Your wedding day is among the most important days of your life. Helping you make sure every detail is fine-tuned is one of our passions here at Third Degree Glass Factory, so we’ve chosen to feature an incredible officiant to highlight. Your officiant will run the wedding ceremony, and “wed” the couple. It’s important to choose a qualified officiant who will make your wedding day dreams a reality. Ruth Ellen Hassler is a local officiant and life-cycle celebrant® who has performed over 600 ceremonies. Our staff sat down with Ruth Ellen to discuss what makes her services unique, and why she loves her career so much. From elopement packages to completely customized ceremonies, she is sure to have the right fit for your special day.
How did you get started as an officiant?
I’ve always been interested in ceremony and ritual, and even as a child I enjoyed “playing church” with my friends who lived nearby. In 2006, I started reading about the Civil Celebrant tradition in Australia which had recently expanded to the United States. I learned that I could receive training to officiate at ceremonies without becoming clergy or another religious official. That sounded like just the right fit for me. So I took the eight-month course from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute, received my certification in 2007, and I’m having the time of my life!
Walk us through your process:
When a couple contacts me about their wedding, our conversation begins the collaborative process which results in a personal and meaningful ceremony. I ask questions to draw out their hopes and dreams for their ceremony, I take lots of notes, and then I suggest one of my four packages which seem to be the best fit. The key to creating a memorable ceremony is to listen well as they describe their wedding vision, send them each draft as their ceremony takes shape, and then give them final say over the entire ceremony script.
Roughly how many weddings on average do you book in a day?
On an average weekend during wedding season, I will perform 2-3 ceremonies. But I will not schedule more than two on the same day, because I want to give each couple my best attention and energy, and I’ve learned the hard way that it is difficult to do that after two ceremonies. In an average year, I perform approximately 60 weddings. This year of the pandemic, of course, will not be average!
Tell us a great story about a memorable wedding ceremony you conducted.
Samantha and Sean. There were so many moving parts to this wedding with lots and lots of people in their families and the wedding party! After an inconvenient snowstorm and abbreviated rehearsal, the ceremony began. While I was talking with the bride in the back, a mistaken music cue caused the parents and grandparents to start walking down the aisle before I was ready for them. And they did not walk one pair at a time. They launched as a group and walked the whole way, herd-like. Then the groom left for the ceremony area without me. And there was not a darn thing I could do about any of it! But here’s the thing: As hard as Sam and Sean had worked on the details of this ceremony and as these, as well as a number of other details did not go according to plan, they were able to let go and enjoy the ride. When the guests stood up and Sam walked down the aisle with her dads, none of it mattered as much as the reason we were all there: These two people have decided to go through this life together. So let’s celebrate!
Any advice for couples?
As you go through the process of planning your wedding, make sure that your relationship remains your primary focus. If the craziness of wedding planning starts to interfere with the life you are creating together, take some time out and refocus. Keep your eyes on the prize: a deeper, more loving and committed relationship.
Thanks for all your help and guidance in making Heather and Ethan’s reception extra special. It was a pleasure working with you! – Kay E.
From custom design and decor to creative signature cocktails, our staff can help you create an unforgettable event with our unique extras. To schedule a site visit, book your event, or gather more information, contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-396-2825.