10 Tips for How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows

(Reposted from BRIDES, Written By Allyson Dickman and Jillian Kramer, Published on July 3, 2017)

How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows: 10 Tips

If you’re writing your own vows, you’ve chosen an incredible and meaningful way to personalize your wedding ceremony. It’s a chance to tell your story, give guests a peek into what makes your relationship tick, and to share meaningful, sweet words with the person you love. It can also be a pretty challenging task because it’s so intimate—you are really baring your heart to your fiancé, and you’re doing so in front of your family and friends. If you’re struggling to come up with the right words, read on for ten tips that will help you get through writing your wedding vows.

 

Getting Married? You Are Not Alone!

This very short video is a placeholder for a video currently in production that talks in much more detail about the topics shown in the graphics.

I’m working on the complete video between rehearsals and ceremonies right now since we are at the height of the wedding season here in the Portland/Vancouver area.

Comments and questions welcome. I’ll try to address them in the completed video!

It’s All About the Sound!

A Plea to Venues, DJs, and Musicians

Wedding guests often complain that they couldn’t hear the bride and groom recite their vows or the words that go with their exchange of rings. This is especially true for outdoor weddings, which are very popular in the Pacific Northwest from June through September.

Image result for wireless microphone system

Image result for wireless microphone system

 

 

 

 

 

 

As an officiant, I carry my own wireless microphone setup: lavalier microphone, body pack transmitter, and receiver with cables for connecting to the audio system in use by the vendor hired for music and sound. Just in case they don’t have one for me. And because a handheld microphone is virtually useless when you are using two hands for the script and vows. And also because many handheld or on-stand microphones are useless unless they are within an inch or so of your mouth.

Try taking that one virtually useless microphone and handing it to the bride and groom, most of whom have never used a microphone before, so that their guests can presumably hear them speak while they are trying to choke out vows or exchange rings and you just add to their stress without success.

Before I became an officiant I did seminars all over the world. Carried my own wireless lavalier microphone setup. A transformer for European and Asian power. A box full of cables and adapters for the various connection needs in multiple countries. And it usually worked flawlessly.

Not always so for weddings. Sometimes mine has frequency interference issues. If the sound person has his or her own wireless lavalier for me, I’m a happy camper. But my microphone won’t pick up the voices of the bride and groom. A fairly important pair of people whose guests would really like to hear them, and not just me!

So here is my plea: Invest in a SYSTEM with at least three wireless microphones and a mixer so that you can provide body packs and lavalier microphones for the bride, groom, and officiant. It is not prohibitively expensive and it will drastically increase your customer satisfaction.

I just did a wedding today at a famous popular venue. That venue provided a useless microphone on a stand and a small amplifier and speaker with the quality of a child’s karaoke machine. It was pitiful, and far below the level of service that I would expect from such a prestigious venue at such a significant price.

I’ve seen vendors, many of whom appear to be real professionals, with thousands of dollars worth of turntables, computers, mixers, amplifiers, speaker systems and other fancy equipment who somehow don’t even think about making sure that the couple being married can be heard.

Please, people, make the needed investment. I’ll bet your client satisfaction scores will skyrocket!

And one last bit of advice for brides and grooms: When you select your venue, or your DJ, musician, or other audio professional, make sure that you ask them if they provide the equipment that you comfortably need in order to be heard (and also maybe connected to your videographer).

I’d love to hear from you folks, vendors and brides and grooms alike. Let me know what you think. And thanks for reading.

 

Wedding Day Emergency Kit

55 Things to Put in Your Wedding Day Emergency Kit

In a perfect world, there would be no emergencies and certainly no need for a wedding day emergency kit.  The reality, however, is that sometimes dresses tear, tuxes get stained, and if you’re to believe Alanis Morissette, you should even be prepared for rain on your wedding day.   The trick to making it through the unknown when it comes to your special day is to be prepared, and there is no better way to hedge against accidents than having a fully stocked wedding day emergency kit.

What Is a Wedding Day Emergency Kit?

Contrary to the name, a well thought out emergency kit should be used throughout your wedding day, not just when emergencies strike.  It’s filled with basic necessities and unique tools meant to solve the common issues a bridal party might face on the wedding day.   From water to wet wipes, your kit is there to support the entire wedding party through hunger, sickness, clothing malfunctions, and even anxiety.  Think of it like a Swiss Army Knife of wedding day preparation – designed and tested by countless wedding parties before you to be both practical and comprehensive.

Why Do You Need One?

Weddings are exciting and unpredictable events – sometimes nerves get the best of a person, someone almost always drinks too much, and occasionally there’s a fight or argument.  And with dresses being literally being ripped off of brides and stories being told about wine spilling on dresses, it’s best to be prepared, right? A wedding survival kit helps mitigate the risk of all of those, and while it’s impossible to account for every scenario, we feel like the following 55 items come pretty close.

How to Build and Manage Your Own

There is no wrong way to build your kit and you are always better off having something rather than nothing.  However, the more prepared you are easier the day will go – having stocked the kit with wedding necessities like makeup remover, shoe polish, and fashion tape will save you trips to the hotel, or worse, the store.

Plan your kit well in advance of the wedding, you can even make a game of it during the bachelorette party.  Once it’s stocked, treat it like the nuclear football and give total responsibility to a bridesmaid (preferably not the Maid of Honor, she likely has enough on her plate).  After that it’s just a waiting game – stay disciplined and resist the urge to use any of the items before the wedding!

When the big day comes put your kit out where it can be seen and utilized – the idea is to make your approach proactive instead of reactive when it comes to wedding support.  Let people know where they can find refreshments, makeup, and whatever else you stocked – be a beacon of preparedness on a notoriously hectic day!

Ready to build your own wedding day emergency kit?  Click HERE to start!

Note: This guest post is courtesy of Top Gift Guides. Used with permission.

OMG! He Popped the Question! Now What Do I Do?

I got to thinking last night as I reflected on this past weekend’s two weddings where I was privileged to officiate. I’d met with both couples well before the weddings and customized the scripts and vows for them. I also advised them on the processional and talked to them about staying calm on their wedding day because it was all going to be fine. I am an optimist, after all.

Both weddings went beautifully. And when I spoke to the brides they were both happy with the ceremonies and happy that it was finally done! They both confessed to being a little overwhelmed with planning and details between engagement and ceremony time. So I put together a little 55-second video with some slides and put it up on YouTube. You can watch it below.

As I was editing the video above, I was inspired to create a longer version of the presentation so that I could reassure future brides that as panicked as they might be feeling at the moment, everything would work out just fine, at least as far as the ceremony and the officiant — me! — were concerned. We had that part of the ceremony fully under control. You can see that longer (8-minute) video starring yours truly below as well.

I would love to have your comments on these two videos. And a description of your experiences from when he “popped the question” to when your ceremony had been completed. I think other future brides would like to be reassured that what they are feeling is normal!

Thanks for reading and watching. And feel free to share this blog post.

 

21 Clever Tricks To Make Any Wedding So Much Easier

When people think about wedding planning, they generally think of stress, stress, and more stress. But it doesn’t have to be that way!  If you go into the process knowing what you need to do, it can actually be fun.

But the question is, “what do I need to know”?

We’ve built a list of wedding tips that will prepare you and anyone getting married for what’s to come.  You will also learn what you should do to avoid the annoying problems so many couples complain about.  Additionally, you’ll learn about some of the major pitfalls that can hit you on the day of your wedding and how to do damage control.

For example, what to do if your heels break or it rains the day-of in an outdoor venue?   You have to think about these things!

But it’s not just about actionable things you can do to make wedding planning less stressful, it’s also about the mindset you need to have throughout. For example, many people will try to tell you what to do every step of the way.  And some advice you’ll get will contradict other advice you get.  That doesn’t make any sense.

Ultimately, you are in charge and you need to assert yourself early on.

But it’s not just about being the boss.  It’s also about having a good time and you need to find ways to make wedding planning fun!

After all, shouldn’t the happiest day of your life be fun to plan? So check out the article because we have you covered for all your wedding planning woes!

This summary is posted with permission from EventForte. The full article by EventForte can be found here: https://blog.eventforte.com/17-wedding-planning-tips/.

What Are You Waiting For?

Spring, Summer, and even Fall are coming up fast!

Statistics from WeddingWire.com last November indicated that Officiants are almost the last to be hired as a necessary vendor in the wedding ceremony planning process. That may have been true in 2016, as I received dozens of requests during July, August, and September and was able to accommodate those clients for the most part.

But this year seems to be different. People are planning their weddings earlier and requesting officiants much earlier in the planning process than I’ve experienced before.

The graphic above, with March on top and November on the bottom, shows the number of bookings for which I have confirmed dates with paid deposits for the rest of the coming year. By my count, there are fifteen on the books already. What is more interesting, though, is the increase in the number of requests that I’ve experienced over the last week or so.

I have had to turn down three requests each for June 10th and June 17th, two on July 7th, three each for August 12th and 26th, and another for September 9th. Those seem to really be the most popular dates coming up.

I hate turning people down when I’m already booked, but when I am booked for a date, time, and venue I honor those commitments. And I feel sorry for the folks I’m unable to serve because, frankly, I love marrying people! So if you are planning to wed in the next 6-8 months, I suggest that you select your officiant once you’ve secured your venue, rather than waiting until the last minute. That way you can avoid disappointment by having to settle for someone who would not be your first choice.

There are literally hundreds of checklists, many in previous posts on my blog, that can help you with your wedding planning needs. Please take advantage of these resources and remember: If you fail to plan, you may be planning to fail! You don’t want to subject yourself to any more last minute stresses than you need to, so proper planning and early hiring are critical to accomplishing that.

If you have any questions at all about scripts, vows, rehearsals, or other ceremony elements, I’m available by phone, email, or live video chat on multiple platforms. Have a wonderful ceremony!

 

 

How Big Should Your Wedding Be?

I had the opportunity to answer a question on Quora today and I wanted to share the question and my answer to the question, and some advice for all of you spouses-to-be. The question posed was:

My future in-laws want a huge wedding and want to spend a lot to keep their 400+ guests happy. I want a simple wedding because I care more about the marriage than the wedding. Their idea of the wedding is financially straining on my family, because what we saved up is not enough.

My answer was:

Jon Turino, Wedding Officiant (2015-present)

 “Weddings can be incredibly expensive if not properly planned. I think 400+ guests — unless you live in India — is going way overboard. You and your fiance will be going forward in your lives together and your responsibilities to your future in-laws are minimal. If they want to pay for the wedding, you might acquiesce; otherwise going into a large amount of debt to satisfy them is a very bad way to start your new married life.

There are dozens — or more — checklists available for choosing wedding guests. Close family, close friends, close coworkers, people who might be upset if not invited, etc. Beyond that list there is no reason to spend $100-$200 — or more — per guest just so the in-laws can impress their friends.

You don’t mention how your fiance feels about this situation so I suggest that you two have a serious conversation about what you and he want and how you view the situation together.”

My advice is:

If you want to start out right then start with your guest list. Then get the event planner/coordinator who can help you find a venue that fits that list and your desires for a theme and location. Then you’ll want to get the caterer, the DJ/musician(s), the photographer, etc. And, if you are the bride, don’t forget the dress! And don’t forget to book your officiant early. He/she will probably be the least expensive, but most important, person you choose! Find out more at http://yourminister.org/the-ultimate-wedding-checklists-list/.

As always, your comments are welcome anytime.