"Best. Ceremony. Ever." An Interview with Wedding Officiant Christopher Shelley

"Best. Ceremony. Ever." An Interview with Wedding Officiant Christopher Shelley

Christopher Shelley has a new book out: Best. Ceremony. Ever.

He wrote this book for the friends of the couples that ask him to officiate their ceremonies. I read it expecting it to be straight forward and factual. In reality, I was laughing out loud as I went through (awkward, because I was on a flight!) and couldn’t wait to get back to New York to call him.

This is our interview.

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Your Ceremony Has the Power to Change Weddings for the Better

Your Ceremony Has the Power to Change Weddings for the Better

It feels like we’re at a powerful transition point and the wedding industry is in a position to direct the collective mindset toward redefining marriage and relationships as a whole. How? We do it by steadily dismantling the falsehoods that our industry packages and sells.

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Being an Inclusive Officiant // The Joy of Saying "Yes!"

Being an Inclusive Officiant // The Joy of Saying "Yes!"

A couple of weeks after September 11, 2001, I got on a plane, flew to D.C., and joined two women in holy and completely illegal matrimony. Same-sex weddings were a crime in the state of Virginia, carrying a two-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. I was not concerned about going to prison. I was a tad concerned about terrorism and the war that was breaking out, and a bit worried about my own safety. One of the brides was a Marine, and her father, also a Marine, had threatened to come shoot both brides if he could find them. I did not wish to be shot. I am an avoider of arguments, embarrassing social situations, and conflict of all kinds. I did not wish to be shot or shouted at or even to receive snarky, sarcastic comments. But I also could not stand by, and say no, and refuse to marry this couple of women who loved each other and wanted God’s blessing on their union. So I said yes.

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Incorporating Ceremony and Ritual into Bridal Showers, Bachelor/ette Parties, and Weddings // River and Root

Incorporating Ceremony and Ritual into Bridal Showers, Bachelor/ette Parties, and Weddings // River and Root

Ceremony and ritual help us acknowledge change and transition in our lives. You can think about the difference between a meal that starts with a toast or saying grace versus a meal that just starts. In the former, everyone takes a moment to settle in and be present with each other before eating, and in the second we just start right in and we don't necessarily stop to be present.

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