My friend and colleague Nikki, from Moment to Moment Events  wrote this excellent post about the importance of a great ceremony! Thank you Nikki!

No, not the Christmas season … this is the time of the year that’s the Wedding Season for vendors, and I think sometimes couples and wedding parties and even guests forget the reason everyone gathers together on that hopefully perfect day.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard. “Oh, the ceremony? 15 minutes tops. We want to get on to the party,” I’d have, well, a LOT of nickels. I try to counsel my couples that there is a reason for the reception, and that’s to celebrate the marriage – the ceremony. The reception is a celebration of the ceremony, the ceremony isn’t something to get through as fast as possible so that everyone can start drinking!

This is why couple should hire an officiant who celebrates who they are individually and as a couple and what their relationship means, as opposed to someone who is just there to parrot “Do you take this woman”. Yes, it costs money, but this is something important, something that should be a part of your wedding budget. Truly good officiants will develop a service that does celebrate you as a couple, maybe tells a story or two about how you met, or something that’s important to you. They don’t rush through the same words you’ve heard over and over at every wedding you’ve been to that barrels through a super-short   ceremony so that everyone can get to the party!

What’s the Reason for the Season? Your love for one another, your willingness to dedicate yourself to each other in front of your family and good friends, your desire to spend the rest of your lives together; NOT to rush through the most important part of your day so the party can start. Keep this in the center of your minds and hearts as you approach your day – keep it as a secret that only the two of you share, something tender and lovely. Hire an officiant early, one who gets it, and share your secret with your officiant. I guarantee that on your day, there won’t be a dry eye in the house, and your family and friends will talk about your ceremony a lot longer than they will about the party to follow – the party to celebrate marrying your best friend.