1. What authority do you have that makes you legally entitled to officiate a ceremony?
Miriam Jerris is both a Humanist Celebrant (clergy), ordained by the Humanist Society of Friends and a Humanist rabbi, ordained by the Rabbinic Seminary of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. Stephen Stawicki is ordained as a Universal Life Church minister. All ordinations are recognized as legal in the States of Michigan and Ohio. Miriam is also registered as clergy in the province of Ontario.
2. We are a non-traditional couple, not very religious and we want a non-denominational/civil ceremony. We also want our marriage ceremony to be meaningful and personal, possibly writing our own vows. Do you offer these types of marriage ceremonies? What does a non-religious wedding ceremony look like?
We do! Personal and meaningful non-religious ceremonies are our specialties. We offer ceremonies that are consistent with Humanism and Humanistic Judaism. We work with you to create a ceremony that includes the elements that have value and appeal to you. We give you written materials so that you can personalize the ceremony by choosing the wording, rituals and traditions that have meaning to you. The ceremonies typically last from 15-30 minutes depending on how much you include in the ceremony and the size of your wedding party. The marriage ceremonies we provide are met with interest and appreciation. Most guests comment that the wedding ceremonies provided by the Wedding Connection are the nicest ceremonies they have ever seen.
3. I have heard people use the phrase wedding planner, wedding consultant, bridal consultant, and wedding coordinator. What is the difference?
There are slight differences in the precise meaning of each of these labels, however, many people use the terms interchangeably. A wedding planner is involved in site location and vendor choice and helps the bride and groom and their families to make a variety of decisions, including those that relate to budgets. Wedding planners typically get involved in the process even before a date or location has been chosen. A bridal or wedding consultant may offer advice on theme or décor, as well as providing vendor referrals. A same-day wedding coordinator pulls all the pieces together, may help the couple create their time line, and assists the couple and their family at the rehearsal and the wedding.
4. Why does a wedding officiant need experience or training to create and perform a marriage ceremony?
When the wedding officiant is trained or has experience in performing a marriage ceremony, the ceremony will be more professional, polished and even more meaningful than when an untrained family member or friend presides. The professionally trained wedding officiant, as a consequence of their experience, helps the entire ceremony process to run smoothly and ensures an appropriately dignified experience, in addition to writing and creating a cohesive ceremony.