Writing your own marriage vows

I do not recommend to brides and grooms to write their own marriage vows.  It’s much more difficult than it sounds to most of my clients.  That is why I suggest to couples to write a “free-style” letter to each other in the place of customized vows.  However, if my client is committed to writing their own vows, the following tips may help with the process.

1. START EARLY – give yourself time to write, digest, and make several revisions.  This is too important to wait to the last minute

2. READ OTHER VOWS FOR IDEAS – Go online and read what others have written.  You don’t have to plagiarize, but you can grab some good ideas

3. CHOOSE A PARTICULAR STYLE TOGETHER – Are you going with serious, romantic, fun, cleaver, story-telling, or even short-n-sweet.

4. CHOOSE A DEADLINE – Together decide when they need to be complete.

5. ASK A MUTUAL TRUSTED FRIEND TO READ BOTH FOR SUGGESTIONS – choose the same trusted friend to read them so he/she can catch any problems early.

6. KEEP YOUR GUESTS IN MIND – if your guests are mostly older, than be aware of that I you write them.

7. DECIDE TOGETHER IF HUMOR IS ALLOWED – humor is great but extremely awkward if one of you is funny and the other isn’t.  Decide together if humor is permitted.

I hope this helps!20120609-074521.jpg


The Phone Is Ringing for Spring and Fall weddings


The phone has begun to ring (again). Every year at this time all the nervous brides begin to beg their grooms to make an appointment with a potential wedding minister. If that is you, please do not hesitate to call me. Let’s meet over coffee soon so you can quit worrying about finding a minister for your big day. The best reason to call now is because you want your pick of ministers. You do not want to get stuck with those who no one else wanted.

Choosing a minister is one of your top five important decisions. If you don’t like the first one you meet then you will have time to meet with another one.

Two people have a mic: the DJ and the minister.  Make sure you LOVE them both.  These are the two people who can make or brake your wedding.

Good luck and start making those appointments.

Save Your Money!

Getting engaged to the love of your life is the most amazing feeling! The excitement and giddy feelings for planning the big day immediately kick in and this is when things can financially spiral out of control! Forget the fairytale as weddings can prove to be a nightmare with the average cost being around $25,000!

Long gone are the days where less is more when you have to consider flowers, dresses, venues, food and the DJ to name but a few! Wedding planning is big business and that usually means big money! However with a little know-how and a clear head, you do not have to get caught up in the drama as you plan the perfect day on a budget that suits yourself and your partner. So here are a few ways to help keep your finances grounded instead of crying ever so slightly when your parents have to re-mortgage their home to pay for the horse and carriage!

Tie the knot mid-week. Booking venues for the weekend can almost double in price, so why not go for a week day where it will be a lot less! Granted it may be less convenient for others, but those who you want there… will be there on the day!

Get creative and make your own invites! I have seen this done many times before by friends and the individual touch adds so much more to it all. It’s cheaper than have the invitations professionally printed, and with so many different softwares and online companies encouraging you to do it yourself… you could save a few pennies here!

Think about a buffet style for the food instead of a gourmet sit down 3 course meal. Yes these look posh and can appear to be more civilized, but per person this can be one of the most expensive pay outs for the day.

Look at taking advantage of a family member or friend’s flash car for the day! Maybe your father in-law to be has a fancy vintage Mercedes or a Harley motorcycle (because he’s clearly going through a mid-life crisis!) then ask nicely and you could use that with no cost!

Try to DIY your own cake! A bit of sponge apparently can cost hundreds of pounds which is crazy talk! Again try and use all your contacts to see if you can have this made much cheaper than a wedding cake pro. Or for those who just want the cake to look good in the pictures,  ask the baker to give you fake layers of cake! These can be dressed up to look amazing and the guests and yourself only have to eat the one real cake you paid for! Genius!

Recycle your flowers on the day. After shelling out a small fortune on flowers to decorate the church, you want to squeeze every last use out of them before they die on you! So after the ceremony have someone take the flowers to the reception to make it look gorgeous all over again! That way you’re not having to buy two lots of flowers for the church and the reception.

Get your interior designer on! We’ve all seen the home makeover programmes, so why not channel your flamboyant creative self and decorate the venue of your wedding yourself instead of paying someone for the pleasure. This way it’s not only easier on your finances, but you get to create a look to your exact liking.

So the bottom line is this, with a little creativity and extra work, you can save on spending but not lose much in quality!

How to Choose a Wedding Minister

When choosing a minister or officiant for your wedding, you need to show up to the first meeting with a few questions for him or her. In fact, you may want some of those questions answered before you even take time to chat face to face. Of my many years of meeting with couples as an Arizona ordained minister, the following questions, I think, were some of the best…

When choosing a minister or officiant for your wedding, you need to show up to the first meeting with a few questions for him or her. In fact, you may want some of those questions answered before you even take time to chat face to face. Of my many years of meeting with couples as an Arizona ordained minister, the following questions, I think, were some of the best:

  1. Are you a “real pastor” at a church? If so, which one?
  2. How long have you been a wedding minister? How long have you been a minister in a church?
  3. Do you require premarital counseling?
  4. Do you offer premarital counseling? If so, what kinds of things should we expect in our meetings with you? How much do those meetings cost?
  5. How many times would you like to meet with us before the wedding day?
  6. Is it a problem that our faith is different than yours?
  7. Are you open to our ideas with the wedding ceremony?
  8. How long will the entire ceremony be?
  9. What can we expect if you get sick and cannot be at our wedding? What is your back up plan?
  10. What will you wear at our ceremony? A robe or a suit?

Those are a few of the better questions asked. Because you don’t get married often, it’s good to arrive at your meeting with your own questions so you can make a good decision about who you are going to invite to marry you both.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is chemistry. In other words, do you feel comfortable with him or her? Do you like him or her? Did he or she make you feel good and positive? The answers to those questions come from your heart. All the other questions are important, but when it comes down to it, you must be happy with the man or woman officiating your wedding.

– Rev. Randy Williams