Virtual Ceremony NOT Virtual Guests

Virtual Ceremony NOT Virtual Guests

5 Tips For The Best Guest Experience

Authored by: D.K Diosi
January 19, 2021

Having a virtual wedding ceremony may or may not be the format you’ve always dreamed of for your big day. But if you are like many other engaged couples, it’s the recent restrictions to gatherings that is causing you to pivot in this direction, leaving you with a lot of questions about how to make it a memorable and enjoyable experience for your friends and family. Although the ceremony is virtual, your guests are not avatars, they are your dearest family and friends and you want them to enjoy the day just as much as you will!

For the best guest experience here are 5 things you may want to consider….

1. Sending a Guest Bag

You will be off to a great guest experience with this one! I mean, who doesn’t like to accept a lovely package delivered right to their door!  You can stuff it full of goodies and send it to your guests ahead of time. A guest gift bag can serve as a way to provide your guests with much-needed communication and fun stuff too!  

Of all of the guest bag ‘stuffing’ be sure to include…

  • Day of Details: Set your guests at ease by ensuring that they are well informed of the days’ happenings.  From log-in through the ceremony to cake cutting, toasts, and speeches. This is your opportunity to provide them with all the information and itinerary for the day. This can be as simple as a print out on nice paper to a fancier picture postcard with a customized QR code for the tech-savvy crowd leading them to all the details. It is good to be mindful that your guests may have questions ahead of the big day so help them to get the answers they are looking for by providing them with your preferred method of communication like an email address or phone number to your wedding planner, helper, or yourself.
  • Gifting Details: As with an in-person wedding your guests will want to give you gifts, so be sure to include this information. In an easy to understand format or a one stop location link to your wedding website, gift registry or E-transfer details. 
  • Wedding Day Momento:  Guests will feel included when they see that you have thought of them! A small gift as a thank you is a wonderful way to say thank you and celebrate them. If your budget will allow, this may be a good place for a bit of splurge. One example would be a small bottle of Prosecco with a personalized label and a couple of glasses both classy and fun! That being said, one of the hottest trends in 2020 was a personalized hand sanitizer!

2. DRESSING UP

Some of your guests are attending from home but that does not mean they should attend in their jammies, at least not from the waist up! 

Invite them to attend your wedding wearing the attire that they would have worn in person. Dressing up at home will help that day and time to feel special and set apart from regular at home activities. 

3. FLOWERS FOR VIP’S

Help any VIPS who are attending virtually to stand out from the crowd and feel extra-celebrated, by arranging to have boutonnieres or corsages for them to wear.  Delivered to them on the morning of or evening before the special day.

4. FUN FOR YOUR GUESTS

Fun is always part of any wedding day, to help the virtual crowd relax and enjoy a laugh plan to have the virtual host (emcee), play some virtual ‘get to know you’ type games either before the ceremony or whenever there is downtime. Another idea would be to ask your guests to pre-record videos of their well-wishes and messages and have your host play those throughout.

5. PHOTOS

Let’s face it, you cannot have enough pictures on this special day and will definitely want photos of your guests and I’m sure they will be happy to oblige! Invite them to photograph themselves and their guest experience for you. If you have a “couples” hashtag ask your them to use the hashtag when posting their pics so they can view other attendees photos as well. Compile the photos of your choice into a  digital or printed memory book that you can enjoy for years to come.

A virtual ceremony does not have to be anything less than a dream wedding for you, and a really good and memorable experience for your guests as well!  Your ideas can be unique as you are so be creative, have fun, and most importantly enjoy this unique opportunity to shine!

About the Author: D.K Diosi
Debbie is a freelance Copywriter/Blogger and a Certified Life Coach. Her goal is to live a life that out-lives the breath in her lungs. She believes that each of us possess an unique life purpose fueled by our passions and her desire is to help others through her love of writing and coaching to define and achieve their best self resulting in living their best life!

Virtual Wedding?

Google analytics says “virtual marriage” is trending…

Authored by: Anette Marchant
January 19, 2021

You are not alone in wondering if a virtual wedding is for you. Your hesitation in moving forward is understandable in light of Covid-19 restrictions. Your carefully selected wedding date along with all your plans, on pause. The simple desire to celebrate with family and friends is hard to ignore… 

But sometimes there are special considerations to make. As one couple decided, they wanted her grandfather to see them get married. They went ahead with a virtual wedding and one month later he passed. Now they cherish the fact that they didn’t wait. 

Though restrictions vary from province to province, couples can plan on having 10 people attend in person. If you look at it this way, you can invite more people than you initially planned to a live-streamed event!

It may be difficult to make this decision but virtual or live-streamed weddings aren’t going away any time soon. Many couples are already making this choice as they have family and friends all over the world.

Inquire Today

Live Streamed weddings are every bit as special…

“It wasn’t how either of us had imagined we would get married, but it was so full of love and pure joy…we still hope to celebrate sometime soon with family and friends in person, but for now, we are so glad to be officially husband and wife.” 

—Julie and Benjamin

It is important to clarify that you can’t have a fully virtual wedding in Canada. For legal purposes, your marriage license must be signed and witnessed in person, with your officiant on the wedding day.  

We’re finding that couples have a hard time letting their wedding day pass and don’t want to postpone. So honor the wedding date you’ve picked. Your full wedding plans can be realized down the road should you choose. You can do both—we encourage it!

Enduring Promises offers a special package for those couples wanting to take care of the legalities now, followed by a ceremony with family & friends at a later date.

Inquire Now 

Don’t leave out any of the trimmings! If you’ve already booked a florist, see if you can have curbside pick up of smaller bouquets or, maybe they offer a virtual tutorial on how to make your own bouquet. 

You will want the memories and photos of your special day; so it’s still a good idea to hire a photographer. 

Do all the special moments you want! A cake can also be ordered for curbside pickup, or be brave and make it yourself. Stack up the happy memories, and show us that love conquers. It will be a day to remember for all involved. 

Though you can’t be with all your guests, make it special for them! Click the link at the end to get some ideas of what you could do. 

A few things to keep in mind…

The first thing you need to consider is what platform you will use to make your virtual wedding possible. Google Hangout, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Zoom are the most popular options. 

Live streaming options such as Facebook or Instagram, allow guests to view the wedding and use the chat feature, sending their love and happy wishes. 

Zoom and Google Hangout are video conferencing apps where guests are encouraged to use ‘Speaker View’ to see you, but can also see and interact with each other. Zoom also allows a virtual waiting room where guests can log in and mingle, adding to the wedding atmosphere.  

Ask someone to be the technical administrator for your day. They can be the virtual host to welcome guests when they log in, moderate the waiting room, mute and unmute, and even make sure the video call is being recorded as a special memory. 

Please keep provincial marriage license regulations in mind. If your original wedding day has passed since the license was issued, confirm with your registry office that the license is still valid.                                                                                                       

What Enduring Promises can do for you…

We will tell your story the way YOU created it! Our online console is accessible to you once you’ve booked your wedding with us. We have always been about minimizing the stress of your wedding day. We want to help you celebrate and we’re not camera shy!

 “We used Enduring Promises to design our ceremony and couldn’t be happier. Using the ceremony builder you can really make it your own. We received so many compliments about our beautiful and unique ceremony! Our officiant did an amazing job and was such a pleasure to work with! I could not recommend this company enough!”

—Samantha & Jordan

You may not have expected to do your wedding this way, but we’re here for you! Now more than ever, we need a reason to celebrate–bringing a little joy into each other’s lives. Imagine the stories you’ll tell and happy memories you’ll create!

5 Tips For The Best Guest Experience

About the Author: 
Annette Marchant is a copywriter and homebody from Calgary. She writes—and is a happy contributor to this blog. Her love of words is fueled by black tea and a great set of headphones. Her home is filled with boys and one of them is an Officiant with Enduring Promises.

How To Plan A Wedding During Covid-19

Feeling overwhelmed and short on ideas?

How To Plan A Wedding During Covid-19

Virtual wedding shows bring the inspiration!

Authored by: Annette Marchant
January 14, 2021

 

The excitement is setting in, your Honey has proposed 💍 and the next chapter of your life is about to begin. Then t he anxious thoughts move in–how on earth are you going to plan a wedding during a global pandemic and the current restrictions? You’ve found the one you love, your lives have blended, your home is where the other is and you are moving forward together. Our world has indeed changed but there is no reason for you to miss out on this special time in your life! 

It’s easy to assume that you’ll be able to book an appointment to try on wedding dresses, but where do you go if you just want to see what’s out there first? 

We understand and want you to know that there are solutions to your questions and we have good ideas to share with you. Schedule a day in, grab your warm drink, pull a blanket over your knees, and sign in to join us at a virtual wedding show. 

Virtual wedding shows make planning your upcoming wedding easy! Don’t miss out on celebrity guests and featured presentations, no jostling for a seat in a cramped auditorium. You can experience a virtual show by registering (for a reduced price) with all the same benefits of attending in-person! What’s better than Pj’s, coffee, and all things Bridal?

Every vendor you would expect to see at an in-person show is there; your ability to connect with them is easier than it would be in a crowded venue. Exclusive vendors include special offers, prizes, and are open to your questions. Use this unique opportunity as a resource of idea inspiration!

Fashion is a vital part of wedding shows. The best from exclusive bridal boutiques with all the latest in gowns and bridesmaid dresses for you to enjoy and be inspired by. We got you!

Workshops and demos from wedding planning to floral design, and everything between. Ideas and resources to help you plan and make your day special. Many vendors are adapting to the changes, and their ideas are fresh. Register and see for yourself!

Wedding shows are the perfect virtual option for you to connect with wedding professionals, including Enduring Promises. We are a group of award-winning wedding officiants who have the expertise, experience, and passion for your day. 

We want to help you create your unique and memorable wedding ceremony at the location of your choice. We will guide you through the process with flexibility, to help reduce the stress of your wedding day. 

“With the chaos surrounding COVID-19, our officiant went above and beyond our expectations! He was accommodating despite our multiple date changes and made this part of our wedding a breeze. Mike had a clear voice and allowed our guests to enjoy every word. The online tool was helpful and straight forward which allowed us to have the exact ceremony and vibe we wanted. Enduring Promises was phenomenal to work with and stress-free. HIGHLY recommend!” —Jennifer on Wedding Wire

Book Your Virtual Wedding Consultation

“Enduring Promises’ process was easy and worry-free from start to finish! We chose Glenn to officiate our COVID wedding. He is a kind soul who was very helpful and accommodating, especially with our uncertainties! He assured us he would be there wherever and whenever we needed to go in order for us to be married. We are glad all worked out as planned and that we had Glenn officiate and be a part of our special day!” —Stephanie Lee on Wedding Wire

Don’t let choosing your Officiant be the last detail you consider, because hey, you can’t get married without us! We look forward to meeting with you at one of these upcoming virtual wedding shows…

The Wedding Planning Summit

Love’s Not Cancelled

The Wedding Ring

Bridal Expo

Take the stress off, enjoy the show, and let the planning begin! It’s not too early to book your Officiant. If changes are needed we promise to be flexible and accommodating!

Contact Enduring Promises

 

About the Author: Annette Marchant

Annette Marchant is a copywriter and homebody from Calgary. She writes—and is a happy contributor to this blog. Her love of words is fueled by black tea and a great set of headphones. Her home is filled with boys and one of them is an Officiant with Enduring Promises.

 

6 Things to Look for In an Officiant!!!

Authored by: Brian Manuel

The venue is booked, you now have a date, time  and location for your wedding to take place.  You possibly have your photographer and music taken care of as well.

Now that you have an idea of when, where and who is going to be involved in that special day, what about the person that’s actually going to officiate your ceremony?

The officiant plays a significant part in your day.  The ceremony is more than a prelude to a great party, it’s the beginning of the next chapter of life and should reflect your personalities, vision and of course your values.

So, what should you look for when searching for an officiant? I’m glad you asked …

1. Flexibility

The ceremony is a reflection of what you both want.  It’s important to ensure that the Officiant you choose is someone who is flexible and willing to work with you, to help create the ceremony YOU want, where you get to choose every word that is spoken.  This is your day, not his/hers, so make sure they will help you create your vision. 

2. Personable

This is a simple thing, but so very important.  When you select an Officiant make sure they are friendly.   It’s important that you and your families get the sense that you are being married by a friend, without being married by a friend.

Your Officiant must be professional and able to work under just about any condition, for example what do they do if a microphone quits during the ceremony?  At the same time, they must be warm and personable so as to set a mood that is relaxed, putting you both at ease, instead of on edge of what is coming next.

Ask yourself this question “when I see this person on my special day, how will I feel? Relaxed or stressed?

3. Detailed

An Officiant isn’t a wedding planner but they ought to have a sense of what is happening around them and an eye for detail. 

They are there to make your day everything you hoped it would be and if they can look around and pick up on small things, you’re in great hands.  For example, an Officiant was seen asking a relative who had parked their walker in the aisle if it could be moved for the ceremony (it wasn’t infringing on the actual aisle but it looked terrible in photos).  The wedding could have gone ahead without doing this and technically the Officiant wasn’t required to deal with this situation, but they were thinking ahead, knowing how it would look on the photos that would be cherished for years to come.

You may not be able to assess what your potential Officiant would do in this situation during your first meeting with them.  You can however listen to them talk about your ceremony in detail.  If they are not aware of what makes for great photos, then maybe they aren’t the Officiant for you.

4. Punctual

Again, this is a simple request. but vitally important.  When you first met them, were they on time (or early) for your meeting?  If you have not yet met them, please pay attention to that.  It will tell you lots about who they are as a person and if you can depend on them to be on time for your special day.

Venues are becoming more focused on timing and you do not want to be waiting for your Officiant to show up for your ceremony to start.

5. Credible

Do they have positive reviews?  Specifically, do the reviews speak well of their personality and the way they conducted themselves?  Yes, you want someone who as a great voice and can project well but more importantly you want someone who is engaging and a review that reflects that is GOLD!

The greatest reviews are the ones that refer to the fact that the couple felt as if they were being married by a friend.

Are they registered to Officiate marriages in your Province?  There should be a list provided by a governing body to verify they are.

Finally, make sure that you have a good combination of someone who is personable and professional.  This may be a lot to determine in one meeting but the real question is, do you feel a connection with the person you are meeting with or met with?  Trust your instincts!!!

6. Knowledgeable

All of the proceeding characteristics are very important but only in as much as your Officiant is knowledgeable of how to help you create your personalized ceremony.

Are they familiar with the important aspects of a ceremony and how to manage it?

For example, have they done a wedding at your venue, or at the very least, have they researched the venue to see what the ceremony space looks like?

Do they have experience in performing ceremonies, are they familiar with all the different elements of a ceremony, such as mother’s rose presentation, ring warming, love letter ceremony, etc.?

From a legal standpoint, do they have a good understanding of what needs to be done with the license after the ceremony is completed?

About the Author:
Brian has worked with hundreds of couples to identify what they want in a ceremony and help them create a ceremony that is reflective of their personalities and vision. He is a husband, father, friend, cyclist, scuba diver, golfer, teacher and passionate about his family and work. Brian would love to help you imagine, create and celebrate your dream wedding ceremony. Contact him today, to get the ball rolling.

Is a Rehearsal Just Another Thing on Your To Do List?

Authored by: Jim Emerson
January 7, 2019

Most of the planning is done, your day-of schedule almost finalized, and you’re short on time. Just the standard situation when planning a wedding!

One of the questions asked most often by couples is, “Do we need a rehearsal?”. The answer is both yes and no.  Yes, if you want one, but wedding rehearsals are not for everyone. There is no hard and fast rule that suggests you must have a wedding rehearsal, as there are reasons both for and against. Here are some things we think you should consider when deciding if you need a rehearsal.

If your wedding is small, with few or no wedding attendants, and doesn’t include any cultural traditions or special readings, you don’t need a rehearsal. Save the cost of a rehearsal and put it towards your honeymoon.

On the other hand, if you are having a large wedding party with several bridesmaids and groomsmen, setting aside 45-60 minutes a few days day before the wedding would be advisable. If children and parents are involved, and/or a special reading by a guest, and possibly a cultural element, then a rehearsal will help remove any last-minute uncertainties, calm nerves and help put things into perspective.

A rehearsal will also give your wedding party an opportunity to see the venue for probably the first time. Now is when they can practice how and where to enter, where to stand and establish the right pace – not so slow that your guests fall asleep during the processional or so fast that the wedding party is seen sprinting to the front. In addition, if the terrain is unlevel, or there are several steps, a test run is a good idea.

Rehearsals are all about the logistics, the flow of your ceremony, not about the words to be spoken. For a wedding ceremony to run smoothly, everyone involved needs to know in advance what is expected of them and what they can expect. Where and when to gather for the processional, in what order to enter and with whom, what is their cue to enter and with what musical selection, and where to sit or stand. Without clear direction, this part of the ceremony alone can be chaotic.

If you choose to do a rehearsal, you need to decide who will lead it and who should attend. Afterall, not every cousin, uncle or aunt needs to be present – especially if they’re not directly involved in the ceremony. Usually, the best one to lead the rehearsal is the person who helped you create your ceremony – your Officiant. Granted the venue coordinator or your wedding planner may be more familiar with the physical layout of the venue, but they will not be familiar with the specific aspects of your ceremony – the most important part of your celebration. Your Officiant will go over all the details, large and small, that are so important to ensure that your ceremony flows and you get the best photo memories of your ceremony. Your Officiant will also make sure that if some of your wedding party couldn’t make the rehearsal, they are aware of their role.

So, if you chose to have your Officiant lead your rehearsal, make sure you ask him/her well in advance to ensure they are available.

Rehearsals can be a fun addition to your wedding celebration for you as well as for your wedding party and if it gives you peace of mind, do it.  It is, after all, your wedding day.

About the Author: Jim Emerson
Jim Emerson has helped over 1,100 couples reduce the stress of creating their personal and unique wedding ceremony. He is a husband, father, friend, author, triathlete, handyman, teacher and passionate about his family and work. Jim can help you imagine, create and celebrate your dream wedding ceremony. Contact him today, he’d love to hear from you.

New, Unique and Colourful Wedding Trends

As the wedding planning process begins, some time-honoured wedding traditions are being replaced in favour of more modern ones. For example, the bouquet/garter toss, the receiving line, white dress, church wedding, matching bridesmaids’ dresses, and not seeing the bride before the ceremony are a few dated traditions that are dying a quick death. They are being replaced with an emphasis on guest engagement and the use of online apps and social media to help create an experience that reflects the couple’s personalities and values.

Some of the trends we expect to see in the coming year include:

  • 2019 brides will be more likely to wear dresses with geometric patterns and shapes with splashes of accent colours as opposed to floral lace and sweetheart necklines. The bridal jumpsuit is also becoming a popular choice for more casual, smaller weddings and a fun option for rehearsal dinners or other celebrations leading up to the big day.
  • The increased use of social media to announce the pending “I do’s”.
  • Using an array of online planning tools to search for vendors, décor inspiration and potential venue locations.
  • Technology, technology and more technology will continue to play an increasing role in streamlining the wedding process. From emailing save-the-date announcements, creating a wedding website or special wedding hashtag, technology has become “Mother’s Little Helper” when it comes to planning a wedding. Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook are now a staple for wedding ideas and suggestions.
  • We will see more online invitations than paper requests due to convenience, affordability and market acceptance – not to mention the eco-friendly nature of an electronic invitation.
  • 2019 will see a greater use of drones to capture different perspectives of the wedding day. The ability to catch that unique moment in a wedding video is now easier and more affordable. So, expect to see more drones at this year’s weddings.
  • Getting naked – the cake, not the couple.
  • This year both sides of the wedding party will be wearing different styles and pops of color.
  • Unplugged ceremonies will continue to increase in popularity. Expect more signs encouraging guests to put away their cell phones and celebrate the moment with the couple.
  • The types of food couples are choosing for their reception is becoming more personal and creative. While sit-down dinners will always be popular for formal or small gatherings, couples are getting more creative with the food they serve. So, expect to see themed food stations instead of one buffet. The same goes for unique drink and custom cocktails named in honor of the newlyweds. Such choices become even more personal if the food and drink have a special significance to the couple or their families.
  • Special entertainment (magician, mariachi band, aerialists, salsa dancers, a caricature artist, etc.)

So, as you start planning your wedding day and your future together, maybe it’s the perfect time to embrace some new wedding trends that are more personal, engaging and memorable for all.

About the Author: Jim Emerson

Jim has helped over 1,100 couples reduce the stress of creating their personal and unique wedding ceremony. He is a husband, father, friend, author, triathlete, handyman, teacher and passionate about his family and work. Jim can help you imagine, create and celebrate your dream wedding ceremony. Contact him today, he’d love to hear from you.

The Best Way to Plan your Marriage!

Authored by: Jim Emerson
November 13, 2018

You have spent months planning your wedding day, but how much time have you invested in discussing situations and events Planning A Marriagethat may cause stress in your marriage? So, before your big day talk through a few of the following potentially touchy issues and consider how you will work through them if they occur at some point during your marriage.

Family Matters
When you’re married, your family unit becomes you, your spouse, and your children. But how about your parents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews? These extended family members can bring some of the greatest joys to your marriage, but they may also be some of your relationship’s greatest challenges. How much time do you spend with your family now, and how much do you expect to spend with them once you’re married and potentially have children?

Bringing two families together, the arrival of your own children, or decision not to have children, are issues that can cause family tension. Ultimately, you are a team, and you should present a united front when any inter-family arguments arise.

Having and Raising Kids
This is a biggie. If you haven’t already openly communicated your feelings towards starting a family, now is the time to discuss where you each stand on the issue.  How many children do you think you want – if any at all – and how long into your marriage do you wait to have kids? If you are bringing kids into a new marriage, how should they be disciplined?

If there are fertility issues, are you open to adoption, becoming a foster parent or is IVF an option? These topics may not be the easiest to talk about,but chatting about how you’d handle these issues will make it easier if the event ever arises.

Religion
Religion can be an extremely divisive issue in a marriage. If you practice a religion or have a particular faith, how important is it that your partner share the same faith as you? It may not be a major consideration now, but problems may arisewhen children arrive and you’re deciding on how to raise them. What religion, if any, do you want to raise them in? So, talk about your faith, and how you see it affecting your shared life, nowand down the road.

Financial Matters
Finances is one of the biggest causes of stress and tension in many relationships,but it’s a conversation you absolutely must have before marriage. So, instead of avoiding the subject or sweeping it under the rug, have an in-depth discussion about the specifics of your finances, your expectations and budget.

Decide whether you’ll pool your money or retain separate bank accounts. If you decide on separate accounts, who will be responsible for paying what expenses, how will you address gift-giving or charitable donations, or large investments? What would you do if one of you won the lottery, gained an inheritance or lost your job? Do you have an emergency fund and how will you contribute to the fund?

On the other hand, if you combine your financial resources, have you planned and budgeted how to pay off your existing debt or save for the future? There isn’t a single answer that works for every couple, and that’s why you need to communicate your expectations before marriage and not after it develops into an argument.

Your Careers
How committed is each of you to your careers and how will your choice impact your marriage? You might have touched on your career goals and aspirations, but have you discussed what you’d do if one of you needed or wanted to relocate for work? Where do you want to plant your career roots? Whatever that looks like, make sure your partner is on board. Even if it’s not in the cards right now, it’s worthwhile having a game plan.

Till the End
Although an inevitability, death is still a difficult topic to talk about. Talking about it, however, can help you face the realities and cope a little better when you experience bereavement. Who will be your beneficiary, and who will raise your kids should something happen to both of you. Do you both have wills?

In Sickness and Health
Changes in your own health or the health of a loved one can be a source of great anxiety in any marriage. What would happen if one of your parents or extended family member required a lot of support or needed to be moved to an extended care facility? Discussing your feelings and possible options before marriage, may help you both one day.

Time Management
Some couples prefer spending time together participating in shared interests, while others value keeping up separate friendships through sport or other avocations. How much time together is just right for you?

The biggest issue of all however, is will you have a TV in your bedroom? Answering this all-important question before you get married and the season begins, could provide valuable insight into how you see your married life together

 

About the Author: Jim Emerson

Jim has helped over 1,100 couples reduce the stress of creating their personal and unique wedding ceremony. He is a husband, father, friend, author, triathlete, handyman, teacher and passionate about his family and work. Jim can help you imagine, create and celebrate your dream wedding ceremony. Contact him today, he’d love to hear from you.

Sara and Elliott

We Couldn’t be Happier…

“Enduring Promises came recommended to me from my cousin whose friend used Enduring Promises to find her officiant. I contacted the company, and someone emailed me back very quickly giving me options for officiants who would best fit our non-religious wedding ceremony.

We met Brian Manuel and instantly knew he’d be perfect. He made everything less stressful by giving us ideas for our ceremony. The website was very easy to use and extremely helpful. We were able to use examples and change them to fit our ideas for our perfect ceremony. Brian supported us the entire way and made it so easy. When our big day arrived, I was so relieved to see Brian’s smiling face – he was so personable and very professional. Brian made the entire process stress free and helped create our ceremony.

We recommend Brian and Enduring Promises to any engaged couple looking for an officiant. This was truly an amazing experience and there is nothing we would have changed.”

Sara & Elliott
Wedding Wire

Note to the Bride & Groom: You shouldn’t do this……

Authored by: Jim Emerson
September 10, 2018

If you search the internet looking for wedding ceremony etiquette, you would find many posts directed towards how guests should or shouldn’t behave. However, little is written about how the bride and groom should conduct themselves at such a significant gatheringAs a wedding will be one of the most significant days in a couple’s life, their behavior needs to reflect this. So, here are a few specific behaviours that the honoured couple should avoid at all costs:

  • Don’t get stuck doing wedding duties that your wedding party can handle. Spend time celebrating with your guests and your new spouse.
  • Don’t change your mind about who will be in your wedding party after you’ve asked, and your invitation has been accepted. If you do, you’ll probably lose a friendship.
  • Don’t ask your attendants to run errands that should be performed by hired help. If you need a baby-sitter during the reception or someone to shuffle cars, hire someone…but not one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen.
  • Along a similar line, never ask a guest to donate an item or volunteer a service that would normally be paid for. More than likely they will say yes, but is it a willing yes or do they feel compelled? Your cousins as the musicians, his aunt the baker or your uncle the photographer are often the targets of this abuse.
  • Don’t spend too much time with any one guest or group to the exclusion of others. Spend time, with your new partner by your side, visiting with each of your guests. Once you have chatted with all who joined in your celebration, revisit your nearest and dearest. If possible, try to visit with each guest at least twice during the evening so that everyone feels welcomed and included.
  • Don’t question an invited guest’s reason for declining your wedding ceremony invitation. You don’t know what might be going on in their lives when your invitation lands in their Inbox.
  • The quickest way to make your guests feel forgotten or unappreciated is to start your ceremony 30 minutes late or leave a big gap between the end of your ceremony and the beginning of cocktail hour.
  • Whether it’s from the bride or groom, no one wants to hear a long and boring toasts. Keep them short and sweet. Speeches can be meaningful without rambling on. Your guests want to get dancing!

A final thought: Regardless of the flowers, music or food, the result is the same — you just married the person you love, and nothing else matters!

About the Author: Jim Emerson

Jim has helped over 1,100 couples reduce the stress of creating their personal and unique wedding ceremony. He is a husband, father, friend, author, triathlete, handyman, teacher and passionate about his family and work. Jim can help you imagine, create and celebrate your dream wedding ceremony. Contact him today, he’d love to hear from you.

Why You Should Attend a Bridal Show

Authored by: Jim Emerson
September 5, 2018

Have you ever received a blast email about an upcoming bridal show in your area and wondered if it’s worth the time, money and energy to go? After all, your wedding is still a year away and you fear being attacked by pushy salespeople and over-whelmed by the amount of available information. On the other hand, you haven’t done this before and need some help in planning “THE DAY” you have dreamed of for years. So, here are a few reasons why you should go to a bridal show:

Information. Suggestions. Recommendations.
There are many factors to consider when planning your wedding. Even though you have some ideas, the professionals you meet face-to-face at a bridal show will be able to answer any questions you may have. So, it’s a good idea to speak with as many exhibitors as you can. Ask about their background, experience, services, and aspects of your wedding that are an absolute must have. You’ll get immediate feedback and some suggestions that might confirm that the person you are speaking with is the perfect vendor for your wedding.

Inspiration. Trends.
Although Pinterest, Instagram, Google and innumerable wedding blogs and websites have made it easier to learn about the latest trends and fashions, nothing compares to seeing and feeling the real thing – “up close and personal”. The best vendors, based on online reviews, are typically up-to-date with the ever-changing trends in the wedding world and will happily share what they have seen and experienced.

Prizes. Discounts. Free stuff.
Most bridal shows have some type of gift for those who register early and door prizes for all things wedding related.  Many wedding vendors also offer some form of show promotion which might include a reduction in their fee, an upgrade to their standard package and even honeymoon discounts, if their service is booked by a certain date. So, if you’re not sure, it never hurts to ask if the vendor is running a show special. We guarantee that there will be some specials that are far too good to pass up.

Camaraderie. Second Opinions.
There’s no two ways about it – wedding planning can be stressful.So, enjoy an afternoon at a bridal show with loved onesby bringing along your wedding party, mom and mother-in-law.

Having more than one person with you, especially someone whose opinion you value and trust,will keep you from making rash decisions, help you gather info, and help you carry the magazines, brochures and other goodies the exhibitors have for you. The more decisions you can make at the show however, the more items you can check off your planning list.

Attending a major bridal show can a great experience, extremely informative and a lot of fun. That said, it requires preparation, nerves of steel, the patience of a saint, and extra strong coffee. But if you’re hoping to make a personal connection with your vendors, and be more efficient in your planning efforts, you should attend a bridal show in your area. You won’t be disappointed you did

About the Author: Jim Emerson

Jim has helped over 1,100 couples reduce the stress of creating their personal and unique wedding ceremony. He is a husband, father, friend, author, triathlete, handyman, teacher and passionate about his family and work. Jim can help you imagine, create and celebrate your dream wedding ceremony. Contact him today, he’d love to hear from you.

What If They’re Not The One?

Authored by: Jim Emerson
July 25, 2018

I can’t remember a year when so many couples have decided to end their relationship, and cancel their wedding. They’ve already begun celebrating with family and friends, receiving gifts, choosing vendors, and finalizing a honeymoon destination. They’re months into planning the biggest celebration of their lives and they are confronted with the reality that they aren’t in love anymore. Now what?

I won’t try to sugar-coat the situation with words like, “Your family and friends will be totally supportive and understanding”, or “It’s what you’ve got to do, if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life married to the wrong person”. It’s going to be emotionally challenging, no doubt about it. I commend you for taking the difficult step to cancel your wedding knowing that s/he is not your soulmate, but deep down inside you know that going ahead with the wedding isn’t the right thing to do. So, here are some steps to take if you have decided to cancel your wedding.

Announce your decision to your families and those involved in the wedding immediately (the wedding party, readers, grandparents, siblings, etc). Meet face-to-face, together if possible, with the both sets of parents. Details are not necessary, but it is important to reach out expressing your disappointment that things didn’t work out. If it’s not possible to meet or speak with both sets of parents, for whatever reason, it’s appropriate to write them a heartfelt letter, not an email, thanking them for their support and love.

Tell all your invited guests as soon as possible of your decision, especially those who have made travel plans or placed deposits on accommodations. If your date is close at hand, a phone call might be required to ensure all guests received the message. If you haven’t sent out invitations or any other correspondence (including a Save-the-Date announcement) there is no need to spread the word in any formal way. However, if wedding invitations were sent by mail, email is not appropriate notice and a hand-written note should be sent.

Contact your vendors and let them know, in writing, that you’re cancelling your wedding. Review each vendors’ cancellation policy regarding your deposit. Generally, deposits are non-refundable, but there may be room for flexibility depending on the timing of your cancellation and the circumstances. Most wedding vendors and travel agents will try to be as accommodating as possible but be prepared for the worst. If you are only weeks away from your scheduled celebration, it’s safe to assume that you will not receive a refund – from any vendor.

If you have already paid in full, and there is little chance of a partial refund or credit, ask about using the deposits for another event.

Return all engagement, shower and wedding gifts to the guests who sent them.  Include a note announcing the cancellation of your engagement and wedding ceremony and thank them for their kindness. Return them sooner than later, as your guests may be able to return the gift they sent to you. Besides you don’t want reminders  of a wedding that didn’t happen.

Statistics show that 13% of couples cancel their engagement. So, you aren’t the first to cancel a wedding, and you won’t be the last. After the embarrassment, self-doubt, tears and emotional pain has passed, you will look back in relief on your decision not to spend your life married to the wrong person.

About the Author: Jim Emerson

Jim has helped over 1,100 couples reduce the stress of creating their personal and unique wedding ceremony. He is a husband, father, friend, author, triathlete, handyman, teacher and passionate about his family and work. Jim can help you imagine, create and celebrate your dream wedding ceremony. Contact him today, he’d love to hear from you.

Do I Have To Include a Reading In My Wedding Ceremony?

Authored by: Jim Emerson
June 28, 2018

The short answer is no you don’t…but maybe you want to.

Having families and friends gather together to celebrate with you on your wedding day is a truly special occasion. Incorporating a reading or two in your ceremony can be an effective way make your ceremony more personal and more inclusive by involving guests to participate in your ceremony. If you do include a reading which reflects your personalities and values, your guests will not only listen attentively and be engaged but will appreciate your selection. Listed below are some questions which might help you decide if you want to include a reading in your ceremony:

1) Why are you considering adding a reading to your ceremony?
2) Who is this reading for, You or our guests?
3) What does the reading say about you as a couple?
4) Do you know the right person you want to read it?

If you decide not to include a reading, your ceremony isn’t going to fall apart, and your guests might not even notice. After all, readings aren’t for every couple and you don’t want to add one just to pad your ceremony or because you’re being pressure to do so by your favourite aunt. We often suggest to couples, not to include a reading just because you think you must. Include one because it speaks to you, it provides some insight about you as a couple, and adds an emotional connection with your guests. In addition, if you’re incorporating other cultural or traditional elements in your ceremony, a reading may not add to your celebration.

Remember that a reading is personal and very subjective. This is your day, so if you choose to include a reading or not in your ceremony it’s totally up to you, not Aunt Sally.

About the Author: Jim Emerson

Jim Emerson has helped over 1,100 couples reduce the stress of creating their personal and unique wedding ceremony. He is a husband, father, friend, author, triathlete, handyman, teacher and passionate about his family and work. Jim can help you imagine, create and celebrate your dream wedding ceremony. Contact him today, he’d love to hear from you.