My 2019 year in review



Alan & Brittany's First Dance
photo: lori beneteau photography
venue: caradoc sands

By any measure, 2019 was remarkable and far exceeded any aspirations I could have imagined achieving for myself and Something New Officiant: 42 weddings, 2 baby blessings, 2 births attended (as a doula), and 1 celebration of life. To keep up with demand, I welcomed 2 extraordinary officiants into the Something New Officiant fold,Tori and Marci.

To my fellow vendors, I thank you. You helped me quickly learn the ropes and to build our customer base.Your generosity, humor and professionalism were inspiring. We may have started a ceremony as strangers, but I always left feeling like a made new friends. We shared behind the scenes moments, and offered support when needed, all because we held the same unwavering commitment to ensuring our clients’ dreams came to life. All hands on deck. It always means so much when clients come my way because you’ve referred them to me. I tell you, that’s the highest of praise because you see so the range of what's possible. Some of you have even become clients, and well, that’s just beyond meaningful.

As the year comes to a close, I've been getting asked what my favourite ceremonies of 2019 have been. And while there’s no doubt there are some moments that stand out, from a bride who sang her own procession song, to a stunning Hindu-Latin American fusion wedding at The Rose Chapel, a beachfront elopement, and how could I forget the escape room themed wedding complete with a trapeze first dance, or dancing to a live acoustic version of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” as the closing of a sunset ceremony at Wildflowers Farm (see cover photo), or a backyard Gothic wedding with a quote from the Princess Bride to welcome guests, or the Harry Potter themed ceremony at Bellemere or the one where ...

or that one ...

​or ...

Now, without the risk of sounding cliche, I can honestly say, each and every one of my clients holds a special place in my heart. If you read my testimonials, you'll see how much my clients' feelings and preferences matter to me.

So, for those planning an upcoming ceremony, may I offer you these 3 pieces of advice based on what I have observed this past year:

  1. Remember, your ceremony is a forever moment and not something to simply get out of the way (unless you want it to be). Explore your options for an officiant, be picky, and remember a good officiant should be asking lots of questions about you and your vision to capture your tone and temperament. The ceremony should be a reflection of you, your unique love and love story. After all, the wedding is what you’re celebrating, and it’s worth investing in the ceremony so that it’s indeed worthy of being a forever memory. this is about creating a feeling, about tone and temperament.

  2. Spend some time talking with one another about the criteria that matters most to you for a wonderful wedding day. It can be so easy to get caught up in the “stuff” of it all that centering what actually matters most, YOU, can get lost and you can find yourself pulled in lots of different directions. This can get overwhelming and expensive fast. A priorities list and budget are musts to keep you focused.

  3. Get creative. There are lots of different ways to involve people in your ceremony beyond the wedding party. Talk to your officiant and/or wedding coordinator about what this could look like depending on your unique preferences. Your officiant should be nimble, creative, with a sense of adventure, willing to shift direction, offer suggestions, and are able to easily create a sense of calm among all the family and friend dynamics that weddings can reveal.

Actually, I have one more piece of advice, try to remember that at the end of the day, your wedding is not made up of any singular moment. It isn’t all or nothing.

Something unexpected will happen, no matter how carefully you’ve considered every possible scenario. Someone might forget the rings, a groomsman may get stuck in traffic, the flower girls may cry, your dog "ring bearer" might do its business at the front of the alter, a make-up artist may get sick, your hair might not turn out as you hoped, the weather might not cooperate, your dad might act like a jerk, the food could be cold, the officiant might get the name wrong, you may stumble and even fall.

Things you didn’t plan for are going to happen. Weddings aren't about celebrating perfection. They about celebrating love in all its perfectly imperfect unique manifestations.

So, keep your sense of humor about you.

Some of my best memories at a ceremony have been watching people rise to the occasion, find humour in the midst of it all, literally picking themselves up off the ground. Because, through it all, there has been limitless joy in the face of these obstacles when couples have been able to appreciate the spectacular privilege it is to walk life’s path with another person who will share all of the unexpected moments to come. That's actually what weddings are to celebrate, right?

Life is a balancing act. Like a trapeze act (check out my remarkable clients Alan and Brittany performing their "first dance"), that requires among other things, practice, strength, agility, courage, communication, trust and forgiveness.

For better or worse.

And so, as we head into a new decade, we renew our commitment to our clients to crafting customized ceremonies worthy of forever memories. Limited 2020 dates. Booking 2021. Check out our IG SomethingNewOfficiant to see more photos of our ceremonies.