Why Connecting With Your Wedding Officiant Is So Important
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
As your Wedding Officiant, I will create a wedding ceremony that tells YOUR story, one that reflects the essence of YOUR relationship. It is important to me that YOUR ceremony is exactly how you want it to be, after all, it is YOUR day.
My name is Suzane Shelden, I am a non-denominational, 5 Star Rated, Award Winning Wedding Officiant, Ceremony Coordinator and Notary Public based in Santa Clarita, CA. and service the Los Angeles & Ventura counties. Majoring in American Sign Language in college, I knew that I always wanted to work with and help people wherever and however I could. Having been a part of a family that has been in the wedding & event industry for over 50 years, I knew that I could do two things that I loved to do.
I have been married for over 19 years to a wonderful, disabled US Marine Veteran and have three stepchildren and one teenage son with my husband. I have been blessed to help create and perform wedding ceremonies since 2009. As your Wedding Officiant, I will create a wedding ceremony that tells YOUR story, one that reflects the essence of YOUR relationship. It is important to me that YOUR ceremony is exactly how you want it to be, after all, it is YOUR day.
I have discovered that there is a huge need for an experienced, caring Wedding Officiant who can create and perform a wedding ceremony with warmth, professionalism and love. I have been told that this is “MY CALLING” and I take a lot of pride in creating YOUR perfect ceremony and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Let me take away all the stress involved in creating your ceremony. Remember, this is your wedding ceremony; it’s not a performance, so you can’t mess up or do wrong. I will do everything I can to make it perfect, and at the end of the day, you will be married to your best friend.
How did you become a wedding officiant?
I don’t just “like” my job I LOVE it! Being a part of a couples love story, and bringing their story to life during the most important day of their lives is what I love. I treat each ceremony as if it was mine.
I became a wedding officiant online through America Marriage Ministries (AMM). I don’t just “like” my job I LOVE it! Being a part of a couples love story, and bringing their story to life during the most important day of their lives is what I love. I treat each ceremony as if it was mine. I want it to be perfect, just as they imagined it would be down to the last detail. Being the person who changed their lives forever is an honor and very important to me. Even if it’s not in my “job description”, you will usually find me pinning on boutonniere’s, setting up the guest sign-in table, running to get the bride something to drink, lining up the bridal party and even taking pictures. Whatever it takes to make their day perfect and stress-free.
I became a wedding officiant online through America Marriage Ministries (AMM).
How would you describe your style?
I’m told I am very universal. I adapt to the couple and type of ceremony they want. I am very outgoing, friendly, caring with a “sometimes” sarcastic sense of humor, yet fun and I can be conservative too.
What are the most common questions that couples ask you at the first introductory appointment?
I am usually asked, what is an officiant and do I have to have religion in the ceremony? I have found that couples want someone they connect with. Someone who can take what they are envisioning & what is in their hearts and put them to words and create a ceremony.
What are the parts of a wedding ceremony?
For my ceremony’s this is the usual outline, but again I can customize it for each couple:
- Welcome and Prayer
- Personal Promises/love letters
- Exchanging of Ring and Vows
- Unity ceremony
- Introduction of Newlyweds
- Recessional and Any Announcements
What type of pre-wedding counseling do you require (for religious ceremony only)?
I do not offer any counseling. However, I am always available to answer any questions.
Where can a couple find sample wedding vows?
WeddingWire.com is a great go-to website along with Wedding Venture or they can look at poems, movies or books. Or if they need help writing their own vows I am happy to help them with this as well.
Is it customary to provide a gift for a wedding officiant?
No. However, I have been given thank you cards, flowers and tips ($) but I do not expect anything. If you feel the need to give a gift, a great review with your kind words is always appreciated.
How can a couple personalize their wedding ceremony?
What makes the relationship special, what makes you laugh as a couple, is there something that always reminds you of your partner, add that to your ceremony to personalize it.
A ceremony should reflect the couple, not their friends and family. It’s their love story & memories. What makes the relationship special, what makes you laugh as a couple, is there something that always reminds you of your partner, add that to your ceremony to personalize it. Special songs, story, (first date) poems, bible verse, jokes etc.
What was the most memorable wedding you officiated?
My most memorable wedding was my first wedding. It was super bowl Sunday and my neighbors were having a party. Someone said just before halftime ”wouldn’t it be funny if you got married today”? My husband said Suzane can marry you right here in your living room! Then before I know what was happening, the groom was making a ring out of tinfoil, the bride’s friend ran to the grocery store to get flowers. I said do you even have a marriage license? They said YEP. So I ran next door to get my sample marriage license so I knew how to fill it out. LOL, I latterly made up a ceremony on the spot and married them in their living room 10 years ago. I am happy to say that they are still married and my neighbors to this day.