- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (March 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402203438
- ISBN-13: 978-1402203435
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 141 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wedding Ceremony Planner: The Essential Guide to the Most Important Part of Your Wedding Day Paperback – March 1, 2005
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From the Author
As an Ecumenical Minister, I honor all religions and spiritual traditions and each person's right to find his or her own way in these matters. Performing weddings is one of my favorite ways to minister, for it keeps me constantly in touch with the remarkable power of love in our lives.
I have performed hundreds of wedding ceremonies and have run into just about every eventuality, from a flower girl who was afraid of hurting the flowers by pulling off their petals, to a bilingual ceremony with sign language. Whether you have children from a previous marriage to include in the ceremony, sensitive parental attitudes, or some other concern, it can be addressed in your ceremony with grace and sensitivity. The decision of two people to live in a committed relationship is one of the most beautiful things that can happen in life, and I find their choice to be united in marriage a sacred and joyous cause for celebration. It is a public declaration of love, hope, devotion and the couples intention to nurture themselves, each other, the relationship, and any children brought into the family by their union. My heart looks past any differences in race, creed, color, situation, or circumstance and I wildly applaud people for caring so deeply for each other. As you step across this threshold together, may you tenderly love one another and yourselves, and be blessed with a safe and happy marriage journey.
About the Author
Judith Johnson holds a doctorate in social psychology and is an ordained ecumenical minister, honoring all religious and spiritual traditions. She has officiated at hundreds of weddings over the past 14 years.
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Top customer reviews
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I had never done one and I had no idea what to do!
This book helped me through a very stress-filled time buy giving me a wealth of information.
Some of the people at the wedding actually thought that I was a pro because of the attention to detail.
A few months ago, my daughter was engaged and asked if I would perform her ceremony.
Once again, this book is off of the shelf and on my desk.
Best of all, I had e-mailed Dr. Johnson a question today and I had my answer from her within hours!
Dr. Johnson provides a wonderful array of options for each section of the ceremony, including the gathering words, the declarations of support and intent, and the vows. There are also recommendations for music and readings, as well as scripts for popular traditions, such as the lighting of a unity candle or vows to the couple's children. (Unfortunately, Dr. Johnson does not include any language for handfasting, which she dismisses as a misappropriation of a betrothal custom. That may be, but it is still a lovely ritual, and it has a longer history than the unity candle.)
The book describes marriage as a spiritual commitment, but it does not promote any religious agenda, and it is perfectly relevant to a nonreligious wedding (as was the case with my friends' wedding). I was impressed with Dr. Johnson's clear and sensitive advice, based on years of experience as an officiant. Our rehearsal would have been much more intimidating without her list of tips!
I only have a few real criticisms of this book. The first is that the sample texts are a bit difficult to navigate. One section follows the last on the same page, making the book hard to browse. It would be better to start each section of the ceremony on a new page, and to indicate the topic of each page with headings next to the page number. However, with some Post-Its, I was able to divide the book into its various sections and make it easier to find the parts I wanted.
Furthermore, it would be nice if this book were written with gender-neutral language, instead of defaulting to the titles "bride" and "groom." More and more same-sex couples are gaining access to marriage, and many of them are eschewing traditional ceremonies in favor of original ones. 'The Wedding Ceremony Planner' would be a great resource to any couple, and inclusive language would make it a more pleasant read for LGBTQ people.
I plan to use this book again if I ever have the honor of conducting another wedding ceremony. I recommend it highly!
Our most frequent compliment from guests was how personal and meaningful the ceremony was. "A two kleenex-er", according to one guest. Most importantly, it was meaningful and sacred for us, and 100% true to our beliefs. Well worth the effort.