I, as the wedding officiant, can't help but smile and feel deeply honored to be a part of a couple's special day when they express how precious each is to the other, just the two of them, or in the presence of all their wonderful loving family and friends.
In creating with each couple their ceremony, I find it important to express how individual and unique their wedding ceremony can be while still holding to much of the traditional ceremony style, or doing one's "own thing" completely.
One of the first inquiries I offer is to reflect upon all the weddings they have witnessed. What have they liked, not liked. What have they inwardly or outwardly expressed, "Never at my wedding!", or "Oh, I would want that too!"
Santa Fe is called the "city different"; so feel free when you get married here to have the "wedding different" in any degree that suits you. A nice blend of traditional and "different" is how we add the "personal" aspects in. I always offer ideas of what I have seen that to me works so well and is received well by the guests. Then we expand on this to honor your heartfelt wishes.
Another inquiry that I offer the couple is to think about and consider what, if anything, they also want to celebrate as part of their ceremony that we can include. Is family very important to honor, their parents, their children? Perhaps honoring and celebrating the joining of two families? If either or both have younger children, do they want to express, either themselves or through me, the ideal of the newly formed family and their "intentions" as the other being a new parent, guide, or the truly caring adult friend?
Most times at a larger wedding many guests do not truly know one of the "about to be married" partners. I offer suggestions of how to add into the ceremony personal sentiments of who each is - some wonderful images to get to know each individually and as a couple.
And, when just the two of you, a loving gesture is to include ways to express "well wishes" from family and friends not there, and yet, now here in spirit!
Many of us have imaged so much being brought into the presence of one who we can truly love, cherish and honor, and they us, and with whom we are willing to do the sincere creating of a loving and harmonious life together. And many have imagined so much the celebration of what we call "marriage", expressing our joy of having the "other" in our life, and expressing in heartfelt sincere words our commitment and what this means to us. So, in my way of thinking and my witnessing over so many years now, it is lovingly beautiful and well worth all the contemplation and creative effort to personalize your wedding ceremony to be perfect for you both in meaning and belief. And a pure joy it is to serve in this way!