Name: Christopher Ross
Business Name: Celestial Ceremonies
What are some common mistakes you see couples make while preparing for their wedding?
1. Planning the whole thing themselves while holding down a full-time job and trying to have a life at the same time! Hire a reputable wedding planner; it is worth the money and will save you an enormous amount of aggravation.
2. Having a cash bar at the reception. Tacky, tacky, tacky!
If you could give couples one piece of advice, what would it be?
Less is more. If you can afford a really tasteful, elegant affair for 40 people but will have to cut corners for 100, cut down your invitation list and have the smaller event. Treat your guests well. You don’t want them wondering—out loud—why there is almost no food at the cocktail hour or complaining about the cheap wine, both of which I have overheard.
What don't couples know about your business category that they need to know?
I have extensive experience as a premarital counselor as well as a spiritual director and hospital chaplain. When I have the opportunity to work with couples over a period of several months, we get to know each other very well. The result is a much more personal ceremony.
I also bring to the creation of a wedding ceremony a personal history that includes a wide range of religious and spiritual traditions and so I welcome couples of all backgrounds.
What is one question a couple should be asking that they don't know to ask (specific to you or in the general planning sense)?
I don’t think I have one question to tell couples to be sure to ask. But I do tell them that no question is unimportant and no issue is too small or too silly to bring up. It is their wedding and they should never hesitate if they are at all unsure about anything.
What sets you apart from other vendors in your field?
I have considerable experience as a writer, editor and proofreader as well as a priest. Therefore, every “t” is crossed and every “i” is dotted and when the pieces that we choose to include all come together, the ceremony is guaranteed to flow logically, liturgically, seamlessly and beautifully, and I work with couples through as many drafts of their ceremony as needed to make that happen.
Tell us about your favorite wedding that you've been part of.
Nothing gives me greater joy than when I officiate for a same-sex or interracial couple and their friends and families are genuinely thrilled for them. No tension, no judgment, no hesitation or reservation. Just pure unadulterated love and happiness.