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This review is published in Kitchener-Waterloo Area

Officiants find inspiration offering personalized ceremonies at their chapels or your own location

Reviewing Patricia Fretwell, Feelings From the Heart Wedding Chapel & Officiants
Review is written by Staff @ The Ring and is based on •   Interviews with this vendor • Interviews with past brides
 
Officiants find inspiration offering personalized ceremonies at their chapels or your own location

Patricia Fretwell, Owner and Officiant at Feelings From the Heart 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 a few hundred 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…

Personally Speaking…

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."

Pat says it just seemed like a natural progression to purchase a business where she learned and grew a lot as an employee. "My experience with weddings as a church organist for forty years and former minister's wife has given me plenty of exposure and opportunities to observe wedding services," she says. "Also, working as the receptionist at the chapel allowed me to talk with couples and assist them with their planning even before I was licensed to marry.

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."

On top of supporting happy couples, Pat also supports various charities, including the Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Grand River Hospital, local churches and food bank, The Salvation Army, The Heart & Stroke Foundation, The Canadian Cancer Society, the Children's Wish Foundation and the Mennonite Disaster Fund.

Pat has also been in the news with interviews by 570 News and The Record for special days, like Valentine's Day and July 7, 2007 (7/7/07). She also participates in the Welcome Wagon Bridal Showcases in Kitchener and Cambridge, and in 2008 received an award for her dedicated service.

Ceremony style…

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 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 that "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 to endure.

Beyond the ceremony…

With her years of experience in various parts of weddings, Pat has some great advice for couples who are planning their weddings, including reception hall ideas, suggestions for inspirational readings and music recommendations (the knowledge of which she gained during her experience as an organist).

• If you’re planning a wedding, book your hall first, and then book your officiant.
• Give yourself time to plan, and give yourself time to relax.
• Plan your ceremony together. Do what works and what is comfortable for you and make sure to incorporate your style and personalities.
• If you write your own vows, bring a copy of them with you so you can read them if you need to. Don’t just try to memorize them. If you’re nervous, you may stumble.

Pat says she doesn’t like to prompt people on the vows they wrote for themselves. “It’s personal and it’s their feelings. They should speak from their heart.”

Going to the chapel…

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, which is located in Kitchener City Hall where they conduct ceremonies seven days a week, up until 7 pm. "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 the 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.

Convenience and familiarity were just some of the reasons that Pauline and Kendall held their ceremony at Feelings From the Heart, but add that they didn't look anywhere else because Pat was very helpful and accommodating from the start.

Alvin and Megan also loved the close proximity of Feelings From the Heart to the Clerk's Office. "The clerk in the Marriage License Bureau spoke very highly of Patricia Fretwell and so we knew we wanted to meet and talk with her. Her professionalism with personality made the decision an easy one."

Packages & prices

A typical wedding in the Wedding Belle Chapel costs $320, plus HST and includes use of the decorated chapel (complete with new flowers!), an officiant, and wedding music provided on CD.

If you are having a destination wedding and want to do the legal ceremony here, or you just desire a simple wedding, Feelings From the Heart offers a special price on weddings Monday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm. For $226 (including tax) you, your fiancé and four guests can enjoy the same decorated chapel, the officiant's services and music.

Officiants will also travel to your chosen location in the K-W area and outside of the region. For a K-W or Cambridge wedding, the fee is $275, plus HST. For travel outside of the area, a travel allowance is charged in addition to the fee.

There is a $75 fee to have a rehearsal with Feelings From the Heart. "With respect to cost, we would definitely say it was worth the money we spent to have such a beautiful location and wonderful officiant and organist performing our ceremony," say Pauline and Kendall.

Walking you through a wedding from the heart…

Since couples have been married by Feelings From the Heart on the same day they booked, as well as a year and a half after they booked, Pat says there's no real time frame for booking and they can perform four or five weddings on a chosen day.

For the most part, Pat is the person who meets with couples, unless the couple also wants to meet with their specific officiant. She says to call or email her to set-up an appointment. "I like to return my phone calls and email messages in less than twenty-four hours if possible," she adds. Pat is in the office during the week between 10 am and 4:30 pm, but will also meet with couples in the evenings or weekends if that works better.

When you meet with Pat, she'll go over the details of the ceremony and point out the variety of ceremonies offered. You'll also talk about the procession, music, photos and rehearsal.

The non-refundable deposit required for the Wedding Belle Chapel is $75.

Throughout the planning process, you can call or email Pat anytime to make changes to the details of your ceremony. If your text is completely personalized, she does request to have a copy of it three to four weeks before the wedding.

The marriage license, ceremony notes and payment balance are all required two weeks before the wedding.

Because Feelings From the Heart is her personal business, Pat tries to perform as many weddings as she can; but, when she can't, she also has many officiants that work with her, both male and female, who are all fully licensed and are informed about the service the week before the wedding.

"The officiants often assist me with chapel weddings and those taking place around the K-W region," she says. "Some of them are retired clergy and others are officiants. All of them are recognized by the Province of Ontario to do weddings."

On the wedding day, the officiant arrives thirty minutes before the ceremony begins to get things organized and answer any last minute questions. "Patricia appeared on time, calm, organized, and professionally attired," say Alvin and Megan. "She was always smiling, which is highly contagious. She was very aware of what we wanted and stayed on top of things; she was able to be flexible and watch out for our best interests."

One of our favourite things is that Pat always has a back-up Minister on call, in case your Minister falls ill or there's an emergency. You'll never have to worry that your Minster won't show up!

When the ceremony begins, the officiant organizes the procession and signals for the service to begin. Then, all you have to do is say "I do" and enjoy the day, much like Pauline and Kendall who told us that "the whole experience [with Feelings From the Heart] was very memorable and we would definitely recommend them to other couples planning their wedding… It was a beautiful ceremony and we had a lot of compliments on the chapel, Patricia, and the ceremony itself."

Details, details, details

• 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.

Patricia Fretwell, Owner and Officiant at Feelings From the Heart 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 a few hundred 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…

Personally Speaking…

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."

Pat says it just seemed like a natural progression to purchase a business where she learned and grew a lot as an employee. "My experience with weddings as a church organist for forty years and former minister's wife has given me plenty of exposure and opportunities to observe wedding services," she says. "Also, working as the receptionist at the chapel allowed me to talk with couples and assist them with their planning even before I was licensed to marry.

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."

On top of supporting happy couples, Pat also supports various charities, including the Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Grand River Hospital, local churches and food bank, The Salvation Army, The Heart & Stroke Foundation, The Canadian Cancer Society, the Children's Wish Foundation and the Mennonite Disaster Fund.

Pat has also been in the news with interviews by 570 News and The Record for special days, like Valentine's Day and July 7, 2007 (7/7/07). She also participates in the Welcome Wagon Bridal Showcases in Kitchener and Cambridge, and in 2008 received an award for her dedicated service.

Ceremony style…

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 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 that "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 to endure.

Beyond the ceremony…

With her years of experience in various parts of weddings, Pat has some great advice for couples who are planning their weddings, including reception hall ideas, suggestions for inspirational readings and music recommendations (the knowledge of which she gained during her experience as an organist).

• If you’re planning a wedding, book your hall first, and then book your officiant.
• Give yourself time to plan, and give yourself time to relax.
• Plan your ceremony together. Do what works and what is comfortable for you and make sure to incorporate your style and personalities.
• If you write your own vows, bring a copy of them with you so you can read them if you need to. Don’t just try to memorize them. If you’re nervous, you may stumble.

Pat says she doesn’t like to prompt people on the vows they wrote for themselves. “It’s personal and it’s their feelings. They should speak from their heart.”

Going to the chapel…

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, which is located in Kitchener City Hall where they conduct ceremonies seven days a week, up until 7 pm. "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 the 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.

Convenience and familiarity were just some of the reasons that Pauline and Kendall held their ceremony at Feelings From the Heart, but add that they didn't look anywhere else because Pat was very helpful and accommodating from the start.

Alvin and Megan also loved the close proximity of Feelings From the Heart to the Clerk's Office. "The clerk in the Marriage License Bureau spoke very highly of Patricia Fretwell and so we knew we wanted to meet and talk with her. Her professionalism with personality made the decision an easy one."

Packages & prices

A typical wedding in the Wedding Belle Chapel costs $320, plus HST and includes use of the decorated chapel (complete with new flowers!), an officiant, and wedding music provided on CD.

If you are having a destination wedding and want to do the legal ceremony here, or you just desire a simple wedding, Feelings From the Heart offers a special price on weddings Monday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm. For $226 (including tax) you, your fiancé and four guests can enjoy the same decorated chapel, the officiant's services and music.

Officiants will also travel to your chosen location in the K-W area and outside of the region. For a K-W or Cambridge wedding, the fee is $275, plus HST. For travel outside of the area, a travel allowance is charged in addition to the fee.

There is a $75 fee to have a rehearsal with Feelings From the Heart. "With respect to cost, we would definitely say it was worth the money we spent to have such a beautiful location and wonderful officiant and organist performing our ceremony," say Pauline and Kendall.

Walking you through a wedding from the heart…

Since couples have been married by Feelings From the Heart on the same day they booked, as well as a year and a half after they booked, Pat says there's no real time frame for booking and they can perform four or five weddings on a chosen day.

For the most part, Pat is the person who meets with couples, unless the couple also wants to meet with their specific officiant. She says to call or email her to set-up an appointment. "I like to return my phone calls and email messages in less than twenty-four hours if possible," she adds. Pat is in the office during the week between 10 am and 4:30 pm, but will also meet with couples in the evenings or weekends if that works better.

When you meet with Pat, she'll go over the details of the ceremony and point out the variety of ceremonies offered. You'll also talk about the procession, music, photos and rehearsal.

The non-refundable deposit required for the Wedding Belle Chapel is $75.

Throughout the planning process, you can call or email Pat anytime to make changes to the details of your ceremony. If your text is completely personalized, she does request to have a copy of it three to four weeks before the wedding.

The marriage license, ceremony notes and payment balance are all required two weeks before the wedding.

Because Feelings From the Heart is her personal business, Pat tries to perform as many weddings as she can; but, when she can't, she also has many officiants that work with her, both male and female, who are all fully licensed and are informed about the service the week before the wedding.

"The officiants often assist me with chapel weddings and those taking place around the K-W region," she says. "Some of them are retired clergy and others are officiants. All of them are recognized by the Province of Ontario to do weddings."

On the wedding day, the officiant arrives thirty minutes before the ceremony begins to get things organized and answer any last minute questions. "Patricia appeared on time, calm, organized, and professionally attired," say Alvin and Megan. "She was always smiling, which is highly contagious. She was very aware of what we wanted and stayed on top of things; she was able to be flexible and watch out for our best interests."

One of our favourite things is that Pat always has a back-up Minister on call, in case your Minister falls ill or there's an emergency. You'll never have to worry that your Minster won't show up!

When the ceremony begins, the officiant organizes the procession and signals for the service to begin. Then, all you have to do is say "I do" and enjoy the day, much like Pauline and Kendall who told us that "the whole experience [with Feelings From the Heart] was very memorable and we would definitely recommend them to other couples planning their wedding… It was a beautiful ceremony and we had a lot of compliments on the chapel, Patricia, and the ceremony itself."

Details, details, details

• 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.

Contacting Feelings From the Heart Wedding Chapel & Officants

Pat Fretwell at Feelings From the Heart can be reached by email at pat@theweddingchapel.on.ca or by phone at 519-743-3101. You can also visit Feelings From the Heart online at http://www.theweddingchapel.on.ca.

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Good to know: Prices are all approximate and are subject to change and verification by authorized staff and management of Feelings From the Heart Wedding Chapel & Officants. Photos 1 by Picture Yourself Studios. Photos 12&13 by Steve Brooks Photography, Photos 15&16 courtesy of Latte Productions Photography Please contact Pat Fretwell at 519-743-3101 with any questions or concerns regarding the photos seen above.

More from Brides and Experts

Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

Bride-Savvy Score:
 
5.0   (2)
Ratings (the higher the better)
Bride-Savvy Score*
Comments*
 

Perfect balance for any couple

Bride-Savvy Score:
 
5.0
Latte Productions Photography Reviewed by Latte Productions Photography
October 06, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

We've had the pleasure of shooting weddings and ceremonies with Pat for some time now. Whether the total attendance was ourselves, the couple, and Pat or a crowded room full of onlookers; she's always ready to seal the bond between two people deeply in love.

Pat is very approachable and takes great pride in her work. We've loved working with her so much we custom designed a package exclusively for her arrangement at the city hall, whether the wedding is a few minute long ceremony or a full day & night event, Pat is always prepared and makes the couple and their guests feel the warmth of the moment.

Awesome work Pat!

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Feelings from the Heart Wedding Chapel and Officiants at City Hall

Bride-Savvy Score:
 
5.0
Anne Warren Reviewed by Anne Warren
October 21, 2009
Top 10 Reviewer
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

It was a pleasure meeting with Pat and finding out more about what Feelings from the Heart Wedding Chapels and Officiants at City Hall have to offer Wedding Ring brides.

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