It’s Spotlight Day! Where we introduce you to incredible Orlando wedding venues and vendors, and the stories behind their companies who help Wedding Venue Map couples have their best wedding day.
What did you do before you did this?
Every minute of my ten years of being a stay home mom was a joy. (I’m sure I’ve just mentally blocked out the “terrible twos” and teen angst .) This season taught me patience.
From there I worked at a TV studio as a scriptwriter, director, producer, and editor of a variety of children’s tv shows. From time to time I was also in front of the camera (not my favorite spot) as host of a couple of the shows, and as a puppeteer! I’ve got mad puppeteering skills . . . if anyone wants to include that in their ceremony . . . CALL ME! LOL
Here I learned creativity.
For a few years after the studio, I taught several different classes as a university adjunct professor — Creative Communications to Children, and some video production and editing courses. If you don’t have a sense of humor in a university classroom — they fall asleep! So, that was a needed skill!
All of the above, plus years of public speaking and teaching prepared me well to transition into officiating. You will find my calm confidence in front of your guests — be they many or few, contagious.
What is your favorite thing about what you do? What’s your WHY?
Each and every time a couple asks me to officiate is an honor I do not take lightly. What an absolute privilege to be invited into the circle of their closest family and friends.
I love guiding couples through the many options and choices available for their ceremony.
I love hearing the relief in their voices when they learn that wedding ceremonies do not have to be long, boring, stuffy, or dull! (I charge extra for those!)
On the rare occasion, it’s called for, yes– I can just show up and perform a legal ceremony for couples, but, typically I average about seven hours per couple! #overachiever
Here’s the thing — couples don’t know what they don’t know. (It’s not like this is something you do every week, right?) I believe that taking the time to share information, details, choices, options, creative ideas and advice do not feel overwhelming it feels empowering! By the end of our “Wedding Workshop”, instead of feeling like they’ve been drinking from a fire hydrant, they are excited and have a vision for their ceremony.
What motivates you to do this every day?
Hearing couples go from shy, a bit reserved, and nervous when we first start our conversation to laughing, kidding around, and sharing their love story is such a joy.
Watching them move from “we have no idea what we want” to excited as a vision for their own unique ceremony starts to come to life.
What is the best compliment you have received from your clients?
There is this very emotional moment with nearly all of my couples, that melts my heart.
When possible, I ask to cut in line during the post-ceremony photos, bless them with all happiness, and snap a quick selfie before I go. That’s when this moment happens. Even though the energy is high, the party is about to get started, there’s this brief sad flash in their eyes that says “Wait! You’re leaving? We won’t see you again? After this connection and warmth we feel . . . just like that it’s over?”
It’s so bittersweet. Why? Because with me it’s about the relationship — not just a job. So when they feel that connection too . . . well that’s the greatest compliment.
I love that so many of my couples stay in touch over social media. It’s such a joy to see them doing well and watch families grow –I’m a “Grand-Pastor” many times over! LOL
Some of the other “melt-my-heart” compliments I’ve received are . . .
“She truly felt like part of the family.”,
“I don’t normally like weddings, but that was fun, refreshing and the best I’ve ever seen!” (that was from a man, of course. LOL)
“The way you transitioned back and forth from English to Spanish sounded like music!”
“You gave us creative options for our ceremony that we had never even heard of –we love that our ceremony was one of a kind!”
“Can you please stay for the reception??” — While I make it a policy to leave after the ceremony, this invitation says so much.
What is important for clients to know about your company before they book you?
1) We are going to spend about an hour just getting to know each other and touching on your vision for the day. I call this “Intro With a Chemistry Check”.
2) When we chat, you don’t even need to know the questions to ask. I will guide you through the whole process, step by step.
3) Though most couples start out our talk a little nervous (understandably!) about 5 minutes in, you should feel relaxed. 🙂
4) I am not a salesperson. I don’t “close the deal” or pressure you for a decision. Take your time. Talk about it. Let me know if you are each comfortable with me standing two feet away from you when you make very vulnerable and precious promises to one another.
5) Choosing an officiant is a personal decision — there are all types out there, and I’m not for everyone. If you are looking for a high-energy, comedian, or an Elvis impersonator . . . I can give you some numbers. I’m going to treat your ceremony with dignity, reverence, sprinkled with fun, humor, and creativity — while always keeping the spotlight on YOU and your love story!
Why do couples hire you?
Couples who have seen my photos or read my reviews reach out to me because they are looking for what they found in those –fun, energy, tenderness, creativity, a personal connection . . . I can’t tell you how often I hear, “We reached out to you because you look like you really enjoy what you do!”
If couples are looking for someone serious and stuffy, well, they are going to bypass me in a hurry!
What does your most popular package include?
The a la carte menu is very popular. It lets you select exactly what you would like to include. You won’t pay for anything you don’t want.
The best piece of advice for brides or grooms.
I challenge the GROOM to be the one responsible for making sure the most important ceremony items are packed and make it to the wedding!
They are the license, the rings, and– when applicable, the vows.
Why? Because the bride has enough to pack! I don’t like to trouble her on the wedding day by asking for them. And if they aren’t at the wedding . . . well, we don’t want her to know that we had to send the Best Man breaking speed limits dashing back to the hotel to get them! She’s got enough on her mind . . . that will be our little secret. (Yes. It happens.)
Tell us some venues you enjoy working at and why.
Paradise Cove — family-owned, great attention to detail! fun and beautiful — great for photos, exciting speed boat groom entrance option!
Garden Ballroom — family owned and operated, caring and thoughtful, affordable
Any Disney property — it’s magical and everywhere you look is a great photo backdrop
Harmony Haven — they are passionate about detail and providing a fabulous day
Venue 650 — such a charming and romantic outdoor space and an amazing, huge, industrial versatile indoor space.
Here is what some previous couples had to say…
“So much fun! And so many compliments from guests and vendors! Pastor Crystal was absolutely amazing! She made the whole experience incredibly easy and fun. She walks you through the process and helps where needed making the stress of planning a little easier. She doesn’t have single-minded processes and lets you had your own personality into the ceremony.
Come wedding day, she was punctual and professional and had time to meet with my husband and I before the ceremony began to go over any last-minute details. She added so fun and lightness to the ceremony and we received so many compliments from our guests and even the vendors loved her and couldn’t say enough wonderful things about her! From the moment you meet Crystal to your special day, there’s not a doubt that she isn’t the most perfect officiant for the occasion!” – Jessica Fernandez Stonebridge Wedding and Events
“Crystal made our day so special and so memorable that I will be eternally grateful for her! She is an amazing person and a beautiful soul who had helped me through the ups and downs of the wedding planning’s that was not at all her job to do, but she had still taken it upon her when I needed help! Crystal I cannot find words to thank you enough!!! She deserves not just five stars but 10 million stars! BEST DAY EVER!!!” – Amanda Toth, Discovery Cove
“Crystal is incredible! Kevin and I were so lucky to have her as our officiant! She helped us design the perfect ceremony, and her personality made it the most special day for us – adding in fun and making our guests laugh! We can’t thank her enough for helping to make our day so special!” – Mallory Muller, Casa Feliz