfect.... it won't keep you married. For more information check out my coaching page!