Recently I’ve noticed a small trend – couples asking to “elope”
this summer in our back yard. By eloping, they mean coming here just by
themselves to get married with me to marry them and my wife to take pictures.
There are a number of reasons that couples would like to
elope here. Some are doing destination weddings and realize the legal
difficulties of getting married in a foreign country. They do the legal
marriage here then have the celebration at their destination. Others want to
escape from the stress of a large wedding and come here for an intimate,
You have decided to interview a
prospective officiant for your wedding. Here are some questions you might want
- How will you customize our ceremony
to make it uniquely ours?
- Can we write our own vows?
- Can we include family members or
friends in our ceremony? If so, how can we do it?
- Are there special options you can
add to our ceremony?
- Do you have your own audio system? Is there an extra cost for using it?
- What are your thoughts on the length
of a ceremony?
- Will you attend a rehearsal? Will
you run the rehearsal?
You have decided to marry – you have a venue
and a date, and plan to have a Justice of the Peace marry you. Now you have to
find the perfect JP. How do you do that?
- Start early –as soon as you have booked the
venue. Good JP’s, like popular venues, book early, often 12 months or more in
Think about any criteria you might have – age,
As you are planning your wedding for next year, let’s talk
about outdoor weddings.
New England is spectacular in the summer and fall, and
occasionally in the spring with many, many beautiful outdoor venues suitable
for spectacular wedding ceremonies. With mild weather and a soft, cooling
breeze, outdoor venues provide stunning settings for your wedding.
However, we live in New England about which Mark Twain said,
“If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.
Earlier I wrote about buying my own sound system so that I
would no longer be dependent upon venues or DJ's to make certain that
ceremonies would be heard by everyone. I have now used the system in multiple
venues throughout the summer and fall, both inside and out and with wedding as large as 300 guests. I have been
truly pleased with its performance.
I love the system for many reasons:
It is completely portable and
rechargeable – no need to worry about power supplies or long, intrusive extension
We all know that weddings are expensive and I am always
looking for ways to help couples save money.
As I have mentioned before, hiring a vendor who is just starting out can
be a terrific money saver. In my experience, people starting out take extra
care to make certain that you are satisfied with their service and you will pay
a fraction of the price with no loss in quality.
My friend Phil and his wife Lorena have started their own
baking business, Dulce Amor Cakes. They take extreme pride in their work and
have received rave reviews.
I have become frustrated recently doing beautiful outdoor
weddings that many of the guests do not hear. For most outdoor weddings a sound
system is necessary, usually provided by the venue or the DJ. But many venues
either do not have a system or if they do, can only offer a microphone on a
stand and only the best DJ's offer wireless lapel mikes.
I finally decided to buy my own system ensuring that your
beautiful wedding will be heard by all your guests. And the best thing about
the system is that it will not be visible in any of your wedding pictures.
A wonderful comment I received after a wedding came from the
mother of the bride who said to me, “You made it seem as if you have known my
daughter all her life.” I had meet with the bride and groom once before the
wedding, learned the story behind their relationship, and presented it during my
personal remarks section of their wedding ceremony.
There is no secret to doing this well other than to be a
good listener. I spent many years as a high school counselor and mediator and
quickly learned that the key to being a good counselor is being a good
listener, easy to say, but often difficult to do.
Looking for an unusual, distinctive venue for your wedding?
Check out the Methuen Memorial Music Hall,www.mmmh.org
The building houses “The Great Organ”,
once the largest organ in the country and is truly spectacular. The hall was
designed by the English architect Henry Vaughan, who began the Washington
Cathedral, and will impart dignity and grace to your ceremony.
I officiated at a wedding there in October. The acoustics
are fabulous and the staff of volunteers does a wonderful job. Your guests are
certain to be wowed by the surroundings and having an organist playing for them
I often get asked whether rehearsals are necessary. They are certainly not necessary for me. I am comfortable walking into any venue and performing a wedding.as is often the case for the small, intimate weddings where I meet the couple for the first time. Earlier this week I performed a lovely wedding at a beautiful horse barn -- no bridal party and with a simple, beautiful ceremony, no rehearsal was necessary.
But for larger weddings I love to have a rehearsal. The rehearsal allows us to accomplish many things, but most importantly, everyone involved is much calmer for the wedding as all know where to go and how to stand.