Sacramento Wedding Officiants

        Lori Levisen & Bob Waegell

Thank you Beth for this photo!

Wedding Ceremony Secitons
Santa Cruz beach weddingCreating Your Ceremony...

As you prepare for your wedding day, it is helpful to remember the differences between it and your marriage.  Marriage is the continuous renewal of love, loyalty and commitment that two people choose to live, come what may. A wedding is just a day in your life together devoted to the public declaration of the desire and intent to be married.

Marriage matters more.

You will commit to one another in many ways over the years.  Some will be small private commitments found within apologies and others will be big public ones like anniversary celebrations or the birth of a child.

Choosing what you want said during this public declaration of love and commitment can be a bit daunting and that's where we come in.  For e
very wedding is unique, and we can offer samples of various options so you can decide what is best for the two of you.

I have included the definitions of the sections of a basic wedding ceremony below. These sections may written with a religious or spiritual tone or be entirely secular (non-religious), based on your preference. 

The "Welcome"

This is the portion of your ceremony where we welcome your guests and express your appreciation for their part in bringing the two of you together.  It encourages those present to continue to love you and support your marriage.  Indeed, some couples choose to ask that those gathered promise to provide loving intervention should their marriage ever get in trouble.

It can also be the place to recognize and honor those who are absent, whether they are deceased or too frail to travel, as they are still part of the circle of love that surrounds you.

The "Address"

This is where we speak about marriage. Our comments are generally focused on love, friendship, mutual trust and respect, the joys and challenges found within choosing to love someone for life.  They are not only directed to you, the bride and groom, but serve as a reminder for your guests as well. 

Importantly, they may be inspired by our conversations. We will urge you to read and approve or edit them before the ceremony.

Your "Vows"

Your vows are your promises to one another. They are what your guests most want to hear and, ultimately, celebrate.

Whether you choose to use traditional or contemporary vows, or to write your own, make sure they voice the promises you truly want to make and in a tone that represents your personalities.  We prefer to enhance the important and serious ones with some minor and funny ones to make them truly memorable.

Traditional vows like "With this ring, I thee wed" invoke a feeling of continuity, something that has been woven through our society for generations. Everyone recognizes the significance of these words.

"I choose you, my beloved ______, to be my husband/wife, my partner in life and my one true love." This may not invoke quite the same automatic response but it is certainly a strong promise to make.

Your vows can be identical or different. They can be memorized or read, spoken individually or in unison. But, for good reason, most couples choose to voice their vows one phrase at a time in a "repeat after me" manner. 

Public speaking is the #1 phobia for most people.  So, in our professional opinion, unless you are experienced public speakers, memorizing and reciting your vows will be a bit challenging (Bob says "fraught with peril").  And you will be more nervous than you anticipate on your wedding day so the vows you thought you had memorized may leave you.  The last thing you'd want to happen is to be standing there, looking into your beloved's eyes, and not be able to remember a thing.  We've seen it happen to trial lawyers.  So, I'd recommend that we print your vows in the ceremony book and let one of us guide you through them. If you insist on speaking alone, you can at least borrow the book to read from or to jog your memory if needed.

The "Exchange of Ring Vows"

This is where couples will exchange their rings and their ring vows--although they are often incorporated into your primary vows.

Enhancements or Sub-Ceremonies

Most additional rituals, such as the Unity Candle, Sand Blending, the Wine and Letters Box, or a Rose Exchange would be inserted here, if you choose to include them. Generally if you want to include special music or a reading, it is done earlier in the ceremony although it could be done here as well.

The "Declaration of Marriage" or "Pronouncement"

This is what you've been waiting for, isn't it? To be pronounced Husband and Wife.

Remember, when you kiss after this pronouncement, it will be a photo opportunity so be sure it is not too quick! Photographers like four seconds.

And then, last but not least, you have to decide if you want to be introduced to your guests before you leave the altar or as you enter your reception. Either way, you must decide if you want to use "Mr. & Mrs. John Doe," "Mr. & Mrs. John and Jane Doe," "John and Jane Doe or "our newlyweds, John & Jane."  Though emotionally meaningful, this choice will have no effect on the legal name(s) you ultimately adopt.

Lori Levisen & Bob Waegell
We would love to help you create a warm, personal ceremony to share with your favorite people on your wedding day.

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