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I am a Chicago Wedding Officiant
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Elopement Ceremonies in Chicago
Chicago Justice of the Peace

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(708) 490-8860

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Wedding Ceremonies

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About Thomas Witham
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For Those Previously Married

Designing Your Ceremony

Facing Your Guests (Modern Format)
Backs Turned (Traditional Format)
Examples of Wedding Vows
Effective Seating
Aisle Runner or Petals
Children in Wedding Ceremonies
The Escorting of a Bride
Taking Parental Vows
The Use of Music
Using a Pedestal
Using a Wedding Carriage
A New Role For Grandparents
Wedding Ceremony Readings
In Memoriam

Ceremonies in Special Places
Ceremonies in Theme
Taking Your Ceremony to Others
Staying in Character
What Name Should I Use?
What if it Rains?
Fibbing Your Start Time
Ceremonies in Candlelight
The Reception Line

The Order of Events

Primary Options:
Read this First
The Unity Candle
Champagne Sharing
The Sand Ceremony
The Blessing Tree
Tying the Knot
Tasting the Elements
Using a Photomontage
The Giving of Roses

Options In Finale:
Butterfly Release
Dove Release
Balloon Release
Tossing Petals
Bubbles in a Wedding Ceremony
Applause Walk

The Five Rules:
Rule One
Rule Two
Rule Three
Rule Four
Rule Five

Advice on Photography
Advice on Wedding Coordinators
Death by Venue
An Invitation To Journalists

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Facing Your Guests in a Wedding Ceremony
Bridal Party Facing Forward
Greg and Jo-cele with their bridal party face forward at Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park, Il.

The Ultimate Presentation of a Bride and Groom

As a Chicago wedding officiant as well as a designer of wedding ceremonies I teach my couples that- clearly, and without exception, facing your guests is the most dramatic, visually engaging, and photogenic change you can make to your wedding ceremony. Let's face it, your guests are dying to see you, and to share this most wonderful of a lifetime experience with you, - let them!

Bride and Groom in ChicagoYour wedding photography will improve radically. Your guests will for once, not only be treated to seeing you as bride and groom, but in hearing you take your vows as well. And the elegance and openness of your pose tells everyone how proud you are of the loved one standing beside you. At your reception, you will listen to their compliments all night long.

Breaking with the old fashioned and visually dysfunctional look of the old style format, which places your guests in the role of mere observers, this forward and open format connects the audience with the bride and groom. Having established this visual connection, your wedding ceremony now has a far stronger sense of family and friendship with those attending.

Just as importantly, all of your guests will get to hear every word of your ceremony as your voices will now project into your audience, rather than away from them. The attractiveness of the bride's beautiful gown, her lovely bouquet, the gowns and tuxedos of the bridal party, as well as the floral arrangements of the brides maids, are all brought fully to bear before the on looking audience as seen above. This format has no equal.

When performing your ceremony, I will at times stand beside you- known as speaking 'offset.' While at other times I will stand in center aisle facing you along with your guests. Clearly, this is the ultimate presentation of a bride and groom in a wedding ceremony.

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