As you all know, our main goals are to support local businesses, inspire brides and grooms, and encourage solid and committed marriages. Sometimes we meet someone who holds one (or all!) of these values so close to their heart, we just have to share it with y’all. This happened when we came across Christopher Shelley, the awesome officiant of Illuminating Ceremonies. He has a wonderful outlook on marriage and a great, witty personality to go along with it. He is a big fan of marriage, and believes that it is worth working on, adapting, improving, maintaining, and celebrating. Christopher has been married for 12 years and shares with us that he and his wife are in a stratosphere he never thought was possible – so we’re taking notes! People approach Christopher because they want their ceremony to be personal and different, with only the vaguest notion of what that means. He gets them used to the idea that they really have something to celebrate, to teach, and with which to inspire.

Today, Christopher is here to offer value to our readers by sharing his expertise and incredible view on marriage in a guest post. Continue reading to learn his five suggestions for personalizing your wedding ceremony – enjoy!


5 Suggestions for Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony

Christopher Shelley, Illuminating Ceremonies

Personalized ceremonies are inclusive, involving and loving; they allow you to make your guests feel loved and important by forming a connection with them. If you need some ideas for how to go about doing this, read five ways to personalize your wedding ceremony below.

Choose a Venue that Reflects Who You Are
I’ve performed weddings in rustic wineries, garden patios, on board ships, in elegant hotels, the New York Public Library, golf courses, rooftops, and at Citifield, home of the New York Mets. The setting speaks throughout the evening; let it say something about you.


Dress Up Your Wedding Party
Last year, one couple had a rock-n-roll wedding. Their bridesmaids wore 1950’s sock-hop skirts, and everyone wore red Converse All-Star sneakers. I officiated in hot rock-n-roll shades. Have fun with outfits, and you’ll create dazzling visuals for all.


Hire a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant to Write and Perform your Wedding
Celebrants actually go to school and train to create and perform weddings. We know all about creative writing, public speaking, storytelling, integrating cultural and spiritual rituals, handling a crowd, making people laugh and cry, and all the unique dynamics involved in a wedding ceremony. We have the chops to live up to the high standards we set for your ceremony.


Get Everyone Involved
I do mean everyone. Give friends and family readings to present. Arrange for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to act as a Greek chorus to help tell the love story. Let little kids yell out ‘Please stand to greet the bride!’ Get moms to sign your marriage license. The more people you involve, the more inclusive and loving the ceremony will feel.

View More:

Write Your Own Vows
Your guests want to hear your voice. Personalized wedding vows are powerful, heartfelt, funny, moving, and, above all, let people see directly into your heart. This is the moment when a divine connection is made between the two people getting married, and between the couple and the guests. It’s the perfect chance to create such a special moment for your family.


A wedding ceremony is an opportunity to share the love you have found with your significant other. A personalized wedding ceremony shares love in a specific, powerful, unforgettable way.

Photo Credits:

Elizabeth & Rich | Jorge Garcia Photography | Michael George | Emma McDonald | Adonye Jaja


More from Christopher:

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This