Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Ceremony and Reception Locations’ Category

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.

CONSIDER THESE OPTIONS FOR YOUR CEREMONY

*“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.

MORE TIPS TO PLANNING YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY:
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!

Read Full Post »

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 . . .

Read Full Post »

The gorgeous setting of Paradise Point lent itself perfectly for an outdoor, intimate, social-distance wedding ceremony.
This couple, like many others, had the disappointing experience of having to reschedule their wedding multiple times due to pandemic challenges. When it finally all came together, with a much smaller guest count, their very apparent love for each other was even stronger.

You did a fabulous job with our ceremony! Thank you so much for working with us and making it very much our own story. We received many compliments about how lovely the readings were, how well you presented the ceremony, and your comic relief during the sand ceremony! We loved it all! You are wonderful!”

Photographer Avalon Richards caught the gorgeous light and this happy couple’s lively style. All photos by @truephotography

Great to work with these incredible professionals!

  • Holly Kalkin @hkweddings
  • Maribel Beltran @paradisepointsd
  • Elegant Touch Floral Designs / sdweddingflowers.com
  • DJ David Cutler @DjDavidCutler
  • Concepts Team @ConceptsEventDesign

Holly Kalkin and the Paradise Point staff did a great job of setting up the ceremony chairs with social distance sections.

Social-distance ceremony seating

Jewel-tone shoes for the bride!
“First look” before the ceremony is a great option to have that exciting moment,
while reducing the stress of walking down the aisle.
(This is a nice time to share personal vows as well, for the particularly shy!)
Want to honor someone special? Pinning keepsake mementos to your bouquet keeps them close.
A proud moment walking with his groomsmen.
I printed their vows for them on beautiful gold-trimmed, heavy stock paper (doesn’t flap about in the breeze!). And, sometimes I bring my Italian glass paperweight to keep the vows secure.
With this ring
A great way to include someone in your big day – ask them to read a special poem. And, have your DJ provide an additional mic and stand to the side so your reader is all set to go!
Blending of the Sands is a meaningful ritual symbolizing two individual lives, joining together. Perfect for waterfront weddings, too!
Always great to work with a professional DJ, and David Cutler is one of the best! Makes me sound great, too. 🙂
How much do you love the pineapple aisle decor?

Read Full Post »

Planning your wedding ceremony? My “Spiritual not religious” post continues to ring true for most of the couples I create with. Reposting from 7 years ago!

“. . . a quiet YES: the Divine brought you together, but the two of you did all the heavy lifting, and this is to be acknowledged and honored in a sacred way.”

—————-

Spiritual not religious: Navigating the G-word in Your Wedding Ceremony 

“We’re spiritual but not religious.” I’m sitting at my favorite Starbucks with a newly engaged couple. They are getting married next spring and we are meeting for the first time to discuss their wedding ceremony.

We’ve talked about how they met, the proposal, why this is the one person they want to spend the rest of their life with, and some ideas of what they would like to include in their ceremony.
As a wedding minister, I love hearing the story of their relationship and encourage them to weave it into their ceremony so their guests can enjoy it as well.

And then we get to this tricky bit:

When I ask them about their religious background and current spiritual practice, many couples respond, “spiritual but not religious.”

And to my followup question of, “What does ‘spiritual’ mean to you?” the answer gets a little more elusive.

Many couples feel a connection to something greater, yet the traditional religion they grew up with no longer resonates with their sense of values and in living their daily life.
And for their wedding ceremony, the idea of a reading from the Bible or mentioning God makes them feel a little squirmy.

One bride responded: “I think being spiritual is being in touch with the Earth, being good to people, understanding there is something greater that helps you out in hard times.”
Other responses have been, “It is living your life to make a difference, to do your best every day” and “I feel a close spiritual connection when I practice yoga.”

Many couples respond with, “I don’t know.” And that is ok.

If you want a truly secular ceremony, you can find a judge, captain on a boat, or have a friend sign up as deputy for a day to officiate your wedding.

If you are choosing not to include a spiritual element in your ceremony simply because it seems confusing or uncomfortable, maybe it doesn’t have to be.

As a nondenominational minister, I do invoke and invite the Divine, but require no proof or definition of your faith. Whatever spiritual means to you, even if you are grappling with that definition, that is what we create for you in the ceremony.

Perhaps your story of how you met had a serendipitious quality. Does it feel like there was something larger at work, ensuring that you two would meet?

Or, maybe your relationship was hard-won: so many obstacles placed before you that it is a marvel you will finally be walking down the aisle at all. In this instance, maybe it was only your faith in each other, in the face of everything else, that kept you two together.

In both cases, or any variation in between, incorporating that experience through a reading could speak to the nature of the Divine in your story.

Some traditional readings are popular and moving for a reason. For example, Corinthians 1-4: “Love is Patient, Love is Kind,” brings everything back to the simple yet powerful concept of love. “The Art of a Good Marriage” helps you to remember to be your best.

But don’t just toss in a reading because it is familiar or easy. Take some time to find something that really moves you and can deliver your idea of the Divine in a way that articulates what you might not be able to. It could even be a popular song lyric or excerpt from a favorite novel.

At the completion of the wedding ceremony, and before I pronounce a couple married, I always say a blessing. I don’t believe a blessing is a restriction, or an agreement with a certain religious scripture. Rather it is a quiet YES: the Divine brought you together, but the two of you did all the heavy lifting, and this is to be acknowledged and honored in a sacred way.

Just because it may feel ambiguous, inviting the spiritual into your wedding ceremony doesn’t need to be daunting or feel overbearing. It’s ok to not know, because, guess what? Nobody knows for sure. Just go by your true feelings, and Faith, and you can’t go wrong.

No matter how simple or brief, the sacred can still be included in your wedding ceremony in a way that feels right for you.

Gayle Feallock, Ordained Minister and owner of Just Imagine Love, has officiated wedding ceremonies in San Diego and Southern California since 2007. With no religious upbringing, she was a spiritual blank slate and eventually discovered her own spiritual practices thanks to generous teachers, leaders, mentors and schools. She welcomes all faiths and creates a sacred space for two people to celebrate their love and commitment in their wedding ceremony, for dearest friends and family to witness and support. http://www.justimagineweddings.com

Read Full Post »

Every year my mother – who lives in Tucson – comes to San Diego for about 6 weeks to escape the summer heat of the Arizona desert.

She stays in a wonderful VRBO down near Balboa Park, and in my free time she and I play tourist in San Diego.

My service as a ceremony officiant takes me all over San Diego County, to beautiful and unique event venues. This past summer it was my pleasure to officiate the wedding ceremony for Joe and Lori at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

ceremony site

under the Pagoda by the Koi pond

Since I always attend wedding rehearsal, I invited my mother to meet me at the Gardens after I had completed the rehearsal with the couple. Mom and I had a wonderful time touring the Gardens, enjoying the peace and quiet, and the stunning landscape design.

japanese friendship garden

A view from up top, of the extensive gardens and pathways

For me, it’s special to include my mother in my life this way and she has a better appreciation and understanding of my work.
We can easily take our mothers for granted or we might not even realize how much it means to them when we include them in our lives, even in a small way.

japanese friendship garden

On the bridge with my mother, the rock-lined stream flowing from the top of the Gardens

Traditionally in a wedding ceremony, a father escorts his daughter down the aisle, and mom doesn’t always have a particular role. After nearly 20 years in the world of weddings I have seen, suggested and encouraged many opportunities to include BOTH parents.

Opportunities to honor mom in your wedding ceremony:
~Many more couples are inviting BOTH parents to escort them down the aisle.
~Your mother escorts 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.
~A Rose of Gratitude: at the beginning of the ceremony, the couple presents a single rose to each mom (stepmothers, too!), in a gesture of gratitude for all the support and love they have received.
~A Reading: invite mom to read a special poem or verse during the ceremony
~Maid/Matron of Honor: there is no reason why your very own mother can’t serve in this very important role as well.
~In Memory: if you mother has passed, 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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »