WOW! Many thanks to everyone that voted for Koru Ceremony. We are so honored to be named for the fourth year in a row, a finalist for the WI Bride BEST OF 2020. We won BEST OFFICIANT the past two years and are looking forward to finding out the results for this year's award in November. Whether we win or not, it is always a privilege to be in this company of amazing and talented wedding pros, who are some of the best in the industry across the board. And we want to congratulate our fellow officiants, who were also named finalists.
It was a complete joy to marry Jim and Katie on their incredibly beautiful farm in Belleville, WI.
This year, it has been so much fun to do so many small, intimate micro weddings because of Covid-19. Just because these weddings are tiny doesn't mean they are less exceptional. I would say that sometimes they are even more special because it is so much easier for everyone to be present in the moment, and today was no exception.
I loved the ceremony that I crafted with Jim and Katie, and it was fun to include their children with two of them, each doing a reading. But my favorite part of the ceremony was the moment of silence. Here are the words I shared about this breathtakingly gorgeous farm that is so special to this family:
"Kate and Jim came upon this farm for the very first time nearly five years ago today. They'd been dating two years and were looking for a house they could restore and a piece of land they could revive. They wanted a place where their children could be together- or apart- with space to wander. When Kate and Jim drove up the long driveway- the house, the sky, the birds, and the burr oaks spoke to them, welcomed them, and a seed was planted.
Just as Kate and Jim have loved this place, this place has loved all of you. So let us take a moment of silence and with gratitude, listen, and give thanks to this peaceful place you call home."
Many thanks to Liz and Alex for taking the time to write this glowing review for me on The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Google Business. They were a complete joy to work with in planning their wedding ceremony. This couple went from planning a wedding with lots of guests at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, WI to creating an intimate celebration with their immediate family in their backyard in Elk Grove Village, IL.
It takes a lot of time and energy to plan a wedding, but planning a wedding in the middle of a global pandemic takes courage too. Luckily these two are EMT/Firefighters.
"We loved working with Pat. She rescheduled with us 3 times at 2 different locations for our wedding during this crazy time. Her flexibility and patience were a Godsend. She made creating the ceremony fun and personal for my husband and me, and all of our family agreed that our ceremony was phenomenal. Thank you so much for everything Pat!"
Liz and Alex were married on June 21, 2020.
I loved marrying Susan and Don in May at the UW Arboretum. They were a sweet and unconventional couple. Being able to create a unique, one-of-a-kind ceremony that fit them perfectly was a joy. Here is the review they wrote for me on The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Google Business.
"We were delighted to have Pat as our officiant for a non-traditional, non-religious, socially distanced pandemic wedding and I cannot recommend her highly enough!
We were VERY specific about what we wanted, while simultaneously needing a lot of guidance. Pat provided that guidance in a wonderfully patient way and was very understanding of how much control I took of the ceremony text and planning.
We met in person a couple times before the pandemic but after that, every meeting was done remotely via zoom and by email. She was exceptionally punctual about responding when I made changes or had questions.
When the day came, Pat allowed us to be without masks while she and our witnesses wore them, and we maintained social distancing. She was a delightfully elegant, venerable officiant and spoke beautifully. It was truly a more perfect day than I had even imagined, and I am so glad we met Pat to walk through it with us!"
Thank you Caelin and Walter for writing this beautiful and heartfelt words about your wedding on June 20, 2020, with Rev. Sarah Harrison at your family farm in Lake Geneva:
"We had less than 30 days until our elopement when we met Sarah at Koru Ceremonies. Sarah and the Koru team worked quickly with us to arrange and plan an intimate and personalized ceremony. Because of the COVID pandemic, we had to downsize and replan our special day. Sarah helped us navigate the challenges of a small ceremony and made the experience more intimate and heartfelt than we ever imagined.
The ten individuals present were able to participate in a small ritual, read from scripture and feel a part of our vows to one another. After the ceremony, our guests said it was the most special wedding they had attended (and it certainly wasn't their first!)
Sarah was flexible, responsive, and insightful when it came to rehearsing and orchestrating the ceremony. She knew all the tips and tricks to help everything go as planned. She was also patient with my husband as I as we worked to set up a tripod to have his parents and sister join via video conference. Throughout the entire process she provided a calm, confident and professional attitude.
We would recommend Sarah and Koru to anyone, especially couples still looking to have a ceremony in the middle of a health crisis. Thank you Sarah!"
What did you do today on a Tuesday morning at 10 am? Why I officiated a wedding! I can't tell you what a joy it was to work with Susan and Don. Such a fun couple!
Together we created a very unique one-of-a-kind ceremony that spoke to exactly who they are as a couple and their relationship. And even though they are really laid back people and didn't want to make too much of a fuss, it was an emotional day and there was still laughter and tears.
Lilacs were a theme. Susan picked lilacs from their backyard and the lilacs were in full bloom at the UW Arboretum where we had the small and intimate wedding.
These crazy times call for crazy love stories, along with clever and creatives ways to get married. Watch John Krasinski's SGN (Some Good News) Episode 7 Virtual wedding. (Wedding starts at 6:00 minutes)
Here is the ultimate guide to throwing a virtual wedding by Brides. Read through this article for some great suggestions on how to host a micro-wedding.
The most important thing to know about weddings such as these in the state of Wisconsin is that you must have an officiant physically present to do the ceremony. The officiant cannot do it remotely via Zoom or any other platform.
Additionally, one couple was talking to me about "marrying themselves" without an officiant. Although this sounds like a great suggestion during a global pandemic, it is not legal in Wisconsin until your religious affiliation, such as Quaker, allows this.
Be sure to check with the County Clerk of Courts in the county where you live about the rules and guidelines if you want to be legally married by the end of the wedding.
This couple got super creative and came up with an out-of-the-box idea for getting married while we are social distancing- they got married at a drive-in theater.
Want to try something similar? Here is a link for drive-in theaters in Wisconsin:
Megan and John- Thank you so much for writing these incredible heartfelt words of praise. I am blushing but I am so glad not only that you loved the ceremony but that I was also helpful to you during such a difficult time. I thought you pulled off an amazing wedding and look forward to the big celebration next April. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a beautiful review for me on both The Knot and Wedding Wire.
"I wish I could give this rating ten stars! We were so lucky to find Reverend Pat on “The Knot”. We met with her once and knew immediately that we wanted her to marry us.
We spent the better half of a year planning and critiquing our ceremony with the help and guidance of Reverend Pat. Her wide array of ceremony suggestions, readings, vows, and styles were phenomenal! She created a very personal and customized ceremony for us, and it was beautiful!
Unfortunately, COVID19 struck a month before our planned date, and we had to backtrack and re-plan everything.
Pat was SO quick to help. She immediately gave us different “civil ceremony” options, as well as offered a shortened/revised version of our original ceremony (which we decided to do).
Our readjusted wedding day was more perfect than I could have imagined! As Pat read our shorter customized ceremony, there was not a dry eye to be seen. Our vows will be remembered forever.
Pat connected with my fiancé and me immediately. Her kindness and devotion to bring two people together shines through at all times.
We can’t thank you enough Pat! You are truly wonderful.
Anyone looking for an officiant.... look no further. Reverend Pat will make your day beautiful and intimate. You’ll remember it for the rest of your lives."
Megan and John were married on April 25, 2020, at John's parents' house.
Spring is finally here, which means it is time to vote for the Annual Wisconsin Bride Magazine Best of Awards. In 2017 Koru Ceremony was a finalist and then won the award for Best Officiant in 2018 and 2019. We would love to win again for a 3-peat. Winning this award gives us the “creds” we need to attract new couples looking for a professional wedding officiant.
Right now in the midst of COVID-19, people are making an effort to support small businesses and this is the perfect way to support Koru Ceremony. So if you haven’t already cast your ballot, please take a few minutes to go to the WI Bride website to vote for us as BEST OFFICIANT. Voting closes MAY 4!
As Koru Ceremony begins our 15th wedding season, we have been so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing wedding couples and vendors. And we feel truly blessed to have family and friends that have supported us along the way. Thank you!
LINK TO VOTE:
Today was supposed to be Megan and John's big wedding day! But a little thing like a global pandemic prevented that from happening. Instead Megan and John asked me to officiate a small intimate ceremony for them at John's parents house earlier today and a large celebration with all their family and friends is planned for one year from now on the same weekend.
Wedding couples getting married this season are having to make some really hard decisions. Many have postponed their weddings to later in the year or to 2021. But no matter what couples decide to do, the most helpful piece of advice I can give is to remain flexible and not be "married" to your original plans.
John and Megan were happy with their decision to have a small micro wedding today. They seemed were surprised by how meaningful and emotional it was for them and the few family members that came. I wasn't surprised at all because I know that no matter how small a ceremony is, it is still a wedding and that makes it a special day. Congratulations John and Megan!
A KORU (kor-roo) is the Maori word for "loop." For the indigenous people of New Zealand, the koru spiral shape represents the fern frond as it begins to unfurl, symbolizing new beginnings and hope for the future. It embodies a new phase of life, positive change, personal growth, working together in harmony, and being mindful of the good things in life. This is why I named my business, Koru Ceremony. We strive to personify these ideals that honor the celebration of a new beginning through ceremony.
Who knew that a global pandemic would support a new trend that is on the rise in the wedding industry- the sequel wedding. A sequel wedding is when a couple has multiple ceremonies. For example, a microwedding or elopement followed by a larger-scaled second wedding.
If you are a couple that is disappointed that your wedding got postponed this season but are still planning to have a small intimate ceremony now in the midst of COVID-19 and are planning a bigger celebrate at a later time, you are on trend and what you are doing now has a name.
What makes a sequel wedding appealing is that there is no need to cram everything into one day. The big take away in this article is “if you’re wondering how to have two wedding ceremonies, you’ll want to start first by creating a distinct vision for both. Since a sequel wedding is comprised of at least two distinct soirees, you have an opportunity to shatter the mold with a range of style options.”
To read more, click on this article by The Knot- The Sequel Wedding: What It Is and Why You Might See More of It.
SPECIAL! 2020 COVD-19 Ceremony (20 or less people) - $450
Planning a wedding is stressful enough, but planning it in the middle of a global pandemic is admirable! So we want to help you remove some of that tension and anxiety and acknowledge your perseverance and grit. If you are getting married in 2020 with 20 or less people at the ceremony, we are offering a special rate with the same level of personalization as our Customized Wedding Ceremony Package. ($725 Value) Click the FAQs for more information.
*This special is only valid for weddings occurring in 2020.
I am a big fan of Dr. John Gottman and the research he does with couple in order to create a happy and healthy relationship.
This online course might be worth checking out?
Sending wedding couples that are getting hitched in 2020 a big virtual group hug. Our couples getting married this spring and early summer have had some tough decisions to make.
Here are some of the questions we have been trying to help couples navigate:
“Should we postpone our wedding and pick a new date?”
“Should we wait to see what happens and cross our fingers that everything will be back to 'normal' by our wedding day?”
“Should we have a micro-wedding with just us, our Koru officiant, and 2 witnesses and then plan a larger celebration with all our friends and family at a later time?”
There are no easy answers but we are reassuring our couples that we will try our best to be as flexible as possible with whatever they decide.
FOR NEW COUPLES- Good news! We are still booking weddings in 2020 and 2021 and would love to chat (virtually or on the phone) with you about your ceremony and your vision for the wedding day.
OTHER GOOD NEWS- The Register of Deeds is still issuing marriage license in Wisconsin. In Dane County they have set up a virtual portal. If you want more information about this, email the county at email@example.com or call them at 608-266-4121 between 10am and 1pm and they can walk through how to set up your virtual appointment. Those outside of Dane County, contact your county clerk office to see how they are issuing licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay safe. Stay well. Stay kind. Stay home. We will get through this together.
Photo by Kristyn Hogan
One of my all time favorite photographers to work with are Justine and Christine from Natural Intuition Photography! Here is a snippet from Erin and Luke's February wedding at The Fields Reserve in Stoughton, WI.
To see the full video click HERE. It is worthwhile watching the whole thing.
I am blown away by the video they created for Erin and Luke. They perfectly captured this beautiful and amazing couple with such a beautiful and heartwarming video!
Thank you Erin and Luke for writing this very sweet review for me on both The Knot and Wedding Wire:
"Pat did an amazing job crafting the most beautiful ceremony for us! She was able to create a ceremony for us that put into words how special this day was. We received so many compliments from our guests on how thoughtful the ceremony was."
Erin and Luke were married on Feb. 15 at The Fields Reserve.
Photo by Natural Intuition Photography
This was a first for me... I married Megan and Tyler in a surprise wedding. They invited their friends and family to their new home for a housewarming party and surprised everyone by getting married as well!
What such a pleasure to celebrate with Erin and Luke last weekend at the Fields Reserve. A beautiful winter wedding for a beautiful couple.
Thank you Kaitlin and Jeff for writing this glowing and very sweet review for me on both The Knot and Wedding Wire.
"Pat was truly wonderful to work with! Throughout the process, we were able to meet with her face to face to discuss exactly what we wanted our ceremony to look like. She was also very responsive to email communication. Pat was very organized, which made putting our ceremony script together very easy. She facilitated the rehearsal and made sure to check in with our wedding party to answer any questions they made have had and to ensure they were where they needed to be. Pat's attention to detail made us feel confident that our ceremony would be perfect. We would highly recommend Pat to anyone who is looking for an officiant!"
Kaitlin and Jeff were married on January 18, 2020 at RiverStone, Fort Atkinson, WI
Photo by Caitlin Stemper, caynayphoto.com
There are some classic and also some new rituals I hadn't heard of before in this article by Martha Stewart Weddings...
These special rituals will make your wedding ceremony even more poignant.
This is what Caitlin Stemper from Caynayphoto wrote. I couldn't have said it better myself:
"What. A. DAY! My first official wedding of the 2020 season & if these two are any indication for how the season is going to go... Well let's just say, it's going to be a GOOD year (I mean, I'm not surprised. Everyone I work with is spectacular). Today was one for the books and I can not wait to share more from their day. Congratulations Kaitlin & Jeff!"
Here are some more photos from Katlin and Jeff's wedding this past weekend at RiverStone in Fort Atkinson, WI. I haven't officiated weddings at this venue before. What a hidden gem. And what a gem Katlin and Jeff were to work with. Such an amazing and sweet couple!
If you would like to see more photos from this fun couple, check out Caynay Photo blog.
It's hard to believe that it has been 15 years since I started Koru Ceremony. The first year I had 3 weddings. I recently read through my very first ceremony and I see a rookie trying to figure out how to have a thoughtful and meaningful ceremony. But the words now feel clunky to me. I can see how 15 years and literally hundreds of weddings has helped me hone and perfect how we work with couple to make a one-of-a-kind ceremony that will wow their guests. Some couples I have lost touch with, others I have gone on to baptize their babies and bless their new homes. Even if I don't continue to connect with each and every couple, I still feel honored to have been a part of one of the best days of each couple's life.
Over the years as Koru has continued to grow, I began turning away people because I didn't have the time to be at every celebration. So Amy, then Sarah, and now Peter came onboard to help with officiating. Grace Episcopal Church subcontracts Koru to help with wedding coordination at the church so I have Sarah M., Caryn, and Gwen to help with those weddings when I am not available. In other words, in 15 years Koru Ceremony has gone from 3 weddings to about 90 weddings per year.
Who knew 15 years ago that I would be able to do what I love and am passionate about - helping people celebrate various transitions throughout life's journey whether it is for weddings or other rituals like vow renewals, baptisms, house blessings, blessingways, funerals/memorials, divorce, croning and milestone birthdays. I truly feel blessed and grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many lovely and delightful couples, families, and individuals. Thank you!
Welcome to our blog. As officiants and ceremony coordinators we delight in assisting couples celebrate one of the best and most memorable days of their life. We hope you find this blog to be a source of inspiration and joy.