For the last 20 years, Mary Maisey-Ireland has been creating and leading ceremonies to marry over 700 couples. As the ceremony planner and officiant of her company, Your Joyful Wedding out of Rapid City, Maisey-Ireland has created and maintained the flow of weddings based on her passion around “love, learning, and empowerment.” 

Maisey-Ireland shares her experiences from some unconventional advice to her favorite traditions and how to reduce stress on your big day.

5 Questions with Maisey-Ireland

What’s something you recommend to every couple?

It’s difficult to make the leap from party planners to most important guests. Choose someone to be your point person on the big day and after the rehearsal. Hand over the reins. 

What brought you to choose this occupation?

Ceremonies feel like a natural extension of what I do in the other half of my professional life. I’m a personal and business coach. Over the years, I’ve noticed that we all have a deep desire to have our big, brave moments honored and acknowledged. Ceremonies create ways for people to be seen. 

Another Night in Paradise

If there is one thing Maisey-Ireland would change about her wedding day, is that she would relax and spend time with friends and family for a few days before leaving on the honeymoon.

What is your favorite wedding tradition?

Whether it’s acknowledging their ancestry, recognizing special friends, honoring the people who can’t be with us, or crafting unity ceremonies—tying a rope around their boots, demonstrating their secret handshake, building LEGO sets, or swinging at a piñata, to name a few—these are examples of how a ceremony can reflect the personalities of the couple. 

What’s the most unique thing that you’ve ever seen at a wedding?

I’ve been party to all sorts of fun, unique, and surprising twists. Flower girls have driven Ford Mustang cars with the ring dog riding shotgun. Couples have gifted parents, honored fellow military members, made promises to their children, and done choreographed dances down the aisle. 

How should couples reduce their stress during the planning?

Start early. Stay organized. Delegate clearly. Embrace whatever unfolds. We can’t control the weather, how the flower girl will behave, if someone will faint, or whether the rings will get dropped. Honestly, sometimes those hiccups make for the best stories! Keep your focus on the big picture—at the end of the day, you will be married. Everything else is frosting.

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