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The Officiant Wedding Process

Getting married involves a lot of planning, from deciding where to hold the ceremony, renting the venue, the food, the refreshments, the wedding gown, etc.

My role is to ensure the marriage ceremony goes smoothly.
I am legally authorized to perform weddings in Ontario, licensed with the province of Ontario, under the guidance of the Humanist Association of Canada.

The process to get me involved as the officiant for your wedding is fairly simple.

1. Discuss the Process

Generally, I meet with the bride and groom to discuss the details, but we could do everything by email if needed. I tell my brides and grooms that you will have all the fun, and also all the stress, of the planning, organizing the venue, flowers, food and drink, etc. However, the moment you start to walk down that aisle, you transfer all the stress to me! During the ceremony I make sure everything goes according to plan. I want you to enjoy every second!

2. Pricing

  • Standard
  • $350.00
  • This is the standard wedding ceremony in the Ottawa area.
  • There is a: • $100 deposit to confirm the date and the remaining • $250 is due via email one week prior to your wedding day. * If travel is required there will be travel expenses added.
  • Standard + Rehearsal
  • $450.00
  • This includes a rehearsal of the ceremony and the standard wedding ceremony in the Ottawa area.
  • There is a $100 deposit to confirm the date, $100 for the rehearsal, and the remaining $250 is due via email one week prior to your wedding day. * If travel is required there will be travel expenses added.

3. Confirm You Want My Services

It would be good to meet once before the wedding to go over things, and if you are interested in my services, pay a deposit and lock in the day. My fee is $350 for the service, plus mileage if I have to drive more than an hour. Please know that I will most likely not be attending the wedding rehearsal, as there is no need for me to be there. The rehearsals are mainly to show the participants when to start, how slow to walk, show the flower girl her duties, where to stand, etc. Normally we do not go through the ceremony. Your wedding planner usually takes care of these details, but I sometimes offer tips and advice on procedure when needed. If you so desire, for $100 extra, I will go through the ceremony at the rehearsal.

4. Getting Started

To help you get started, once you decide to hire me, I send you a package of readings, along with the basic template of the ceremony itself. We have several types of additions to the basic ceremony, such as flower ceremony, sand ceremony, and others, which are explained in the package. The favourite one so far is the hand ceremony, where you and your fiancé gaze deeply into each other’s eyes, hold hands, and you, then he, recite the reading.

You will be able to select the readings and special ceremonies you want. You can also write your own readings, add readings that are not on the list, mix and match a sentence from one reading with sentences from others. You can write your own vows, or select one from the package. It is your day!

5. Adjustments to the Program

Once you decide which words will be said, then we fine-tune it with adjustments to the program, as in, eliminating (or adjusting) some traditions that may no longer apply to modern folk. For example, some couples opt for “You may kiss the bride”, very old fashioned but still traditional and in big demand, or “May you both start your new married life with a kiss”, modern and respectful of the equality of the couple. Or discuss things like “I now pronounce you Man and Wife”, (?) or having the bride vow to obey the husband. (?!) (Not many takers for that one these days!). We discuss the details and customize the day. It is your wedding, your way. The readings can be whatever suits you and your groom. Very profound and meaningful!

6. Involving Family and Friends

There are places in the ceremony where family members can come up and do a reading, if desired. One wedding I did last year had the bride’s 3 sisters come up and read, and also the groom’s Mother participated, with her presenting the rings at the right time. It was a real family affair.
 
You choose the readings you want, or find other readings from books of poetry, marriage books, online, etc. One wedding, I read a verse from Dr Seuss! It was cute and perfect for that bride and groom. Once you have chosen the readings, and vows (in the package, or you can write your own), you and I then polish up the script, sending emails back and forth until it is perfect. Changes can be made at any time. We can spend the time to get it right.

7. Confirming the Details

As we get closer to the date, we get all the details figured out. Generally the service lasts about 25-30 minutes, but can be longer if needed. I have been a member of Toastmasters International for a few years now, which has helped me with making my reading parts a little more dramatic, reading slowly and clearly, which adds solemnity to the occasion. I also offer tips on how you can pace your readings, how to speak slowly, with confidence and clarity. This is your day, and we want to make it a memorable event. You may have friends and family coming from a distance, so we put on a dignified, but also fun show!

Congratulations

Congratulations on your decision to get married. Marriage is a wonderful thing. I have been married for 37 years myself, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Thanks for considering me for the honoured role of presiding at your wedding.

Let's Get Started

Let me know what you think, and we can start the process.

If you have any questions you would like to discuss, please call me at (613) 868-8316. We can set up a time to get together with you and your fiancé. It usually only takes 30 minutes. I am available nights and weekends.

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