One of the biggest challenges for couples is writing their own personal vows. Here is a great article on how to write awesome vows.
I am always attracted to anything to do with the koru symbol.
The artwork of Raweyn Harris was used to teach first through fifth-grade students to create koru designs using oil pastels. In the lesson plan, their definition of a koru is:
"The koru is the Maori name for an unfurling fern frond known as the ponga plant that grows in New Zealand. It symbolizes new life, growth, strength, and peace and is an integral symbol in Maori art and tattoos."
Woo Hoo! We won the Wedding Wire Couples' Choice Award again for the 8th year in a row. This award was won because of the number of positive reviews written in 2020 by real couples we married and is only given to the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide. We are honored to receive this national award.
Here are some of the 2020 couples we married last year. We are incredibly grateful that we were still able to marry 50 couples despite the pandemic and how COVID-19 completely messed up the 2020 wedding season for so many couples.
(I have listed the professional photographer if known at the time of this post. Please tell us if you know the photographer for a photo. We always want to give photo credit whenever possible.)
Thank you so much Rachel for writing this wonderful review. It was a delight to work with both of you and I was honored to officiate your ceremony.
"Reverend Pat officiated our wedding ceremony. She was so wonderful to work with and made planning out our wedding ceremony not only easy but also uniquely ours. We received countless options and ideas for ceremony wording, music, vows, and more. Once we had made our selections, she did a great job organizing everything so it flowed well. Additionally, she was very familiar with our venue (The Barn at Harvest Moon Pond), having officiated weddings there before. This really helped things to go smoothly during the rehearsal and day of the ceremony. If you are looking for someone who is warm, personable, and organized to officiate your wedding, my husband and I highly recommend using Koru Ceremony!"
Rachel and Bret were married on October 16, 2020, at Harvest Moon Pond in Poynette, WI.
My favorite moment during the wedding was when Rachel walked down the aisle. I was told right before the wedding began that the radar said it was supposed to rain right when the ceremony started. We decided to go ahead anyway to see if we could fit it in before the rain began. While the wedding party walked down the aisle, it was super windy. But right as the gates opened as Rachel and her parents walked down the aisle, the wind suddenly died, and it was calm for the rest of the ceremony. I leaned over to Bret and said, "Did you see how the wind died?" It was so magical. The rain stayed away for the entire ceremony, but then it started to rain as I left.
Here are a few photos of Harvest Moon Pond. Brian and Stephanie do an amazing job of running this incredible venue. It's true what they say on their website, "Owners who genuinely care, are super-organized and can’t wait to treat you like family." Be sure to check out the horseshoe picture and the close up of Rachel and Bret's horseshoe to commemorate their wedding day.
Today I had two weddings. The first one was an elopement at Magnolia Bluff State Park in Evansville, WI. ( I am also officiating Chelsea and Donny's bigger celebration next year too.) So today was an opportunity for immediate family, including their adorable 4-year-old daughter, to celebrate their wedding with them on the perfect fall day.
In some cultures, it is believed that if a ladybug lands on you then that’s very lucky. Or if you see a ladybug that means good weather is near or that a person will soon have luck with love or money.
Well, if ladybugs are a sign of good luck and love then this marriage is off to a great start. I was amazed at how many ladybugs were landing on us during the ceremony.
Chelsea and Donny were married on 10-10-20.
Katie and Shaun did a phenomenal job of not only creating a gorgeous wedding celebration but they did an amazing job of keeping their guests safe. This wedding was probably the most COVID conscious wedding I have been to all season.
Katie and Shaun were married on 10-10-20 at RiverStone in Fort Atkinson, WI.
Thank you Sommer for your kind words of praise for me on Google Business, and for the opportunity to baptize both of your children. It was an honor to do this for your beautiful family.
"We had Pat perform baptisms for both of our kids. We are not associated with a church but having our kids baptized was important to us. We loved that the ceremony was personalized and we were able to do it right in our own home! Pat was amazing! Highly recommend her!"
Thank you Shauna for writing this wonderful review for Rev. Amy Wedding Wire and The Knot.
"Amy made just about every step of the way extremely easy and that was invaluable when the stress of planning a wedding, especially during a pandemic, can be overwhelming. She was one of our few vendors that we knew we could count on to take control and make sure everything went well. We could tell it definitely helped that she used to be a wedding planner."
Shauna and Justin were married on September 19, 2020, at the WI Historical Society in Madison, WI.
Congratulations Marc and Jackie, who were married on October 3, 2020. I loved working with this super sweet couple and the ceremony we created together because they were creative and wanted their intimate celebration to be unique and meaningful. For example, they asked all 18 of their guests to be in their wedding party. Therefore, all the women wore dresses in the same color and carried bouquets and all the men wore the same color suits and had boutonnieres. During the ceremony, their plan was to release lanterns as a way to remember their loved ones that had passed away. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate and it was too windy to light the lanterns, so it didn't come off quite as they had hoped. But it was still a fabulous idea. What did work was their guests tossing rose petals as the newly married recessed down the aisle at the end of the ceremony.
Many thanks to their amazing Day of Coordinator, Marsha VanArk, and photographer, Kate Frank, for helping the day come off beautifully despite the cooler weather.
Congratulations Melissa and Michael. They got married on Friday, October 2, 2020, at Blackhawk Country Club, Madison, WI. They got a hold of me 4 days before the wedding because their officiant came down with COVID. They were panicked trying to line up a new officiant the week of their wedding. Fortunately, I was free and was able to help them create a beautiful and meaningful ceremony for them on short notice.
One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was that they bought a jade plant and we incorporated a plant ritual into the ceremony that was symbolic of their relationship's roots and the continued growth of their love and the new family they are establishing. A jade plant is also known as a "good luck" or a "money tree" and is believed to bring good fortune, wealth, and prosperity to its owner. The vibrant green leaves symbolize growth and renewal, so it was appropriate that Michael and Melissa purchase a jade as a way to bring good luck to their new marriage.
Thank you, Austin from Juke Box Bandstand and Tara Draper Photography for being so good at what you do! It is always wonderful to have a team of wedding pros you enjoy working with at a wedding.
What a sweetheart! Thank you Kathryn and Vince for writing this wonderful review for me on The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Google Business.
Your wedding may have been one of the most memorable of this wedding season. Even though you had to change your venue 3 times because of COVID and it rained during the ceremony, you didn't let these issues affect your mood or upbeat disposition. Your joy and love were infectious and you captivated your guests as you danced your way down the aisle at the end of the ceremony.
"Selecting Pat to officiate our wedding was easily one of the best decisions we made in the wedding planning process. From our very first phone consultation, Pat was extremely warm and welcoming, making us feel instantly at ease. We also appreciated how thorough and detail-oriented she is. We thought that creating our ceremony outline would be one of the most daunting wedding tasks but Pat's guidance and templates made everything so incredibly easy. She also gave us awesome pre-marital counseling resources. It rained during our short outdoor ceremony but Pat didn't skip a beat and officiated the wedding so beautifully. We are so grateful for her and the very special role she played at our wedding!"
Kathryn and Vince were married on September 12, 2020, at Horticultural Hall in Lake Geneva, WI.
Photos by Michelle Kujawski Photography
What a joy it was to see Sommer, Bryan, and their family again. Three years ago I baptized their son, Aiden, and today I had the honor of baptizing the newest addition to their family, Claira. In an era of COVID and modern technology, the godparents and grandparents joined us via Zoom.
Officiating Richele and Eric's wedding this past August was such a joy. Not only were the flora decorations beautiful and maybe my favorite this wedding season, and I could say the same thing about this couple as well. Richele and Eric are the sweetest, most caring people, and I had so much fun working with them. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to share their love story- they have known each other since 3rd grade, were lab partners in 6th grade, but officially started dating their junior year of high school. That means they have known each other for approximately 20 years and have been dating for about 11 years. Now that is creating a solid foundation for a happy marriage.
Thank you, Richele and Eric, for writing this fantastic review for Koru on Wedding Wire, The Knot, and Google Business.
"My husband and I highly recommend Koru Ceremony! Our officiant initially sat down with us and took us through the ceremony planning process. Pat was very organized and knowledgeable about each section of the wedding ceremony. She was understanding and really talked about how she wanted the ceremony to reflect who we truly are as a couple. The planning process was clear; informational packets helped us choose from the different ceremony options/phrases/styles that we thought best suited us. Pat is also so easy to talk to in getting to know us. It was nice to see our finalized ceremony so we could make edits or changes in wording. Our wedding day started off smoothly because we had Pat as our officiant. We knew, after leaving our first initial meeting, that she would be able to set a calming aura at our wedding ceremony to then also set the stage for the rest of our wedding day celebration!"
Richele and Eric were married on August 15, 2020, at Koshkonong Mounds Country Club in Fort Atkinson, WI.
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."
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.