Robbie in Ireland: I have been looking for rituals that can be done for a reconciliation, but all I am seeing is Rituals of Reconciliation like the Bell of Truce you describe. Is there anything like a wedding ceremony for a couple who are not divorced and remarrying, but have gone through a tough time or separation and are reconciling?
Rev. Ann: I believe you may be referring to a Vow Renewal ceremony. Couples renew their vows for a number of reasons, with reconciliation being a fairly common one. Vow Renewals can follow the typical pattern of a wedding ceremony, but tend to be private and include special vows specifically for a reconciliation. They can also be something quite different from the flow of a wedding and consist of pretty much anything you can imagine. This is a ritual that lends itself to a high degree of personalization. It can be officiated by a professional or held in private with just the couple in attendance. I would recommend contacting a member of the clergy or independent officiant in your area and ask for their advice. If you prefer something more private, an internet search for 'vow renewals' and 'reconciliation' may generate better results than 'ritual for reconciliation.'
Tara in Australia: I am getting married in the U.S. at the end of this year and am finding and booking my vendors by internet without ever meeting them in person. I fell in love with one photographer's work, but noticed it's not a full time job for her. Should I move on to my next choice or take a chance?
Rev. Ann: Just because someone does something part-time doesn't necessarily mean they are not a professional. I personally know great people in my area who work other jobs and are phenomenally talented professional photographers part-time. (...and DJs, musicians, officiants, wedding planners, etc.)
There is a difference between amateur and professional, but it isn't full-time verses part-time. If you really like the quality of her work and feel she captures weddings the way you want yours captured, just ask for references. A true professional will be happy to provide them to reassure you their work will meet or exceed your expectations.
Deena in Jamaica: Since the day we were engaged, my fiance and I decided to recess out of our wedding to "Beautiful Day" by U2. (Don't ask!) I am a big fan of the Vitamin String Quartet. Can we have an instrumental piece for the processional and a song with vocals for the recessional, or is that too weird?
Rev. Ann: As someone who has seen a couple recess out to "Another One Bites The Dust" by Queen at the end of a ceremony begun by a thoroughly traditional and instrumental processional (Pachelbel's Canon in D) played by a live string quartet, I don't think you are weird at all.
Just this past weekend I officiated a wedding where the couple recessed out to the Star Wars theme. Choose music meaningful to you and you really can't go wrong. You may have a few guests who don't quite "get it," but that's their problem!
Indica Woodruff Photography
Rev. Ann Fuller
The commentary on this blog is my own opinion developed over years of officiating a wide range of wedding sizes and styles. I am always happy to answer any questions you may have.