• Handfasting wedding ritual
  • Small wedding with bride and groom in black clothes
  • Small wedding, two brides
  • Service Area
    Phone
    617-501-5196
    Address
    Based in Beverly, MA
    Rates
    $ thrifty
    $$ budget
    $$$ midrange
    $$$$ upscale
    $$$$$ luxury
    Maureen Cotton headshot
    Maureen Cotton
    Get in Touch

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    WEDDING COACHING • CEREMONY DESIGN • OFFICIATING

    If you’ve ever wondered whether your wedding is really worth all the time, energy, and money it’s demanding then you’re in the right place. A big party is not worth all that energy. But, a meaningful wedding is.

    Your wedding is not just an event; it is a threshold. 

    Craft that threshold with intention and it will be not only a glorious and meaningful day, it will permanently deepen connection. Your connection with yourself, your partner, your loved ones and—if it’s part of your worldview—the higher presence that holds this whole place together.

    While social lore says that your engagement is a blissful time in your life, the truth is it’s a transformational time. Which includes joy, yes, but it also includes every feeling related to change.

    I help couples resist the Wedding Industrial Complex so that you can have a meaningful experience of connection on your wedding day and the months leading up to it.

    Hi! I’m Maureen. As a wedding coach I guide couples to discern and create a soulful and authentic wedding day. The joy you’re dreaming of is not created with tablescapes and typical guest entertainment. It begins with a strong shared vision rooted in your values. Holding the vision together will deepen your partnership immediately, and that will last long into your marriage. 

    “This whole process has been so much fun and allowed us to become even closer as we reflect on our love and relationship.” ~ Julie & Kelly, 2021 brides

    “Meeting you opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about our wedding—as a transformational experience for us as a couple” ~ Caroline & Matt, 2021

    THE SOULFUL WEDDING ROADMAP

    Trained as an interfaith chaplain, my process leads you and your partner inward so that you can articulate the magic of your shared life, values, and vision for the future. Having been a wedding photographer for 15 years I know the journey of a wedding day minute by minute. Your Soulful Wedding is about connecting the two: your inner life and the experience of your wedding day and engagement.

    The Soulful Wedding Roadmap shows you what matters to you about your wedding, marriage, and community. That means: No more hours and days wasted in indecision! No more getting frazzled by the hundreds of opinions swarming around you. No money wasted on wedding elements that don’t contribute meaningfully to connection. In a week’s time you’ll be joyfully decisive.

    Working with me starts with:

    The Soulful Wedding Roadmap. Reflect, discover, articulate, envision. A series of (short answer) writing exercises, conversations, and collaborative sessions that give you the vision and knowledge to craft a wedding unapologetically aligned with your values. The result is a planning process and wedding day that is 1000x more joyful, meaningful, and usually less expensive, than a wedding that you plan without intention.

    From there you can add on:

    + Ceremony design. Using your freshly-articulated priorities and values as the base, we’ll craft a radically custom wedding ceremony. You’ll receive a comprehensive made-from-scratch outline of your perfect ceremony, including elements like custom rituals, how to approach your vows (there’s more options than you might realize), guest participation, and more. 

    + Composing your Love Story and writing your ceremony script. Your Love Story should be the centerpiece of your ceremony. It’s not just a timeline of highlights, it’s the story of how you came to form a partnership, and how you and the world around you have been transformed by it. Just hearing this story will make your guests feel saturated in your love and permanently brings you all closer together. Hand the script off to a loved one or local celebrant to deliver. 

    + Officiating. A handful of times a year I do all of the above with a couple, then I hit the road to create sacred space for your one-and-only wedding ceremony. Your loved ones are sure to say, “I’ve never experienced anything like this before.” 

    The true title of my profession is somewhere between Fairy Godmother and Thresholder—I help prepare people for life’s transformations. I’m always exploring the nature of things like ritual, community, grief, love (romantic and otherwise), the sacred, and what it means to be spiritual-but-not-religious. Join the conversations with me on Instagram, and my budding YouTube channel. 

    “MAUREEN IS THE PRIYA PARKER OF WEDDINGS.”

    –ANNIE SCHUESSLER, BUSINESS STRATEGIST

    LEARN MORE: THE SOULFUL WEDDING ROADMAP

    How I cater to Offbeat Brides

    THE DIY COUPLE

    If you’re writing your ceremony yourself, or if a friend is writing it, I can help you get started. Don’t lose hours making sense of outdated heteronormative advice on the internet. Start with The Soulful Wedding Roadmap so that the perfect words to describe your relationship and dreams are top of mind. Allow me to be your guide to authenticity, connection, and crafting a one-of-a-kind day.

    I can help you create a ceremony outline (including ritual, order, remembrances, readings, approach to vows, participation and more) that you take to write the ceremony yourselves. Or I can write a full, beautiful, custom, word-for-word ceremony so that a loved one can officiate. That way, they can focus on nailing the delivery and giving it a personal, beautiful touch.

    The spiritual but not religious couple

    Many couples who know they don’t want a religious wedding assume it has to be a simple civil ceremony, or officiated by a friend. They may not realize that with the growing number of us in the spiritual-but-not-religious category, there are folks like me. Interspiritual ministers who can explore their spiritual life with them and form a ceremony that is expresses their values and dreams, that invites their community to be part of the moment, in which every aspect is built authentically around you. A ceremony that is ultimately a gift—not just to the couple but to every one lucky to be a part of it.

    Such weddings might be interfaith, totally secular, spiritual but not religious. Or, impossible to categorize, but just so very YOU, and deeply felt.

    Thank you!

    No matter where we end up, we begin with discerning what marriage means to you two, and how to craft the perfect first day of that marriage—otherwise known as your wedding. <3

    Photos in my profile are by:

    Christina Richards

    Lena Mirisola

    Irina Viotto

    Salty Raven Studio

    Rachel Petri

     

    “We knew we didn’t want a religious ceremony so we had kind of written off the whole thing as a formality to get to before the party.
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    But, meeting you opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about our wedding ceremony—as transformational experience for us as a couple. And I am so grateful for that.
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    I feel so lucky to have had this experience and to share our story with with you. And then hear it told back to us the way that you did was just like…
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    I feel like the Love Story you wrote for us—capital ‘L’ Love Story—is a priceless piece of art that we’ll be able to look back on for the rest of our lives.”
    ~ Caroline & Matt, 2021 newlyweds

    Rates

    $ thrifty
    $$ budget
    $$$ midrange
    $$$$ upscale
    $$$$$ luxury
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