Vendor Feature: A Sweet Start - Maine Wedding Officiant
March 30, 2019
A Sweet Start
An experienced, professional Maine wedding officiant who feels like a friend!
I'm so excited to be featuring one of the first vendors I met in the industry, Maria, from A Sweet Start! She's also our wedding officiant for our upcoming wedding in June and one of the first vendors we booked after getting engaged. I knew from the moment I met Maria that I wanted her to be my officiant. She's kind, warm, and professional. She creates a ceremony and an experience that is unlike any other. We're still in the draft stages of writing ours and I cry every time I read it!
For us, the ceremony is such a huge important part of our wedding day. We want it to be meaningful and a true representation of who we are as a couple and the promises were making to each other. Maria is helping us do just that. I can't wait to share more after our wedding with all of you!
However, I find that a lot of my client's put off booking an officiant until it's too late or opt for a family member or friend (which is totally great!) but I wanted to share more with all of you about the services that Maria offers and why she is so incredible at her job!
Q: Describe the services you offer. How does your business differ from others in your industry? What is your niche style?
A: First and foremost, I offer wedding officiating services, but really it’s so much more than that. While collaborating with my couples to craft a uniquely personal wedding ceremony is a huge and important part of what I do, the work I do that the couple can’t see is equally important. After writing the ceremony, I work closely with my couples to envision, design and plan the entire ceremony from lining up the wedding party to signing the marriage license afterwards. I plan all the choreography and logistics of their ceremony and then ensure their wishes are carried out.
My rehearsals are so much fun! I do a welcoming circle to make sure everyone gets to know each other and to establish myself as their touchstone for the ceremony. It’s a joy-filled and fun hour and sets the tone for the wedding weekend!
This idea of setting a tone or creating an environment, especially for the ceremony itself, is a very important part of my work that you can’t see or touch. I intentionally ground myself and breath calmly and deeply on wedding day to help my couples stay present and in the moment. Because I’m in charge of every tiny detail of the ceremony they don’t have a thing to worry about. They can let go, take a deep breath, and acknowledge this significant moment in their lives. That’s my ultimate gift to my couples: to provide a space into which they can sink in order to savor this beautiful moment.
Q: How far in advance should couples book you?
A: Really, as far in advance as possible! Many of the big wedding websites advise couples to book their officiant 4-6 months in advance of the wedding, but by then, I’m booked. I only take 20 weddings a summer, and only conduct one wedding a weekend, and I book very quickly. I’ve had couples hire me as far as 18 months in advance!
Q: What inspires you?
A: I’m inspired by connection and stories. I ask my couples about how they met and their first impressions. I ask them about their beliefs about marriage and what their future looks like. Reading their responses and getting to see their connection, their love and their story is a rare and special gift. They trust me to write their love story and to bring their vision of their marriage into the ceremony. It’s a deep honor and one I take very seriously.
Q: I’m a firm believer that hiring your wedding vendors is more than just about the services and skills they offer but their personality and how they serve their clients. Can you share more about yourself?
A: You and I agree on this, Amanda! It’s one of the reasons I started my blog. I wanted to provide a resource for couples getting married, and especially couples getting married in Maine, but I also wanted to share myself. I wanted my readers and potential couples to get to know me through my blog posts. I have a series on my blog called Things I’m Loving and every so often I share a bunch of links of things I’m into at that point in time. I feel like it’s a fun and easy way for my couples to get to know me.
Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE cats! My three cats have their own Instagram account (@mainecats) and I post pretty regularly. They (and my husband, of course) are the light of my life!
I’m from a big family (youngest of six and they all have kids) so I spend a lot of time with my family. We pretty much have a birthday celebration every month, so we get together frequently. As you can imagine they’re loud, chaotic, laughter-filled celebrations!
Q: What’s one thing you wish more couples knew when trying to find their wedding officiant?
A: The one thing I wish couples knew was how important it is to find an officiant who knows how to create that environment I referred to in the first answer.
Working with someone (even if it’s a friend or family member) who have the skills to hold all the ceremony details, to manage the energy, to make quick decisions if something goes wrong, to read the crowd and make necessary adjustments, to present the ceremony in an engaging way, etc. is vital to a peaceful and joyous wedding ceremony.
I understand the desire to have someone you know officiate your ceremony, but just make sure it’s someone who can handle the magnitude of the job. Being a good public speaker is not enough. Your officiant should be able to earn your trust and be a loving authority, so that you don’t have to be worrying about anything other than making vows to your dearly beloved!
Choose your officiant carefully and with intention.