Meet our vendors and find out why we're not your average wedding expo.
Valley Wed is a unique wedding show offering couples a handpicked selection of exceptional wedding pros in Western Mass. It's designed especially for couples that want to go their own way, but they don’t want to go it alone.
Meet Megan of Megan Barber Ceremonies, a certified Life-Cycle
Celebrant offering couples custom-crafted, original ceremonies.
When did you start your business?
I started my business in 2013, as I was completing my training as a Life-Cycle Celebrant with the Celebrant Foundation & Institute. A colleague reached out, looking for someone who could create and officiate a bilingual wedding in English and Spanish. I leapt at the opportunity because I love speaking Spanish, and I had a blast working with the couple. It was an exciting first ceremony, jumping in and doing my first wedding in two languages. The spirit and sweetness and emotion of the day were contagious, and I was hooked.
Why do you do what you do?
Weddings and the engagement period leading up to them are such juicy times – full of hope and excitement, but also mixed in there are differences of opinion with family, opportunities to clarify your values, and grief over letting go of your single life. I love being in that transition with people; and I love on the day of the wedding helping people be fully present during those life-changing transformative moments.
What is your very, very favorite part of your job?
Without fail I get choked up every single time! It’s just such a powerful moment, at the precipice of such a momentous rite of passage, and it always gives me chills.
After your first meeting with a new client, what do you want them to leave knowing?
When I first meet with new clients they often say, “Help! I don’t know what I’m doing – I’ve never done this before!” And what I want them to know about working with me is that they are in good hands. That they can relax because I have done this before. I know how to craft a custom ceremony that is meaningful, true to their values and completely unique. And they will have full control of the ceremony – not a single word or ritual will go in without their approval. So the ceremony will be exactly how they want it.
What makes you different from other vendors in your field?
We are fortunate to have a lot of really talented, wonderful officiants in our area. What sets me apart is my love of working with couples who are outside the mainstream – be that intercultural, bilingual, interfaith, couples with kids, older couples, unique venue weddings, and couples who get the squeemies from the mainstream wedding industry.
After the wedding, what's the best compliment you could hear about your work?
There are two compliments I love to hear. One is when guests ask me how I know the couple. I usually don’t know the couple outside of being their officiant, but my ceremonies are so personal and real that people often assume I am a dear friend.
The other compliment is when the ceremony brings out laughter and tears. When I look out at the guests, the wedding party, the couple, and I see people getting choked up, or something in the ceremony gets people laughing hard, that’s when I know that people are fully present in the moment, and that their hearts are open, and that they’re connecting with each other – and that’s what it’s all about.
Share one true gem of advice…something every couple needs to know about planning a wedding or the big day itself.
Your wedding is not a performance. So don’t worry about things not going perfectly. In fact, I have yet to see a wedding go exactly according to plan. Your wedding ceremony is not more and not less than any other moment in your life.
Yes, it is a transformative, pivotal once-in-a-lifetime moment in your life, but when it comes down to it, it is still real life. The imperfections make it real. If the best man can’t get the rings off the dog collar, if the glass doesn’t break the first time you step on it, if you have to cry before you can manage to say your vows, that is welcome, and beautiful, and perfectly wonderful and exactly right.
Show us two things you are really proud of…your best work or highest achievement professionally and something personal that makes you happy.
I love thinking of creative, symbolic ways to express meaning during a wedding ceremony. At this wedding, on a flower farm, the couple really wanted to honor their friends and family. So we had each guest pick up a flower as they entered the ceremonial space, and then walk up the aisle to the front and place their flower along a marked out circle.
These flowers created a beautiful, sacred place for the couple to stand as they made their vows, surrounded by a physical representation of the love of all their family and friends. The bride’s father had passed away, and she honored him in the ceremony by reading a letter she had written to him, and then adding a flower in his memory to the flower circle. It was beautiful, and powerful, and so captured who the two of them are.
As for something personal that makes me happy and fulfilled, well, it seems awfully cliché, but it is also so very true: raising my sweet four year old child. Becoming a mother blew my mind and cracked my heart wide open. I am forever grateful to this wise, joyful soul who decided to share its life journey with me.
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