I had the honor of officiating Dianna and Garrick's wedding yesterday at their family farm in Lyndon Station near the WI Dells yesterday. It was a small ceremony with only immediate family physically present (although there were virtual guests also attending).
One of the joys of creating one-of-a-kind ceremonies is being able to write words and add sections that are significant to the couple. It was important to Dianna and Garrick to not only recognize their ancestors that had passed away but also to honor the land farmed by their family. Here is a piece from the ceremony I wrote for them:
"Garrick and Dianna would also like to acknowledge the farm. We recognize not only the families that have farmed this land over the years, but we also want to honor the indigenous people that also came here. For eons, this land has welcomed all that have come to this beautiful place. But we know that all the love and hard work you gave to this farm doesn't end here. In turn, your family's care for this land will continue and this lineage of love for this special place will get passed along from generation to generation. . . So let us take a moment to listen and give thanks to this farm that we call home, and remember our loved ones with a moment of silent gratitude."
Thank you Melissa and Craig for this wonderful review about Rev. Amy.
Amy was absolutely fantastic! I could not have asked for a more perfect ceremony!
"We had Amy perform our ceremony for our wedding on August 22, 2020, and I could not have asked for a better officiant. Amy was extremely well organized, so much fun to work with, and you can tell she knows her stuff. Especially being that 2020 was quite the year to host a wedding, my husband and I had no clue what we were doing. Amy guided us the entire way and was extremely supportive and had excellent advice. I received SO many positive comments from my guests on how beautiful and well written the ceremony was and how it was one to remember. I highly recommend Amy and Koru Ceremony and I hope that we get to work with her again someday (not for a wedding of course : ))"
Melissa and Craig were married on August 22, 2020, at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, WI
Some weddings stand out in my mind because they are so different from other weddings I typically officiate. This was an unusual year because of COVID, but officiating a wedding at sunrise on the East Bluff at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo was one I will remember for a long time.
Not only were Anne and Nathan a delight to work with because they had a clear vision of what they wanted their ceremony to feel like, but I also loved that they wanted to get married at a location they could come back to in the years to come on their anniversary.
Thank you Christine and Justin at Natural Intuition Photography for sharing these stunning photos. It is always a fun adventure working with you!
I met Natasha and Brandon only 4 days before their wedding on August 20. Brandon's brother has cancer, and they wanted to get married so he could be there to celebrate with them. I can't tell you how impressed I was not only by this couple but also by their amazingly talented friends. In a couple of days, their friends and neighbors helped them decorate and put together a beautiful celebration at Brandon's parent's house in Milton, WI.
On the day of the wedding, Brandon and Natasha were so present in the moment that as they recessed down the aisle, they broke into a spontaneous dance. It captured the hearts of not only for those attending and physically distancing, but also all their virtual guests that joined us as well.
Thank you, Natasha and Brandon, for writing this really kind review for me on Wedding Wire, The Knot, and Google Business.
"Pat was amazing to work with especially on our extremely short notice. Finding an officiant on such a quick turnaround was a huge stress point for us, but she worked around our schedules to meet with us and discuss our wants and needs. We immediately knew we made the right choice after our first call. She offered us a variety of options to create a ceremony plan that still felt like our own but was easy enough to personalize on our busy schedules. We couldn't recommend her enough for helping you plan your special day. She made ours one we will remember forever!"
Thank you, Amanda and Jake, for writing this really nice review for me on The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Google Business. It was an honor to work with you and officiate your ceremony last Saturday at RiverStone in Fort Atkinson. Here is what they wrote:
"We had the joy of working with Pat Werk for our wedding, and we absolutely loved the process from start to finish. Pat is so personable and really takes the time to get to know you as a couple. We could really feel that she cared for us and our story. Pat does a wonderful job of providing a consultation process to walk you through the various parts of the ceremony and to talk through the abundance of options you have. We loved that she provided several examples and allowed us to choose what we felt was most important to us.
Another great thing about working with Pat is that she did a wonderful job of providing direction to our wedding party. She made sure to provide lots of advice on the little details such as directing bridesmaids on how to hold flowers and directing groomsmen on how to hold their hands. The little details can make a big difference and she sure knows how to watch for them.
Pat also takes away a lot of the stress of the marriage license and name changing process and she provides detailed handouts on how this works.
Overall, we only have great things to say about our time working with Pat and Koru Ceremony. She emulated the perfect feeling that we wanted to be conveyed for our ceremony."
Amanda and Jake were married on August 29 at RiverStone Restaurant & Wedding/Event Center in Fort Atkinson, WI. This special couple, who have been together since they were 14-year-old freshmen in high school, really put a lot of thought into their wedding day. In addition to telling their love story, one of the unique elements we added to the ceremony was a Unity Painting ritual. Here are the words we used:
"Jake and Amanda, today your wedding is a day of new beginnings, a fresh start, and the blank canvas represents the marriage the two of you have to look forward to. The splash of colors you are about to add to the blank canvas represents the art of living your life together as husband and wife, and all the milestones, celebrations, and dreams yet to come. These colors are symbolic of what the two of you make of your marriage. There may be places on the canvas when the colors blend and mix, flowing together, creating a new color of experiences shared. And there may be places when the colors stay separate and stand out alone and independent and yet, still a compliment to the bold color by its side. And there may be places of contrast or parts of the canvas that look messy and not at all to your liking. However, when you step back and look at the canvas in its entirety, you will see that it clearly is an original masterpiece, unlike anything you've ever seen before. Each color, contrast, shadow, and blending is as unique and beautiful as your relationship. So, I want to encourage you to hang this painting someplace in your home that will remind you every day of your wedding day and how together you created this beautiful piece of artwork and life we call marriage."
Olivia and Mike were married on August 22, 2020, at the Mansion Hill Inn in Madison, WI. What started out as a small intimate wedding at this beautiful venue got even smaller due to COVID and all of their guests living out of state. So, on their wedding day it was just Olivia and Mike, me, and Jennifer from Pearl and Opal Photography and a staff member as their witnesses. Despite the small elopement wedding, it was still a meaningful and heartfelt wedding. Here is a review that Olivia wrote for me on Wedding Wire, The Knot, and Google Business.
"Pat Werk is the best! We could not have imagined having anyone else marry us. Pat is extremely organized; she provided multiple documents, including, but not limited to, instructions on obtaining a marriage license, examples of music for the ceremony, romantic and religious readings, and a huge wedding planning document containing different options for all parts of the wedding ceremony. We were able to easily customize every part of our ceremony to make it unique to us as a couple. For our pre-wedding meetings, as well as on the big day, she arrived early and always had an enthusiastic and positive attitude during every in-person and virtual interaction. She is a very polite person, who worked with us so graciously when our ceremony had to be changed because of the pandemic. We will definitely contact Pat again if we decide to do a vow renewal in the future!"
This is a great article in the Cap Times called, With this mask, I thee wed: wedding ceremonies shrink as wedding vendors struggle to survive.
It is about how couples and wedding pros in Dane County are handling the pandemic's effect on weddings this year.
What a joy to marry Melissa and Will last weekend at Melissa's parent's home. They had a small elopement style wedding this summer and have postponed their large celebration until next spring. I am delighted that I will have the opportunity to work with this awesome couple twice.
Will is a pharmacist so he is very aware of COVID-19 and the importance of being safe to stop the spread of the virus. So when their guests arrived, everyone was given a gift bag, and inside were two masks and some personalized hand sanitizer. So very thought to provide this for their family members.
Here is what Melissa shared on both The Knot and Wedding Wire:
"We originally planned a big wedding for this November, but after the pandemic hit we postponed to next May and opted to do a small backyard wedding on August 1, 2020, since we still wanted to get married this year. Both my new husband and I, and our families, loved the ceremony and we loved working with Pat! She was very flexible and accommodating when we needed to postpone and I was so happy that she was still available for both of our new dates. We can't wait for Pat to do our vow renewal at our big wedding next year!"
Photo of Melissa, Will, and me by TJO 2.8 Photography.
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?
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.