April and Tanner were married at the The Fields Reserve on Nov. 9, 2019, in front of their family and friends. This couple was so sweet as they giggled and whispered to each other during the ceremony, and after it was all done, I got to pronounce them husband and wife as Tanner got to kiss his beautiful bride! Congratulations to April and Tanner! I wish them a lifetime filled with love and laughter! Thanks to Mueller DJ Service for providing the music and working the sound system!
Wow! Thanks to Rachel and Nick for writing this glowing review for me recently on The Knot, Wedding Wire and Google. It was a joy to work with this fun and laid back couple and be able to share their love story with their guests at their wedding last April at the Chorus Public House in Stoughton, WI.
"Pat was an absolute pleasure to work with. She is so talented and knowledgeable. We met a handful of times before the wedding, and she took the time to really get to know us and our history in order to pack it into an incredibly meaningful ceremony that our families and friends still talk about seven month later.
If you are wondering if Koru is the right fit, schedule a meeting. You will be absolutely blown away by the passion and care that Pat puts into your day. Everything, from the marriage license to the logistics of walking down the isle is incredibly thought through. Our favorite part of working with Pat was the fact that she was so in-tune with us on the wedding day. She read our nerves and helped us slow down our thoughts so that we could soak in the moment together. It was the fastest day of our lives, and Pat knew just how to help us make it the best day of our lives."
Photos by Blue Tree Photography
As wedding officiants sometimes we are asked to make an announcement before the ceremony begins about it being an unplugged ceremony. Here is the wording I use with very positive results:
"Before we begin today’s ceremony, ___ and ___ invite you to be truly present at this time during the ceremony. Please turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras for an unplugged ceremony. ___ and ___ have hired an amazing photographer to capture this moment. But I encourage the rest of us to capture in our hearts the love between ___ and ___, without the distraction of technology. Thank you."
Here is a good article by Zola.com about this question.
In today’s tech-centric culture, there aren’t many opportunities to disconnect. So, for many couples, their wedding offers the perfect opportunity for them—and their guests—to truly unplug. Zola recently surveyed 500 couples on their upcoming nuptials and found that a whopping 80% planned to have an unplugged wedding. In some cases, that’s easier said than done. Read on for tips to creating a truly technology-free environment as you say “I do.”
What does “unplugged” really mean?
Unplugged can mean different things to different couples. Generally speaking, though, going fully unplugged is slightly different from a social media-free wedding. A social-media free wedding usually just means the couple has asked guests to refrain from posting pictures of their big day on the day-of.
A fully unplugged wedding means free of all technology: no cell phones, no cameras, no electronics, no social media.
Why are couples having unplugged weddings?
The couples we surveyed shared plenty of insights into why you might want to have an unplugged wedding. Here are some of the most popular reasons to go unplugged:
How to Go Fully Unplugged
The key to success with throwing an unplugged wedding? Making sure that all your guests know your event is fully unplugged.
There are a few different strategies to loop your guests into your unplugged wedding (and make sure they stay unplugged!).
How To Enforce The Rules
Chances are, most of your guests will be fully on board with your unplugged wedding. However, there may be an outlier or two who have a real problem putting down their phones and being present (and electronic-free!) for your big event—and here are a few strategies for dealing with those guests:
Thank you Katherine and Michael for writing this very sweet review for me on Wedding Wire and The Knot after your wedding this past weekend at The Park Hotel. It was a great pleasure to work with both of you. Wishing you all the best in the years ahead.
"Pat Werk was absolutely amazing and a blast to work with. We loved that she had a customizable ceremony, with plenty of options (including write ins!) that let it make it unique to us. She also paid a lot of attention to details. Beyond that, even more importantly she was kind, very experienced, and made the whole process smooth and easy.
We could not have asked for more on this special day. We are indebted to her for helping make it as wonderful as it was."
Wow! I just read this super nice review that Stephanie and Jay wrote for me on The Knot, Wedding Wire and Google. Today I also received in the mail a gift certificate from them to go to a Food Fight Restaurant. Both things warmed my heart. What a thoughtful, kind, and generous couple! It was truly a joy to work with them too!
"Pat is the LITERAL BEST! I could not have had a better experience working with Pat as the officiant for our wedding. She sat down with my now husband and I on two separate occasions to get to know us and to plan out our wedding ceremony. We did the customized ceremony and it was one of the best wedding planning choices that we made. We had numerous wedding attendees tell us that it was the BEST WEDDING CEREMONY THEY HAD BEEN TO IN YEARS, and even moved some guests to tears with how beautiful it was... seriously! Pat helped us nail down every detail of the ceremony and provided numerous options to really make it our own. She also will remind you when you need to get stuff done so you don't get behind :).Pat is also very responsive to e-mails, which is so appreciated when you're planning your wedding along with a busy lifestyle. Additionally, Pat had great suggestions on rehearsal day, and I appreciated her direct approach to make things run efficiently for rehearsal and then seamless on wedding day. Pat was worth every penny and then some! I would HIGHLY recommend her to anyone tying the knot and she was truly a HIGHLIGHT of our wedding day. Thanks, Pat! :)"
Here is a nice article on Zola.com about writing your own vows:
Writing your own wedding vows is one of the most personal ways to add a romantic and intimate touch to your wedding day. While traditional wedding vows have stood the test of time and represent the beliefs and sentiments of different religions and cultures, they might not be right for every couple, especially if they don’t speak to your heart. Vows that you pen yourself are specific to your relationship—whether you share precious memories or illustrate just what defines your love—in a way that adds an extra layer of meaning to your wedding ceremony. However, as you may have already learned, writing your own wedding vows isn’t as easy as you’d expect. These tips on how to write wedding vows will help guide you through the process from start to finish.
Writing Your Own Wedding Vows: How to Start?
Knowing where to start when writing your vows might be the toughest part: when staring at a blank sheet of paper, just getting a few words down can feel like a huge hurdle. You might be putting a lot of pressure on yourself to write the perfect set of sentences, considering your vows are a reflection of your marriage and the promises you intend to keep for the rest of your days.
If you’re stuck getting started, try these suggestions to get your creative and romantic ideas flowing:
1. Start Writing Early
Do yourself a favor and give yourself plenty of time—this is a point that we cannot stress enough. Perhaps you have months until your wedding day, but this a task that you want to save for the last minute. By starting early, you’ll give yourself plenty of time to overcome any nervousness or writer’s block, make revisions to your first draft, and practice reading vows aloud before your big day.
2. Establish Your Tone
Before you really get started writing, establish what sort of tone you want your wedding vows to have. Your vows should reflect your personality, whether that’s quirky and romantic or more tear-prone and sentimental. Or maybe you’d rather keep your vows light and humorous. It doesn’t matter what style you choose, just make sure the tone you choose for your vows makes you happy and excited to share your words with your spouse-to-be on your big day.
On that note, it’s also a really good idea to decide on the tone of your wedding vows as a couple. You might not be thrilled if you bare your soul with heavy, heartfelt words while your partner goes a completely different direction with a hilarious or semi-embarrassing story. Make sure you and your fiancé(e) are on the same page here.
3. Seek Out Inspiration
Love is one of those confounding topics that humans grapple with constantly. How can we describe how love feels? How can we capture it through words? What does it mean to be in love? Thankfully, over the past few centuries many famous poets, writers, playwrights, and screenwriters have come very, very close to getting at the heart of those questions through beautiful, relatable, and transcendent works of art. Don’t let these resources go to waste when you’re battling writer’s block or struggling to put your feelings down on paper. If there was ever a time to return to your favorite pieces of literature or beloved films, it’s now. Once you find something that speaks to you, feel free to try to mimic that sentiment in your own words or quote it verbatim in your wedding vows.
4. Talk to Your Partner
One of the best ways to figure out a direction for your vows is to sit down and have a heartfelt talk with your fiancé(e) about your relationship, your feelings for each other, and your marriage goals. Discuss what you want your ceremony to feel like and how you’d like your relationship to be portrayed in front of friends and family. Talk about what makes your relationship yours. You might remind each other of special or defining moments in your relationship, or even come up with the very words you’ve been struggling to find. This conversation will not only help guide the focus of your wedding vows, but also verbalize your promises to each other.
5. Reflect Alone
After your talk with your fiancé(e), find time to be alone and reflect on that conversation. Tackle the big questions, such as how he/she makes you feel, what inspires you about him/her, and how he/she has made a positive impact on your life. This is no easy task (hence why we recommend starting this process early), but once articulated, your responses will give you lots of material for your vows. A little bit of quiet meditation might just reveal the language you’ve been carrying deep in your heart.
6. Take Trips Down Memory Lane
Another great way to personalize your wedding vows is to highlight specific details of your relationship. Think back on special moments with your spouse-to-be, beyond some of the obvious ones like when you first met or your first kiss. What was the first trip you took together? When did you first make each other laugh so hard you cried? Think of your private jokes, hilarious stories, and even embarrassing moments. Whether or not you choose to mention these memories in your vows, remembering them will absolutely help you define what makes your relationship—and, thus, your vows—unique.
7. Don’t Worry About What Others Think
When you start writing your own vows, it’s easy to wonder (and worry) what others will think about what you have to say. “Will guests think our inside jokes are dumb?” “Will they get bored if we go on too long?” “Will Grandma and Grandpa judge us for foregoing traditional vows?” We know it’s hard to not take your guests into account after addressing and sending all those save the dates, but your ceremony is no one’s but yours and your partner’s. Let your vows reflect who you are together and what you want to celebrate about your relationship.
8. Create an Outline
Without a bit of organization, your wedding vows can easily turn into stream-of-consciousness rambling. Stay on track by crafting a brief outline that will organize your thoughts chronologically or thematically and ensure your vows have a clear beginning and end. Something as simple as the following will do just fine:
9. Keep It Short and Sweet
When it comes to wedding vows, often less is more. Don’t feel pressured to write lengthy vows when a few short, from-the-heart thoughts can be just as moving. After you’ve finished writing, it’s a great idea to practice speaking your vows aloud while timing yourself. If you go over two minutes, try cutting them back. We know 120 seconds doesn’t seem like much time, but when it comes to speaking in public, that minute will last a whole lot longer than you expect. Plus, there is no need to try to impress the crowd by showing off your prose skills—your vows are a message to your partner, after all.
10. Embrace Free Association
Unless you’re a walking thesaurus, it can be hard to find the exact right words to express yourself. A great vow-writing exercise that will keep you from looking up words every 30 seconds is to write with free association. This means writing down the first few words that pop into your mind when you think of your fiancé(e), your relationship, your feelings for each other, etc. and leaving the narrative editing for later. This practice will help you make natural word choices without fear of misunderstanding.
11. Include Sincere and Meaningful Promises
Wedding vows are, in essence, a list of promises that you make to your partner. Whether it’s loving him/her always or guaranteeing that you’ll do the dishes every Monday and Wednesday night, your vows should incorporate the promises you swear to uphold, and demonstrate the sacrifices you are willing to make as an equal half of your union.
12. Think to The Future
In addition to making promises, make sure that your vows also include a look to the future of your relationship. Where will you go from “I do?” What do you expect or want your marriage to look like a year from now? Fifteen? Fifty? What will you do to keep your bond strong over the years? Even if the phrase “’til death to us part” doesn’t make the cut, don’t forget to anticipate the joys and challenges of marriage ahead. These important details will both guide the promises we mentioned above and give weight to your wedding vows.
13. Speak from Your Heart
Above all, your wedding vows are about expressing your true feelings about, and to, the person you’re about to spend the rest of your life with. When it comes right down to it, nothing is more important than saying what you truly feel in a style, length, and tone that defines your and your partner’s relationship.
From the arousing applause for Graham as he entered and took his place in front of his family and friends, to the overwhelming applause as Stephanie and Graham stood before their congregation as I introduced them for the first time as husband and wife, the love and joy in this room was exciting! Throughout the ceremony, Stephanie and Graham were whispering, laughing, and enjoying every minute of their magical ceremony, which took place at the Vennebu Hill Event Venue in Baraboo, WI. What a beautiful venue that was very professional and well organized! David Charles Productions , who ran the sound system and music during the ceremony, was great to work with, too! Thank you, David!
It was an honor for me to be a part of this couple's journey to becoming husband and wife. Thank you, Stephanie and Graham! Rev. Sarah
The second wedding I did last weekend was at the Madison Children's Museum. What a super fun venue for a really fun couple to work with! Wishing Claire and Brendan all the best in the years ahead!
Thank you Hannah and Kyle for this very great review you wrote for me on The Knot.
"Pat was absolutely amazing to work with! We were able to customize our ceremony to make it really personal. She made sure we were comfortable and prepared for the day. The number of compliments we received on our ceremony blew me away. Thanks so much!!"
Hannah and Kyle married on October 19, 2019 at the Barn at Harvest Moon Pond, Poynette, WI
On Saturday I had the pleasure of marrying Mary and Chris at Blackhawk Country Club. What an amazing family and a pretty amazing day. The leaves are just starting to turn as we looked over the golf course and Lake Mendota.
I also had the great pleasure of working with two fantastic vendors- Bailey with Blackhawk Country Club and Katie with MatKat Productions! Simply the best!
What a great experience it was working with Bob and Clouds North Films! We will be sharing the videos we created in the upcoming weeks!!
Here is what they wrote in a recent Facebook post:
"We couldn’t wait till Thursday to show this throwback of our summer shoot with Koru Ceremony: Celebrating New Beginnings. Keep checking back for more updates on our production process with them." 🎥 #production
Kelsey and Kyle, you are the BEST. Thank you for writing this great review for me on both Wedding Wire and The Knot. I really appreciate your taking the time to do this for me.
"Pat was absolutely amazing! She was wonderful to work with throughout the entire process. She was available to meet several times prior to the big day and helped us customize our ceremony just the way we envisioned. Everyone at the ceremony said how beautiful the readings were and how nice the ceremony was. We could not recommend Pat more :)."
Kelsey and Kyle were married at The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
Thank you Anne Marie and Michael for writing this glowing review for me on The Knot. It was a complete joy to work with both of you. You are an amazing couple and I was honored to be there on your wedding day.
"We chose to work with Koru after meeting with Rev. Pat. We were blown away by her organization and felt she was the right fit for us because she was flexible in what we wanted to do with our ceremony. She helped us create the most meaningful ceremony we could have imagined! We met with her a couple different times to align on everything we wanted and felt like we really got to know her. At the rehearsal dinner, she really helped orchestrate our big wedding party and helped us all feel prepared. The ceremony was perfect and we had so many people comment on how special it was. In addition, she is an excellent resource for post wedding to-dos! Our only wish was that she could have made it to the reception and dinner :) she was an excellent addition to our special day!"
Photo by Dave Stremikis Photography.
Anne Marie and Michael were married at the Bridle Barn and Gardens in Mt. Horeb, WI.
Amanda and Will wrote this super nice review for me on Wedding Wire. I greatly appreciated it and truly enjoyed working with this really sweet couple that were married at the Monona Terrace.
"Pat from Koru Ceremony was awesome! She helped us design our whole ceremony and was so organized and helpful through the entire wedding experience! Would definitely recommend her (and Koru Ceremony)."
On September 28, 2019, I had the privilege to officiate Taylor and Jeff's wedding. It was truly a joyful event for all present. The rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shined upon this beautiful couple as they stood before their family and friends and declared their love and faithfulness to each other. To add to this special day, the Father of the Bride is a dear friend of mine. And so, from my heart to theirs, I send Jeff and Taylor wishes of a full life together filled with health and happiness.
Thank you David and Sarah for writing this very nice review for me on both The Knot and Wedding Wire:
Pat was a phenomenal officiant for our wedding! She was very helpful in the planning process that made our wedding truly one-of-a-kind. She was very organized and helped make sure that the ceremony went off without any problems.
Pat met with us several times to make sure that our ceremony reflected our values. She went above and beyond to make our wedding day amazing. She wrote individualized sections for the ceremony that made our day feel truly special.
(Married on September 22, 2019 at The Fields Reserve, Stoughton, WI)
Today was a beautiful day to get married at the Historic First Lutheran Church in Middleton, WI. I really enjoyed working with Julie and JR, a sweet and fun loving couple. Wishing them all the best in the years to come.
Had a wonderful day officiating the wedding of Amanda and Tyler. So many giggles, and a few sweet tears, made the perfect ceremony.
One of the most heartfelt ceremonies I have had the honor of officiating- I even choked up during the ceremony and the photographer said he did too. Congratulations David and Sarah! Wishing you a wonderful future together. Today was a great start. @ The Fields Reserve
Thank you Jo Wittmann from Witt & Co. Events, LLC, for all your help. It was a delight to work with you!
Thank you Aislinn and Austin for writing this amazing review for Sarah on both Wedding Wire and The Knot:
"Rev. Sarah with Koru was absolutely wonderful to work with! We were comfortable with Sarah from the first conversation we had with her throughout the entire planning process. Koru makes planning your entire ceremony easy from start to finish. Sarah worked great with us to make sure that our wedding ceremony was personal and really spoke to our relationship. During our wedding ceremony we even had a reading where we incorporated 10 of our closest friends and it did not even phase Sarah to help us plan and coordinate it during the rehearsal so the transition was effortless! Sarah was warm and personable was also professional the entire time. Thank you Koru and Sarah for giving us the perfect wedding ceremony!"
Married on 6-15-19 at the Monona Terrace.
Here’s s to Craig and Jonna, May your life together be long and happy filled with love and laughter! Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your special day, it was truly an honor for me to facilitate your rehearsal and officiate your wedding ceremony. The weather was beautiful, the venue was perfect, Glacier Canyon Conference Center and Hotel in Wisconsin Dells, and to work with the venue’s Events Coordinator, Jennifer, was a pleasure! So, here’s to you both... Congratulations
Thank you Katie and Brennan for writing this super nice and very flattering review for me on both The Knot and Wedding Wire.
I found Pat Werk through reviews like these, and let me tell ya, she's amazing! My fiancé and I were so incredibly nervous to find the right officiant for us (my family is Catholic, his is more agnostic) to make the ceremony meaningful for everyone. And she was the best decision we could've made. We had so many compliments on how personalized it felt, and she made it so easy for us. HIGHLY recommend!!
And then I received this very sweet thank you from Katie's mom this morning:
I just wanted to say a gigantic THANK YOU for making Katie & Brennan's wedding ceremony so special. The readings, the advice on marriage, oh my gosh, all of it!! Sooooo many people commented on what a beautiful job you did. We really appreciate you making the wedding day, something we'll never forget.
Jodi and Eric
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.