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Stomp. Stomp. Samantha missed the glass again. She raised her foot to smash the glass, a Jewish ceremony tradition, and she finally made contact with the bag with what was now glass shards. Her wife of only a few brief moments let out a giant laugh and excited cheer.

Many of my couples merge very different traditions together to make their own ceremony unique and special. Sometimes it takes negotiation and sometimes it takes careful thought to make it feel authentic. But every time I have seen it, the most important thing they have considered is incorporating their friends and family. Couples want the ceremony to include special family or religious traditions but also feel like them.

My recommendation is to find an officiant or a priest or rabbi you know or want to develop a relationship with. The person who is in charge of your ceremony and running the show really sets the tone. There is something very different in the air when a ceremony is held by a person who is close to the couple. They insert little quips about the couple. Their smile is extra big. And the ceremony feels somehow much more comfortable.
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For a ceremony that is full of laughter and most of all emphasizing relaxation, pick an officiant you have the opportunity to get to know. Many religions have a defined, set up series of classes or requirements. You have get to know the person who will be marrying you. But sometimes, you need to make your own rules and set of requirements. Sit down and talk with your spouse to be about what you you want to emphasize during this and who you think would be best suited for that.

For Samantha and Mary Elizabeth, they’re Jewish ceremony was performed by a friend who knew about Jewish traditions and wanted to incorporate them but also knew that they wanted to keep it on the more secular side of things. So as a ceremony ended at The Mansion at Bald Hill, the two brides walk back down the aisle and marched past the dozens of loved ones they had invited.

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