Weddings by CPE is an H.I.T
I don’t know that I have encountered many people who could match Sharnise Sears’ level of passion, drive, and her positive outlook. I really enjoyed interviewing her about her company, Weddings by CPE., where you can book pre-marital counseling sessions or hire her to officiate your wedding! Sharnise is someone who LOVES love. And with all the negative things that happen day in and day out, it is so refreshing to interact with someone who brings joy to every situation. (Hint, if you need a nice boost of happiness in your IG feed, follow @weddingsbycpe)!!
I also love that Sharnise offers pre-marital counseling services, and that she is so passionate about them. Marriage is a big commitment, and there are so many things couples usually don’t know about one another - even if they have been together for years.
I hope you enjoy her story and her positive attitude as much as I do!
All Events Planned: How did you come to be a wedding officiant/premarital and marriage coach?
Weddings by CPE: I’ve always known that I would work in a field that complimented my gift of gab, but I had no idea I would be a part of the wedding industry too (WIN!)
I am a notary public by trade and through that industry, I discovered that ALL notaries have other side hustles such as officiating. I tested out a few other side gigs before I tried officiating and honestly, I completely fell in love during my first wedding. My first wedding had me in tears during and after the ceremony. You could literally feel the love between the couple. It was shortly after that first ceremony that I decided that THIS would be my life’s work: Uniting couples in love and marriage.
After about a year of Officiating, a friend who happens to be a licensed therapist suggested I take the SYMBIS course to become a certified Pre-Marriage & Marriage Coach because of my unique insight and passion for real love and healthy marriages. It has been the best compliment to Officiating and a modern alternative to counseling or therapy.
AEP: Can you describe for us a little about your brand/style?
CPE: This is a tough one to narrow down. I know that as a small business owner I should have a really good one liner that perfectly depicts who I am and what my brand is but at this time, I just don’t, and that’s the honest truth. I am my brand and my personality style make my business style unique.
I am very much an ambivert so when its just us (myself and the couple) it’s a relaxing yet meaningful experience. We laugh, we may cry a little, but over all its good-clean-fun. Every interaction from consultation to wedding reception, it’s all about YOU (the couple) so I am at your beck and call. You need laughs? I got you! You need a distraction? I am here for it. You need to run? Not happening! I will remind you of why you said yes (here is where the consultation conversations come in handy… although I’ve never had to use it). All of my focus remains on the couple before, during and after the ceremony. Afterwards, you can most likely find me making conversation with your grandparents or coloring at the children’s table for sure.
AEP: When a couple hires you, what can they expect when it comes to working with you?
CPE: When couples decide to book with me, they can expect a genuine connection and a lifelong love leader. It’s not easy for me to separate my love for officiating from my passion for healthy marriages. It’s rare that I just show up to weddings and read then leave. I’m not good at that, I’ll probably still email you weeks later and may even follow you on social media. So, when I meet with potential clients, I want to hear all about their love journey, their favorite date nights, why the said yes, and their plan to stay married. These details not only help me to create an amazing ceremony script that’s not copied but it also helps us all to connect on a deeper level that will hopefully last beyond the “I-Do”.
AEP: What is your advice for any couples considering doing premarital counseling together?
CPE: DO IT! Whether you think you know everything about each other or not, this is a great way to connect, reflect, and plan for the future of your relationship. You don’t have to wait until you have a ring on your finger either. If marriage is on your mind, then definitely take this step BEFORE engagement if you can.
AEP: What are a few mistakes couples sometimes make when choosing an officiant?
CPE: I wouldn’t say that couples make mistakes when choosing an officiant per se’ I just think there are so many choices out there that they get overwhelmed or they just aren’t sure what they want. If I had to say “mistake” I would say choosing an officiant based on price is a huge mistake.
Your wedding ceremony is what makes the difference between having an actual wedding or throwing an expensive party. If I can offer any advice to help narrow down your choices I would say:
1. Check their reviews before requesting info and Don’t just look at the stars, read the reviews. If there isn’t much detail in the reviews, then that may be an indicator for the type of wedding ceremony that you will get.
2. Compare their offerings. Some officiants show up, read a few words, then leave and that may be exactly what you’re looking for. Others are with you during the planning process up until the first anniversary and beyond…and their pricing reflects that.
3. Meet each prospective officiant face to face before booking. Consult with the high-end, the mid-range, and the lowest priced Officiant to see what makes their pricing different. Then filter by personality fit.
AEP: What do you think sets you apart from others in this industry?
CPE: In reviews for my services, couples say that when we chat, it’s like we’ve known each other for years and I wholeheartedly believe that that simple thing is what sets me apart from all other officiants and pre-marriage coaches. The engagement and wedding planning process can be stressful and full of other people’s thoughts, opinions, and ideas so I continuously aim to provide a safe space and a relaxing environment for all of my couples.
AEP: Can you tell us about any personalized vows that really moved you when you heard them?
CPE: A lot of times couples write letters or recaps of their love journey and they have the most romantic vows that would move anyone to tears. That is awesome and all, but vows are more than eloquent words and romantic languages. Last summer I had a couple that wrote the most honest vows I’ve ever heard. I don’t like to share word for word (because that’s like reading their private love letters) but I will share that someone promised to take the trash and the dog out every day so that the other person can sleep in and not be a grouch and someone else vowed to play Pokémon Go and watch scary movies even though they personally have no interest in either. There was more of course, but I really loved that they vowed to selflessly DO for their spouse. They vowed to take action for the sake of their relationship and that is what really moved me.
AEP: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about your industry?
CPE: One of the biggest misconceptions about my industry is that were all a bunch of stiffs with no personality and with every interaction you must be on pins and needles. Seriously. I kid you not, I get that response at the beginning of every consultation! Hiring an Independent Pro Wedding Officiant (one that is not ordained within the church) means that you get to choose which officiant compliments your personality and relationship best. We all have our own unique personalities, offerings, and skill sets. Hiring an Officiant should be just as easy and judgment free as hiring any other Pro Wedding Vendor.
Sharnise - thank you for sharing your heart, your story, and your passions with us. If you need an officiant, or have thought about any kind of counseling with your significant other, please check out Weddings by CPE!