Published: Monday, Jan. 25th, 2021
Four years ago, Officiant Amber Olsen stood up from a family member’s outdoor wedding ceremony and thought to herself: I can do better.
The ceremony had been pleasant but dull, the same old I do's we’ve all sat through a hundred times. It didn’t tell her anything interesting or special about the couple, their love for each other, or what their lives were like together. She realized in that moment that most couples might not even realize their ceremony could be about them -- a unique expression of their journey together, not just a boring formality on the way to the reception.
Since that day, she has officiated over 200 weddings. She’s made it her mission to show every couple she works with the countless options available to them for customizing their ceremony. Often, she says, those couples are surprised at first by the permission to just be themselves.
“I think people, when they start planning their weddings, they automatically think, well what am I supposed to do as far as this ceremony goes?” she says. “And I always tell [them], make this your ceremony… about your love story, and you as a couple, and who you are together, and who you hope to become… Your wedding can reflect that.”
Officiant Amber's mission is to create ceremonies that tell a story.
Now she's empowering couples with the tools to tell their own!
But Amber’s knack for perfectly realizing her couple’s ceremony vision -- her master recipe for whipping up wedding day magic -- isn’t a solo effort. As she explains, she’s been working closely with the other wedding vendors at her ceremonies since she began her officiating career.
“I feel that it’s really, really important for the vendors to work together,” she says, “in order to create a kind of unified environment.” It’s something that she emphasizes often when she talks about planning and preparation: “It’s very important for vendors to work together, to make sure that a couple’s wedding day goes off without a hitch... I always work closely with the photographers and videographers, and the venue, and just make sure that everybody’s on the same page… and there are no surprises.”
Working together to make a couple’s visions come to life? That’s definitely something we at AMM stand behind, because all couples deserve a chance to shine and be celebrated (and solemnized!).
Now, a handful of years and hundreds of weddings into her career, Amber is taking things one step further. She’s combining her passion for personalized ceremonies, and her connection with other vendors, and sharing that secret recipe with couples everywhere...
Amber collaborated with American Marriage Ministries (that’s us!) to release a new, one-of-a-kind guide for planning a one-of-a-kind-wedding, called Navigating Your Wedding Ceremony.
A one-of-a-kind guide for planning a one-of-a-kind wedding... for one-of-a-kind couples!
Navigating Your Wedding Ceremony is a deep-diving, DIY blueprint for any couple hoping to have a personalized, custom ceremony, told from the unique behind-the-scenes perspective of a wedding officiant.
It walks readers through the initial planning phases in the same way Amber would herself, if she was working with them one-on-one, guiding them with questions to determine the feel and direction of their ceremony. Then, she provides the right questions for couples to ask vendors, to identify and assemble the perfect wedding day dream team. Because, as she reminds us, the best ceremony is the one that tells your story.
“I know after a lot of my meetings with couples,” Amber says, smiling, “a lot of them just kind of laugh and sit back and say, ‘We had no idea that there was so much that goes into the ceremony... We never thought that our ceremony could be different. We never thought about what would be possible for our ceremony, and you’ve given us a lot to think about.'”
We hope many more couples will soon feel the same way: empowered to create a ceremony that tells their story... something a little different.
Order a copy of Officiant Amber's Navigating Your Wedding Ceremony for yourself or a newly engaged couple today!
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