Vancouver Officiant Blog

Marriage Isn’t For You

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.

My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.

My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.

No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”

Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.

But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.

Marriage is about family. 

I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.

To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.

And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.

Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.

This post originally appeared on, a website dedicated to helping people move forward in life.

Awkward Wedding Moment

Getting caught with a beautiful bride in the bushes makes for an awkward wedding moment for these unsuspecting men who are trying to help the bride out. Being men they immediately realize how bad this situation appears when they are confronted by the bride’s groom and wedding party. A funny wedding skit from the folks at Just For Laugh Gags.

How Do I Write My Own Vows?

Penning your own wedding vows is no easy task -- it’s like writing poetry, public speaking and having the deepest conversation of your life all at once. Putting your promises on paper is an emotional, eye-opening and often extremely memorable experience. Up for the challenge? Here's the homework you need to do (and the questions you should ask) to make your vows perfect.

Get Clearance

Make sure your ceremony officiant will actually allow personalized vows. Certain celebrants and houses of worship may require you to recite a specific set of traditional vows. And remember: Even some of the most accommodating officiants will want to review your words in advance.

Start Early

We can't say this enough: Don't leave writing your vows until the day before the wedding! You'll be too nervous, excited and rattled to give them the time and thought they deserve. Give yourselves at least a month, or work on your vows in that pocket of time after you've set up all your major vendors and before you have to start thinking about the details. Vow writing should be done in a relaxed, not rushed, frame of mind. Some loose deadlines to aim for: Try to get a first draft together about three weeks before the wedding and have your final version completed at least two days out.

Look to Tradition

To get inspired, start by reading traditional, by-the-book vows -- from your own religion, if you practice a certain faith, but others, as well -- to see what strikes a chord with you. You can incorporate these into the original words you write, or simply use them as a jumping-off point to base your personalized vows on.

Set the Tone

Before putting pen to paper, decide what overall tone you want to achieve. Humorous but touching? Poetic and romantic? It's your call -- the most important thing is that your vows ring true and sound like they're from your heart. One word of advice: While your vows can be lighthearted (or even hilarious), they should, in some way, acknowledge the seriousness of the commitment you're about to make. One way to do that is to weave little jokes into traditional vows (for example: "I promise to love you, cherish you and always watch Monday Night Football with you").

Figure Out the Logistics

Make sure you and your fiance are both on the same page. Are you each going to write your own vows, or will you write them together? If you're writing them separately, will you want to run them by each other before the wedding? If you're writing them together, will they be completely different for each of you, or will you recite some of the same words and make the same promises to each other, as you would with traditional vows? If you want them to be a surprise on your wedding day, make sure you both send a copy of what you've written to your officiant or to one friend or family member so they can check that your vows are about the same length and similar in tone.

Make a Vow Date

When it's time to come up with the actual content of your vows, go out to dinner or set aside an evening at home to brainstorm. Talk about your relationship and what marriage means to each of you. Discuss what you expect from each other and the relationship. What are you most looking forward to about married life? Why did you decide to get married? What hard times have you gone through together? What have you supported each other through? What challenges do you envision in your future? What do you want to accomplish together? What makes your relationship tick? Answering these questions will help you make and keep your promises, and talking about your bond may expose your inner Wordsworth and help you come up with phrases and stories you can incorporate into your vows.

Schedule Some Alone Time

After chatting with your future spouse, take some self-reflection time to think about how you feel about your partner. What did you think when you first saw them? When did you realize you were in love? What do you most respect about your partner? How has your life gotten better since meeting your mate? What about them inspires you? What do you miss most about them when you're apart? What qualities do you most admire in each other? What do you have now that you didn't have before you met? You may be surprised how these answers may lead you to the perfect words.

Steal Ideas

Borrow freely from poetry, books, religious and spiritual texts -- even from romantic movies. Jot down words and phrases that capture your feelings. Widely recognized works ring true for a reason.

Create an Outline

An outline can get you started by helping to establish a structure. For example, plan to first talk about how great your fiance is and then about how you work together as a couple; pause to quote your favorite writer and then go into your promises to each other.

Remember Your Audience

Don't make your vows so personal that they're cryptic -- or embarrassing! You've invited your family and friends to witness your vows in order to make your bond public, so be sure everyone feels included in the moment. That means putting a limit on inside jokes, deeply personal anecdotes and obscure nicknames or code words.

Time It Right

Don't make them too long -- aim for about one minute or so (it's longer than it sounds!). Your vows are the most important element of your ceremony, but that doesn't mean they should go on for hours. Get at the heart of what marrying this person means to you with your vows; pick the most important points and make them well. Save some thoughts for the reception toasts -- and for the wedding night.

Practice Out Loud (Seriously!)

These are words meant to be heard by a live audience, so check that they sound good when spoken. Read your vows out loud to make sure they flow easily. Watch out for tongue twisters and super-long sentences -- you don't want to get out of breath or stumble.

-- Special thanks to Alisa Tongg, a wedding celebrant

Read more: Wedding Vows & Readings: 20 Tips for Writing Your Own Wedding Vows – Wedding Planning – Wedding Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony Sample (With Translator)

Check out the amazing video made by Jason Leung from Infinitum here 

15 Romantic Wedding Readings from Children’s Books

15 Romantic Wedding Readings from Children’s Books
Choosing a romantic reading for a wedding is one of the most exciting parts to planning your special day. It’s also one of the more memorable moments at any wedding ceremony for both yourselves, as the bridal couple – as well as for all your wedding guests.
Check out these amazing readings from children’s books. 
Comments (1)

Wedding on a Boat

I’m on a boat 


Your Officiant Saying Hi

This is a very short introduction of me saying hi. 

Wedding Ceremony Ideas

Content Ideas for Your Wedding Ceremony
Many couples today are choosing to have a non-religious wedding ceremony, or be married by a friend or family member. Yet an important role of the officiant is to give you guidance in crafting your wedding ceremony, often following a predetermined format. If you are going the DIY route, I want to give you advice on creating a memorable and personal wedding ceremony. 

There is no standard wedding ceremony order, but they generally contain most of these elements: 
  1. Wedding processional or entrance of the bride and groom, and wedding party if applicable.Definition of a Processional 
  2. Literature, love poetry, or religious wedding readings
  3. Romantic ceremony music 
  4. Attendants or witnesses to sign the wedding certificate,ketubah, or marriage license 
  5. Wedding Vows 
  6. Exchange of wedding rings or gifts 
  7. A blessing, benediction, community commitment to support the marriage, and/or officiant’s sanction of the marriage 
  8. A first kiss as a married couple 
  9. recessional
Some weddings also include a unity candle ceremony or other unity ceremony.

You may choose to give an outline of your ceremony in your wedding program, or order of service.
Here is a sample of a non-denominational wedding ceremony:
Click here to read about correct order for the processional

The wedding should begin by welcoming your guests. In movies, one often sees 

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of these witnesses, to join ___________ and ___________ in matrimony, which is commended to be honorable among all men; and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, discreetly, advisedly and solemnly. Into this holy estate these two persons present now come to be joined. If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace. 

Another variation is: 
Friends, we have been invited here today to share with ______ and ______ a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife. 

The traditional wording is “Who gives this woman to be wedded to this man” but in modern weddings many couples opt for something such as “Who supports this couple in their marriage?” or “Who supports this woman in her marriage to this man?” or choose to leave it out altogether. Giving Away the Bride: Traditional and Modern Alternative Wordings 

This will generally set the tone of your wedding. It could be serious, humorous, sentimental, or elegant. Typically, it says something about love, relationships, or marriages. Here are some examples of wedding readings. 

Here the officiant says some words about marriage in general. He or she will most likely talk about the seriousness of the solemn vow you are about to make, and the new life together you are creating. 

click here for some sample wedding vow wording 


The bride and groom say something like “I (name) give you (name) this ring as an eternal symbol of my love and commitment to you.” Sample ring ceremony vow wording 

Many couples are choosing to add a unity ceremony. They may choose to do this in silence, with music playing or they may create vows to say about the joining of their families. Unity candle wording, and alternative unity ceremonies 

This could be a poem, a prayer, or a sanctioning of the marriage. It is generally the “final thoughts” of the officiant. 

The officiant typically says something akin to “By the power vested in me by the State of _______, I now pronounce you husband and wife” or for same-sex couples, “I now pronounce you married.” This is followed by the first kiss of the newly married couple. The officiant traditionally says, “You may now kiss the bride”. Modern couples often find it strange for someone else to be giving permission to kiss a grown woman. So now, either the couple kiss immediately after the declaration of marriage or the officiant says something like “you may now kiss each other.” 

The officiant says “I present to you Mr. and Mrs. ________” if they are changing their names, or “I present to you the newly married couple, Jane and John” if they are not. The guests stand and applaud, as the couple then lead the recessional out. 
Written by Nina Callaway

How to Write Your Own Vows

How to Write Your Own Vows
Writing your own personalized wedding vows can be a daunting task, but it’s not quite as hard as it looks. Here are six easy steps that you can follow to write your own wedding vows. 
  1. Make sure that everyone is on the same page. Talk to your future spouse and your officiant and make sure everyone is okay with personalized wedding vows. Some religions require that you use the traditional wording, while others will allow you to write your own, as long as you include certain phrases. You’ll also want to make sure that your sweetheart also wants to do it. While you’re at it, decide together whether you want to write one wedding vow that you will both say, or whether you want to write individually.
  2. Answer some simple questions Yep, it’s homework time. Sit down in a quiet space with paper and pen and answer these questions. Even if you don’t think the answer will end up in your wedding vows, still take the time to write it down. It may help you in the long run. If you encounter writer’s block, first try taking a short break. If you’re still having trouble, try speaking the answers into a tape recorder, letting the thoughts flow freely.

    • What is the single greatest thing about the person you are going to marry?
    • When did you know that you were in love/ know that this person was the one you wanted to marry?
    • What does marriage mean to you? Why do you want to be a married person?
    • What is the most important thing you want to promise to your partner? What is the promise you most want to hear from them? (For example, it might be really important to you to promise that you will always respect them. Or you might really want them to promise their eternal fidelity.)
    • What will change about your relationship once you are married? What will stay the same?
    • What is your most favorite memory of your partner?
    • When you were little, did you dream of your wedding day or your future spouse? How does that vision match up (or not) with your sweetheart?

  3. Consult the experts Take some time to read through a variety ofwedding vows,as well as passages of poetry, love stories, and famous writing about love(these are suggested for wedding readings, but include many quotes you could use in your vows.)Print out your favorites, and highlight passages that especially speak to you.
  4. Put it all together Go back to the words you wrote before, and highlight passages that you might want to include in your wedding vows. Now is the time to pare things down – select the very best of all the material you have to work with. Try taking a sentence or two from literature, add a sentence or two from the answers to the above questions, and finish with a vow – a sentence that begins “I promise” or “I vow”. For example, you might say:

    “Mary, as the poet Rilke said, ‘This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love. The more they give, the more they possess.’ You are the most generous, loving, unselfish person I know. I fell in love with you the moment I first saw you with your daughter, treating her with such respect and giving her all of you. I feel so fortunate that you have chosen to share your love with me, and that I get to grow old next to you. Mary, today I choose you for my wife. I promise to love you, honor you, care for you, and be faithful to you, from this day forward and for the rest of our lives.”
  5. If that didn’t work Try filling in the blanks in a more simple vow.
    (Name of your sweetheart), you are my (best friend, one true love, the one I want to spend the rest of my life with, etc.) Today, I take you to be my (wife, husband, lawfully wedded wife or husband, life partner, etc.) I promise you that I will be (faithful, worthy of your trust, worthy of your love, your loving partner, etc.) I vow to (honor you, cherish you, love you, respect you, laugh with you, cry with you, support you in your goals, etc.), (insert here the length of your vow, for example, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.)
  6. Practice, Practice, Practice First, try reading what you’ve written out loud to a trusted friend or family member. Ideally, this person will be someone who is a good writer, and someone who knows your relationship. They may have good suggestions for you, or the simple act of reading it out loud might help you identify places where you can improve. Once you’ve worked out a final version, practice reading it on your own to make sure you are comfortable with it. If you can, try to memorize it. But whether or not you memorize well, make sure that you write down your wedding vows on a note card (and give an extra copy to the best man or maid of honor!) so that nerves won’t spoil all of your hard work.
Written by Nina Callaway

How Do you Choose Your Officiant?

How to Choose Your Officiant
Selecting your officiant is like choosing a fine wine: it takes time and a lot of consideration. Remember this is the person who will be overseeing your nuptials. It’s important to pick someone who’ll take your needs into consideration. Take these and any other questions you may have with you when you’re choosing a potential officiant.
Tip: Your officiant sets the tone for your ceremony. Make sure it’s someone who’ll help make it memorable.
Can we choose the ceremony we want?
This is an important question to ask if writing your own vows is important to you or if both you and your fiancé follow different faiths. 
It’s also important to clarify if the officiant allows photography or videography during your ceremony.
Another detail that should not be overlooked is to ask the duration of the ceremony. Your caterer might need this information.
How long have you been an officiant?
Don’t be afraid to ask how many ceremonies the officiant has performed and if he or she is comfortable pulling off the one you’ve envisioned. Also ask for referrals or testimonials of past couples. You don’t have to call them all but it might be good to have their contact information in your back pocket.
What are your credentials?
Feel free to ask your officiant for his or her credentials. If you’d like to take your research one step further, you can contact the seminary he or she was ordained through to ensure that the officiant is fully licensed and registered.
How flexible are you?
Ask your officiant if he or she is willing to travel to your venue, particularly if it’s out of town. Make sure that there’s a contingency plan in place in case he or she can’t make it.
How often will we meet?
This depends on if you want your officiant to simply show up and perform the ceremony, run the rehearsal, or counsel you and your fiancé prior to the wedding. Most importantly, will your officiant be available by email or phone if any questions or concerns arise?
What are your fees?
Be clear about what you get for the price. Discuss deposits, as well as cancellation and/or refund policies. You might have to cover the officiant’s costs if your wedding is out of town (this includes hotel, transportation, and meals). The officiant usually fills out the marriage certificate information and sends it in and there may be a small fee associated with this.
Will you attend the reception?
Make sure you plan for an extra meal in the event your officiant opts to stay for your reception.
From the producers of Rich Bride Poor Bride.

Where do I get a Marriage License

Marriage License in BC
To get married in British Columbia, the Marriage Act requires that the couple get a Marriage Licence. You may get married during the three-month term of the licence.

Only one member of the couple needs to apply in person for a marriage licence. Click here for locations of Marriage Licence Issuers.

The current fee for a Marriage Licence is $100.00 and must be paid at the time of application. To ensure accuracy of marriage certificates issued after registration and to verify legal age to apply for a marriage licence, primary identification in the form of a birth certificate, IMM/Immigration form, Permanent Resident or Citizenship card confirming  1) full legal names  2) birth date  3)place of birth should be provided for both parties. You will also be asked to provide information on your current marital status and address.

If the applicant does not have primary identification for the parties then the following documents may be utilized in a descending order of preference:
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Passport
  • Credit Card
  • Bank Card

Other documents may also be accepted.

The marriage licence is issued at the time of application. The marriage licence is non-refundable, valid for three months and may not be extended.

For more information, please visit


Who can Marry Me in Canada?

Three Options for People to Marry You in Canada
In BC you have three options for getting legally married.

Justice of the Peace.JP’s, as they’re lovingly called, are completely regulated by the government and there is at least one per community in BC. They’re generally retired, friendly and do as many as 6-8 weddings on a given Saturday or Sunday.

Officiant. These folks are generally retired religious people who retired on friendly enough terms that they were able to keep their ordination and keep marrying people. They’re friendly, have some sort of religious background and have performed many a ceremony in their day.

Religious Organization.These are who you typically see in movies. Priests, Rabbi’s, Pastors, Fathers; you name it, they’re the ones up front usually dressed in religious outfits and reciting traditional speech.
What am I? I’m an officiant. 


Here’s a little video introduction I made a little while ago explaining a bit about myself. 


Indochino Gift Set

Thanks to the fine people of I picked up my gift set which includes all the accessories you need to accessorize your custom suit. It includes such fine pieces as their Good Groove Tie Clip and their Bars of Silver cufflinks
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