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I am a Chicago Wedding Officiant
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Elopement Ceremonies in Chicago
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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

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Rule 4: The Ceremony Shall Be Visually Driven
Wine Sharing in a Wedding Ceremony
Matt and Cindy Wine Sharing at Bird Haven Greenhouse - Joliet, Illinois.


In A Wedding Ceremony- The Eyes Have It

Couples are often reduced to no more than props on a stage for an officiant using his or her best shtick to get a few laughs or convince the guests that he or she has known the couple most of their lives. Few guests will fall for this.

In every wedding ceremony- the eyes have it.  In other words, what your your guests see will far outweigh what they hear.  It follows then that 'story telling', as when a minister attempts to explain the meaning of love, or give the history of your relationship, will fall far short as a means of conveying what the day truly means to you.  Learning is work. Do you believe your guests would rather read the book or watch the movie?

In the photo above Matt and Cindy are Wine Sharing in front of 150 of their guests at Bird Haven Greenhouse in Joliet, Illinois. Romantic music is softly playing and the guests are riveted to their performance. It is the use of this "Visual" that will make Matt and Cindy a husband and wife in the hearts and minds of their guests.
 
I design my ceremony to have visual impact at all times.  My bridal parties face forward, and wedding options such as Wine Sharing or Unity Candle lighting are performed facing the guests as well. Your ceremony must be strong in it's visual appeal.  You'll not only delight your guests, but your wedding video and photo album will be rich in imagery as well as exceptional.

Bridal Party Facing Forward

Above, Alex and Amber and their bridal party as seen during their wedding ceremony. This presentation, and the photos taken of it, will meet or exceed any of the arranged photos their photographer will take after the ceremony. I am speaking to them from among the guests, in center aisle.


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