Although the ceremonies I perform are custom, around 75% of the content of any given ceremony is static – it remains largely the same from ceremony to ceremony. These static portions deal with the general topics of love and commitment rather than anything specific to the couple, and, as such, these parts of the ceremony evolve over time as I find more emotionally satisfying ways to reach you and your attendees.

The remaining 25% is the custom portion of the ceremony. While the static portion of the ceremony is devoted to general insights and reflections on love and commitment, this dynamic, custom portion changes dramatically from couple to couple.

Rob & Sam - 7.11.22 - photo courtesy of Clover & Bloom Photography

What does this part of the ceremony consist of? The answer is as varied as the couples themselves. Based on the answers my couples give me in my trusty ceremony questionnaire, I find something meaningful to say about the couple and what brought them to this moment in their lives. Sometimes I'll tell the couple's origin story, or give a cheeky list of the ways they're similar and different, or relate some anecdote about them that captures their essence – no matter the topics I choose, it is deeply personal. I don't speak in generalities – the reflections I choose to share are unmistakably about the couple. 

Composing this portion of the ceremony is generally a two-step process. I begin writing it based on the answers my couples give me in my ceremony questionnaire, then follow up with the couple with additional questions. This allows me to fill in any important blanks or add a rhetorical “splash of color” where needed.

Below are some of my favorite custom passages that I've written for my couples over the years. What will I say at your ceremony? Get in touch with me and I'll get to work on it!

Christian & Meghan - 9 July 2014 - The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake

Christian and Meghan first ran into each other on a street corner in Geneva, Switzerland. And when I say ran into each other, I mean they literally collided with one another as they each rounded the street corner. It was early morning, and the two had just wrapped up an evening of dancing and revelry with their respective groups of friends. Christian was on his way to find a breakfast with strong hangover prevention properties, while Meghan was en route to the nearby lakefront for an early morning dip. Christian was wearing his favorite yellow hoodie, and Meghan was wearing her only yellow cardigan. (My yellow tie is to commemorate the occasion of their meeting.) Meghan got her bearings quickly after the collision, gave her very brief acquaintance the once over, and thought to herself – good looking guy, we're both wearing yellow – why not ask him to join me for a swim? Christian graciously accepted the offer, but only to accompany her on the excursion to the lake and not the exercise of swimming itself – Meghan only learned later of his extreme aversion to cold. And so the two chatted while Meghan swam and Christian kept an eye on her belongings. When she finished, gentleman that he his, Christian offered her his hoodie to warm her up. He then invited her back to his place to throw her wet clothes in the tumble dryer. He was growing rather fond of his new friend, and wanted to keep chatting her up. And, in the event that he was totally misreading the vibe, he wanted to at least make sure he got his favorite yellow hoodie back. Which he did. With a wife inside.

Nick & Amanda - 19 September 2015 - The Quarry Golf Club, Canton

Four years ago, Nick and Amanda were strangers that found themselves, by invitation of previously undiscovered mutual friend, at the same house party. It was here that they first made each other’s acquaintance. And while there was a spark – at least, from his perspective if not hers – it did not ignite the romance that brought them here today. Fate, it seemed, had decided that it was not yet their time. A year or so later, Nick told me he “stumbled across her Instagram page and started following her, naturally liking EVERY ONE of her photos.” I like that he used the word “stumble” rather than another word that begins with the letter S, and I like that Amanda didn’t find Nick’s sudden and overwhelming approval of her ALL of her photos to be off-putting. In fact, it was the start of a dialogue between the two, which led them to make plans to meet up again. They told me that, from that moment on, they became best friends. It was quite some time before they declared their love for each other. Perhaps they simply found the joy of their effortless camaraderie so enjoyable that they wanted to explore its depths first before moving on to the next level. Perhaps they were afraid that jumping blindly into a relationship might risk ruining the friendship that they treasured so deeply. But eventually, Nick proclaimed his love in a most chivalrous manner. “I love your ass,” he told her. “Would you like to touch it?” she replied. And here we stand today.