I thought I had a a no-show couple today. They scheduled an introductory meeting to talk about what I offer, and .... what? Did they have an emergency, forget or, what I suspected, became apprehensive...what exactly are we meeting about? Weddings are basically all the same right? Just the boring part in the center of a super fun day. Or maybe they were asking: What exactly is a celebrant?
Sometimes it feels like I am being asked: What are you? when this question comes up. I am new to offering Uniquely Yours services to the wide open public as a business, though I have been officiating weddings since 2017. The final papers from the public filing of my business name just arrived yesterday, and I am already filled with doubts. Mostly because people are engaging my social media pages. Even more people are visiting my young and evolving web site, but far fewer are reaching out, even for a free initial consult. Some ask about my price, others about my location, but only a handful have reached out twice. The doubts make me wonder if I was wrong, if people do not need the services (companioning is the word I prefer) I am offering. Is it too late to turn back, to unquit my day job? Or is it just that I am not describing what I offer well enough in virtual spaces? (Most of my work currently comes from recommendations.)
So right now, here, after meditation to right-size my doubts after the couple stood me up, I am pausing to write and remember myself and my bliss--the sense of awe and adventure I get, the tingles that run through me, when I get to help guide a couple, who is excited for their union, through the creation of a ceremony and to define, in the process, what it means to shift from from one to two, from alone to together. Basically, refining what they already know: what this commitment means to them.
I help create ceremony, yes. But a big part of the ceremony is the process of creating it, a process that offers its own wonders and revelations. The ceremony itself is the public integration of the elements within the ceremony structure that the couple has worked to define and refine (with my guidance). As it happenings, the ceremony invites guests to immerse themselves in the change that is happening before them through the chosen welcome, introductions, remembrances, the shared love story (often a couple's only written transcript of their love for each other, through it shouldn't be), the ritual the couple has co-created based on their lineage, interests, values, passions and/or quirks, and all the readings, vows and agreements that resonate with their values.
The couple did show up. Half-an-hour late and very apologetic. Great conversation. They could definitely be one of my couples. My people. The ones who embrace ceremony. The ones who pause in all the planning of the whole day to be with the delight, the joy, the sacredness of life and the chose to love, that shines through in their ceremony to become the beating heart of their wedding day. They seemed to understand that the ceremony marked a defining moment that they want to own as their own.
I don't know if the late couple will ultimately choose me to officiate their wedding. Maybe they will decide on someone less costly, or less detailed, or less collaborative or maybe even a friend or an entertainer. If they wanted it to be non-religious, unique to them and profoundly meaningful--a genuine reflection if who they are, what they value, who they love, where they came from and where they are going--I hope we can work together.
With my doubts somewhat quelled, it seems to me now to be a matter of finding people who get excited about the change they are marking with their ceremony. Those who also see their ceremony as the heart of the event they have created to confirm and celebrate their commitment to each other. It doesn't seem my website or social posts are reaching those people. My doubts tell me I should put the less personalized/expensive ceremony options out into cyber space more. Those are equally as meaningful, they just don't take as much time so I don't charge as much. But I get most excited about the fully personalized ceremonies--more collaboration and with the couple's love story at the center.
I see now why people blog--space to share more about who I am without the business voice that comes through when I try to be concise and standardize my communications and offerings on my webpages.
So here's hope this message in my tiny little blog reaches those who want a ceremony and the process of creating the ceremony. I'll be here. Pausing and reflecting on why ceremony is is so important to me and why I chose to leave my full-time day gig to offer them.