Since 2017, Uniquely Yours, Ceremonies by Fia has been designing ceremonies for couples that are meaningful and memorable. As a “Wedding Celebrant”, her goal is to create a ceremony that shines on the couple’s journey and celebrates what is ahead. Get to know Fia and how she went from working in PR to officiating ceremonies full time.
Q: Let’s get to it, what’s your business’ specialty?
A: Co-creating personally meaningful ceremonies with couples. Generally, we start with all the elements that could potentially be in a ceremony, narrow it down or expand on it, then begin to create content for each of the selected elements, focusing on what makes each element best represent the couple.
Q: Where can we find you?
A: People can find me online or on social media. I love to meet with couples too, often online or at coffee shops, and breweries. Anywhere we can sit and talk ceremony.
Q: Tell us when and how your business began.
A: Ha! I think it began when I was a child and my fascination for ritual and ceremony while attending Catholic Church. Through the years, I drifted away from religion, but my need for ritual and ceremony to mark the transition times throughout life remained strong. I found myself studying ceremonies/rituals and creating them for myself and those I love. Through the years too, I found myself a little disappointed with the wedding ceremonies I attended. Most were uninspired, even forgettable. I got serious after my two oldest daughters got married (one 10 and one 7 years ago). They wanted meaningful, non-religious ceremonies and had a challenging time finding someone to help them create that. Ultimately, it all just came together — lifelong interest in ceremony and ritual, my background in non-profit PR, my master’s degree in creative writing, and, most importantly, my belief in love and my desire to help couples reveal and share their love as they transition from single to committed.
Q: What makes Uniquely Yours, Ceremonies by Fia unique from others?
A: Perhaps it is my intention that makes my service unique. My intent is to deeply and compassionately listen to couples and to celebrate them and their relationship through the profound personalization of the elements of the ceremony. To individualize to this degree, I use conversations, emails, questionnaires, and other resources. By the day of the ceremony, even couples uncomfortable with being in front of a group often find a new level of satisfaction and comfort with their ceremony. Most often, after a ceremony, guests either ask how long I have known the couple and are surprised to learn I didn’t know before they hired me, or they comment on how they have never seen a ceremony like it before and how much they enjoyed it.
Q: How long have you been in the industry? What do you think has changed the most since then?
A: Five years now, though I just left my full-time job this year to create ceremonies full-time. And I am so grateful for this opportunity.
What has changed is the growing need for celebrants. Couples are craving meaningful ceremonies without religious aspects, or with an acknowledgment of their families’ religious beliefs without their ceremony becoming about religion. One more change is how much both people are engaged in creating their own ceremony. LOVE THIS!
Q: Walk us through your average workday.
A: Generally, I work on administrative stuff first, like responding to inquiries, returning calls, scheduling meetings, updating and scheduling my website and social media changes, etc. I have one or two couple meetings per day (actually most meetings are in the evenings) and these are super fun. My favorite part though is focusing on the actual ceremonies. Whether I am writing, reading what the couples have shared, envisioning the couple and their ceremony, seeking inspiration, or researching ways to make a ceremony extraordinary, I am in the zone!
Q: What would you want couples searching for your business type to know?
A: Not all officiants are created equal. Find a celebrant who is a professional just like any other wedding professional you would hire. Ask questions and use the information shared to help you visualize your ceremony. Your celebrant is a resource to make your ceremony amazing. Use them!
Q: How far in advance should a couple book with you?
A: Great question. I used to say 8 months, but now I say as soon as you have selected a date and venue. This gives us time for a free introductory meeting to get to know each other and understand the process of ceremony creation. Then, when it comes time to begin actively working on the ceremony (about 4 months before the ceremony), we are ready to regroup and dive in.
Q: What’s one wedding trend you’d like to see fade out?
A: If a trend speaks to the couple, I want them to go for it! I do hope though that couples carefully reconsider having a family member or friend perform the ceremony without, at least, ensuring the person is fully prepared for the responsibility. While sometimes a friend or family member performing the ceremony is perfect and so meaningful, more often in my experience it can feel less than professional and, sometimes, even inappropriate, or at least less solemn or poignant than the couple deserves. So, while I don’t want to see this trend totally fade out—sometimes it’s a great idea—I hope the selection of a celebrant should be taken seriously.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: Everywhere! Books—novels, poetry, non-fiction books about rituals, ceremonies, marriage, and life transitions, like weddings and births — websites, weddings, songs, movies, and series, social media and blogs, my own 35+ year relationship, networking groups, TED Talks and podcasts, museums, theatre, comedy shows, and imagination! I also encourage couples to share what inspires them.
Q: What are your other hobbies and passions when you’re not marrying couples?
A: I have a lot of interests: playing with grandchildren, my two rescue dogs (Murray from Tennessee and Rossi from Arkansas), daily yoga and Radiance Sutra meditation practices, vegetarian cooking and dining (I’m a foodie), reading, hiking, kayaking, camping (National Parks, Madeline Island, North Shore), travel, bodywork (spa days, massage, acupuncture/pressure, salt caves, etc), meaningful conversations, games, self-help and psychology, Humanism, indie and animated movies, funky clothes and costumes (textiles), visual and performing arts, dancing.
Q: Any unique ceremonies you’ve done that you can share with us?
A: Every ceremony is unique — as unique as the couple cares to be. It is usually in the specific elements that the uniqueness of the couple shines through. For example, I have co-created ceremonies where the couple has ridden in or off on motorcycles, and once even 4-wheelers. I have developed unique unity rituals too, such as ones that have included the chakras (a yogic system), pets, shots, plants/trees, homing pigeons, and glassblowing. I love the sunrise and midnight ceremonies. One of the most unique ceremonies I’ve done though was where the couple and selected guests sang most of the ceremony!
Q: Duck Duck Grey Duck or Duck Duck Goose?
A: Duck, Duck Goose
Q: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall Wedding?
A: All are special! It depends on the meaning of the season to the couple and how we can work that into the ceremony.
Q: Veil or no veil?
A: Again, depends on the meaning for the bride/couple.
Q: Mountains or Beach?
Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?
A: Dark chocolate
Q: Go-to comfort food?
Q: Favorite Minnesota pastime?
A: Going ‘up North’ (really anywhere on or close to water)
Q: What show are you binging right now?
A: Gilmore Girls (I have never seen it before)
Q: Go-to cocktail (or mocktail)?
A: Kombucha with seltzer and crushed mint
If you are ready to reach out to Fia and have her make your wedding ceremony “Uniquely Yours”, head to her website.
All images courtesy of Uniquely Yours, Ceremonies by Fia