Milestones:  Trans-denominational Minister – Creating Custom Ceremonies for All Occasions:

I will work with you to create a magical, breath-taking ceremony that you and your guests will enjoy and remember, always. I am committed to designing a personal and fully customized wedding ceremony that incorporates your beliefs and values, celebrates who you are as a couple, and includes traditions that represent you best.

This includes same sex marriages, renewal of vows, and Handfasting ceremonies.

Here is an example of the the elements of a Wedding Ceremony (of course everything can be changed to fit your needs)

Welcoming of the guests

The entrance of the wedding party —you can craft your own unique processional…

Gathering Words
Presentation of the couple
Family ritual
Thanking of family and friends
In my intro, I welcome the couple to their wedding celebration, and like to add a few words of thanks to the person who escorted the bride or groom down the aisle — a twist on the traditional “giving away.” Using the couple’s own words and information, I do a special thanks for the family and friends who have joined us. This helps to create an intimate air, right from the beginning.

Any special rituals or traditions that honor family would go here, such as a flower presentation for parents. If the guests are being asked to do anything during the ceremony, such as with a ring warming or a wishing stone ritual, this is also the place to introduce it, and get it started.

If the couple would like to include any remembrances, this is a good place to include them. A brief moment of silence, lighting of a memorial candle, a wine toast, or just a mention of those that are no longer with us are all lovely ways to acknowledge lost loved ones.

Marriage address
In a more traditional ceremony, this is where the sermon or homily would go.
When I officiate a wedding, I call this section “The Love Story.” I write an original narrative for my couples that talks about who they are — how they met, how they fell in love, and all of the lovely adventures that brought them to their wedding day. I end with what they love about each other, and their hopes and dreams for the future. It’s funny, touching, personal, and very different with every wedding.
This is also a great place to include a reading, to have as the “center” of your ceremony. It works especially well if you can find a piece that really speaks to you and your partner. Adding some personal comments, about what the piece means to you, is a nice way to really personalize it, without having to write a lot. You could also sit down with your partner, and think about what marriage and your relationship means to you, I can share that as part of your marriage address.

The Declaration of intent
This is the “I Do!” part of a wedding. The couple faces one another, takes hands, and answers some very meaningful questions about marriage. If you are planning on writing your own vows, it is nice to include vows here, you can even write your own “I Do’s!”

Wine ceremony or other ritual.
Represent the life that the couple will share together. Wine ceremonies, presentation of gifts or flower to each other, tree plantings — there are the rituals that go at this point.

Either read by the couple to each other, or done “repeat after me” style. I have a large archive of wedding vow examples you can choose from.

Ring vows
Short ring vows are usually done “repeat after me style” as the couple places the rings on each other’s fingers.

(Note: Vows can be combined! You don’t want to talk? Just do the “I Do’s!” You really want personal vows, but no repeat after me? Great, just exchange rings after the personal vows. This is your ceremony, you can do whatever you want with it)

Unity ritual
Anything that symbolizes the couple joining their lives together goes here -Unity candles, sand or water ceremonies, signing of a marriage license, to name a few. Again, I have a massive archive of unity ceremonies if you need ideas.

Closing remarks or readings by friends or family
A final blessing or benediction could go here as well. I like to bring back important elements or themes from the rest of the ceremony, or end with a short poem or piece of advice for the couple.

If you have bubbles or rose petals or something you want guests to shower you with or do as you walk out, this is also a good place to for me to make a little announcement about it.

Declaration of marriage
The couple is pronounced MARRIED and then they kiss!

Post-declaration ritual
There are a few rituals that take place just after the marriage is made official — the breaking of the glass and the jumping of the broom, etc. For ease of use, I recommend including the explanation for these rituals in the closing remarks.

It’s time to party!

For more info. contact ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg at