I spend more time preparing for a wedding by just sitting with my intuition. Because I do many out of town weddings, my communication depends much on email, telephone, and information forms. But it's the information that I learn in the first contact that is usually the most important. I learn the most at that time about the couple going into the wedding. This tells me more about the marriage than any other time.
There is a power in making that contact which in turn becomes the power in their ritual. I truly believe that my job at a wedding is to be present to witness an event. The couple makes the wedding into a marriage. The ritual creates a sacred moment; it is a moment only they will share in the long journey that is marriage. Everyone present, including me, are just witnesses to this sacred moment. Many may watch that moment, but they remember it as "that moment." Over the years, there are some who may share in other events in this couple's lives. But no matter what, the marriage is between the two who have made that first sacred moment and my hope is that they will continue to have sacred moments, moments that continue to give meaning to that first moment.
It doesn't matter how elaborate or perfect the wedding is, it is only a moment, a sacred moment, but only a moment. The marriage is what happens from that moment on.