Embracing your lifestyle, national origin, gender expression, ability, culture, traditions and values.

Dan Jones, Wedding Officiant

Embracing Ceremony Blog

Just Engaged? What’s Next?!

First off, congratulations! You’re embarking on exciting times. As as wedding minister in Taos I have some insights to share with you.

Take a deep breath. This is a big deal! Start with the biggest picture decisions and work towards the finer details. And try not to stress; make it fun. If you keep plugging away at the process you’ll likely have things lined up by your big day. Start early, knowing that myriad last minute details will demand your attention in the final weeks before your ceremony.

The First Decisions

Do you have a date set? Maybe you know already basing it on a special date you want to memorialize. Getting the date coordinated with family and friends you know are to be included can be one of the hardest parts of the entire wedding planning process. The further out you set your date, the easier this should be.

Have you already decided on the scope and scale of your wedding ceremony? Just the two of you eloping? Or maybe an intimate ceremony with you and a few close family members? Or will this be a full-fledged wedding with 25, 100, 200 guests? You’ve already figured out that the bigger the affair the more planning required. But regardless of the size, there are some basics everyone must undertake.

Dan Jones of Embracing Ceremony officiating an autumn wedding in the mountains outside of Taos, New Mexico

Unique Wedding Locations

A wedding package was used by this eloping couple. They came all the way from Maine to be married at Hacienda del Sol in Taos, New Mexico.

You’ve probably already dreamed about the general area you’d like for your wedding. It may be your hometown. If you belong to a church that’s a likely place. Or, should your clergy be amenable they may travel to another venue, such as a scenic outdoor spot.

Or have you settled on a destination wedding? Chances are you have some favorite locations that you’re considering. If not, start an internet search for wedding destinations and see what pops up. A tropical beach? A ski slope in winter? As a wedding minister in Taos I, of course, hope you’ll decide on the spiritually-infused land of enchantment in northern New Mexico.

And once you’ve landed on a state, region or city it is time to dial in the specific venue. Indoors or outdoors? If you’re drawn to an outdoor wedding it is always a good idea to have a backup in case of inclement weather. Does the venue have a tent? Can the banquet room serve double duty, even at the last minute? Ask these questions as you explore – and before you sign a contract.

Wedding Packages

Once you know your location, you may want to think about a package. Some wedding vendors have partnered with other vendors and offer packages. This greatly simplifies your planning and is especially helpful with destination weddings. You only have to interact with one vendor and can make your wishes known to them. Packages often make a great deal of sense for smaller weddings. As you get into the larger weddings you’ll likely want more specific input into each aspect of your big day.

If yours is to be a larger wedding you may find the services of a wedding planner to be well worth the investment. A good wedding planner will learn your wishes and then implement them without you having to lift a finger. Wedding day timelines flow beautifully when you have a professional managing for you.

Choosing a Wedding Officiant

If you’re not using clergy from your place of worship, then you’ll need to find a wedding officiant/minister/celebrant. Check out the bottom of my About Page for further details and definitions. In order to engage your officiant you’ll need to have settled on the venue and the date. Part of your officiant decision may be how they can help guide you through some of your other decisions. I can tell you that as a wedding minister in Taos I officiate in many locations and venues and I interact with a lot of other wedding vendors. Tap the resources of your wedding officiant. It’ll not only help you to know him or her better, it’ll give you great insight into a process you’re hopefully only doing once in your life. See the next section for more on this. In the meantime jump to my blog on Choosing a Wedding Officiant for more thoughts.

Your wedding officiant will be the person to guide you through the legal requirements for your ceremony as well. They can direct you on how to get the marriage license in the state where you’re getting married (it varies a lot!). They’ll also know how to complete the license – that you need to get and bring to the ceremony – and should file it for you afterwards.

Photographer, Florist, Musician …

Taos, New Mexico wedding photographer Deanna Nelson of Poetic Images artfully captured the final sunset color for this couple that rented an entire house for their wedding and honeymoon at the base of the Taos mountains.

Yes, there are a lot more decisions. By the time you’re to this point you’ve been thinking a great deal about your wedding ceremony. And as you make each decision you’re getting a better sense of the logistics involved in the rest of the decisions. Your photographer is a very important decision and one you’ll want to secure early. You might not realize how important the scheduling aspect is with your photographer. You’ll decide with them ahead of time on a timeline for the day and what types of shots you want captured. Make sure in the interview process you determine that they’re organized and ready to help you adhere to your timeline.

Are you getting the hang of this by now? Computer searches, interaction with friends that have recently gotten married, asking the professionals you’ve decided to work with – these are all important and will help you navigate the finer details that you’re now ready to research.

Want more information on this topic? Email Dan at Dan@EmbracingCeremony.com

Need more information on planning a wedding in northern New Mexico? Request our informative listing that includes options for other services such as wedding cakes, accommodations and fine dining.