Using the Wedding Ceremony Planning Guide (below) as a discussion template, we meet (preferably in-person) to discuss your beliefs and what you think is important in your relationship, your family, and your desires for your wedding ceremony. Together, we will make the ceremony that represents you. Financial arrangements will also be discussed. Based on this discussion, the Couple will decide if they want to engage Evan as their wedding officiant/minister.
If you decide to proceed working with me, I will draft your wedding ceremony based on our discussion at our first meeting.
After the first meeting, the couple usually has homework to do: writing or editing your wedding intentions/vows. This sometimes means starting from scratch, but often also takes the form of discussing or editing sample intentions/vows that I have drafted for you.
Usually a second meeting is required to fine-tune the first draft of your ceremony. Depending on the level of discussion needed, this meeting is held either in-person or over Zoom. At this meeting, you agree to the final content of your ceremony.
If you are having a legally-recognized wedding ceremony, obtain a marriage license at your local county clerk's office. Bring the license to Evan at the rehearsal or ceremony. Evan (and witness, depending on type of license) signs the license after the ceremony and will return it to the county clerk. I will send a copy of the signed license to you.
Your ceremony will be lovely. Evan will arrive about 40 minutes prior to the start time. Weddings (these days) usually begin about 10-15 minutes late because of late-arriving guests. You will find it convenient if a member of the wedding party or an on-site coordinator is available to help with logistics and details- so you can relax. Please pay Evan prior to the ceremony. Immediately after the ceremony, Evan (and witness(es)) will sign the marriage license. I will provide you with a commemorative copy of the ceremony.
Evan will file your marriage license. You submit a separate form to obtain a certified copy. I welcome your review or comments on Yelp under Religious Organizations.
Can include music, flower bearers and flower scattering
Are there important friends or family members who enter before or with the couple?
The altar can represent the couple's spiritual values (Buddha, Dharma, Nature, God, Creation, etc.)
Officiant welcomes everyone and talks about why everyone is gathered. This might be the time for a talk on marriage/commitment and the role of the community in supporting their partnership
Perhaps having people reflect on their wishes and feelings for the couple being joined. Or perhaps doing loving-kindness (metta) meditation
There are meaningful ways to represent community/family blessings upon the couple
A blessing from the officiant is traditional, such as a short metta meditation, sprinkling with holy water, blessing cord, etc.
These are usually done in a specifically-Buddhist ceremony. Some couples will re-write the refuges and precepts in their own language.
In a wider sense, this part of the ceremony can be a statement of how the couple intends to live their lives spiritually- by what values
Offered by one or both people being married, or by friends and family
This is one way to involve loved ones in the ceremony
Alternatives or additions to exchanging rings could be malas (Buddhist prayer beads) or Tibetan blessing scarves
Ask Evan about intentions versus vows
There are many opportunities here to make commitments or undertake the Buddhist precepts or any spiritual values or traditions as a couple
Could include statement of undertaking to use relationship as practice to reveal the underlying spiritual qualities of life together
Other possible elements: chanting, ringing of bells, noisemakers, prayer flags for everyone, etc.
Provides a concrete ending to the ceremony – especially important if reception is being held in same location
It is a good idea to have the couple exit before the guests, immediately go to a private location with witnesses to sign the marriage license, and then have some alone-time prior to entering the reception
Make an appointment for an initial consultation to explore if we are a good match! Send me an email (on the left) and we'll find a time soon. Call me if you're in a hurry to check dates. 415-518-5188.