I first became interested in wedding ceremonies back in 2004, when it became apparent to my fiancée & I that we would have to design our own ceremony. We wanted something that was different, that would reflect our cultural heritage and our beliefs, and where we could say what we felt, not just repeat from a stock ceremony.
The only marriage commissioner that I knew of at the time who had experience in the type of ceremony we wanted was, for some reason, unwilling to make the trip out to our cabin, which is where we wanted to get married. As such, we were then left with doing the research and piecing the ceremony together ourselves. As my fiancée’s time was mainly taken up with other necessary chores involved in wedding planning, the design of the ceremony itself fell to me. I bought several books on different ceremony structures, alternative vows, and additional ceremony elements to help flesh out our wedding, and set about constructing our ceremony from square one, starting with the legal requirements, then the ring exchange & accompanying vows, and then adding in the handfasting and broom-jump. Once I had everything the way we wanted it, we then realized that we still needed someone to perform the ceremony. Luckily we found a marriage commissioner that did not live far from the cabin, and although she had never actually done a handfasting, she had been to a wedding the previous month or so where she had seen one, and she was very coachable when we showed her what we wanted to have done..
We received many compliments on our ceremony, with a number of people asking who had written it for us. We were very proud to tell them that we had designed it ourselves, which then gave me reason to think that there were possibly other couples out there who were experiencing the same problems that we had. At the first opportunity, I then began the process to acquire my marriage commissioner’s license so that I could start assisting others with their designs.
I have had my license since June of 2005, and I have performed dozens of ceremonies incorporating handfastings & broom-jumps, as well as a number involving unity sand and love letter & wine box ceremonies. I find great satisfaction in seeing all the elements of a successful ceremony come together, and the couple & their guests come away from the day having felt that they have experienced something very special, unique and memorable.