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Patricia Fretwell, Owner and Officiant at Feelings From the Heart Wedding Chapel (also referred to as Kitchener City Hall wedding chapel) & Officiants , loves to go to work every day, finding inspiration in the couples she marries. Feelings From the Heart is conveniently located in Kitchener City Hall, just underneath the Clerk’s Office where you get your marriage license. Pat says the chapel and officiants cater to brides of all ages and financial backgrounds, having performed hundreds of weddings since she began in 2002 and marrying people as young as seventeen and as old as ninety-three.
From casual to classy style, Feelings From the Heart can perform ceremonies on-site in their chapel, or at a location of your choice – seven days a week. With options that would suit many brides who either aren’t members of a church or who are planning something unique, and with seating for up to 100 guests in their chapel, Feelings From the Heart’s relaxed, friendly and flexible attitude hasn’t gone unnoticed by local brides who all highly recommended Pat. So, we met with Pat, checked out the chapel (which, by the way, hardly needs decorating), and found out how you can have stress free, personalized ceremonies with Feelings From the Heart. Let us tell you more…
Educated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Education from McMaster University, Pat began her career as a kindergarten teacher before moving on to Feelings From the Heart as the organist (which she taught herself how to play) and receptionist in 1997.
In 2001, Pat was ordained with Abba Ministries and began to perform ceremonies. Following her mother’s death in January 2002, Pat decided to buy the business. “By May, I was the new owner and had renamed the small chapel in memory of my mom.”
Now, Pat has her credentials with the All Seasons Church of Canada and is the Sole Proprietor of Feelings From the Heart with several officiants and ministers who assist her in performing the several hundred weddings they book each year.
Even after so many weddings, Pat says she still loves to come to work every day, telling us that it’s a pleasure for her to serve couples who want to get married. “Meeting the special requests of each couple keeps me inspired to do the best I possibly can to make their dream wedding a reality.”
Pat says that Feelings From the Heart caters to brides of all ages and financial backgrounds. She has even married people as young as seventeen and as old as ninety-three. Because of these varying styles of couples, Feelings From the Heart makes sure their own style is flexible and accommodating, telling us that “the style of service we provide varies with the location of the wedding and the couple we serve. We can be very casual in our approach to the wedding or we can perform the service with class… We offer something for every bride.” Pat is also available to marry same sex couples. Ceremonies are even available in French, German, Spanish and Mandarin!
The open options were one thing that Alvin and Megan Dell loved about Feelings From the Heart. Pat officiated their farm wedding ceremony in September 2009 and Megan says that during a time when she was very overwhelmed by so many choices, it was nice to have the basic details outlined by Feelings From the Heart. “We could keep it as simple as we chose, and yet make it very personalized to our circumstances… Pat has an innate, open and relaxed confidence that inspired me. We emailed back and forth and she was always there to help me.” Pat even walked Megan through composing her personal ceremony and vows.
Many couples, Pat says, come with their own ideas of how they want their wedding day to be – they want to write their own vows and sometimes part of their ceremony, which is completely possible. On the other hand, for busy brides and grooms, Feelings From the Heart also offers three pre-written ceremonies: The Modern Service, The Contemporary Service and The Partnership in Life Ceremony. “I encourage them to create a new ceremony using parts of each of the three,” suggests Pat. “In this way it is more personalized for them.”
Pat also offers pre-destination wedding ceremonies, ideal for couples that want to get all of the legal details taken care of before they go away. Pat says these ceremonies usually take place Monday to Friday.
Feelings From the Heart performs both religious and non-religious ceremonies, the latter of which Pat says about 75% of couples choose to have, but still want to incorporate some form of spirituality. The average ceremony is about twenty minutes long.
Alvin and Megan had some non-traditional ideas for their cowboy-themed wedding, but told us that Pat completely supported anything they wanted to do. “Patricia felt like a third mother figure that shouldered and eliminated any worry and stress, so our mothers could enjoy the moment.”
This relaxed and friendly manner from beginning to end is just one thing that Pat says Feelings From the Heart is known for. “We receive many compliments on how well we set our brides at ease,” she says. “It is so rewarding to see their smiles on their wedding day and know that you had contributed to making their day so special.”
Pauline Freeman and Kendall Cain were married at Feelings From the Heart on August 22. They told us, “Patricia was a pleasure to work with throughout the planning stages up to and including the rehearsal, wedding day and after.” Pauline adds that Pat was always willing to show her the chapel each time she asked and made the wedding day much more comfortable and hassle-free.
While you can get married at the location of your choice (as late as 8:30 pm) with an officiant from Feelings From the Heart, they also offer a beautifully decorated chapel, located in Kitchener City Hall, where they conduct ceremonies seven days a week. Since Feelings From the Heart offers their own entrance, you aren’t confined to City Hall hours. Pat adds, “We are centrally located with parks within walking distance of the chapel,” says Pat. There’s also underground parking in case of inclement weather, a skating rink outside in the Winter and water fountains the rest of the year. “Couples frequent these areas for photos as well as the beautiful rotunda and staircases inside the City Hall building.”
The Wedding Belle Chapel seats fifty and is the most popular venue for weddings that Feelings From the Heart conducts. “There are no hidden costs and with the decorating already done, couples can concentrate on the actual wedding service,” she says. “We take care of the rest.”
The chapel is also very conveniently located just underneath the Clerk’s Office, which is on the second floor of the same building and is where couples apply for their marriage license. So, when you get your marriage license you can just drop it off at the chapel and they’ll hold it until your wedding day so you don’t have to worry about remembering it.
If you’re looking for a great rainy day location for photos, Pat suggests the rotunda and staircase at Kitchener City Hall. Pat also suggests City Hall for photos at Christmas time. Whether you’re looking for the perfect place for wedding, engagement or family photos, it is always beautifully decorated.
• Call or email Pat to set-up a meeting to discuss your ceremony options.
• A non-refundable $75 deposit is required to book the Wedding Belle Chapel.
• On and off-site ceremonies are available at varying price ranges; the average bride spends about $325.
Pat Fretwell at Feelings From the Heart can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 519-743-3101. You can also visit Feelings From the Heart online at www.theweddingchapel.on.ca.
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