Wedding Ceremony: Pronouncement

This is part 6 of the Wedding Ceremony series. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

We are almost to the end. Here we have the Closing Remarks and the Pronouncement. Closing remarks are usually a wrap up done entirely by the Officiant. Any final prayers, blessings, thanking those who have attended and any last words about marriage and unity are said as this time. This lets people know we are almost done.

The Pronouncement is very simple and again said by the Officiant. “By the powers invested in me by the state of ….” is usually how it starts as this is usually one of the few required statements by law that an Officiant has to say if this is also a legally binding ceremony. If not, it can be left out. Otherwise, the Officiant recognizes the couple as married and tells them to kiss. Once the couple does so, they will face the gathering and the Officiant will present them as a married couple to everyone often symbolized by saying their names.


The closing remarks can be adjusted to include any last minute instructions to the gathering about the recessional and any directions for after that. Guests have been focused on watching the ceremony so may have forgotten any plans for blowing bubbles or throwing flower petals or rice as the couple leaves. Also, usually after the ceremony the wedding party takes pictures so its good to direct the guests somewhere else for that time. Your Officiant can also announce the procedure for the receiving line later on. This is all done before the Pronouncement because afterward it will be very hard to get anyone’s.

Traditionally the Officiant would say you may now kiss the bride but they can say whatever you want. Also, the names you want the Officiant to use should be discussed beforehand. Any name changes will have to be done legally in whatever way your state requires it.

Will closing remarks be necessary at your ceremony? Are you more traditional or modern when it comes to how you would like your Officiant to pronounce you as married? Do either of you plan on changing your names? Let me know in the comments.


Wedding Ceremony: Vows

This is part 5 of a series. Click to see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

You all know what this part is. The wedding vows and the ring vows are usually said at this time. Regular vows are what usually change the most from ceremony to ceremony. They can be written and read or off-the-cuff; general or personal; you can even repeat after me, the Officiant.

The ring vows are a bit simpler. Traditional said in the repeat after me format. Once your ring bearer or Maid of Honor and Best Man hand over the rings. Each partner will put the ring on the others left ring finger while saying the ring vows. Usually couples want something short and sweet for this section because not only are you talking while putting the ring on but you’ve also already said your vows. “With this ring, I thee wed.” is the traditional saying.


So what alternatives can we come up with here? Well sometimes couples parents. combine their vows and declaration of intent making for a shorter ceremony. Sometimes they leave one or the other out altogether. It can seem redundant to some.

Another section you can add here is a unity ceremony. Unity ceremonies symbolize the new union that has just taken place between the couple. They can often include other family members especially any children, siblings and parents. There are all kinds of unity ceremonies and you can choose one that corresponded with your wedding theme or decor if you so choose. Some examples are sand, water, candle, glass and wine unity ceremonies. They each consist of the couple and any family usually pouring various colors or types of these symbols together to form a new whole. The finished container is often then displayed in the couple’s home afterwards.

What do you think, will you write your own vows? Have a ring bearer in mind? And what about a unity ceremony, is that something you are interested in? Let me know in the comments.

Wedding Ceremony: Marriage Address

This is part 3 in the Wedding Ceremony series. Click part 1 to read about the Procession and part 2 for the Gathering Words.

The next part of the wedding ceremony is most often called the marriage address. This is usually all spoken by the officiant or celebrant. But it also the part of the ceremony most often customized. The marriage address speaks about marriage. About the unity of two or more people. About what marriage is and what it could be. What it means spiritually and in reality. In a religious service, the Officiant will often reference that religions beliefs about what marriage means; both to its people as a whole and those getting married before them in that moment.

This section of the ceremony is where the couple’s relationship so far is covered. Also any wishes and goals for their future are spoken here. This is where, if the Officiant is close to the couple, they can speak about the relationship’s history on a personal level. Or if not close to them, the Officiant or another person can read a story of their relationship. If this is something they want done a certain way, the couple can write it themselves.

Marriage Address 2

Alternatively, the Officiant can put something together after meeting with and learning about the couple. In a secular or interfaith ceremony the Officiant will often talk about love. Now this can be included in any ceremony but I bring it up here because it is a great way to speak of marriage in terms everybody understands without adhering to a particular religious belief system.

Another way to customize this section of your ceremony is to have a reading or two. Something that means something to the couple, whether it be popular or obscure, is best when choosing any reading but in this section especially. And it doesn’t have to be overt or lovey-dovey if you don’t want it to be. Maybe you and you significant other are a private couple and don’t want to have your love story spoken about out loud. Having a reading as a representation of how you feel about each other and your relationship is a great alternative. One of the more popular alternative readings is from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margaret Williams Blanco.

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

There is a longer version that the very first couple I had the privilege of marrying used. Overall, it is subtle and sweet without being cringy if that’s not your thing. If cavity-causing readings are more your speed there are plenty out there so no worries. Overall, it important to think about how you want marriage, unity, love and your relationship to be represented here. 

With these ideas, what would you prefer your ceremonies marriage address to be like? If you want a reading, do you have one in mind? What is it? Do share.

Etsy Weddings Showcase


Earlier this year I told myself to head out and find new vendors to work with for my business and one of my first attempts to network outside my comfort zone was Etsy Weddings. By now everyone knows that Etsy has a Weddings category where thousands of sellers that specialize in that special day promote their one of a kind (OOAK), handmade and vintage wares. Well, Etsy also has a yearly event where local vendors can showcase their products up close and personal to potential clients. This year I went to check it out. Once I got checked in with my little booklet I was on my way.

The first booth I came too was Hunter and Co. Designs and they make both custom and pre-made rubber stamps. Why would they be at a wedding event? Because they make custom stamps couples can get everything from a simple Thank You stamp to a full wedding invitation stamp with personalized names dates and locations.

thank you note
My personal Hunter & Co. Designs Thank you note

In my previous post I talked about how difficult it is for modern couples to find time to hand write invitations and thank you notes. This is a great alternative. What I also liked about my first stop was how they had it set up so couples could try things out right there and then with different stationary and stamps. I made my own thank you note to help remember them.

My next stop was at a vendor selling vintage wedding dresses and more. Salvato Collections has a beautifully curated vintage wedding day collection. From OOAK dresses to crowns and jewelry. All gorgeous and giving off a dreamy or fairy-like feel. Amanda, the owner and I had a great talk about how she picks her items looking for non-traditional and vintage looks. We got into a discussion about tea party bridal showers and picnic weddings; both of which we think should become trends.

Next came one of my fave vendors. Moontree Letterpress.

Garden Style Wedding Invite by Moontree Letterpress

You guys will learn how much I love nature and the outdoors as this blog goes on. And Rebecca from Moontree makes gorgeous stationary with trees and flowers all over it. Letterpress is a type of printing where images and text are pressed into the paper resulting in a relief. This is an old-fashioned style of printing.  Just absolutely gorgeous stuff and she has been studying horticulture. She’s got all types of plant life that she uses as inspiration for her botanical art and printing.

Daniela with  Monique Halter Cape Bridal Jumpsuit

The next unique vendor I got to see was a surprise. Daniela Tabois is another clothing vendor with an unassuming set up; just a small table, email sign up list and a rack of clothing. I was intrigued as she was the first person of color I had seen at the event so far. Turns out she is a new designer and her specialty is right up my alley. Daniela makes bridal jumpsuits instead of gowns. Now this was a unique and non-traditional idea. A fancy alternative for those women who didn’t want to deal with huge gowns or don’t want to wear a dress. These jumpsuits are just as glamorous and fitting for any bride. Daniela had so many options that looked amazing that I couldn’t choose so I told her to pick which was her favorite to take a picture with.

Turning around I almost bumped into the crowd around Olivia Ewing Jewelry‘s table. Delicate earrings, bracelets and, most importantly, rings designs inspired by nature. I instantly fell in love but didn’t get to talk to the creator since she was busy with prospective customers. I couldn’t even get good pictures so sad but definitely check out her website.

Floral-escence cotton bouquet

Okay, continuing with my unique and nature themes is Floral-escence. They make preserved floral designs. Everyone knows that flowers are here today and gone tomorrow. Their shelf life is shortened dramatically once they are cut but they add so much atmosphere. This goes for greenery as well. Well Melody, the owner has found a solution by creating floral designs with preserved flowers. My fave that day was the cotton bouquet. These are great for winter or rustic weddings.

And now we must talk about food, in particular dessert. I have four words for you; Mini Brownie Wedding Shop. First these brownies taste amazing. Second, they can put edible pictures on the brownies. These would make perfect wedding guest favors. And Julie assured me that her husband can make vegan and gluten-free versions as well. How cool is that?

Next up was a vendor making great bridal party gifts. Sandra Smith was showcasing her handcrafted and monogrammed change/makeup purses but she enthusiastically told me that she can happily make them for other types of events. They can come in various colors and prints and of course monogrammed for each lucky maid. These are high quality bags and I cannot wait to work with Sandra more.

    Flower Girl Feather Crown by Little Lady Accessories

I am not going to lie, I love headbands and crowns so much and there were so many vendors selling them, with and without veils, at this event. So many colors and materials. But my favorite had to be the beautiful bride-flower girl set made of feathers. The most unique and non-traditional of them all; made by Mandy of Little Lady Accessories. To be honest, my picture does not do it justice. I still cannot believe this was tucked up under the table. It must have been snapped up quickly because I could find it in the shop later on.

Last, but definitely not least, was the Samwell Leather Co. The only vendor showcasing items for the Groom directly. Guys need love too. But it was obvious with one glance that the owner Salvatore LiPuma knew what he was doing. His handcrafted leather items would be perfect gifts for any groom and his men. Absolutely gorgeous quality leather and who doesn’t love a leather merchant whose slogan is “respect the cow?”

Alright, that’s enough out of me. Before I go on to extol the good qualities of every merchant I encountered I’ll answer the question you’ve probably been wondering. Why am I sharing these great vendors only now? Because engagement season is coming up and for those couples getting married in Spring 2017 its time to start looking and buying many of those unique items you have not purchased yet for your big day.

Let me know what you think of my favorites or if you’ve worked with any of these sellers show them some love in the comments.

~Lashette, Excelsior Events