Jaimee Hinman is a Wedding and Event Planner, Floral Designer and Ordained Minister serving the San Francisco Bay Area.
Before any of the ceremony takes place, however, the task of crafting the perfect ceremony begins with first meeting the couple at the Complimentary Consultation. We discuss the Online Questionnaire they have filled out after having signed their Ceremony Contract. We discuss details such as the couple's history together i.e. how the couple first met, their favorite story as a couple, etc., and further ask details about cultural traditions, religious backgrounds, faith and beliefs they may wish to integrate into the ceremony. What rites might be integrated into the wedding i.e. unity candle, sand ceremony, hand fasting, wine box/time capsule ceremony, blended family rose ceremony, etc. Will the couple select a reading for myself or a guest to read? A song performed? Any of these rites and others can be added to the full customization of your wedding ceremony. In-person appointments are much preferred as this helps both parties have a better feel for each personality and also if I'm the right fit to perform their ceremony. If distance prevents us meeting together prior to the rehearsal or wedding day, I can facilitate either a Facetime/Skype session or a conference call for the consultation as well.
When it comes to the vows, will the couple be reciting vows selected from the provided sample list or will they be writing their own? Even if the couple just wishes for a quick, cookie-cutter ceremony, especially because they absolutely hate public speaking or being vulnerable in front of family and friends, I take pride in finding even the smallest, seemingly insignificant detail, to personalize the ceremony and make it memorable.
Believe it or not, DIY couples have become increasingly more knowledgeable and savvy in putting their own personalized stamp on their weddings, and they are more apt to completely customize their ceremony and/or vows, too. While there are those who would rather just not speak at all, there are many who would like to recite their own vows to each other but haven't the slightest clue how. You can always use my love for word-smithing to completely manufacture passionate "I Do's" or I can coach you on how to begin the process of writing them, starting with one word at a time.
Whether you're looking for a "short & sweet" to-the-point ceremony, enduring & romantic or a comedy infused ceremony to break the nervous tension and entertain your guests, I will ensure that whatever the mood you wish to establish will be met with professionalism and flexibility. Besides, though this is the most important day of your lives, it is also equally important to remember not to take yourselves too seriously. This day is to be enjoyed no matter the mood of the ceremony and after all of the tireless planning, and effort to reach this point, its time to relax and enjoy the main reason you both decided to marry in the first place. So remember that when you both reach me at the altar. Forget all about the wedding details, the planning, the caterer, the bridesmaid that's causing drama or the father of the bride scoffing at the cost of the wedding. You are here to marry the love of your life and I'm so honored to be apart of making your wedding day unforgettable.
Standing together during the ceremony, whether its just two guests or two hundred, can be quite intimidating. For many, it evokes an altered state, if you will, and some brides and grooms can’t even remember their wedding ceremony after all is said and done. Some laugh nervously, while others weep emotionally. Some hesitate to walk down the aisle simply because the sheer terror of public speaking causes wobbly knees and sweaty palms. When anxiety and nervous excitement sets in, its important to have a confident officiant to help put their minds at ease and guide the happy couple through one of the most sacred rites of passage of their lives.
But what really are vows, anyway? Vows are not only a solemn promise, they are a public display of one's passionate declaration of lifelong devotion. You can make your vows seriously romantic or wildly funny. You can make them sweetly sentimental or inside jokes that only the two of you will understand. Whatever the needs and desires might be, the goal is to try to creatively combine elements of each. I remain understanding and supportive throughout the whole process in order to make every difference possible in creating the perfect ceremony. Staying fully engaged and open to your suggestions will ensure that the memories created will reflect your personal values and beliefs, not my own.