Vows for Vets

My friend Katherine and I have organized an event for Veterans Day this year and will be offering free wedding ceremonies for Veterans and active duty military.

Please visit this page for more information.  (You will be redirected to a page on Katherine’s website.)  Feel free to contact me with any questions!



What If…

What if every ceremony could be this fun?  Alison and Lee were super prepared with all the details of their ceremony.  I knew it would be beautiful, but I didn’t know how much fun it would be as well.

What if every ceremony was this great??  Honestly, most of my couples are fantastic.  They are usually nervous and I am concerned about giving them a perfect (or as close as possible) ceremony.  But even with all the nerves, I encourage them to enjoy the moment and have fun.  Alison and Lee did just that.  And so did I.

Thanks, you two, for allowing me to be a part of this beautiful (and laughter-filled) day!


Friends and Weddings

There is a certain joy in being the minister when your friends get married.  Last weekend I was the officiant for my sweet friend Theresa and her husband Steve.  She and I worked together for many years and have kept in touch since she moved away.  And being part of her wedding was incredible.

First, her family!  Oh my goodness, what a joy!  Her mother is Italian and the family poured in from across the states.  I fell in love with them immediately and enjoyed every minute with them.

Second, the food!  When Italians gather, they eat.  And eat.  And even the non-Italians joined in for the food and fellowship.  This is how weddings should be, friends!  We gathered at least twice a day throughout the weekend to eat and drink and talk and laugh.

And lastly, the love!  I can’t even put it into words, so I’ll share some pictures here.  My friend Libby McGowan was the photographer, and she’s good…check her out here.  Congratulations, Theresa and Steve!

Six Years

Six years ago today I became a wife.  Matt and I were engaged to be married and things in our timeline moved quicker than we thought and we called our minister and asked if he would go ahead and marry us that night.  (Okay, full story: he and his wife are family friends and we had supper with them and with my parents at Chick-fil-A earlier that night and joked about him filling out the marriage license we had gotten that day.)  He agreed, so we went to his house, called a neighbor to come over as a witness, and said our vows.  We signed the paperwork on the ironing board where his wife had been finishing laundry and called it official.  Six years ago tonight.

So as I sit here reminiscing, I am even more grateful that I began StephanieShafferCeremonies and can be a part of wedding stories for other couples.  I’m booking more wedding ceremonies and am so thankful for those who have invited me to be a part of their celebrations.  Thanks for your confidence in me, for your referrals, and for your support.

Here’s to six fabulous years and countless more to come!


Our first selfie at an NCSU football game 🙂


Happy New Year!

I dropped off the face of the blog for a month or so.  I landed a great job and have been busy training, but am getting caught up now and am excited about the weddings of 2016.  I’ve had several requests for meetings and prices and am looking forward to meeting with couples.  Thanks for your recommendations!

I’ve got two exciting wedding weekends planned for this year. (And I’d love to talk to you about officiating yours!) Hope 2016 is a fantastic year for you and those you hold dear.

My goal for 2016 is to spend more time with the people I love, doing what I love, and appreciating all of my blessings.  Grace and Peace to you!

Seasons Change

I’m sitting at my kitchen table with my morning coffee looking outside the windows.  I wish I could adequately describe the beauty of this season in North Carolina.  The trees are a palate of red, orange, crimson, yellow, and browns intermingled with just a touch of leftover green.  It’s stunning.

And it makes me think: what if I saw all the change in my life as a beautiful thing?  Weather, jobs, relationships…they all change.  So starting now, I am going to try and look at each one as I am looking at the seasons changing outside my window and be thankful for the beauty I see.  Because when you really think about it, wouldn’t life be much better if we all chose to be thankful?

Oh, and speaking of being thankful…I have my first Stephanie Shaffer Ceremonies wedding this weekend!  And for that I am very thankful!

The Joy of Marketing

I’m being facetious, of course.  Marketing is hard work.  And as a start-up, I don’t have a lot of funds to really put into getting my name listed on some of the bigger sites.

My hope is that as I acquire more business I can buy ad space.  But until then, I will be thankful for free listing opportunities and for Facebook.  It’s a start, and we’ve all got to start somewhere.

So feel free to check me out on Facebook.

And of course I’d be honored if you want to share my site with others.  Because I am still a firm believer that word of mouth and personal recommendations are the best marketing one can have.

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of marketing…let me share with you the site of my dear friend Libby!  She is a remarkable photographer and would be delighted to talk with you about any upcoming needs.  Check out her site at www.libbymcgowan.com


Mary, Libby and Steph (from left to right) We were college roommates and still great friends!