Spotlight: An Interview Mitch & Jenna Weddings

Learn how this dynamic duo can seamlessly execute your dream wedding
Written by
Laura Cross

Mitch and Jenna are not your typical wedding planners and officiants. With their passion for strong marriages and their commitment to personalized service, they go above and beyond to ensure that every wedding they are a part of is truly unforgettable. 

Mitch and Jenna's journey into the wedding industry began unexpectedly when Mitch, initially hired by a church to run programs for young adults, discovered his talent for officiating weddings. As Mitch officiated more weddings, Jenna, his partner and guest at these events, noticed her knack for assisting with wedding planning. Eventually, they realized that Jenna's skills were more aligned with a wedding planner's role and they ventured into offering wedding planning services.

Over a decade later, Mitch & Jenna Weddings remains passionate about weddings and marriage. We spoke with the dynamic duo about their process, the challenges of wedding planning and what advice they have for those newly engaged and newly wed.

WIB: Can you describe the range of services Mitch & Jenna Weddings offers and how they work together to create a seamless and memorable wedding experience?

M&J: Officiating and planning can be hired out as stand-alone services, but they really do work so well together. Couples can also hire us for month of coordinating, partial planning or full-service planning. Because we’re a husband-and-wife team, we’re constantly working together. So, whenever a couple hires both of us, it’s like they’re getting two wedding planners for the price of one. Though the officiating portion of the wedding is only a small one, we truly believe that it’s the most important part of the day. And so, when we get to offer couples officiating services combined with planning, it tends to bring everything and all the vendors together in a way that we think is unique. If I had to describe it, I would say it feels more personal. Because of the relationship we build with the couple during the ceremony planning process, we really get to know who each couple is and their love story and that then translates into our love and appreciation for them as we plan and coordinate all the other aspects of their day.

Christi Elizabeth Photography
Christi Elizabeth Photography

WIB: What's the process of tailoring wedding planning services to each couple's unique vision and needs?

M&J: We always tell couples, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Planning a wedding is unlike anything else a bride or groom has likely ever done and so it’s to be expected that there will be things that get overlooked.

For that reason, we specialize in spending as much time as needed to explore every option with each bride during the initial inquiry call. Couples come to us at all different stages in their wedding planning process and so we usually have just as many questions for them as they have for us. And when we make a strong connection with a bride and groom, it’s typically because we spend as much time as we can, before they even hire us, to learn about them and their wedding.

Once a couple books with us, they get access to their planner right away along with the use of Aisle Planner. This has been an amazing tool in helping couples organize and plan the fine details of their wedding timeline. Month-of coordination services start with client calls 5-6 weeks out from the wedding with an additional check-in 6 months out. And full- or partial-planning services start with client calls immediately after booking. Depending on the size of the wedding, our team of assistant planners will also meet with the couple before the wedding day and sit in on most of the calls to make sure they know all the details important to the wedding timeline as well. We know our process works when the bride and groom are calm, confident and excited for their wedding day - no stress, no anxiety and no doubt that everything has been accounted for.

WIB: What sets Mitch & Jenna Weddings apart from other wedding planning and officiating services in the industry?

M&J: People tell us all the time that they love that we’re a husband-and-wife team in the wedding industry. We agree. We hope our love for each other comes out in the services we offer to our couples. We believe in the power of marriage and so we want couples to experience an amazing wedding day because we ultimately want them to have an amazing marriage.

Hopefully our couples see us and say, “Wow! Marriage seems awesome! I want what Mitch and Jenna have.” And of course, we say that with a ton of humility. Our marriage is NOT perfect, and we have had some very awful challenges. But that’s what makes marriage so great! Our marriage vows have stood the test, and we are truly experiencing “for better or for worse” with each other. That is something we think is unique to the marriage relationship. We’re confident in our ability to do a great job, but the reason we go above-and-beyond for couples isn’t because we care about our reputation as a company; it’s because we really love our couples and want everything to be just right because we want their wedding day to be the best start possible to their marriage adventure!

Brittany Schmidt Photography
Brittany Schmidt Photography

WIB: As professionals who work closely with couples, what advice do you have for those who are just starting their wedding planning journey in terms of choosing the right officiant and wedding planner?

M&J: Pick someone that fits your personality. Your wedding day is all about you, so don’t choose an officiant or a planner who doesn’t represent you accurately. You’re going to spend a lot of time with these people as you plan your wedding, so you might as well enjoy your time with them. And if your personalities don’t mix well, it’s just not as fun.

The other piece of advice I would give is to build trust with your officiant and your planner. Trust is built by meeting expectations and consistency. For example, if you have a question about something but you don’t ask it for whatever reason, we can’t help you if we don’t know about it. Every question and concern is important. You are spending a ton of time and money on your wedding, and you should feel totally confident and comfortable expressing yourself with the people you hire. If your officiant or planner (or any vendor for that matter) disregards your questions or doesn't make you feel heard, that’s a big problem.

WIB: How do you ensure that the wedding ceremony you officiate is a truly unique and personalized experience for each couple?

M&J: I get to know each couple personally. Some officiants only meet once with their couples and then show up 30 minutes before the ceremony. I spend a lot more time with each couple, personally getting to know their story and what caused them to fall in love. Each and every ceremony is written from scratch, custom for every couple. My ceremonies tell love stories! There’s nothing boring or dry about my ceremonies. Couples hear my ceremony and are reminded of all the reasons they fell in love in the first place.

WIB: What are the key elements you consider when crafting a customized wedding ceremony?

M&J: I take great care in accurately telling each couple’s story. It takes time and intentional note taking. It means I have to ask meaningful questions and truly desire to get to know each couple. But I also make sure that my delivery matches who they are as people. If they like to laugh a lot, there will be more stories to make them laugh. If they’re a more serious couple, there will be more stories that represent those moments in their lives. And it’s important that each ceremony honors the things that are important to them: faith, family, pets, careers, memories, heritage.

Sarah Glick Photography
Sarah Glick Photography

WIB: Talk to us about the importance of strong communication and collaboration between couples during the wedding planning process.

M&J: It’s paramount. If there’s ever an issue, which thankfully there seldom is, it’s never about the issue at hand, it’s always a matter of how that issue got communicated. So, yes, strong communication is very important.

WIB: What are some common challenges that couples face in the wedding planning process, and how do you help them overcome these challenges?

M&J: The most common challenges we see deal with people. The bride and groom want to please their guests and their family, so sometimes we need to remind our couples what’s worth compromising for the sake of those relationships versus what’s not. As important as it is to honor your family and be gracious hosts to your guests, your wedding day isn’t about them. So, if there’s something that stresses a bride and groom out because of what a family member or guest wants, we help remind them that this is their wedding and what they want is most important, but also provide a solution that is considerate of family or guests.

WIB: Could you explain how marriage coaching fits into the wedding experience and the long-term benefits it offers to couples?

M&J: It breaks our hearts, but sometimes we meet couples who view the wedding as the finish line. Once they’re married and the honeymoon phase is over, they stop dating, they stop working on their relationship and instead the focus goes into their careers, buying a home, having kids, etc. Think about it in terms of owning a home. If you build or buy a home, it’s likely the greatest investment you’ll ever make. Why would you spend that much on something and then never take care of it? You clean, you make repairs, you make updates, you paint new colors.

Marriage coaching is the ongoing process of caring for your marriage. Imagine wanting to renovate your bathroom and inviting your friend over to give you advice and they happen to be a contractor. That’s our approach to marriage coaching. It’s inviting another experienced married couple into your life to offer advice on things they’ve already been through. We can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining your relationship through something like coaching. Being married and living your life together is not enough to keep the fire alive. It is quite the contrary - being married and living together is sometimes the thing that hurts a marriage. You must keep working on your love for one another and coaching helps couples do that more effectively.

Brittany Schmidt Photography
Brittany Schmidt Photography

WIB: When it comes to marriage coaching, what are some of the most valuable lessons and insights you offer to couples preparing for marriage?

M&J: Don’t stop dating each other. Often, the planning of the wedding takes over and for months the couples don't talk about anything else. That’s not good. I always encourage the future groom to take his bride out on a date. Spare her the planning and have it all ready to go: the restaurant, the reservation, maybe an activity. Limit yourself to 10 minutes of wedding talk during the date. The rest of the night, focus on each other. We offer couples a free relationship assessment as a gift whenever they book with us. We encourage them to use their test results as something fun to talk about over dinner and drinks.

WIB: Could you share a favorite moments or experience from your journey in the wedding industry, and how it has shaped your perspective on love and marriage?

M&J: I think our favorite moments are when we get to talk with the bride and groom for a brief moment at the end of the night. It’s usually once the dancing has started and there’s not much else to do. It’s our first opportunity to interact with them without an agenda and the conversations we have are priceless. We wouldn’t still be in this industry if we didn’t know our services were making a difference. But in those conversations, we get to see people joyfully in love, excited to be married. Their adventure is just about to begin, and that’s what it’s all about for us.

WIB: How do you envision the future of Mitch & Jenna Weddings in the wedding industry, and what goals do you plan to pursue?

M&J: There’s really no one else we know of offering marriage coaching, and that’s what we’re most passionate about. We envision that being the part of our business that grows in the future and hopefully something we can be known for in the industry. When a wedding is over, we really hope we leave everybody feeling like they were a part of something much more than a wedding. We want everyone involved, including guests, wedding party and vendors to feel like what we accomplished for the bride and groom really will make a difference in their lives as a married couple. What you remember about your wedding day is important. It’s a landmark moment to look back on when times get tough. We want to help couples create something unforgettable. And if it’s working, I imagine our team will grow, as will the number of couples we work with. And hopefully there’s much more in store for us, God willing.

If you're a couple embarking on your wedding planning journey, Mitch & Jenna Weddings is ready to guide you every step of the way. Reach out to them through their website or follow them on Instagram to explore their services and start planning your dream wedding.

Crystin Cara Photography
Crystin Cara Photography