My Final Words To You

Professional Services

I am a Chicago Wedding Officiant
How to Obtain Your Marriage License

Your Wedding Ceremony
Elopement Ceremonies in Chicago
Chicago Justice of the Peace

Pricing and Fees

Contact Me (by email)

(708) 490-8860

See My Weddings

See the Images of My
Wedding Ceremonies

All About My Services

About Thomas Witham
How My Ceremonies Are Different
The Couples I Work For
Wedding Venues Where I've Performed
Religious & Philosophical Expression
Your Greatest Advocate
Letters of Appreciation
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

Resources and Links

For Those Considering Plagiarism

Home Page

Site Map


Wedding Ceremony Improvisation
Wine Sharing Option
Barb and John wine sharing with Mountain Dew at the Oak Brook Marriott - Oak Brook, Illinois

Barb and John do the Dew

  I'm big on ceremonial options, at least when it comes to medium and large formal wedding ceremonies. Most of my couples are too. For them, as for me, exchanging vows and rings are a great start, but if a wedding ceremony is to be truly entertaining, and not just a replication of the common wedding ceremony, we have to do a bit more.

When I interviewed John and Barb for their wedding ceremony I showed them video footage of past couples using Unity Candles,the sand ceremony, the blessing tree and wine sharing.

Ketubah SigningWine sharing caught their eye. Wine sharing is contemporary, unlike the unity candle which has been on the western wedding scene for four decades now. And the blessing tree and the sand ceremony just wasn't them. Wine sharing, which can also be performed with champaign, is elegant with no small element of romance, and exceptionally photogenic.

There was just one problem. John and Barb don't drink. Well prior to their marriage, John and Barb decided to make a lifestyle change, one that doesn't include alcohol in any form.

What to do? Being that "Wine Sharing" was the option that appealed to them most, but that alcoholic drink was not an option, I asked them- "Well,.. what do you like to drink now?"

"We like Mountain Dew" came the answer. I paused, then asked: "Why not do the Dew?" Yes, why not wine share but with Mountain Dew? They looked at each other and then agreed,- "Yes, we'll do the Dew."

Before hundreds of their guests at the Oak Brook Marriott in Oak Brook, Illinois, I explained the history of the wedding option that John and Barb were about to partake in. Their guests already knew of their lifestyle change and it tickled them to see the couple recreate what looked like the romance of their first date. The photo at top records this moment.

Please know that most any wedding ceremony option can be modified as can any ceremony wording, or choreography, or seating, or format, or reading or vow exchange etc. If something doesn't completely suit your purpose for your wedding ceremony, or nearly does, then give yourself permission to change it. This webs site is filled with couples who chose to modify their ceremonies to suite their needs. So go for it. If your ideas are good I'll steal them and put them on my web site.

Copyright Statement