"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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Should Weddings Be Renewable? 4 Reasons to Rethink ‘Til Death Do Us Part

Should Weddings Be Renewable? 4 Reasons to Rethink ‘Til Death Do Us Part

Given that marriage is now defined more by personal desire rather than economic necessity, do we need to keep marriage a forever thing? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have renewable marriages of varyng lengths based on your needs — say two to five years if you want to experience married life before deciding to have children or not (because living together is not the same as marriage in the eyes of the law and even your friends and family), or 18 years if you’ve made that leap and wish to raise them to adulthood?

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4 Steps to Writing Your Own Ceremony Script

4 Steps to Writing Your Own Ceremony Script

Today, three in four couples in the U.S. decide to get married outside of a religious institution. Couples report making the choice to write their own ceremony because they do not share a common faith tradition, have experienced bias or trauma through organized religion, or simply envision gathering in a place that feels more meaningful to their story than a house of worship.

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Your Wedding Pantsuit Fits You, But Does Your Wedding Ceremony?

Your Wedding Pantsuit Fits You, But Does Your Wedding Ceremony?

Marriage is changing (can I get a hallelujah?), and these days, getting married can be an act of social justice.  

A wedding is a symbol, after all, and like the marriage it’s ushering in, a wedding is full of potential and increasingly devoid of rules. In this way, its meaning deepens.  

One of the most powerful ways we can create meaningful shifts around marriage is by how we honor ourselves and each other through our wedding ceremonies and vows. Rewriting any social narrative means working in big blank spaces, and while that can be super liberating, it can also be super disorienting. Ultimately, though, like every creative pursuit, it’s an empowering act of self-discovery that benefits us all.  

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