Jen Bean owner of Marry Me Wedding Ceremonies in Bellingham has done over 75 weddings. “I still get choked up,” she says. Bean, who has been ordained to officiate weddings for over ten years, specializes in writing and developing ceremonies that fit the couple and create a unique experience.
“The ceremony is what the day is about,” Bean says. “It should reflect the couple and who they are as people.”
Bean describes the process of creating the ceremony as a collaboration between the couple and herself. She will even gather stories from family and friends to make the experience special.
As part of the process, Bean will also write ceremonies that others can officiate. She says that having someone the couple knows and is close to officiate the ceremony makes the day even more special. “It’s those personal statements and stories that make the day special, touching and funny,” she says.
Bean’s focus is creating a unique and meaningful ceremony for the couple regardless of who officiates. She explains that there is a trend towards customizing ceremonies. There isn’t a lot of guidance when it comes to actually writing and organizing the ceremony, so there is freedom in creating the schedule, gathering personal statements, writing the words and even detailing responsibilities.
“I love working with couples that are excited and invested,” she says. “The ceremony starts the day and sets the tone for the entire wedding.”
In order to collect stories and statements, Bean contacts and works with friends and families while also meeting and consulting with the couple. Together they discuss and research what elements are important to make the ceremony and the day meaningful to those involved.
Bean works with the couple to curate the ceremony by discussing what is important to them. This includes everything from the type of ceremony, such as traditional or modern, to the timing of the day. She then sends them samples of types of ceremonies so they can get a feel for what they really want.
“I tell my couples not to get hung up on where the ceremony is at when we meet,” she says. “We’ll find a way to make it work with the elements that are important to them.”
Bean enjoys working with those couples who want a very special ceremony and are willing to put in the work to make that happen. “Writing a ceremony has been trending for years,” she says. “A wedding ceremony is very important. It’s about your family and community and what that means to you.”
More and more couples want that personalization to their ceremony. After all, weddings are such a special moment in people’s lives.
Bean puts a lot of time into every ceremony she creates for a couple. Together they collaboratively determine the flow of the ceremony, the details and who will be fulfilling each role.
Bean describes her roles at various ceremonies throughout the eleven years she’s been in business with Mary Me Wedding Ceremonies. “I’ve sewn brides into gowns, I’ve cleared plates and I’ve even decorated the cake.”
Through the experience she’s developed, Bean can provide an enormous amount of support from working with vendors to guiding the officiator through the ordaining process and responsibilities of the wedding day. Bean says she’s even attended a few rehearsals to ensure that the day is on track and everyone is prepared. “It’s an intense experience,” she says. “I want everyone prepared when it comes to responsibilities.”
The devil is always in the details, which is why Bean works so hard with couples on creating the ceremony as well as working with the ordained person. “It’s knowing the details and the timing,” she says. “It’s all about making sure the officiate is prepared.”
Bean values the importance of her job. She recognizes the important and valuable role that she plays in each and every ceremony. “I love to see each couple start off with a bang,” says Bean. “That’s what the experience of a unique and meaningful ceremony can bring.”