Happy Holidays, mywedding brides! I’m back with another wedding planning update, and this December marks nine months until the big day. Now that we’ve hit the single digits in our monthly countdown, we’ve checked off a few of the big vendors off our list, the latest of which is our officiant.

When I first started doing research on officiants, I got a bit overwhelmed. I had no idea where to start, or even what I truly wanted in an officiant. Fortunately we went to six (six!) weddings this year, and we were able to draw inspiration for special touches in the ceremonies that we might like to include and tweak in our own wedding ceremony. At the sixth and final wedding of the year that we attended, our friends Dan and Oana were married by a celebrant, Cindie Wilding, and the ceremony was beautiful.

Wedding ceremony and celebrant

Here's Cindie officiating our friends’ beautiful wedding at Empire Mine State Historic Park. Photography by Matthew Morgan. Side note: Don’t they make a beautiful couple??

Our friends’ ceremony felt so “them,” and I thought Cindie did a wonderful job telling their story in a very warm way. It was almost like she knew them before they even got engaged (she didn’t though—I asked!). After the wedding I asked them how it was working with Cindie, and they said they couldn’t have been happier. Omied and I decided to book her as well, and we’re so excited to have her officiating our wedding! Here are a few reasons why we decided to go with a celebrant for our wedding ceremony:

1. We wanted the ceremony to tell our story. Even though most of our wedding guests know our story (all ten years of it), it’s fun to be reminded of the path that led everyone to this day, celebrating two people’s union together.

2. We're not religious. Neither Omied nor I belong to a religious institution. We’re both more spiritual than religious, so it wouldn’t feel meaningful for us to hire a religious official for our wedding.

3. We wanted to incorporate American and Persian traditions. I loved that Cindie suggests that during your ceremony you include some type of personal tradition or ritual. For our friends Dan and Oana, that included a wine ceremony. For us, that will include some Persian traditions like the sofreh aghd (a table with different pieces that symbolize a happy life together) and female relatives holding a sheer cloth over our heads and rubbing sugar together over us, to symbolize a sweet life.

4. We wanted the ceremony to feel unique. I think most people want their ceremony to feel unique, warm, and special. But sometimes certain traditions, readings, or phrases can feel a little overplayed. After speaking with Cindie, I see that she specializes in making each couple’s ceremony feel special.

Will you consider a celebrant for your wedding? What traditions are you looking to include in your ceremony?