Caitlin recently sent me a couple of photos from her wedding, and here is my response to her:
"Wow! Thank you so much for sending these absolutely stunning photos from your wedding! I always love working with Tara Draper Photography, and seeing your photos confirms what I already knew- Tara is a fantastic photographer and did a phenomenal job capturing the joy and essence of your big day.
As you know, I officiate a lot of weddings each year, but some weddings stand out. Yours was one of those memorable weddings. It was a joy to work with you and Andrew, and I was honored to be with you on your wedding day."
Caitlin and Andrew were married on July 1, 2022, at the Swan Barn Door in the Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Photos by Tara Draper Photography
It is always a joy to have the chance to work with couples you know from their wedding day and then be asked to bless their children. How fun to see Craig and Kristine after five years and meet their adorable daughters, Lia and Alexandra (Aly) at Bishops Bay Country Club, Middleton, WI.
Kristen and Danny's wedding on Sunday at one of my favorite venues, The Eloise in Mt. Horeb, was so much fun to officiate. I always love telling the couple's love story, and their proposal, in particular, was an amusing story to share with their guests.
I also loved their wedding flowers. Their use of zinnias, coneflowers, cosmos, and other flowers you might find this time of year in a Wisconsin garden made the wedding feel fresh.
One funny thing that happened during the ceremony is that a cricket got tangled up in the tulle of Kristen's train. Nobody noticed this until Kristen got to the top of the aisle, and her maid of honor couldn't remove it during the wedding. So, the cricket stayed until the ceremony was over. I looked up the symbolism for cricket and read this, a perfect sign for a happy marriage:
"The cricket symbolizes good luck, wealth, and prosperity and is the bearer of happiness and love in your life."
Wishing this delightful couple all the good luck, wealth, prosperity, happiness, and love for your marriage in the coming years. Congratulations!
Anna and Adam were married yesterday at Harvest Moon Pond. Adam loves to fish, so Anna surprised him with a sign carried by two of the ring bearers that said, "You could be FISHING instead." They also surprised their moms by asking them to sign the marriage license as their witnesses during the ceremony. Overall, it was such a great day to celebrate with this delightful couple.
Stephanie and Adam could not have picked a better day with perfect weather for their sweet and intimate ceremony surrounded by their immediate family at Staller Estate Winery in Delavan. What a joy it was to marry this adorable couple.
WOW! Check out these absolutely stunning photos by one of my favorite wedding photographers to work with, Tara Draper Photography. Tara knocked it out of the park in capturing the love for Caitlin and Andrew and their beautiful wedding day.
Here is what Tara wrote about this delightful couple:
"Caitlin + Andrew - What a magical celebration in the woods on a perfect July day at The Swan Barn Door. Moody but colorful, loving, heartfelt, fun, and one amazing group of people. I feel so freaking honored that I get to do this for a living!"
Tara, I couldn't agree more.
The vendors that made it all possible:
Day of Coordinator: @myempoweredstyle
Live Painter: @leif_larson_art
Videographer: Horizon Media
"Looking for a unique and memorable ceremony that will truly be your own? Look no further! We highly recommend Pat Werk as a wedding officiant. She prides herself in providing a ceremony that is personalized to the couple. You get to choose so much of what will be said and done. Our special moment featured a knot tying ritual which embodied our passion of the outdoors and rock climbing. Pat was excited to help us make that possible! She was so kind in preparing a personalized ceremony that will not be forgotten. Although the ceremony can be a stressful part of the day, her confidence, kind presence, and compassion for her work allowed us to relax and be present in the moment. Pat will undoubtedly make your special day even more special."
Heather and Skyler were married on 7/9/22 at Harvest Moon Pond, Poynette, WI
Thank you, Skyler and Heather, for writing such a glowing review for me. I loved the ceremony we created, especially the climbing rope ritual that was a perfect metaphor for your marriage.
It is always a joy to marry delightful couples like the two of you. But I was incredibly honored that you asked me to officiate your wedding because of our family's connection. Watching Skyler grow up in our small town made it even more magical to be a part of your big day.
Wishing the two of you all the best in the years to come and the beautiful life you are creating in Utah.
"Pat Werk recently married my husband and me. It was the 4th of July and a last-minute wedding by most planning standards. I connected with Pat on a level where I would consider her family. She made sure my partner and I were heard and fully understood for one of the most important days of our lives. She created a personalized ceremony we will forever cherish in our hearts. Even when it rained during our ceremony, Pat was quick to come to a solution that still led us to a happy and beautiful ending. If I could rate her more than five stars, I would. She is your go-to officiant."
Nicole and Taylor were married on July 4, 2022, along the shore of Twin Lakes, WI.
Thank you, Nicole and Taylor, for writing such a heartfelt review. You know how much I love and adore you. Working with you was such a pleasure, and I also felt like you were like family to me. I loved the ceremony we created together. It was extraordinary and unique, and I won't forget the joy and happiness I felt on your wedding day.
Here is a review that Savannah posted on Wedding Wire, The Knot, and Google Business:
"Pat was truly outstanding to work with! She took time and care to get to understand us, what was important in our relationship and what we wanted our wedding ceremony to look and feel like. The result was truly the most special 35 minutes of our life! Many of our guests commented that it was one of the best wedding ceremonies they had been to and we have Pat to thank for that. We highly recommend Pat and Koru Ceremony for wedding officiants!"
Savannah and Cody were married on July 8, 2022, at the UW Pyle Center, Madison, WI
Photos by Caynay Photo
I adore every couple I have the honor of marrying, but sometimes I get the opportunity to marry someone I have known for years. Skyler is one of those kids I watched growing up in our small town of Deerfield. Our families have been friends for years, and I was the long-term substitute teacher for his mom, Jennie's 4th-grade class when Skyler was born. So I was flattered when Skyler and Heather asked me to officiate their ceremony at Harvest Moon Pond.
Skyler and Heather love rock climbing, so it was fun to create a "tying the knot" ritual using two pieces of climbing ropes. Climbing together tells a lot about a relationship. It requires trust, communication, and teamwork, all skills you need in climbing and in marriage. I'm confident this delightful couple has what it takes to have a healthy and happy marriage, wishing them all the best in the years to come as husband and wife. Mazel tov!
I received a really sweet thank you note from Katie and David:
"Dear Pat- We will forever be grateful to you had the opportunity to get to know you. You graced us with your comfort, confidence, and overall warmth, which allowed us the space to breathe and take in every moment. You are a very special person to us now, and we are endlessly thankful to have had the chance to share our special day with you."
Katie and David were married on May 7, 2022, at The Carriage House at Lac La Belle, in Oconomowoc, WI.
Photos by: Chelsea Matson Photography
It was a delight to officiate Savannah and Cody's wedding last Friday after I got a call on Tuesday that Cody's childhood pastor came down with Covid, and they wanted to know if I could fill in for him. In two days, we put together a beautiful that had even their photographer, Caitlin, at @caynayphoto crying.
Here is what Savannah wrote to me in her thank you note:
"Pat- I'm not sure there are words enough to thank you for jumping in this week to officiate! Not only officiating, but also took the time, energy, and care to make an extremely special ceremony that felt so personal to us. We are so fortunate to have you in our lives."
Photo by Caynay Photo
Rev. Rachel Tatge officiated Jill and Michael's wedding Lilac Acres in Waukesha, WI.
The ceremony went great, and the couple was thrilled by how well it went. The guests laughed, cried, and even clapped after the Charge to the Couple when Rachel shared Jill and Michael's love story. Rachel said that after the ceremony, family members came up to her and told her how outstanding the ceremony was.
Adding the extra element of sharing your personal story with your guests elevates the ceremony to a whole new level and sets the tone for a fantastic party to follow.
I only met Taylor and Nicole a few weeks ago after Nicole had proposed to Taylor and wanted to get married on July 4th on Twin Lakes, where Taylor's parents live. She didn't know that Taylor already had plans to propose to her on July 4th. Although they went ahead with wedding plans, Taylor was determined to propose still, and he shared with me the video of the sweetest and most clever fishing proposal I had ever seen, two days before the wedding.
What a delightful, adorable, and beautiful couple, and it was a complete joy working with them to create a one-of-a-kind ceremony that reflected their deep love for each other and brought their families together.
Honoring Nicole's father and Taylor's brother was super important to them, so we devised a simple ritual where Taylor and Nicole each raised a glass to heaven before pouring their shots into the lake as a nod to say, "we know you are with us today."
Unfortunately, it began to rain in the middle of their lakeside ceremony, so we had to pause to gather everyone under a popup shelter. But it couldn't have been more perfect because as this close-knit family gathered around them, I had everyone hold the wedding bands and bless them with their prayers, blessings, wishes, and good vibes before Taylor and Nicole exchanged rings.
I loved this couple, and by the time we got to the wedding day, they felt like family.
"Pat was fantastic! We had a pretty general idea of what we wanted for our Wedding ceremony, but the guidance and assistance we received along the way were so valuable to helping us really put together the perfect ceremony, just like we wanted it to be. It was obvious to us, as the planning stages unfolded, that Pat and the Koru process would be suitable for many different types of couples, whether religious or not or spiritual in their own way or not, with the freedom to "pick and choose" what types of wording and even edit the specific phrases in whatever way we desired. This flexibility was very important to us, and we utilized it to its full potential to help us build our ceremony. We had ample opportunities to communicate and go over the ceremony and what it was going to look like with Pat, and she was always willing to work with us along the way. Her experience with former clients was also very relevant and helpful. The execution of the ceremony itself went very well, Pat was professional and flexible and, at every step along the way, a joy to work with. I would recommend Pat and the Koru team to anyone."
Kris and Luke were married on June 25, at their new home in Madison, WI
Thank you so much, Luke and Kris, for writing such a lovely review for Koru Ceremony and me. I loved and adored the ceremony we created for the two of you. It was perfect and genuinely represented your relationship and everything important to you with all the special and unique details and elements we included. I was deeply honored to be there to celebrate with you.
Photo by Sadie Lawson Photography
On June 16, 2021, Koru officiant Rev. Peter Leidy married Logan and Matt. One year later, Logan contacted Koru to ask if I would do a baby blessing for their daughter Emma. They loved working with Koru Ceremony and were delighted to learn that we did baby blessings/baptisms too. Celebrating another significant milestone in this fantastic couple's life was so much fun.
Her grandmother sewed Emma's baptismal gown. She used a portion of Logan's wedding dress and embroidered Emma's name and birthdate on the underlayer. And rather than have traditional godparents, they asked all 12 siblings to take an active role in Emma's life.
It was a joy to bring these two families together again to celebrate and welcome Emma into their extended loving group of family and friends with a customized ceremony.
I had the honor of officiating Arturo and Elizabeth's backyard wedding this afternoon. Arturo's parents were visiting from Mexico, so he surprised them by getting married. To make it more accessible for some of the guests, I provided a printed copy of the ceremony in Spanish so everyone could follow along. And Arturo's niece stepped in as the translator during the declaration of consent, vows, exchange of rings, declaration of marriage, and the introduction of the newly married.
I learned that Arturo was a romantic when I got to know this adorable couple. He has written love letters to Elizabeth for years, and she has saved every one. So I wrote new wording to the Love Letter and Wine Box Time Capsule ritual. Instead of wine, they put a bottle of tequila in the box and added the love letters and vows they wrote for each other. I encouraged them to consider including anniversary cards, love notes, and other significant things throughout their marriage. So over the years, the box will become full, just as their life together will become full of love.
"Pat Werk was our officiant for our wedding ceremony last week. We met via zoom, which was very convenient for us, to plan and organize our ceremony. During our meetings, working with Pat was simple, wonderful, and informative. We chose to have Pat share our love story during our ceremony since we met during Covid. Some of our extended family and friends didn’t know our whole story! I can’t count how many people came up to us during our reception and asked if Pat was a relative because she told our love story so well! It was AMAZING!!! I can’t wait to get our wedding footage from our videographer so we can watch and relive the ceremony again. Pat was also super helpful, timely, and organized in providing us with all of the information we needed to get our marriage license and for me to change my last name. Thank you, Pat and Koru Ceremony!"
Krista and Shane were married on June 26, 2022, at The Fields Reserve, Stoughton, WI
Thank you Krista for writing this review for Koru on both The Knot and Wedding Wire. It was simply wonderful working with you and Shane too! I loved sharing your love story because it was so unique and special. Thank you so much for your very kind words of praise, they meant a lot to me, and I really appreciate your taking the time to write such a heartfelt and informative review for Koru Ceremony. Wishing you all the best in the years to come!
Photo by McNiel Photography
It was a joy to marry Krista and Shane last weekend at The Fields Reserve in Stoughton, WI. After the wedding, I received this sweet quick note from Krista.
"Thank you for everything! People were absolutely blown away by our ceremony. I had so many people ask me throughout the night if you were a relative because you told our story so well!"
Krista and Shane had the best love story to share with their guests. It included a bit of help from Krista's grandmother in heaven, and it felt like fate was stepping in to bring them together. It was rewarding to see the tears and hear the laughter throughout the ceremony.
Check out these stunning photos by Emily and John at McNiel Photography.
One of the joys of officiating weddings is working with fantastic couples that want to create a meaningful and one-of-a-kind ceremony. Luke and Kris' backyard wedding at their new home in Madison was precisely that. There were so many unique elements in the ceremony, and I loved that Sadie at Sadie Lawson Photography LLC captured all the guests waving ribbon wands when Luke and Kris kissed. It was so personal and authentic to their relationship, and it was so much fun working with this delightful couple. Congratulations Luke and Kristina. May your years ahead be filled with an abundance of joy and happiness.
No compliment is more appreciated than when a fellow wedding professional tells you the ceremony was the best he has ever heard. These words of praise are what Rev. Rachel Tatge heard from Greg, the DJ at Yes Weddings, after marrying Shaun and Ye following their wedding yesterday at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI.
Dana and Chad were such a fantastic couple to work with. Sharing their funny, sweet, and endearing love story with their guests was so much fun. I always say, if there is laughter and tears during the ceremony, the guests think it is the best ceremony they have ever been to because they too are swept up in the emotional moment.
(By the way, those are Dana’s happy tears because they were so delighted after the ceremony and how perfectly it went. And the sign with their names was made by Chad. He is a talented woodworker who can make a small engagement ring box, their beautiful chuppah, or their name in huge lights.)
Their amazing vendor team:
Wedding Planner: @cherrybevents
Bride’s Gown: @whitedressbridalboutique
Groom’s Suit: @menswarehouse_
Hair and Makeup: Daymakers by Rooted Culture Salon
UPDATE: Here is a review Becky posted on social media about Koru: "Pat was absolutely wonderful to work with for our wedding! Our ceremony was perfect, and the process of putting it together was a breeze with her help. One compliment we received the most throughout our wedding day was about how beautiful and romantic the ceremony and our vows were, thanks to Pat. We cannot recommend her and Koru Ceremony enough!"
Becky and Nick were married on June 5, 2022, at Over the Vines, in Edgerton, WI.
"Thanks so much again for officiating our wedding; the ceremony was perfect and everything we could have ever hoped for. The day was perfect and thank you so much for helping us make it that way."
Thanks, Becky and Nick for your sweet note. I'm so glad you were happy with the ceremony. It truly was a perfect wedding day.
Kaitlin and Drew's wedding yesterday at The Ivy House in Milwaukee couldn't have been more perfect. It was so much fun working with them to create a meaningful, one-of-a-kind ceremony. They have been together for 13 years, so I loved sharing their love story. Including their dog, Olive, in the procession as the flower girl and the unity beer ritual using a stein they had purchased during a trip to Germany was incredible! Even the train passing by in the middle of the ceremony so I could spontaneously compare their love to an unstoppable train worked out fine. The whole ceremony felt very personal and authentic to their relationship, and I was honored and delighted to be there to celebrate with this fantastic couple.
What do you do when it begins to rain in the middle of the wedding? To finish the ceremony, you invite 200 guests to join you under the two massive willow trees. It created an intimate, bonding experience for everyone, and I'm sure Cassie and Austin's guests will talk about their wedding in the days, weeks, and years ahead.
Despite a sudden change of plans and a heavily abbreviated ceremony, the couple was happy, and Cassie wrote and said, "Austin and I wouldn't change a thing about how our wedding day went. Thank you for being so flexible with it all."
In 17 years of officiating weddings, this was a first for me. I can't tell you how grateful I was that Cassie and Austin were a laid-back couple and able to be present in the moment. And I'm incredibly thankful it happened at my favorite wedding venue at Harvest Moon Pond, because what would we have done without their beautiful big willow trees.
Photography: Tiffany Bekx Photography
Photo from the Barn: Harvest Moon Pond
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.