See the full list of finalists here.
We are humbled and so very honored to find out that for the third year in a row Koru Ceremony has been named a finalist for the 2019 WI Bride Magazine award for Best Officiant. We won the award last year and will find out in a couple of months if we won again this year. Whether we won or not, we are so grateful to those of you that voted for us. We truly have been blessed to work with so many amazing couples.
See the full list of finalists here.
Here is an excellent article on whether you should hire a professional wedding officiant versus asking a friend or relative to perform the ceremony.
Read the full article here by Pepper Sprout Barn.
Wedding officiants | Professional vs. Family
Your wedding officiant can have a major impact on your day. The vows, rings and pronouncement of being officially married are the reasons for the wedding. Many couples ask a friend or family member to officiate their wedding but problems often arise when the ceremony is not performed by a professional.
At Pepper Sprout Barn we’d estimate 60% of our weddings are officiated by a family member or a friend. Perhaps they don't know a pastor or officiant, their personal pastor is not available or it’s simply a vendor they procrastinate contacting. The reasons for the shift in not hiring a professional officiant are plentiful but unfortunately so can be the mistakes made by amateurs.
More and more couples enlist the help of a family member. After all, getting ordained online is quick, easy and free.
It’s an option, we don’t deny and trust us many ceremonies that are officiated by a family member are beautiful and run smoothly but mistakes are common when we have a first-time officiant at the altar. With more and more weddings happening outside a church, the trend to ask a family member to officiate is on the rise.
You ask your dad, brother, uncle or friend to officiate your wedding. Sounds like the perfect plan, right? They get ordained online, you save money and someone you love and adore marries you, what could go wrong? Well, actually a lot can go wrong….here are some thoughts to consider.
Nerves get the best of people
Think about it, it’s the most important day of YOUR life, they are standing in front of many people they don’t know and they are in charge of the ceremony, the reason you are all there. That’s a BIG responsibility and they have no experience and very little practice under their belt.
Sure they can practice in front of a mirror or with a small group of people but that is not the same as years of experience and when the real moment comes, many first-time officiants stumble at some point, some more than others.
When you Google wedding ceremony scripts, you get many options but the free versions are most often outlines, highlighting only the basic elements you should include in your ceremony such as introduction, prayer, unity ceremony, vows and final pronouncement. After all, they are free so professionals aren’t going to give away their best tips for nothing. Often the online templates do not include the little things, the pieces that make the entire ceremony flow smoothly. We often see the following things not addressed until the night of the rehearsal and once it’s sorted out, the officiant forgets to write it down and at the ceremony, it’s jumbled or forgotten all over again.
Small details to consider:
The pros are used to talking in front of people. New faces and crowds do not make them nervous.
Professionals can help create a beautiful, unique, personal ceremony just for you. You won’t have to rely on a basic template that anyone can find in an online search.
They have a tried and true system for creating ceremonies. They can share personal collections of verses, prayers, readings that suit your style. They can save you hours of researching online.
With the ceremony they create for you, there are no missing parts and often they will give you a professional copy of the final script, something that will be a forever keepsake. Imagine your kids reading it one day or incorporating it into their wedding and you have it if you ever renew your vows.
They’ve made mistakes and have learned from them. Years of experience cannot be discounted. Think of that classic saying, “You get what you pay for”.
Professional wedding officiants know how to navigate changes, bumps and interruptions that come with a wedding day. Crying kids, loud noises outside, a coughing guest are just a few possibilities.
This is their job, since they are not nervous so they don’t speak at warp speed or forget things. We had a new officiant that forgot to announce the couple as husband and wife! Hello, that’s what we are all here for! You can’t get that moment back, it’s gone forever.
Trust us, the few hundred dollars that the professionals charge or the donation you make to their church will by far be worth the money when your ceremony is flawless, you are legally married and all proper documents are filled out and sent out on time! Not to mention all the time they will save you from researching, typing, planning and coordinating with family to make sure it all comes together.
As it is with most parts of wedding planning, if you involve too many opinions, the vision is no longer yours. Do you really want that for your wedding ceremony? Working with a professional wedding officiant will ensure that the details of your ceremony are a true reflection of your love and style.
Don’t forget that a professional wedding officiant provides services before and after the wedding too. They give you information on how to obtain a marriage license in your state, they send the license off for you after the wedding so you are legally wed, and they provide you information on how to legally change your name. Again, hours of time saved from research you do not have to do on your own. Think of the online rabbit holes you can avoid by hiring a professional officiant!
If you don’t know of a professional wedding officiant, ask your venue. They will very likely have a list of names they can provide....
We get it. You want family to be a part of the ceremony!
You can do that and still have a professional wedding officiant. You can ask them to do a reading, say a prayer, sing a song, be a member of the wedding party but remember the ceremony is what makes it official, the vows are legally binding, do you really want to risk it?
We don't deny having someone you love marry you is a touching moment but we see mistakes happen every time and they can be avoided. It’s your wedding ceremony, and it really should be perfect. After all, all eyes & ears are on you! The memorable moments should be the touching words, emotional elements not the burst of laughter or awkward silences stemming from the mistakes or nerves of your first-time officiant.
Above all else, we want your day to be perfect so if you opt for a family member to officiate we hope that these tips will help your ceremony run smoothly. We want it to be a happy memory for all the right reasons.
Last Sunday (2-24-19) Koru Ceremony had the privilege of being invited to participate in the Ever After Wed Show at The Edgewater. It was hosted by the fabulous and extremely talented Sarah and Andrea from Cherry Blossom Events and Amy from One Fine Day Productions. Here are a few photos taken by the amazing Madison Meredith Photography so can get a sense at how outstanding this show was for the couples that came to gather inspiration and find some of the best vendors in the wedding industry.
Working in the wedding business we know how much effort it takes to plan a wedding while keeping your relationship healthy. Our goal is not only to help you plan your wedding, but to honor your commitment to each other. To help couples strengthen their union, we will be offering a relationship building course to both engaged and married couples.
Transitioning to married life requires specific skills to ensure your marriage remains healthy well into the future. This half-day workshop will allow you and your spouse to learn the skills to strengthen the loving foundation that brought you together. The key elements we will be exploring are the Root Cause of Conflict, Effective Listening Skills and Empathy. These powerful skills are applicable to situations and challenges you will face throughout your marriage. Keeping the marriage healthy in good times is easy, now you will have the skills to keep the marriage healthy in challenging times as well.
The Key Elements to a Healthy Marriage is a half-day workshop Rev. Pat offers with her colleague, Delores Kokinos, owner of The Empowerment Cafe. This workshop will help you establish early patterns of open and effective communication with your partner.
Date: Sunday, February 17, 2019
Time: 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Includes: Lunch and Materials
Space is limited, so sign up by clicking on this link. Or contact Rev. Pat at email@example.com or 608-213-7558 for more information.
Love this photo of Rev. Amy at Dusty and Breckan's wedding at Sugarland this past October.
Voting is currently open for the Wisconsin Bride Magazine 2019 Best Vendor Awards and we would greatly appreciate if you would vote for Koru Ceremony in the “Best Officiant” category.
Winning this Best of 2019 Award gives Koru wider exposure statewide so new couples might consider Koru Ceremony as the officiant for their upcoming wedding. Koru was a finalist for Best Officiant in 2017 and WON the award in 2018. Winning was an honor and we were delighted and humbled by the number of people that voted for us. We would love to win again in 2019.
You can find the link to vote HERE. Voting is very easy but you must fill out at least SIX categories for your vote to count. I am happy to provide suggestions in these other categories if you need help with them. Voting closes on February 22, 2019. But instead of waiting, would you take a few minutes right away to vote for Koru Ceremony?
Amy, Sarah, and I truly believe that we have the BEST job in the world as an Officiant. It is always enjoyable to get to know each of our amazing couples and it was an honor to be a part of your special day.
Thank you in advance for the Koru love.
Suzy and Dan just sent me some photos from their micro wedding at Gates of Heaven. What is a micro wedding?
In simple terms, a micro wedding is an abbreviated wedding celebration that only has a handful of guests (commonly 20 or less). It often is more simple in format, relaxed in atmosphere, and a little less stressful in organizing than a traditional wedding. Here is what The Knot says about micro weddings.
Woohoo! Koru Ceremony won the 2019 Wedding Wire Couples' Choice Award again this year. We have received this award 6 years in a row. I'm so thankful for my colleagues, Rev. Amy Gile and Rev. Sarah Harrison, and for the wonderful job they do officiating weddings for Koru. And I am grateful for the fantastic couples that wrote such positive and glowing reviews for us on WeddingWire throughout the entire 2018 wedding season so that we could win this award. Each year I am humbled and feel so grateful to be able to work with such amazing people and to be able to do what I love.
One of the most important components of a successful relationship is the quality of friendship between partners. And that requires knowing your partner’s likes, dislikes, needs, desires, beliefs, fears, and life dreams.
So, how well do you really know your partner?
Take the quiz to find out
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Having recently been to Denmark in June, I'm all about Hygge!! I feel that Koru Ceremony's values mirrors much of the same values as hygge.
Here is how The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living defines hygge:
"Embrace Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) and become happier with the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being.
Why are Danes the happiest people in the world? The answer, says Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, is Hygge. Loosely translated, Hygge—pronounced Hoo-ga—is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. "Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience," Wiking explains. "It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe."
Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.
The Little Book of Hygge introduces you to this cornerstone of Danish life, and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your own life, such as:
The Marriage Minute also shared this:
For the seventh consecutive year, Denmark was ranked in the top three happiest countries in the world by the 2018 World Happiness Report.
Why are Danes so happy?
It may have something to do with the Danish concept of hygge.
Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is sometimes translated as “cozy,” but a better definition is “intentional intimacy.”
Research on hygge has found that it’s integral to people’s sense of well-being. It acts as a buffer against stress, while also creating a space to build camaraderie.
At its core, hygge is about building intimacy and trust with others.
We could all use a little more of it in our lives.
Related Blog Posts
Thank you Heidi and Ryan for writing this really wonderful review for Rev. Sarah on The Knot and Wedding Wire.
"We were fortunate to have Sarah as our officiant and were so impressed with our entire experience with her. After our first meeting with Sarah we knew she was the perfect match for us, her experience, positive energy and calming presence were exactly what we needed. The ceremony planning guides were so helpful and really put us at ease when putting the ceremony together. We also really appreciated Sarah's flexibility with coordinating meetings with us as we were planning our wedding in Wisconsin from several states away. Our family and friends continue to share with us positive comments on how lovely Sarah is. Words can't express how happy were were to have Sarah as our officiant, she is amazing and we highly recommend her and Koru Ceremony!"
Beautiful pictures by TKO Photo Arts at Heidi and Ryan's wedding at Blackhawk Country Club, Madison WI, in November 2018. This couple was so much fun and so kind. Blessings to them both in 2019!
Just found out that Koru Ceremony LLC won The Knot Best of Weddings 2019 Award for Best Officiant. We are honored to have received this award 5 years in a row. (only 2% of all wedding pros win each year)
We are grateful to the couples we married this past wedding season that have written wonderful reviews for us on The Knot which allows us to win the ultimate stamp of approval from past wedding couple to new couples looking for an officiant for their upcoming wedding day.
We are so thankful for your heartfelt comments and truly feel privleged to be a part of the best day of these couples lives.
(Photo of Sue, Sarah, Pat, and Amy when Koru Ceremony LLC won the WI Bride Magazine Best of 2018 Award for Best Officiant)
Thank you Eric for writing this really lovely and heartfelt review for me on Wedding Wire.
"Pat was just simply an absolute joy to work with! She takes enough time to get to know you, but also keeps things quick and enjoyable during prep. Helps with everything, including the documents no one wants to worry about that day! Lovely all around and highly recommended!" -Eric
Photo by Twig and Olive Photography
This fun and loving couple said their I do's and became husband and wife on Oct. 27, 2018, at Fat Apple Farms in Columbus, WI. Cory and Pamela shared this very special day with their children and created a new family with the strong and ever-lasting bonds of love and laughter. Congratulations to you both!
It's not often that I have the opportunity to officiate a wedding during the week, but I really enjoyed marrying Dan and Suzy at Gates of Heaven yesterday. It was a small intimate wedding with 7 guests, but still included a biblical reading, duet, Charge to the Couple, photographer, videographer, and all of the same elements you might see with a large guest list. (Fun fact: every single guest had a role and actively participated during the ceremony.) I have always believed that it doesn't matter the size of the wedding, it is still a really special day and this delightful couple walked away saying the ceremony was perfect!
I had the pleasure of officiating Melissa and Dom's wedding at the Country Bluff Wedding Chapel in Baraboo, WI. It is a little chapel near Devil's Lake State Park. They personalized their ceremony by doing a tree ritual. The Sugar Maple tree that they watered during the ceremony will be planted on the family farm. They also incorporated a solo by one of the bridesmaids, and readings by her sisters, including the humorous one, "How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog."
What a joyful day to join Mario and Prashanth in marriage. I loved how personalized they made their ceremony at the Historic First Lutheran Church in Middleton, WI. Not only did I have the chance to tell their amazing and humorous love story, but they also asked their guests to participate in their candle lighting and they performed the seven steps or Hindu Saptapadi ritual. It was a beautiful blend of their two cultural backgrounds.
This couple's love and strength is a blessing to themselves and the people that make up their beautiful family and friends. May the sun shine brightly upon them all the days of their life together as husband and wife. Melissa and Todd were married at the Wisconsin State Capital Rotunda on Oct. 20, 2018. Thank you to them both for allowing me to officiate their ceremony and be apart of their family story.
I had the privilege of officiating Jess and Dell's wedding yesterday at The Loft at 132 in Sun Prairie. Such an incredible couple that met in 7th grade! Dell's vows may have been the best groom's vows I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. It wasn't only the words he wrote, but also the way he delivered them that was so outstanding.
UPDATE: Jessica wrote this really wonderful review for me on The Knot.
"Pat was truly amazing! She went above and beyond what we expected for the ceremony was willing to work with us with a short timeline and limited availability. All of our guests gave compliments to us about her and the ceremony, and there was not a dry eye in the crowd. She was so organized and made the whole process very low stress. I would recommend Pat to anyone looking for a wedding officiant."
One of the sweetest couples I had the pleasure of working with this wedding season was Lauren and Jake. They got married this past July at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison.
Lauren just wrote this really kind review for me on The Knot.
"Working with Pat from Koru was a dream! Pat is a warm and thoughtful woman, which made all the difference for us. After our first meeting with her, we felt extremely comfortable with her and knew our wedding day would be perfect with her as our officiant. Pat's ceremony options can be tailored to each couple and can be religious or secular, based on your needs. Pat was very responsive to emails and completed the ceremony script in a timely manner, allowing us to give input on what we wanted/did not want to include. On the day-of, Pat was such a calming presence when standing up in front of everyone, shaking while holding the hands of your partner. Pat is more than just an officiant - she takes the time to get to know the couple and you feel as though you get to know her in return. I would definitely recommend having Pat as your officiant if you're looking for someone who will really care about the couple and the journey they are about to embark upon!"
Derek and Michelle were married this past Saturday in the Senate Chamber at the WI State Capitol. The Capitol holds significance for them so it was the perfect place to get married. It's where they met and shared many happy conversations while working at the Capitol and where Derek proposed to Michelle. Congratulations to this wonderful couple.
UPDATE: I received this really nice review that Derek wrote for me on both Wedding Wire and The Knot.
Pat was absolutely wonderful to work with in helping us to prepare our ceremony and achieve the right flow. She met with us several times, provided great suggestions, and was available to us every step of the way. Most importantly, she smoothly and expertly guided us through such an important part of our day, and her positive energy really helped to make the moment special for us! I would highly recommend her to anyone.
Katie recently wrote me this fantastic review on Wedding Wire about their wedding at the Park Hotel. I loved working with Katie and Robert! And I particularly love the line she wrote in her review that said, "even those who 'don't cry at weddings', showed a great deal of emotion at our ceremony."
"Pat did a wonderful job officiating our ceremony. She worked with us to make it personal, and got down to every last detail. Our friends and family, even those who "don't cry at weddings", showed a great deal of emotion at our ceremony."
Photo by Karly Jo Photography
Welcome to our blog. As an officiant and wedding coordinator I delight in assisting couples celebrate one of the best and most memorable days of their life. I hope you find this blog to be a source of inspiration and joy.