Choosing an Officiant That is Right For You

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It is very important to find your officiant early, they are an invaluable resource in planning your ceremony and in answering any questions you might have. In choosing this person, you will want to be sure that he or she is not only willing but able to reflect accurately what you want your ceremony to convey. You will want to find someone who can reflect the quality of your love and speak meaningfully to you and your partner. Think about the following questions:

1. Does the officiant reflect or embody the spirit you want to create at your wedding?

2. Do you feel comfortable with him or her? Will you be able to express your preferences about content; speak up about matters of concern in the preparation of the ceremony; voice objections you might have or ask for silly, even seemingly trivial things to be included in the ceremony?

3. Do you like the sound of his or her voice?

4. Do you have a connection with the officiant that allows you to trust that what he or she will say will be appropriate for the two of you? A person that has a sense of you and understands the uniqueness of your relationship?

5. Above all, will you value what this person has to say? Will he or she have delightful, meaningful, moving reflections that will elevate the ceremony from ordinary, generic, and formal to personal, beautiful and unforgettable?

6. Last but not least, relax in choosing an officiant. When you are all together, having a consultation, discussing how you celebrate your love and the type of ceremony that you have envisioned, you will know if that minister/officiant is the right one for the two of you. Something will click and there will be a connection.

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So, how does finding and hiring the right officiant with Hudson Valley Ceremonies work? Here’s how:

  • First we have you set up a phone or skype consultation with the officiant of your choice or one that has been chosen for you. You can see our officiants Bio’s here.
  • The officiant will ask you many questions about you and your fiance and what you most want for your ceremony.
  • Please ask them as many questions as you want, they are very happy to answer and assist.
  • If you wish to speak to another officiant we can set that up also.
    Finally you will choose the officiant that you have the best connection with and then choose a package.

Please check out our reviews, Hudson Valley Ceremonies has the best officiants in the valley!

Wedding Wire

The Knot

Hiring a Professional Wedding Officiant

We know it’s tempting to ask Uncle Jim to perform your wedding ceremony. After all, he has no problem infecting a whole room with riotous laughter. So why spend the money on a professional officiant when you have a family member or friend ready to fill that role?

Deciding whether to hire professional vendors for your wedding isn’t something to be taken lightly – the professionals (or non-professionals) working at your wedding will have a major impact on your wedding day. Professional photographers, videographers, DJs, officiants, and florists have the experience to handle common, but unexpected, situations that often come up at weddings. How would Uncle Jim react if the flowers or decorations behind him blew over just after the ceremony began? How would he react if one of your guests or a member of your wedding party fainted during your vows? Would he be able to take with the unexpected in stride without getting flustered or thrown off for the rest of your ceremony?

The best way to ensure that your wedding ceremony goes off without a hitch is to hire a professional wedding officiant. When it comes to weddings, and especially performing ceremonies, experience and talent matters. What does hiring an experienced professional officiant get you?

Knowledge
When you hire a professional wedding officiant, you are hiring an encyclopedia of wedding knowledge. Professional wedding officiants have been trained and well practiced in the art of public speaking and know the wedding industry inside and out. A good officiant will know what makes a ceremony appealing to your guests, how to tailor a ceremony to fit your needs, and how to seamlessly work with your venue and timeline. You are investing in an officiant that can answer your questions about the regulations surrounding marriage officiants in your area, local venues and vendors, and about all aspects of various types of ceremonies.

Guidance
Many couples wonder where to start when writing a ceremony or vows, what makes a ceremony great, or how long each portion should last. Luckily, professional wedding officiants are wonderful guides during the planning process. Having participated in many weddings, wedding officiants have experienced a broad range of ceremonies and can work with you to create a personalized ceremony that reflects both your relationship and intents. Not only that, but an officiant can help you find other resources for your wedding, with countless contacts in all fields of the wedding industry.

Understanding
A professional wedding officiant will understand your vision for your wedding day and help you to create a ceremony that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Many do not realize that the mood of the ceremony sets the tone and fuels the conversation throughout the reception, so it is the officiant’s role to create a smooth transition with the couple’s wishes in mind. The ceremony does not stand alone in your special day- it is a part of a larger celebration.

Reliability
A family member may get sick; a friend may be overcome with stage fright. Professional wedding officiants are prepared for every eventuality. You have a contract with your officiant, stating that they will perform your wedding, and in the event of an emergency, many officiants have a contingency plan in place to provide an equally prepared officiant to step in.

Hiring a professional wedding officiant isn’t a decision you’ll regret after your ceremony.

A Hudson Valley Ceremonies Wedding at The Saugerties Lighthouse

Congratulations to Sioux and Paul who were married at The Saugerties Lighthouse on June 27th!

Wedding Location: Saugerties Lighthouse
Ceremony Officiant: Debra Romano
Band: Bash Bish Bluegrass Band
Florist: Dancing Tulips
Bridal Attire: Anthopologie
Rings: Gemvera
Invitations: Celebrations

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first kiss

Ceremony Decor

Do-it-yourself weddings do not have to stop at favors, bouquets and gifts. If you are planning a wedding in a non-traditional setting, think about the ceremony decor, including the ceremony backdrop or chuppah. It can create the stage and photo backdrop for the wedding, as well as making the space for the ceremony and reinforcing the theme.

The first thing someone may think of is a twig and flower chuppah or some other floral arrangement.

Glynwood Wedding Chuppah

Also consider using paper or silk flowers for the backdrop. Giant paper flowers would add whimsy and fun to a wedding.

Floral Backdrop

There are many other materials to use for the ceremony backdrop, besides flowers, though.

Reclaimed building materials, such as windows or doors

Window Backdrop

Picture frames

Picture Frame Backdrop

Curtains

Curtain Backdrop

Crepe paper or streamers

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Paper Poms

Paper Pom Backdrop

Handwritten words displayed on butcher paper

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Books

Book backdrop

Whatever you choose for your wedding ceremony decor, enjoy yourself. Blend it into the ceremony and the theme. Staying in a budget is easy for someone with creativity and cleverness. Think of what will go best in the wedding setting and be easy for set up and take down.

A Hudson Valley Ceremonies Wedding at Twin Lakes

It was so wonderful to work with Laurie and Tom from Platinum Party Events at Twin Lakes in Hurley NY this past October for Amanda & James’ wedding.

A special Thanks to Laurie for the wonderful write up on their blog! Head on over and see what she had to say.

Here are a few pictures we captured of the amazing fall theme and decor Amanda & James had.

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Fall Wedding

Vendors

Venue: Twin Lakes
Coordinator: Hudson Valley Ceremonies (Sage)
DJ: Platinum Party Events
Officiant: Hudson Valley Ceremonies (Mike)
Photographer: Family Friend

A Hudson Valley Ceremonies Wedding at Hunter Mountain

Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Nelson who were married at Hunter Mountain on March 8th!

Advice from the couple:

“Splurge on photography / videography and try to take in every moment of the day because it goes by so quickly.”
Hunter Mountain Wedding
Hunter Mountain Wedding
Casino Wedding
Casino Wedding
Custom Cake Topper
Custom Cake Topper
Hunter Mountain Wedding
Hunter Mountain Wedding
Hunter Mountain Wedding
Hunter Mountain Wedding
Hunter Mountain Wedding
Hunter Mountain Wedding
Wedding Location: Hunter Mountain
Ceremony Officiant: Hudson Valley Ceremonies (Jeanne Stark)
Photographer: Photographics Solution
Videographer: Photographics Solution
DJ/Band: Piano Man’s DJ Productions (Nate Miller)
Ceremony Musicians: Golden Scroll Soloists
Florist: Anthology Studio
Bridal Attire: Angela’s Bridal
Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Rings/Jewelry: Harold Finkle, Your Jeweler
Hair/Makeup: Krystal Rose Studio
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Favors: DIY
Casino Tables: Big Eastern Casino Company

Writing Your Wedding Vows

The vows are the most intimate part of the ceremony, and what is more intimate than your own thoughts and words? Here are some tips on writing your own vows.

Set the tone in advance
Talk to your fiance about whether you want serious vows or humorous. Do you want something poetic and romantic? Or nostalgic and touching? Make sure you are on the same page so the vows will complement each other. You don’t want the groom’s to be humorous, while the bride’s is poetic! You also need to decide if you will write the vows together or keep them a surprise for each other. ( I vote for surprise!! The emotions from saying your vows the first time is a truly beautiful moment!!)

Dedicate time for this
It doesn’t have to be in one sitting, in fact it will be better if it is not in one sitting. Have a sheet of paper in your wedding planning book that every time you open the book for something wedding (maybe flowers, or dress) take a moment to write a thought about you fiancé. Better yet, you can devote a “page” on the notepad on your phone and when something hits you (he surprised you by….) write that down. It could be the way that she cries at sappy old movies, or the face that he makes when he is concentrating. Regardless of what it is that you love, you need to write it down. This way you will have several thoughts spread out over time to help you write the vows. By taking plenty of time to plan your vows and consider your relationship, your vows will most certainly be special.

Talk to family and friends
Often, friends and family members will see things about your relationship that you do not notice yourself. Ask your friends and family members’ opinions about what they think is special about your relationship, and incorporate that into your wedding vows. This will not only make your vows more personal, but it will make your loved ones feel special that you included their opinions in your wedding.

Have a deadline
Not the day of the wedding!!! Although I have had several grooms show up on the day of the wedding with their vows written on hotel stationery!!! I have found most couples are worried about length. The bride has 50 lines, and the groom 20. This makes the groom feel like he should have said more, and the audience wondering when the bride’s will be over… Therefore, I tell the couple to have the vows to me 2 weeks prior to the wedding. This way, I can go over it, make any suggestions (if repeating the same thing over and over) and then inform both of the length issue if one exists. So have a third party help out. Your wedding officiant or minister should be the first choice, otherwise have a friend you both trust that will keep the vows secret!

Include a personal touch
Everyone has a place, movie, or other favorite thing that they love. Include a line of your partner’s favorite movie, or make a reference to their favorite place or sports team in your wedding vows. Depending on how you do this, it could not only make the vows more special, but it could deliver a laugh to lighten the mood as well.

Vow delivery
Do you want to do the repeat after me style, or read from an index card? I think the personal vows are more personal coming directly from the person than being repeated. Just make sure you separate out your lines so you can say a line, and look at your fiancé. Nothing like READING your vows to lower the significance of the moment.

Audience and timing
There will indeed be people watching you say these vows, so try not to get too personal! Also, timing is important. One to two minutes is a good range; I know you could go on and on about your love, but for the ceremonial vows, keep it short and sweet.

Practice out loud
Just because something looks good on paper does not mean it sounds good when spoken. Practicing out loud will allow you to change any sentence structures that sound awkward, as well as pointing out sentences that might be too long… after all, you don’t want to run out of breath when exchanging vows! Have your wedding officiant or minister review your vows, as they know timing best. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, at least read them out loud to your maid of honor or best man.

If absolutely stuck, you should be able to meet with your wedding officiant or minister and have them help you write the vows by asking questions, and re-wording the answers for beautiful vows!