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March 14, 2014

Ask a Vendor | I Do Ceremonies



View More: http://kelseydewitt.pass.us/lauren

Who: Lauren Miller with I Do Ceremonies
Where: Sarasota, FL
What: Officiant for Wedding Ceremonies

There are lots of vendors you’ll work with for your big day, and a wedding officiant is often one couples don’t think enough about! For some, a specific religious leader (like a pastor, priest, rabbi, etc) might be the obvious choice, but for others, you could be feeling a little lost as to who to ask to officiate your ceremony! This is where Lauren from I Do Ceremonies comes in. Lauren is hired by many couples, local & those having a destination wedding, to help them create a unique ceremony tailored just for them and be the one to officially & legally bond couples’ marriages!

Lauren is my brother’s girlfriend (so fun to have someone else in my family in the wedding industry!) and the last time I was down in Florida with them, we got to squeeze in some new head shots for Lauren and she was able to answer some questions about wedding ceremonies & give advice for brides-to-be! If you’re thinking of a destination wedding in Florida, let Lauren be the first vendor you contact!

Q: What is the biggest piece of advice you have for couples when planning their ceremony?

It is extremely important to choose someone to officiate your ceremony that you feel 100% comfortable with because they will be the one to set the tone & pace of your entire ceremony! If you have a wedding party, I would highly recommend having a rehearsal. Having practiced the processional & recessional will help ensure that your ceremony runs smoothly and you will know what to expect on the day of of your wedding.

Q: What recommendations do you have for searching for a wedding officiant?

Ask for referrals. I get a lot of my clients from referrals of past clients! Or, use resources like WeddingWire and be sure to read reviews and look at websites.

Q: What qualities should couples be looking for when booking an officiant?

An officiant that asks questions and responds in a timely manner! The ceremony should be about the couple and reflect their personalities, needs and desires. Find an officiant who writes customized ceremony scripts, has sample scripts to get ideas from, can assist the couple with writing their vows, provide reading samples, incorporate religious traditions, be flexible, reliable and has exemplary public speaking skills.

Q: What can couples expect the process to be like from the time they book you all the way to their ceremony?

We talk, a lot! I always have an initial consultation with my couples either in person, via Skype or on the phone- if they are out of state, to get to know them and discuss all the ceremony details. I then send them some of my ceremony scripts to read through to get ideas and select opening remarks, readings, vow selections, closing remarks that they like. I then write a customized ceremony script tailored to the couple and send them drafts to review until we have a finalized script. If the couple chooses to have a rehearsal, I attend and facilitate the rehearsal and do a run through of the ceremony. On the big day, I arrive early, make sure all props, rings, marriage license, etc. is in order and ready to go! After I perform the ceremony, I complete the marriage license and send in to make everything official! I always follow up with my couples after their wedding day and most clients become great friends who keep in touch!

Q: What is one of your favorite moments in a wedding ceremony?

I love when couples choose to write their own vows and keep it as a surprise to share with each other during the ceremony. It adds an element of surprise and they are always spoken from the heart. Another highlight of all my ceremonies is being up at the alter and watching his/her face as they see their partner walking down the aisle…priceless!

Q: What are some tips you can give couples for creating a personalized ceremony?

Have both people choose their favorite opening remarks, readings, etc. separately and then have your officiant piece the ceremony script together based on their individual likings. This will guarantee that the script reflects both personalities. Also, it’s okay to not follow tradition…if you want to include something into your ceremony that normally doesn’t happen, talk to your officiant and make it happen! After all, it’s YOUR ceremony, it should be all about you, unique and memorable!

P.S. Make sure to stay tuned next week to see the full post from Lauren’s portrait session in sunny Sarasota!