You have something in mind when you ask me for a short and sweet ceremony
Often a couple will tell me in their first email they want a simple, short and sweet ceremony.
I used to make assumptions about what that meant.
Short translated to about 5 minutes long and sweet meant romantic.
Short and sweet is relative
But if the couple was from a Catholic background, short meant about 30 – 45 minutes because they’re used to long masses with kneeling and standing and singing and responsive readings, etc. A Catholic mass takes time to get through.
Likewise, a Pentecostal inquiry (which didn’t happen often) could also indicate a person expected the ceremony to last about 30-45 minutes if it was short.
Sweet meant a testimony they could relate to, or take joy in.
All that hallelujahing, testifying and dunking converts in the water took a long time and could be a real feel good event.
Then there’s the millennials. 15 minutes is a long time to them and so “short” is more like cutting that in half. But they know, not to be disrespectful, a wedding ceremony is not like a mp3 download and so short is about 5 minutes.
No matter what your time frame, I explain to my inquiring couples that short is relative and sweet can be an adjective or a noun.
The quest to define
“So could you please explain to me what YOU mean by short and sweet?”
I point out the context of the background they came from, adding when people travel for hours to be part of their ceremony a short ceremony of 5 minutes can be a big disappointment.
Over too quickly – no thanks.
Too long, folks are fidgeting and wondering what the food will taste like. They may plan ahead what they’ll say to you when they congratulate you. Or how glad they are to be anywhere but home this weekend.
From my 29 years of experience perspective
When you inquire about my officiant services, you’ll get the lowdown on the best “short and sweet ceremony please” scenario: 15-25 minutes (which includes entering and exiting) is the sweet side of not too long and not to “short.”
Which is the length of time my framework ceremony is constructed to last.
Now, does that mean I won’t do a 5-minute ceremony? I mean, come on, it has to last at least 7 minutes, the cosmic number for completion. 7 days to make a world (figuratively I say), the amount of time multiplied by itself to forgive someone.
That’s not much but under the wire enough time for me to share a few words about how wonderful it is that you found each other.
What the time will allow me to sneak in
I’ll sneak in my favorite affirmation that your love makes the world a better place.
And for good measure I’ll recite my fav poem by the famous author, Anonymous, The Key to Love.”
You will repeat or share your vows, exchange rings, I can pray or not, and hold a moment of silent blessing if you will allow, and then I pronounce you married.
10 minutes. Not bad. A bit short but still, not bad. Your ceremony will be more than 5 minutes saying the same “as has always been said” thing that causes people’s eyes to gloss over and the day dreaming to begin.
May I convince you?
I’ll do my best to convince you that your short and sweet ceremony needs to include enough time for some guest inspiration, showing the value of your love story and appreciating the time and effort people have made to get to you at your chosen venue.
Your ceremony will be awesome!
AND best of all, your ceremony will be awesome. No matter how you define a short and sweet ceremony. Bre put her “short and sweet ceremony” results this way: Crystal did such an amazing job as the officiant for our wedding and we could not thank her enough! She was very professional and made our ceremony extra special … full of ideas and was able to help us throughout the entire process by tailoring our vows to perfectly match our relationship. [Rev Crystal] spent time getting to know not only us but our close friends and family. We would highly recommend Crystal for future bride/grooms!
Whatever your definition is, now you know mine and together we’ll make sure you have the wedding ceremony fitting the awesome love you’re committing your forever to.
Northern Michigan Wedding Officiant