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5 Best Tips

for Happy & Stress-free Wedding Planning

Keep a gratitude list. Once you start looking for the people who are helpful, you will be amazed at the network of support you have for every step of your planning.


Say a sincere thank you to everyone who helps you. Start a gratitude list, and make a point to thank each person along the way who helps you.


Look for the good in every situation, even when your plans go awry. Always look for the triumvirate of blessings:  seek out the good, the gold, and God.


Find joy and humor in the process of creating your wedding. Keep smiling, and find ways to laugh, love yourself, and have fun during this special time.


Interview and select your officiating Celebrant. Email or call me if I can help you create a meaningful, personal and unique ceremony.


Things to Consider When Planning Your Wedding

If you just got engaged, congratulations! This can be one of the happiest, most loving experiences of your life. But it can also be stressful! Before you start planning the million details that will be part of your wedding, let’s take a moment to get grounded in the practices that will help you be ‘stress-free!”


There are countless guides and unending advice for planning your wedding. My suggestions are not about venue, colors, guests lists, or menu. They are about your attitude and your joy through this process.

Below are my FIVE BEST TIPS for being happy and stress-free while making your wedding plans.

holly marion wedding ceremony officiant

“We had a very traditional Scottish service, with Irish and American elements, at Castle McCulloch. I am from Scotland and married an Irish American, and we could not have had a more interesting, entertaining, heartfelt, or organized ceremony. Holly took time to get to know us so that the service could be personal and formal at the same time.”

—  Catriona & Bradley Dunphy

The Process is Easy

Here's Holly's process and what to expect when working with her:

  • When should we contact the person who will officiate at our wedding ceremony?
    As soon as you have a date, you should contact officiant/celebrant candidates in order to ensure you have the time to interview them and make your selection. Many celebrants are booked months in advance, so start early. A year ahead is not uncommon.
  • What is the advantage of having an experienced and certified Celebrant as opposed to having one of our friends be ordained and conduct the ceremony?
    Your wedding is one of the most important, memorable days of your life. By entrusting your ceremony to an experienced and certified Celebrant, you help ensure things go smoothly, down to the last detail. I have performed dozens of weddings involving different faiths, cultures, races, and genders. Your ceremony will be in the hands of someone with a great deal of knowledge and experience who will work diligently to create the most fitting and personal event possible for you and your guests. I also handle the legal paperwork for filing marriage licenses, a detail often overlooked by others. Hiring a professional Celebrant also allows your friends to enjoy your wedding day as a guest, with no stress or pressures.
  • Why should we choose Holly as our marriage officiant?
    I take the time to get to know you and ask the important questions in my interviews before writing the ceremony to reflect your values, stories, and beliefs. This is an important part of my training as a marriage celebrant and one that most folks ordained on the internet will not do because they tend to use the same ceremony for all their couples. I also have a great depth of experience in serving as a wedding officiant, and I believe it is an important service to provide to those who may be spiritual, but not religious, or who do not want a church or synagogue wedding.
  • I’m not sure about having a female wedding officiant. Please tell us what to expect.
    It is increasingly common to see women conducting ceremonies of all kinds. The majority of certified Life-Cycle Celebrants from the national Celebrants Institute are female. We bring a soft touch, an ability to listen, and a warmth that clients love.
  • Our parents are religious, but we are not. How can we make everyone happy in our ceremony?"
    Consider asking a parent to do a prayer or reading of a religious passage that you like during the ceremony. It will help them be more a part of the day while keeping the core message non-religious.
  • We want a non-denominational wedding ceremony that puts our two faiths together. Does Holly have experience with that?
    I have performed many ceremonies bringing people of different faiths together. One of my favorites was a Buddhist and a Methodist in which the couple had a tea ceremony in the wedding. I’ve also married a Muslim and a Presbyterian, and a Hindu and a Methodist. In all of these examples, I found marriage traditions among those religions and created simple ways for them to be incorporated into the wedding. The Korean ducks were an important symbol in the Greensboro wedding of a woman whose mother was Korean, but the groom’s family was American. There are many ways to use the symbols, readings or other traditions from different cultures to make your ceremony unique and sacred.
  • My fiancé is Catholic and has been married before. His priest will not marry us without him going through an annulment process for a marriage that ended more than 10 years ago. Will Holly help us?
    I would be happy to create just the right ceremony for you. With my background in helping couples in this very same situation, I am dedicated to creating a ceremony that will make you very happy and proud.
  • If we work with you, will you conduct our wedding at a vineyard in our area?"
    Of course! Vineyards make a beautiful setting for weddings and I have conducted several ceremonies at the wineries in our area. In fact, I have performed ceremonies at a wide variety of locations including dairy farms, public parks, castles, country clubs, lakes, hotel ballrooms, chapels, and many, many more! If you are thinking about having your wedding outdoors, just make sure there is a room indoors in the event of inclement weather.
  • Can we write our own vows?
    Absolutely. I have saved dozens of different vows from my work and research, so if you need some ideas, let me know. I’m also happy to write personal vows that are fashioned just for you.
  • What are your fees?
    I price my wedding services based on the amount of time involved and the level of responsibilities you need me to manage. Typical wedding fees begin at $475.

"Holly not only created a unique ceremony but helped give thoughtful consideration to other details for our special day - including coordinating with our DJ and musicians for musical cues."

—  Kim & Ryan Bailey

holly marion ordained officiant

Ready to meet Holly?

Request a no-obligation meeting with Holly, to see if she is the right officiant for your wedding or other ceremony.

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