You guys. We are so excited to introduce you to Sarah Oswald, our newest Muse, and officiant! (Break out the sparkly confetti and bells!)
Sarah is many things: a thoughtful, kind-hearted lady, an amazing officiant, and a wonderfully skilled couples coach. What does that mean? Broadly, she’s a designer and facilitator of relational human experiences. In every area of her work, she fosters satisfying and meaningful relationships.
Like many who come to working in weddings (ahem, Angie and Alicia), Sarah’s background is in something else. She has a master’s in Environmental Leadership — in which she focused on facilitation, and group dynamics — so her transition to working with couples happened naturally. Sarah started hosting couples events, couples canoe trips, and building a practice as a couples coach. Then in 2016, two sets of close friends asked her to be their officiant... and later that summer on a weeklong canoe trip in Utah, another couple asked her to marry them in Labyrinth Canyon.
While it wasn’t something she planned, officiating felt like the missing piece of her work. Sarah shared with us, “When wedding officiating popped up in my life I realized how all my skills fit together nicely here — couples coaching, community building, and facilitating. Not to mention my background as a theater director and stage manager.”
So, let’s talk to Sarah!
Vow Muse: What type of weddings are your favorite to officiate?
Sarah Oswald: I genuinely love them all. Big weddings. Elopements. Vow renewals. Having the honor of joining two humans in love touches my heart every time I get to perform the ritual.
I will say though, the process of going through the ceremony script and customizing it to their relationship is also such a unique, special process where I get to learn more about the couple. I’m delighted when I get to demonstrate how much I’ve gotten to know their relationship and to echo back how good they are for each other. It’s one of my favorite things in the world to hold that space for couples and their community.
VM: Speaking of… what else do you love about officiating?
SO: That I get to be the representative of love! What better role could there be in life? I also love creating an energy and tuning into the magic that happens when a community comes together to support two of its members.
VM: What do you see as your main "responsibility" as an officiant?
SO: I feel like I have three important responsibilities. The first is to help the couple see that their wedding ceremony has the potential to be an expression of them. This happens before the big day as we personalize the ceremony.
On the wedding day, it’s my responsibility to hold all the pieces and details of the ceremony so that the couple can relax and just be present. It’s my job to help them feel safe and supported to do that, so they can truly immerse themselves in their experience of the ceremony.
The third aspect is to remind the couple’s community how important they are. Their community isn’t just there to witness. There’s a reason we get married in front of people — it’s to show them that they’re valued and to weave a supportive network around the couple. That network will support the couple for years to come, so it’s important to include the community in the ceremony and remind them of their influential role.
VM: Any funny or odd moments that happened during a wedding you were officiating?
SO: Last year I did a ceremony that was translated into Mandarin paragraph after paragraph. It was smooth until the very end when I said, “Congratulations, you may kiss” and the couple went in for the kiss. Then the translator translated the line, which of course, interrupted the flow of the momentous occasion. The couple paused and everyone laughed with them as they enjoyed a second kiss!
VM: Any advice for couples looking to hire an officiant?
SO: Make sure that this person jives with you — that their energy fits you as a couple. That you feel comfortable and at ease with them. Trust is also important: does this seem like someone who will actually show up? Look for clues about this throughout your initial communications. Are they on time for your calls? Do they answer your questions directly?
(Ed note: Vow Muse is annoyingly on time, often surprising clients when we call exactly when we said we would. Phew!)
We’re so grateful to have Sarah on our officiating team and are looking forward to meeting all the amazing couples she’ll have the privilege of marrying.
We had so much to talk about we decided to break this interview into two posts. To learn more about Sarah’s Premarital Couple Coaching, check out Part II of our interview.
Interested in having Sarah and Vow Muse officiate your wedding?
We’d love to hear from you!