Words Matter

I never get tired of answering the question: what is a celebrant? That’s because I enjoy my work so much and I’m anxious to share the fact that couples outside of traditional settings can still have beautiful and meaningful wedding ceremonies.

Because a wedding is one of the most important days in someone’s life, the ceremony offers the opportunity to express a variety of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It is an opportunity to thank those who supported you throughout your life, your guests who are there to witness your commitment, as well as what this big day means to you. My role is to find the right words and actions that best express what is in the hearts and minds of the couple.

Every couple has a unique story to tell. Along with their personal journey, I enjoy exploring the ethnic, cultural, or faith traditions of the people I work with. Many secular couples are seeking a rich, meaningful ceremony, and that, too, is something I truly enjoy. Five or ten minutes in front of a judge just won’t do.

The joy that words can bring! (photo credit: Rob Lettieri)

I frequently create inter-faith weddings, and it’s marvelous to incorporate elements from different religions. When there are children, I strive to find a way to involve them and make them feel special, and important, because they are. A wedding is more than just the couple uniting, it is families joining together as well.

Most officiants will welcome your input. Even the shortest civil ceremony can greatly benefit with the addition of a meaningful story, reading or special vows. If it has not been offered, ask your officiant for an opportunity to provide input into your ceremony. You may be able to make some changes that matter to you. Sometimes just a few words can make a big difference. Would you want the words ‘love, honor and obey’ in your ceremony? Thankfully, that phrase is almost never used anymore, but it illustrates my point – that words do matter. And when you exchange your vows, you are giving your word, so choose them thoughtfully.

We are fortunate to have amazing wedding venues in the Poconos, and I have enjoyed officiating at so many of them. I know I am contributing to the beauty and meaning of the day, and that is a great feeling, as I learn and grow with each wedding.

Your ceremony is the time to time to say the important things in life. Emerson wrote: ‘Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words.’ The words that are spoken at your ceremony set the tone for your celebration and are a reflection of your love and life. They should inspire and uplift you. You deserve no less.

 Thank you Rob Lettieri for the photo and my new blog masthead!

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