My Final Words To You

Professional Services

I am a Chicago Wedding Officiant
How to Obtain Your Marriage License
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Your Rehearsal
Your Wedding Ceremony
Elopement Ceremonies in Chicago
Chicago Justice of the Peace
Child Naming/Parental Dedication

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(800) 523-5957

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All About My Services

About Thomas Witham
How My Ceremonies Are Different
The Couples I Work For
Wedding Venues Where I've Performed
Religious & Philosophical Expression
Your Greatest Advocate
Letters of Appreciation
For Those Previously Married

Designing Your Ceremony

Facing Your Guests (Modern Format)
Backs Turned (Traditional Format)
Examples of Wedding Vows
Environment
Ushers
Effective Seating
Aisle Runner or Petals
Children in Wedding Ceremonies
The Escorting of a Bride
Taking Parental Vows
The Use of Music
Using a Pedestal
Using a Wedding Carriage
A New Role For Grandparents
Readers
Wedding Ceremony Readings
In Memoriam

Ceremonies in Special Places
Ceremonies in Theme
Taking Your Ceremony to Others
Improvisation
Staying in Character
What Name Should I Use?
What if it Rains?
Fibbing Your Start Time
Ceremonies in Candlelight
The Reception Line

The Order of Events

Primary Options:
Read this First
The Unity Candle
Champagne Sharing
The Sand Ceremony
The Blessing Tree
Tying the Knot
Tasting the Elements
Using a Photomontage
The Giving of Roses

Options In Finale:
Butterfly Release
Dove Release
Balloon Release
Tossing Petals
Bubbles in a Wedding Ceremony
Applause Walk

The Five Rules:
Rule One
Rule Two
Rule Three
Rule Four
Rule Five

Advice on Photography
Advice on Wedding Coordinators
Death by Venue
An Invitation To Journalists

Resources and Links

For Those Considering Plagiarism

Home Page

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For Those Previously Married
Bride and groom at Midlane Country Club
Jim and Kim during their recessional walk at Midlane Country Club in Wadsworth, Illinois.

Pick Up Your Mitt And Get Back In The Game

I couldn't be happier for you. I say this assuming that you are not a widow or widower. If you have an interest in this page, it's probably because a prior marriage of yours has concluded. You may have wanted it to conclude, or maybe you didn't. You may have been the first to know is was concluding, or maybe the last.

Bride and Groom at Beverly ShoresEither way, I'll bet it was an ordeal wasn't it? And I'll bet a painful one at that. There were all those expectations - the house,the kids, the "happily ever after" that didn't come to pass. Some experiencing the trauma of divorce seem to take it in stride, for most though, it will be the death of a dream.

We human beings are a complicated lot, living complicated lives. Maintaining a happy marriage is beyond the abilities of half who attempt it, no matter how well intentioned they are. Indeed some problems will only become apparent to couples only after they get married; for if there is a weakness in the relationship, or in either personality, the rigors of marriage will surely find it.

Society and unfortunately many religions often add to the problem by shaming those who prematurely end their marriages. Added to that is ones' own desire not to have a "failed marriage." But many who stay married to avoid the stigma of divorce spend decades in barren and often abusive marriages- all not to let down someone else's' expectations.

I want you to know some things up front- that prior marriage of yours wasn't a failure. That marriage went as far as you both could take it. It reached a point where it was no longer tenable- and then it concluded. I've married thousands of couples, not one of which ever told me " Thanks Tom!, I hope we get a few months or a few years out of this." All wanted to take their marriages to the grave.

I have no guilt or shame for you and I have no questions about your marital history. I personally hope you forgive what can be forgiven, and look at your prior marriage as the learning experience that it was.

I am also hopeful that you just might be entering into a relationship with the love of your life. The one that was meant to be, and the one you deserve. And to that end, I intend to fully advocate you in front of all your friends and family. I think you'll find that they, like me, couldn't be happier for you.


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