Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Porter.
Hi Crystal, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
“We reached out to you because you look like you really enjoy what you do!” I can’t tell you how often I hear this from couples. 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 — an officiant who is emotionally present at their ceremony. I’m going to cry with them, laugh with them and most certainly celebrate with them because this moment — becoming husband and wife, is a big deal! If couples are looking for someone serious and stuffy, well, they are going to bypass me in a hurry! The Ceremony by Crystal was established in 2018. To date, I have tied over 400 knots!
A little history…
Chicken feet in my soup, pigs under the table, mule rides, and outhouses are just a few of the exciting childhood adventures I had growing up in Central and South America– Mexico, Chile, and Paraguay. From 1st grade through my “quince.” (15th birthday) I am so grateful for this rather unique childhood — it taught me the warmth of the Latin culture, and it taught me Spanish. Being fluent in Spanish has been such a blessing in the wedding industry! I finished high school and attended college in Lakeland, Florida, and was married in 1982 to a tall, kind, and patient man. (He is still my favorite groom — two daughters, two sons-in-love, and five grandkids later!) 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 shows. From time to time, I was also in front of the camera as the host of a couple of the shows and as a puppeteer! I got mad Muppet 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.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a business is a huge learning curve! There is not much of a template for what I do. However, some kind mentors were so very patient with me. Pastor Wes Morris of Your Wedding Pastor, and “Rev Kev” — Kevin Knox of A Beautiful Ceremony. I could not have survived getting launched without these gentle, kind, and generous men. I will forever be grateful to these friends. There were many mistakes along the way, and I fired myself more times than I care to remember. But I love the challenge of inventing systems, ever-evolving ways to be organized, ever-improving ways to add value to a couples’ wedding day experience, and creating my own brand of caring, integrity, generosity, excellence, and Fun!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Educating and empowering couples so that they have the best wedding day experience possible is my joy! 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 in taking the time to share information, details, choices, options, resources, creative ideas, and advice with every one of my couples. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the information, they feel empowered!
By the end of our “Wedding Workshop”, instead of feeling like they’ve been drinking from a fire hydrant, they are excited with a vision for their ceremony.
We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking.
Starting a brand-new business with no real prior experience in the “World of Weddings” was a big risk! Looking back, naiveté kept me blissfully brave! The other factors that have kept me afloat are the support of my husband, family, and fellow wedding pros; the fact that I have the personality of “glass half-full” probably beer! So… woohoo!!); that officiating a wedding ceremony is such an honor; hearing the joy in couples’ voices as they describe how grateful they are for a ceremony that is warm, sweet, romantic, fun and unforgettable…
The first couple of years were not financially lucrative. We called it my hobby. Lol, But now I truly believe that what I offer has value.
- Website: https://www.ceremonybycrystal.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ceremonybycrystal/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ceremonybycrystal
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