It seems everyone is looking to 2022 with hope and . . . well, a little caution.

bride and groom sunset san diego
Photo by Brant Bender

If you’re in the midst of planning your wedding or at the beginning stages, this new virus variant may have you feeling twitchy about making final decisions.

As a wedding ceremony officiant I can offer multiple options for performing your ceremony, including:

  • 6-foot distance
  • with or without mask depending on location
  • virtual rehearsal

Check out this great discussion with Tahnie of Ivy Events for more on how to navigate your wedding during a pandemic. We recorded last year and much of it still applies. You’ll also hear some great resources for your ceremony.

And, on an even more hopeful note, I love this numerology view of 2022. A great year to get married!


Countdown to Mother’s Day!

As we look forward to celebrating moms this Sunday, remember that as you are planning your wedding day there are so many special ways to include and honor your mother in your wedding ceremony.

This applies to stepmothers, grandmothers, and even you, too!

Opportunities to honor mom in your wedding ceremony:

  • By Your Side

Request that your mother escort you down the aisle. Many moms have played the role of both parents in their child’s life, and this is a beautiful way to acknowledge that.

Or, even ask her to serve as your Maid/Matron of Honor. There is no reason why your very own mother can’t serve in this very important role as well.

Grooms, as you walk down the aisle, show how much you honor your mother by escorting her to her place of honor

  • Express Your Gratitude

At the beginning of the ceremony, together as a couple present a single rose to each mom (stepmothers, too!), in a gesture of gratitude for all the support and love they have given you throughout the years.

Invite your mother to share a reading
  • A Reading

Invite mom to read a special poem or verse during the ceremony

ABM Photo
  • In Memory

If you mother has died, there are many ways to honor her in memoriam. Your officiant can acknowledge her during opening remarks. You can leave an empty chair at the front row, perhaps even with a single white rose on it. You can include photos of her at a special “In Memoriam” table at the ceremony.

  • New Mom

Are you taking on a role of mother or adopting your new spouse’s child?
Are you already a mom? There are many ways to include the kids in your unity ceremony.

Did you say, “Yes!”?

Though things are still a little tricky for planning your 2021 wedding, what with uncertainties around vaccinations, variants, etc. you can still have a beautiful wedding celebration.


*“Just Us Two”: enjoy an intimate ceremony now, just the two of you, and your big celebration at the end of 2021, or next year.

These two said “I Do” at Sunset Cliffs!⁠ Photo by @matolikeelyphoto

*Virtual “I Do“: Hold a Virtual Wedding Ceremony!
With the right elements in place, your ceremony can still feel intimate and sacred. And with the virtual option, everyone will be able to attend. Learn more in my guidelines.

*Small & Intimate
If you want your immediate family and besties at hand, a small intimate social-distance ceremony is a great option. And you can still plan for a big bash later.
Be sure your venue has clear protocol and procedures in place. Even better, hire a professional wedding planner to make sure it all runs smoothly. Photo by True Photography. Professional coordination by Holly Kalkin Weddings.

Remember to get your marriage license!

This is the LEAST ROMANTIC but MOST IMPORTANT part of your wedding ceremony!

  • Find your County Clerk where you will marry.
  • Make your appointment!
  • Your marriage license is generally valid for 90 days
  • These days due to Covid protocol, find out if the San Diego Marriage Hut is still in place with social distance to acquire your license.

I tell my clients when they pick up their marriage license, make a day of it! Walk along the San Diego boardwalk, visit the tall ships, or have lunch in the park.

Wedding planner extraordinaire Tahnie @ivy_weddingsandevents and I talked wedding ceremony tips! Including navigating some Covid-related challenges that may still apply.⁠ Check out the full interview here!

Next week I’ll be sharing share some tips and advice with a group of savvy solopreneurs about creating great client relationships. Here’s a biggie:

When meeting with a client – maybe it’s your introductory meeting or perhaps you’re 3 months into a project together – and she says something in a joking manner or with a shrug, it might feel easier and natural to laugh along with her and then continue on with your meeting agenda.
However, sometimes they are laughing when they say it, or speaking quietly, or under their breath, because there might be some element of shame or guilt, worry or embarrassment.

****DISCLAIMER: I am not a therapist. Just a business professional and observer of client behavior for nearly 20 years****

Especially if they are being self-deprecating in their comment.
Rather than “laugh with them” or brush off their concerns, dive into that.
I recall meeting with a couple who, during the course of our conversation, shared with me, “We’re high-maintenance.”
I could have easily laughed or said something to brush it off or make them feel better such as, “I’m sure you’re not.”
Instead I asked them why they describe themselves like this.
“Our friends give us a hard time because we get massages, buy special alkaline drinking water, try to eat only organic” etc. They were worried this impression of being “high-maintenance” might spill over into their ceremony.

This is an opportunity to provide a REFRAME for your client.

I responded, “That doesn’t sound high maintenance. It sounds like you care about your health and take good care of yourself; your energy and longevity is important to you.”
Weeks later at their wedding rehearsal, as they introduced me to friends and family they also said – more than once – “She says we’re honoring our temples and take good care of ourselves.”
I was thrilled they had embraced this new view of themselves, and could see the ease this created for them.

Over the years, so many clients have dropped these little phrases or comments – under their breath, in passing, in a joking manner:

I don’t want to be a bridezilla” or “I don’t want to be a pain in the ass.”

That is not a good feeling.
I like to find out why they have taken on this negative-feeling label for themselves.

Listen to them with Courage and ask WHY they feel that way. Have the courage to engage your client and really find out about their biggest worry or concern, which often shows up very quietly.
Then look for ways to reframe this perception as it applies to the service you are providing. (I’m not implying you solve their life problems, rather as it specifically relates to your business-client relationship.)

You might not have all the answers, but you can help them navigate the situation and find solutions together, and best of all, they will feel heard.

Gayle Feallock, owner of Just Imagine Love, is a ceremony officiant, speaker, and Reiki Master. Developing positive, successful relationships with hundreds of clients has been at the core of her professional life.

In light of events of the past year around issues and in situations of social and racial justice:
This approach can apply to every aspect of your life, with friends and family as well. For example, if a friend makes a joking comment that has somewhat racist overtones, why are they saying it with a joke or in passing? Again, I think because there might be some shame or embarrassment around it and they “float” these ideas to see how we respond.
Instead of just cringing inside or ignoring the comment, have the courage to ask an open-ended question: “Where did you hear that?” “What makes you say that?” “What does it mean when you say something like that?”
You’ll be amazed at where the answer might lead, and together you might be able to reframe that thought and offer an anti-racist one.

For more resources and information around social & racial justice:
SURJ – Showing Up for Racial Justice
Black Lives Matter
Anti-Racism Daily
Equality Institute
Bryana Clover, Educator & Activist

My final wedding ceremony of the year took place at one of my favorite venues under the trees.
Gratitude to Asha Bailey Photography for beautifully capturing the day.

Like many couples trying to get married in 2020, these two had their share of struggles, including trimming their guest count considerably, eliminating reception, even challenges acquiring their marriage license due to restrictions at the county clerk.
Still they maintained a great attitude and made their special day extra special for their guests – gift bags greeted everyone.

This intimate social distance wedding ceremony at Milagro Winery was a beautiful wrap to a challenging year. Milagro staff did a fantastic job of setting up the ceremony chairs with social distance seating and guests did their part wearing masks during the ceremony.

And I stood back 6 feet away from the couples and wedding party.

Here we are awaiting the arrival of the bride.
Love this custom color Groom’s suit!

We had Gayle officiate our wedding … and she was sooooo amazing! The whole process was just a great experience overall! Gayle, really took the time to get to know us as a couple and it showed at the ceremony. It was really special.”

~Lisa & Brandon, Dec. 2020
A small but important act – I always step away for First Kiss so their photographer can capture that perfect moment.
Congratulations Mr. & Mrs.!

Since a formal reception was not allowable, Best Man and Maid of Honor gave their toasts at the arch!
Earl Henry of @mydjsevents made it possible as the professional emcee with mic and sound system on tap:

Into the sunset . . .