My second wedding already this season working with sb Photography and Design! The photos from Kristin and Trevor's spring wedding at Lake Windsor Country Club are breathtaking! (Check out more here.) I adored this fabulous couple and was honored to officiate their wedding.
Nic and Kate were married on June 1, 2019, at Koshkonong Mounds Country Club surrounded by family and friends with the lake as their backdrop. It was a beautiful day, for a beautiful couple.
Nischint and Melissa joined together as husband and wife on May 18, 2019, overlooking the State Capitol from the eighth floor of the Park Hotel in Madison, WI. It was a very special day for this couple, which set the tone of "happily ever after" for them both!
What a complete delight to marry Alex and Katie today on this lovely summer day at Pres House on the UW-Madison Library Mall Campus. So much fun to share with their guests Alex and Katie's heartwarming love story. What a beautiful couple inside and out. Congratulations!
Before we get to far into the 2019 wedding season, I wanted to share with you some of the happy couples Koru Ceremony married in 2018. Although this is not every couple's wedding (88 total), it is a very good sampling of the wonderful couples we had the honor of officiating last year. (Whenever possible I have credit the photographers that took the photos. My apologies to those I did not know.)
Congratulations to Joanie and Johnny, who got married last weekend at Bishops Bay Country Club. It was a privilege to marry this wonderful couple and share their amazing love story with their family and friends, who came from as far away as South Africa to celebrate with them.
I could not have described this wedding better than how one of my favorite photographers, Christine and Justin from Natural Intuition Photography, talked about Jessica and Karl's amazing wedding day:
"Jessica and Karl wanted a laid back wedding that fit their style, including their families and daughters. We loved how they created a relaxing and intimate experience with moody flowers, candlelight and added a bit of fun with coupon books! The coupon books go back to when they first started dating, Karl brought Jessica a coupon book.
Their ceremony was set at the beautiful Gates of Heaven Synagogue near James Madison Park. I have always wanted to photograph a wedding at this adorable chapel, it has so much charm! It is simply perfect for an intimate wedding like what Jessica and Karl had! Jessica and Karl made sure their daughters felt special on the wedding day too, they presented them with lockets during the ceremony. The girls were so giddy when they got back to their seats. They just couldn’t help but show off their new lockets. As they walked back down the aisle when they were presented as Husband and Wife their families played a song on kazoos! It was awesome!
We took their portraits at some of their favorite places in Madison, with a stop at the Wisconsin State Capital building, overlooking State Street, Memorial Union Terrace, and the amazing trail near the terrace! While we were thinking of other places to go, the limo driver mentioned a spot near campus. When we stopped they were stopped by some Badger tailgaters and offered a jello shot! What better way to celebrate the Badgers AND your wedding day!?"
Be sure to check on this blog link to see the fantastic photos from this fabulous couple's wedding day!
It was cool and rainy in the morning, but by 4:30pm the weather was beautiful and warmed up nicely for Amanda and Will's wedding on the rooftop at the Monona Terrace. What a fun couple to work with!
Here is a snippet of an email I received from Amanda after the wedding: "Thank you so much Pat! It was a pleasure working with you and having you officiate our big day. You were so organized and the ceremony went smoothly!"
Congratulations Kristen and Trevor! Loved officiating this wonderful couple wedding yesterday at Lake Windsor Country Club. One thing that made their ceremony unique was they incorporated a Unity Heart ritual.
I previously wrote about this amazing microwedding I officiated in mid-week on May 1. Now check out the photos and story that Natural Intuition Photography posted. The gorgeous photos and John and Kristen's beautiful love story completely captures the vibe of the day and this truly lovely couple. Click here to view their blog.
This wedding may be up there with some of my all time favorite weddings I have officiated in the past 14 years. It wasn't only because I really enjoyed the customized ceremony we created, but the depth of their love for one another was inspiring to witness.
Be sure to click out the music video at the bottom of the photographer's post.
Thank you Brad and Cecy for writing this really kind review for me on The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Google My Business! I agree. Your wedding was perfect!
"Our experience working with Pat Werk was amazing! She was very flexible, understanding, and helped make our wedding perfect!"
Tawny and Matt wrote this wonderful and really sweet review for me on The Knot after their wedding at The Fields Reserve.
"Pat Werk is amazing!!! We could not have found a better officiant. She truly cared about our special day and was so flexible to work with. We have nothing but kind things to say about her and we will be forever grateful for her participation in our special day."
I was able to fit in a second wedding today because Cecy and Brad got married in the morning at the State Capitol. They kept it simple without music or a wedding party. But despite skipping all the extra bells and whistles it was still a very meaningful ceremony for a very sweet couple. Congratulations Cecy and Brad!
Congratulations Cameo and Hernan! What an absolutely perfect day to get married at Lake Windsor Country Club and what an absolutely delightful couple to work with in the months leading up to today's wedding. Wishing you all the best in the years ahead as husband and wife.
So many laughs were had marrying this wonderful couple yesterday at Burrows Park in Madison. Congratulations Scott & Mandee Rose! -Rev. Amy
Thank you for writing this wonderful review for Rev. Amy on both The Knot and Wedding Wire. Here is what Mandee wrote:
Rev. Amy was the absolute best!
I don't even know where to begin about how amazing she was for our ceremony.
Personable, punctual, great listener, flexible, understanding, and genuinely knowledgeable about any thing we asked.
She never once made us feel judged or rushed for anything. She also gave us a lot of really great pointers regarding our ceremony and reception that we had never thought of.
She handled my talkative self like a champ, exchanged dog pictures with me and my now husband, and made it a point to make us feel comfortable.
It is rare for Koru Ceremony to have a mid-week wedding, but today was absolutely lovely! John and Kristen were such a delightful couple to marry this afternoon. It was a very small and intimate wedding at Gates of Heaven and there were only the three of us, along with the two photographers, Christine and Justin, from Natural Intuition Photography, who also served as the witnesses for the marriage license. Small microweddings are often some of my favorite ceremonies to officiate.
What a great start to this year's wedding season with an amazing couple who got married at the Chorus Public House in Stoughton, WI. It was evident how much Rachael and Nick love and support each other, and how much their family and friends did as well. From my being able sharing their incredible love story with their guests, to acknowledging their parents' amazing marriages, to writing their own vows, there was such joy and passion in the ceremony. Congratulations, it was an honor to be a part of your day!
Love these amazing photos by Blue Tree Photography.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.