My Final Words To You

Professional Services

I am a Chicago Wedding Officiant
How to Obtain Your Marriage License
Your Planning Session
Your Rehearsal
Your Wedding Ceremony
Elopement Ceremonies in Chicago
Chicago Justice of the Peace
Child Naming/Parental Dedication

Pricing and Fees

Contact Me (by email)

(800) 523-5957

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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

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Your Rehearsal
Wedding ceremony rehearsal
Karinne, Ben and their bridal party rehearse at Oscar Swan in Geneva, Il.

Why You're Going to Give Us a Great Performance..

As a Chicago wedding officiant for more than 22 years, I know that far more goes into a beautiful wedding ceremony than ever meets the eye. Indeed the most effective communication in a wedding ceremony takes place subliminally, which is to say- without words. How you pose, repeat your vows, light your unity candle or present your roses to VIPs, will give subtle messages to your guests. It is very important then that you understand how to do all of these things tellingly- for imagery and performance in a wedding ceremony will far out weigh words and storytelling.

In my rehearsal session you will learn all that is required of your performance, and then you will practice it. From this experience will come confidence, and from confidence will come poise. There is no more preferable frame of mind to be in during your ceremony than calm, collected and confident, all of which you gained from your rehearsal.

My rehearsal sessions are typically an hour and fifteen minutes or more in length, which is three times the industry standard, and two and half times the length of the actual ceremony. Also please note- I will never send a substitute to rehearse for me- only I perform my rehearsals. Your rehearsal is the key to your performance which is why I personally conduct it. In a wedding ceremony performance is everything, and my extensive rehearsal session thoroughly prepares you to be the lead actor and actress that you are.

There is no aspect of my wedding ceremony that I am not governing. This is to say that the entrance of the bridal party, the introduction of music, the invitation of readers to speak, the leading of brides and grooms through their exchanges of vows and rings etc. are all regulated by me. This needs to be, as I am not only an officiant but a master of ceremony as well.

I say this because some wedding coordinators, future mothers in law, even bridal party members can take it upon themselves to not only advise me, but will even attempt to take the rehearsal session over. Such is not well received.

I want you to have the wedding ceremony you see throughout this website and the one you're paying your good money for. I help couples of all confidence levels achieve the wedding ceremony performance they've dreamed of. To achieve this, my rehearsal sessions are extremely thorough, almost to a fault. I have watched well rehearsed and confident couples give performances that easily rival stage and cinema and it is my intention to take you to that level of performance.


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