Planning Your 2022 Wedding Ceremony. 3 Things I Know For Sure, from Seattle Wedding Officiant Annemarie Juhlian

It’s been a crazy couple of years.

Nothing is the same in the world of weddings, and everything is.

As we navigate the uncertainty and joy of 2022, here are a couple of thoughts on this Tuesday morning that I extend to you, an engaged couple, as you ponder your wedding ceremony – whether it’s a large formal affair, and small and intimate gathering, or a true elopement:

1) Your Wedding Day is only a PART of your story.  Our culture puts great emphasis on a ‘perfect wedding day.’  There is no such thing.  Or the anticipation that a wedding day is going to be the ‘best day of your life.’  If your wedding day is the best day of your life, where does that leave the rest of your life?

As you plan your wedding ceremony and celebration, whatever this looks like, I invite you to keep perspective.  To take the gift of your engagement as ‘staging time,’ to do work together that deepens your understanding, connection and bond.

It’s thought that only 5-10% of all engaged couples do pre-marriage work.  For some, having to ‘do this work,’ offers the suggestion that something is wrong/off.  I have facilitated pre-marriage work with dozens of couples, and this I know for sure:  in every loving relationship, something is off.  Oftentimes, the same stuff comes up, time and time again, it may just show up differently.

Pre-marriage work is one of the great gifts of an engagement, and it offers a deeper knowing and confidence as you walk into your wedding day.

2) Your Besties Are Everything.  On a wedding day, I recognize there is a temptation to invite people outside of your tribe, for whatever reason – especially a larger and more formal gathering.  Couples often ask me about a guest list and how to curate it. My answer is something I picked up from someone years ago:  “As you look at your guest list, will you know this person in 10 years?”  I’m not about the size of the guest list.  Rather, I am about a guest list that resonates with a couple – a community of best people that will walk through life with you, as your support and encouragement.

3) Spend Your Money On Your Values.  Money is a thing, I totally get it and respect it.  As you look at your budget, no matter what the number, I find that happy couples spend their $$ on their values, when it comes to their wedding day.  Cake is wonderful AND if you both don’t like cake, skip it and opt for something different.  Flower bouquets for a wedding party are wonderful, AND if you desire, skip bouquets and substitute a single rose/carnation.  Food is wonderful, AND you don’t need to offer a full meal – instead, finger foods and a dessert spread, perhaps?  I think you get where I’m going here.

At the end of the day, it’s about creating memories and the ‘feeling’ that you want to carry forward from this lifetime experience.