Manitoba Marriage Commmissioner

Marry Me, Hunnie

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Some essential (and not-so-essential) information about wedding ceremonies and what you can expect from having me conduct yours.

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Making Your Ceremony Unique

Posted by Sheryl Hunnie on July 23, 2011 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)

What I love about the ceremonies that we create together is that although the structure is inherently the same, no two weddings have been identical. There are some elements that have to be included according to the Marriage Act of Manitoba, but there is plenty of room for creativity.

In order to ensure that your ceremony reflects who you are, you may want to consider the readings that are offered throughout the service. Countless words have been written on love and marriage and you can draw from a myriad of sources. Poets, prophets, and philosophers have waxed eloquent on love and having friends or family share readings during the ceremony helps to create a context of community. Your readings may invoke a sense of spirituality or simply confirm your feelings and beliefs about what marriage means to you.

The public declaration of what is, essentially an intimate act, is most evident in the promises you make to one another. While some couples choose to write their own vows, others are more comfortable choosing vows from a selection or finding the elements they like in a number of texts and editing these to create their own. What is most important is that the words you choose reflect the feelings of your heart. It is not necessary for you each to say the same vows; in fact, often the most heartfelt ceremonies are those where each of you can express your feelings in the way the best suits your personality.

Many couples also choose to incorporate elements from their cultures into their ceremonies. These symbolic rituals can add depth of meaning for families as traditional elements combined with modern sensibilities work together to create a fresh beginning for the newlyweds. The plethora of wedding shows on television has brought a number these elements to a new audience. Whereas in recent years unity candles were status quo, hand fastings, ring warmings, and sand ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular.

Finally, do not underestimate music as an essential element in your wedding ceremony. Traditional selections such as Pachebel’s Canon in D are lovely, but feel free to consider other music as well. However beautiful the tune of your favourite song, be sure the lyrics are in keeping with the spirit of the day. Processional music tends to be more formal in nature (although there are some notable exceptions to formal processions on Youtube), with the recessional music often being a little more whimsical (my favourite recessional this year was the theme to Married With Children).

If all of this seems a little daunting, remember that I am happy to help you create the perfect ceremony for your special day. I have a wide range of readings and vows that I have compiled from a variety of sources and can facilitate the selection of these so that your wedding ceremony is a unique reflection of the love you share.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Posted by Sheryl Hunnie on June 12, 2011 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

One of the questions I am asked most frequently is, “Why did you become a Marriage Commissioner?” To be honest, the reasons were, at first purely selfish; I have always love weddings! When I was younger, I was part of a large family and it seemed that there was always a wedding being talked of and planned for.  The photo albums of my childhood are punctuated by these festivities: brides-to-be festooned with paper plate hatscovered in bows, bridesmaids in pastel dresses, beaming grooms in ruffled shirts.  As I entered young adulthood,the brides and grooms were my friends and colleagues, and then I, too, was collecting Brides magazines and planning for my future.   For a while we were attending the weddings of younger cousins and few friends, but then,all at once it seemed, the wedding bells stopped ringing.  I had to become content with watching at a distance, catching the odd celebrity wedding in the news, and eventually succumbing to reality television series. Many of the weddings I watched were so different from the traditional wedding I had had years ago, and I was moved by the intimacy and ingenuity of these celebrations.   When I remarked on this to my husband one evening, he replied, “You know, with your background in English and drama, you should somehow figure out a way to be involved in creating wedding services for people. “ 

I am not sure why I had never seriously considered it before that moment.  I had toyed with becoming a marriage commissioner once years ago when a friend was having trouble finding someone to marry her and her fiancé.  I had all of the paperwork ready, but hadn’t followed through and when the fiancé’s uncle stepped up to perform the service, I let the moment pass.   My husband’s comments had given me new resolve, however, and within a short time I successfully completed the necessary steps and gained my license.

Becoming a Marriage Commissioner is one of the most fulfilling things I have done in my adult life. I absolutely love meeting and working with couples, planning for and officiating at their wedding ceremonies. I enjoy hearing their stories and helping them choose readings and vows that help them to share their very public commitment to one another in a meaningful way.  I enjoy the process when we create something that is wholly their own, or simply want to try a new twist on a traditional ceremony.  It is most fun when a bride and groom want to incorporate cultural aspects into their services.  

And the weddings! From small, intimate weddings on my back deck overlooking the Red River to extravagant affairs, each of the weddings I have had the pleasure to officiate have been occasions of such joy and hope, happy tears and laughter.  It has been an honour and privilege to have been a part of each couples’ special day. 

 


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