Valentine’s Day in Grand Rapids Michigan

wedding grand volute 2010

Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days for engagements! As Wedding Ministers, we get very busy with calls to book upcoming summer and fall weddings this time of year. If you were engaged this weekend over Valentine’s Day, there are some steps to take to make your planning go smoothly for your upcoming wedding.

First step, enjoy the week! Show off the ring, make the calls to love ones, post your engagement to social media, and most of all, take in emotions of the special time between your fiance and yourself. Write in a journal how you were asked, and all the reasons you said yes.

Second, talk with your immediate family to look at a few dates that would work in their schedule for the wedding, as well as set a budget. These two items are very important. The date and budget dictate all that goes on in wedding planning. You will also have to consider what location you will look to get married if you aren’t from the same hometown.

Once a couple figures out the budget, the date, and the logistics of what city the wedding will be held, the remainder of planning will be much easier. The next step would be to find the venue, the wedding ceremony minister, reception venue, dj, cater, wedding dress, tux, etc. Based upon the budget, you will decide what size of venue, how much food needed, according to your guest list. However, you will need to make the calls to interview those wedding vendors you are interested in asap because popular vendors book fast and you will want to have the opportunity to be on their schedule.

Again, if you were engaged on Valentine’s Day this year, your first step is to enjoy the day! Cherish the moment! Get out a journal and take some time to collect the emotions and thoughts of future in writing…it’s a treasured day!

Wedding Recently on Fox 17 News Grand Rapids, Michigan

marriageReverend Kenneth Kibby was recently on Fox 17 news for a story they ran about a special couple getting married. Rev Ken was asked if he would officiate the wedding arranged by Fox 17 news for a couple that had been together for almost 10 years. The couple had been “down on their luck” as of recent, but was looking forward to job positions starting as they had been homeless for some time. The shelter contacted Rev Ken to see if he would officiate their wedding.

See the Video here

Wedding Ideas for your Grand Rapids Michigan wedding

Recently, we had a couple over that wanted to get married within a few weeks due to the groom going overseas. With little time, many of their top venue choices were booked. They came to us with the idea they would use a beach setting and book their date.

Wedding Ceremony Grand Rapids MIchigan

Wedding Ceremony Grand Rapids Michigan by I Now Pronounce You Wedding Services . Wedding Minister for Military wedding

After talking with the couple, we made them aware of some pro’s and con’s of a beach setting based on the information we uncovered. The couple was going to have some elderly guests present. A beach setting is nice for the ambiance of the wind, and waves, however, it’s a obstacle for elderly to hear the words spoken during the ceremony, as well as to be seated. Also, they wanted to have a fall wedding. The weather in Michigan can be unruly on the Lakeshore in the fall with rain and wind. This was taken into account when deciding the venue.

We suggested a park in Grand Rapids that offers a gazebo, easy in and easy out, ample parking and is free to public to enjoy on first come, first serve basis. They loved the idea of the park setting!

Grand Rapids has many great parks that offer covered seating. I recommend checking out the map of the Kent County Parks by visiting:  For the City of Grand Rapids, visit:

You can also visit for more information and ideas for your wedding ceremony.

Wedding Songs to walk down aisle

We perform many weddings throughout the year in West Michigan. Many of our couples are looking for the perfect song to walk down aisle to for their wedding.

Below, I’ve listed the songs that our couples have chosen to walk down aisle to.

1. Canon in D Major by Johann Pachelbel-most traditional and popular.     Canon in D

2. You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne

3. Turning Page by Sleeping at Last

4. We Are Man And Wife by Michelle Featherstone

5. Marry Me by Train

6. Maybe I’m Amazed by Jem

7. Marry You by Bruno Mars

8. You & Me by Dave Matthews Band 10. Thinking outloud Ed Shereen Love this song!

9. The Way You Look Tonight by Steve Tyrell

10. Thinking outloud Ed Shereen Love this song!

I Need to add, we get a lot of requests for the following also:

A Thousand Years

I would recommend looking at the love that brought you to the alter and choose a song that fits your personality. Be creative and have the song reflect your love.

This post comes from Rev. Kenneth Kibby of I Now Pronounce You Wedding Services 

Grand Haven Beach Wedding on Michigan Shoreline

mary harper rennick 3

We performed a beautiful fall wedding on the North Shore of Grand Haven yesterday. It was a wonderful September day and the sky made a picture perfect scene!

Having a wedding on the beach, if the weather cooperates can be a beautiful setting. The fall sunsets, the calmer winds in the afternoon, and most of the time, the boaters are off the water if you choose a Sunday, or during the week. Parking could be an issue if you choose a popular park area, therefore, be sure to have plans for your guests to arrive without walking a long distance. Also, have good directions and mark the venue spot to not confuse where the wedding is held.

For seating, you can check a few different rental stores to check their chair rentals, or also check your local churches to see if they rent chairs for off premise events. You can also check for items that can be used for a trellis, or you can make your own. Many couples borrow motor homes to have the bridal party arrive to the wedding as a group.

Sand ceremonies are wonderful for beach weddings. Some couples also do Stone throwing where special stones picked out by the couple and the guests go to the shoreline and throw stones into the water after making a wish for the couple.

There are so many great ideas for a beach wedding. Have a back up plan if the weather is uncooperative. Share you beach pictures and ideas with us! We would love to see them!

More information on or follow us on twitter at @inowpronounceu

Wedding Ceremony Scripts for your Wedding Ceremony

As a wedding Officiant in Grand Rapids, we write hundreds of  wedding ceremonies for couples a year. Some couples have us write ceremonies for them because they want a personalized ceremony that reflects their love.

Here are some examples of Wedding scripts we’ve used in the past to get an idea for your Grand Rapids wedding.


Family and friends, we have gathered here today to witness and celebrate the wedding of Johnathan Richard Miller and Charlotte Leigh Durham. Let us turn our hearts and minds to the couple before us who wish to bind their lives together, in peace, and in love.

Today, Johnathan and Charlotte proclaim their love to the world and we who are gathered here rejoice with them and for them in the new life they now undertake together.


It gives me pleasure to ask now;

Who presents this woman to be married to this man?

Eric Durham (father)  responds:      “Her mother and I do”

            Bride moves to Groom

Definition of marriage

Charlotte and Johnathan, Today in marriage, you are taking into your care and trust, the happiness of the one person in this world whom you love with all your heart. You have invited us to share in the celebration of your love. You now stand before us to take each other as husband and wife.

New experiences lie before you with opportunities to grow deeper in love with each other.  Make the meaning of the vows you are about to share with one another deepen as the years pass and seek to discover the endless possibilities of this life together.

As time passes, marriage evolves from romance to companionship, and back again to the most intimate of bonds. We marry for love. But part of the mystery that unfolds is an ever-new understanding of our partner…their greatness and their weakness, which the true-lovers will learn to compliment with their own strengths. While presenting its own unique challenges, marriage also rewards us with the love, friendship and power to overcome any obstacle that life may place before us. This sacred union is lovely in its innocence, mighty in its strength, and abundant with possibilities.

Declarations of Intent

I ask you now to declare your intent:

Johnathan, do you take Charlotte as your lawfully wedded wife, and do you promise to love, honor and cherish her.  Do you promise to console her in sorrow, to strengthen her in weakness, to share with her your happiness, and to speak the truth to her out of your love?

Johnathan replies    “I Do.”

Charlotte, do you take Johnathan as your lawfully wedded husband, and do you promise to love, honor and cherish him.  Do you promise to console him in sorrow, to strengthen him in weakness, to share with him your happiness, and to speak the truth to him out of your love?

Charlotte replies    “I Do.”


Remember also that marriage is a shared relationship, not a matter of possession.  It is a means of showing your commitment to one another, not a blind surrendering of personality.  It is not an excuse to become limited in your outlook; it is an opportunity for mutual growth.


In presenting yourselves to be joined in marriage, you commit yourselves to honoring and protecting one another above your separate selves, and to valuing your union above your own interests.  In so doing, you will find a wealth of love and peace not otherwise obtainable.  But with this joy comes a profound responsibility to protect the bond you share.  For it is only with continual care that your love is truly secure in the face of life’s inevitable tests.  Devotion, joy and love can grow only if you nurture them together.


You must appreciate each other’s talents, foster each other’s dreams, and be ever mindful of the many gifts the other offers you.  You must inspire and encourage one another.  For by strengthening your partner, you strengthen your marriage.  Be sparing in criticism and generous in praise for things well done.  Although you will at times disagree, remember to respect each others feelings, needs and wants.  And most importantly, you must continue to bring out the very best in each other.

Exchange of Vows

Knowing these things to be true, and with love in your hearts, it is time now to share your vows.

Charlotte hands her bouquet to her bridesmaid

Johnathan, as you hold Charlotte’s hands and look into her eyes, please repeat these words:


I, Johnathan, take you Charlotte

to be my lawfully wedded wife.

I take you just as you are,

to laugh with you in joy,

to grieve with you in sorrow,

to grow with you in love,

and to be faithful to you alone,

for as long as we both shall live.

This is my promise to you.

Now, Charlotte, repeat after me:

I, Charlotte, take you Johnathan

to be my lawfully wedded husband.

I take you just as you are,

to laugh with you in joy,

to grieve with you in sorrow,

to grow with you in love,

and to be faithful to you alone,

for as long as we both shall live.

This is my promise to you.

Exchange of Rings

Wedding rings are enduring symbols of the eternal love, friendship, and faithfulness that you share. May these rings be for you always your most treasured adornment, and may the love they symbolize be your most treasured possession. May I have the rings, please?

            Best man to hand rings to Minister

May these rings be always a reminder of the vows you have spoken today.

Johnathan, take Charlotte’s ring, put it on the ring finger of her left hand, and repeat after me:

I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion.

With this ring, I marry you, and I am honored to call you my wife.

Now Charlotte take Johnathan’s ring, put it on his left ring finger, and say these words:

I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion.

With this ring, I marry you, and I am honored to call you my husband.

Closing Prayer

 Charlotte and Johnathan, as you embark upon your journey, we wish for you the kind of home that will be a sanctuary for you both. At the end of your lives, may you be able to look back and smile upon the life that you have shared together; pleased, satisfied, and fulfilled.

We hope for you to be proud of how well you loved, honored, and respected each other. How you weathered the storms that came your way, and kept your love alive with your openness and enthusiasm for one another. You hold each other’s hearts in the palms of your hands. Be gentle caregivers, honoring this trust. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

On behalf of myself and your family and friends, I would like to thank the two of you for lettings us share in your happiness today.


Because you agree in your desire to go forward into life seeking a richer and ever deepening relationship; and because you have pledged yourselves to meet sorrow and joy as one family; I congratulate you, and declare that you are, now, husband and wife.

You may kiss your bride.

Presentation of married couple

Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, it is my pleasure to present for the first time

Mr. and Mrs. Johnathan Miller


Here are some optional wedding Rituals to add to your ceremony.

Sand Ceremony

(Bride/Groom) and (Groom/Bride) now come forth to seal their relationship through the mixing of the sands. Just as two lives together now join to become one, so will the individual sands become one as they are poured. It would be impossible to separate these sands, just as it would be impossible to separate (Bride/Groom) and (Groom/Bride)’s lives after today. This promise is a relationship pledge between two people who love each other fully and who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives.

Wine Ceremony: Mixing Red wine with White

“To symbolize and celebrate the blending of your two lives into one, I invite you to perform the Wine Ceremony

You have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings. This beautiful union is symbolized through the combining of these two individual glasses of wine. The glass  closest to Sarah represents who she is… her personality, individuality, values and all of her life experiences that have made her the woman she is today. The glass nearest Andrew represents who he is… his ideals, thoughts, passion and life trials that have made him that stands before you.

Each individual wine holds its own unique beauty, strength, and character. They can stand on their own and be whole, without need of anything else. However when these two are blended together they create a new and extraordinarily more intricate entity. Each glass of wine,  brings to the mixture a lasting beauty that forever enriches the combination.

Please pour the wines into this common carafe to symbolize the union of your two lives. Just as these wines can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be a molding of two individual personalities, bonded together forming one heart and one love. The life that each of you experienced individually, before this moment, will hereafter be inseparably united, for the two shall become one.


Visit for contact information if you need a ceremony written.

Wedding Rituals to choose for your Grand Rapids area wedding ceremony

We do many wedding ceremonies in the Grand Rapids Michigan area. One common question a couple has is, ” what should I do, a unity candle, sand ceremony, or other ritual?”

If it’s a Grand Haven MI beach wedding, sand ceremony is very appropriate. The Lake Michigan winds aren’t cooperative with a unity candle. Also, if the couple has children that they would like included in the ceremony, this is a great option. The children can have their own sand containter to blend with the couples to signify they’re a very important part of the family.

Wine Ceremony: We are doing more of these each year. For a couple who loves wine, this is a great option.One Red wine, One White Wine to blend to signify the new family. The wines can never be separated back to just White, or just Red. We have a YouTube video introducing a ceremony we included a wine ceremony.

Blessing of Rings: A successful marriage benefits from support of their family and friends. Before the ring exchange, the Minister announces that the couple appreciates the blessing of the family and asks that the rings are passed to the rows of family to say a prayer or give their blessing and pass to next person. When the rings come back, they have been blessed from the family and the Minister enters into the ring exchange.

There are many rituals a couple can add to their ceremony. It’s important that they consider the location, weather, participants and guests to the wedding, what needs to be used to do the ritual and what is important to them. Look at all the options and discuss with the person who will perform the wedding. The person officiating should have good experience to offer the ritual to help your wedding be the one you dreamed of!