Unless your ceremony venue comes complete with an officiant, selecting that special person to help you make your marriage official might seem daunting. Like any other part of your wedding day, you want to find that person that you click with.
I can tell you now, Keri Klein from Flower City Nuptials is someone you'll click with easily. We've worked with her on a few occasions now, and each one is unique and beautiful. She'll help you create a ceremony that's yours and not a cookie cutter wedding.
We asked her a few FAQs recently, here's what she has to say. If you're looking for your wedding day officiant, you should definitely give Keri a call!
How do you customize a ceremony for a couple?
I like to meet with my couples in person. If they are out of town I offer phone or Skype calls too. I try to ask them questions to get to know them as a couple: how they met, about the proposal, what they love about each other, etc. Everyone's love story is unique, and I love hearing the couples tell it in their own words. I often pull elements from their answers to incorporate into my ceremony.
Can a civil ceremony include religious moments?
Yes, it can. As a minister I can do anything a couple would like but give communion. And, since I am customizing each ceremony for each couple I can make it as religious or non-religious as they would like.
Are there opportunities for friends or family members to participate in the ceremony to add a personal touch?
There are lots of opportunities for friends or family members to participate in the ceremony. One way is through readings. We often think of readings as being religious; this is where the idea stems from and people often use Corinthians ("Love is patient, love is kind..."), but they don't have to be. One way to individualize the ceremony AND include loved ones is through choosing readings that speak to the couple. I have had people use poems, excerpts from books, and even song lyrics. I can offer suggestions if the couple wants to do a reading but they don't know where to look.
Another way to include loved ones is through a unity ceremony. One of the most traditional is the unity candle. This is a great way to incorporate parents with having them light the taper candle to show the couple where they have come from.
Ultimately, talk to your officiant and voice your desire to have people included - there are many really special ways to do this.
Can we write our own vows? Is that something you might help with?
Yes, couples can write their own vows. If the couples don't want to write them together and have them be a surprise, I am happy to read through them to make sure they are the same length, sentiment, etc. If one or both people are "stuck" and don't know what to write, I am happy to give suggestions and help craft those.
Do you have any guidance on when to apply for a marriage license?
Marriage licenses are good for 60 days in NYS. I tell my couples go at the 30 day mark - it is a great way to kick off the home stretch to walking down the aisle and something you can cross off the last-minute to-do list.