Sometimes, within your vocation, another call can arise and bear fruit. One bride’s wedding planning experience brought a uniquely personal and practical new dimension to her business.
In her eight years of working at a parish, Emily Ricci sensed a need: when unequipped with marketing essentials like attractive bulletins and fliers, she realized, it was easy to see why some perceive the Church as out of touch and not with the times. “In my experience,” she says, “evangelization and marketing go hand in hand.” The product, in this case, is Jesus Christ. While working in marketing for her alma mater, Emily founded Gloriam Marketing, providing marketing, consulting, and event planning services to Catholic churches throughout her home state of New York and beyond
When Emily married her husband Aaron in June 2017, she worked long and hard on Mass programs, but struggled to come up with wording for the reception of Communion, concerned about being as welcoming as possible to non-Catholic guests while still speaking the truth. “This was the one opportunity I would have to evangelize to our many family and friends who would be in attendance,” she shares. “The more I considered this idea, the more I realized my wedding provided not only an opportunity to explain the Eucharist to our family and friends, but also the entirety of a Catholic wedding: Why do Catholic weddings take place in a church? Why do we exchange rings? Why do Catholics view marriage as a sacrament, and what does that mean? I began to write, and soon it turned into a double-sided insert that went inside of our program for guests to read while waiting for the Mass to start. In these explanations, I attempted to approach the ‘rules’ with humor and acceptance, striving to really show our guests how welcome they were; explaining what was going on during the Mass, especially for those who may not have been familiar with Catholic traditions.”
The inserts were a hit. Numerous guests suggested Emily create similar text and inserts for other couples, and there began Gloriam’s wedding services. The company offers design and printing for Catholic wedding programs, as well as custom inserts detailing the Mass and ceremony, for both local and remote couples, each infused with Emily’s attention to clients’ individual aesthetic and needs.
From Emily: What's unique about Gloriam is that unlike other designers and printers, I have a background in the Catholic faith, so I can work one-on-one with a client to make sure the information being presented is both beautifully designed and true to our faith. I am currently pursuing my Master's degree in theology, so I come at the creative process with the ability to work from both a design and theological standpoint with each client. Clients don't have to worry about coming up with content on their own; I work with each and every bride or groom on wording (I also have a degree in English, with a concentration in writing), language, and ensuring everything is theologically sound.
A major advantage of this work is that it can be done completely via email or Skype. Clients do not have to be from my area or even from the United States, which results in one less thing for couples to worry about during an already hectic time packed with other vendor meetings.
I look at each project I take on as an opportunity from God to give him glory. As a recent bride myself, I recognize the stress each bride and groom are under to make their wedding day perfect, and appreciate helping make their day memorable with attention to details. As a society, I hope to see more couples witness to what a God-given marriage looks like. I like to think through my work, I am helping them in that witness.
An interview with Emily
Hometown: Wappinger Falls, New York
Favorite saint: Saint Marie of the Incarnation. She’s my confirmation saint!
What is your favorite thing about working on weddings? Working on a wedding program gets me all nostalgic about my own wedding. And I love being a small part of the evangelization my couples will bring through their marriages!
Favorite place I’ve traveled: Mystic, Connecticut. I used to go there for retreats with my family each year on Enders Island. Gorgeous.
On my bucket list: Trying out for The Voice.
My favorite wedding-day memory: My father-in-law, who is extremely quiet and shy, grabbing my hand and taking me out on the dance floor at our reception. It should probably be something about my husband, but that is the first thing that pops into my mind because it was so unexpected. Romantically, my favorite moment was leaning over during the Mass and whispering to Aaron, "We're married!"
Love means…Sacrifice. Sacrifice until it no longer feels like sacrifice.