River & Root Ceremonies

handcrafted ceremonies joyfully congruent with your complex life

The Process (with notable exceptions)

Please note: this description is fairly general.   As you read this page, be aware that I am fairly flexible – I want this to work for you. (For example: for families with young children who are interested in a ceremony, rather than meeting offsite if scheduling and childcare is a concern, I can come to you for an initial meeting and consultation).

If you think I might be a good fit for your ceremony, please contact me via email or phone.  I will return your call, and we’ll chat briefly about your ideas and thoughts regarding your ceremony; at this time, I will also confirm that your date is open on my calendar. We will then agree on a time and place to meet, ideally in person, but Skype or Google calls are also a possibility if that’s best for you.

Initial Complimentary Meeting

This is a no-obligation meeting: a chance for us to get to know each other a little better and see if we mesh.  At our meeting, I’ll bring some additional information paperwork, including a draft contract.  We’ll talk more about your ceremony, your thoughts, concerns, timeline – anything that arises.  If you are ready to commit at that point, we can sign the contract and I can accept a deposit to hold your date (I will not hold a date without a deposit).  If you would prefer to have some time to review the information and think things over, you are more than welcome to do so.  You can take the draft contract home with you and return a signed version to me with a deposit payment when you decide to move forward.  If you decide not to move forward with me, that’s fine, too!

Information Gathering

Once I have received your signed contract and deposit, I will send you an individual questionnaire and a date for returning it to me.  This gives me more detailed information about you and starts my creativity flowing in terms of symbolism, ritual, and ceremony themes.  For wedding ceremonies, some couples like to make at-home date night out of this part: each partner fills their questionnaire out, and they share the answers with each other over a glass of wine.  Sometimes people learn new things about each other!  It can be a moving, hilarious evening.  The time that you take with this can be as little or as much as you like, bearing in mind that the more information I have, the more tools and resources I have at my disposal to create your ceremony.

Drafting

Upon receiving the completed questionnaire(s), I begin drafting your ceremony. We will determine your first draft completion date when we finalize the contract.  Once I email you the first draft, we will work together to refine and finalize the language and ritual elements until you are 110% happy with the ceremony. You have final say over every word and element in the ceremony. Generally, I try to have the final draft in place at least two weeks before your ceremony (freeing you up for other planning), schedules permitting.  

The Ceremony Itself

If this is a wedding ceremony with a rehearsal, I will attend the rehearsal and coordinate with any other of your wedding professionals at that time. If not, I will arrive at your ceremony site early, and liaise with the appropriate folks to set everything up so we are ready to go on time.  And lastly, but in no way least, I will lead the ceremony you have approved as we have discussed, with joy, compassion, and authentic awareness.

For non-wedding ceremonies, on the day of the occasion, I will arrive at the site early, prepared to do a quick run-through with you if we decide that is the right way to go, before the ceremony itself.  I will then lead the ceremony as we have agreed.

please do get in touch: hannah@riverandrootceremonies.com or (202) 930-1138