Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Beach Weddings’ Category

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 Weddings & Ministry, has officiated wedding ceremonies in Southern California since 2007. With no religious upbringing, she was a spiritual blank slate and eventually discovered her own spirituality 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 »

A very sweet couple sharing their vows by the sea.

Thank you so much to Brian at ABM Photo for these beautiful shots!
Gorgeous florals by Fox & Flora
Stellar coordination efforts courtesy of Taleah Hartsten
And, shoutout to DJ at WeddingBug and A/V tech from L’Auberge for making me sound good!

aisle closeup

Can you imagine a more beautiful view? Cliffside in Del Mar, at Seagrove Park. simple florals mark the wedding aisle

arch florals

This wooden frame arch is beautifully adorned, and just the right look for this late September wedding.

Gayle, I am so thankful we chose you! You were so sweet and did such a great job. . . . I hope you’re doing well! Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.“~Tailor

gayle down the aisle

Heading up the aisle the start the processional. I love to see the smiles and anticipation of friends and family.

memorial sign

A beautiful tribute to those they have lost

ceremony - side

This was a fully destination wedding to San Diego, a small intimate group of friends and family.

ceremony long - fg

Sharing I Dos (as the flowergirl makes a getaway)

tailor smile

All smiles, about to say, “I do!”

kiss

They have a very curious witness to their first kiss! 🙂

mr-mrs

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs.!

lauberge sunset

A view of their L’Auberge Inn wedding reception

sunset sillhouette

tailor-taylor sign

This couple shares everything – including their name!

Read Full Post »

Congratulations to Alyson & Erik!
beach-heart-

My first wedding couple of 2018 (!) held a beautiful and intimate Winter Wedding, mid-week on the beach. The “Just Us Two” ceremony (plus 2 friends as witnesses) in Pacific Beach was intimate, heartfelt, and incorporated personal selections.
These two tied the knot – literally – with a knot-tying unity ceremony.
And included a favorite quote from Kurt Vonnegut:

And I urge you to please notice
when you are happy,
and exclaim or murmur,
or think at some point,
‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’

They drove over from Tucson for the quintessential toes-in-the-sand wedding ceremony. And though it was a cloudy/foggy day, San Diego did deliver a bit of a sunset for them.

Congratulations you two!

Read Full Post »

Sunset Cliffs was the perfect spot for a wintertime “Just Us Two” wedding ceremony. I love the raw nature, the soft light, and the incredible ocean views out there.
And, you wouldn’t know it from the quiet sophistication of this couple, but because these two are such huge Star Wars fans, I incorporated words of wisdom from Yoda – life philosophy to hold them in good stead in their marriage.

Photos courtesy of the incredibly talented Matoli Keely. For a “Just Us Two” wedding, I usually defer to the photographer to choose the angle, location, and timing for sunset. The light and background is so important to their photos, and with just a few of us it’s easy to get creative.

All the better to highlight that gorgeous dress!

hervows

John was sweet to hold her flowers while Heather expressed her vows.

happybridemrmrs

Introducing the newlyweds!

hug

I had so much fun crafting a beautiful ceremony with this gracious, fun, creative couple!

kissfromben

Their young son had congratulations for mom and dad as well.

foreheadkiss

Congratulations Mrs. and Mrs.

Read Full Post »

“Marriage is a Promise of Love, Marriage is a Commitment to Life,

the best that two people can find and bring out in each other . . . “

hc.tran | photography www.hungctran.com

 

Photo credit: Hung C. Tran Photography / http://www.hungctran.com

 

Book your 2017 wedding date by Dec. 31, 2016

and receive $100 off officiating services!

As your wedding ceremony officiant I will work with you to express your story in a ceremony unique to you as a couple, that will engage your family and friends as well. Just Imagine the story you can tell. . . .

Services include:

mrandmr-farris

 

Photo credit: Derek Chad / http://www.derekchad.com

 

*unlimited emails (or scheduled phone calls) to create your customized ceremony with you; providing and guiding you on selections for poems, readings or rituals.
*attend and/or conduct rehearsal.
*officiate your ceremony on your wedding day (arriving half-hour early for any setup, sound check, etc. )
*sign and mail your marriage license after the ceremony

*$250 deposit to book your wedding date

CONTACT: gayle@justimagineweddings.com / 619-865-9482

*Not in combination with other discounts. Does not apply to “Just Us Two” rates.

Whether you exchange vows on the beach, the place you first met, or your own back yard, Just Imagine will help you create the ceremony of your dreams.

into-the-drink-brunson
Photo credit: Cassidy Hall / http://www.17spaces.org

Gayle Feallock officiates nondenominational wedding ceremonies, uniting couples in marriage since 2007.

 

Read Full Post »

An intimate oceanfront wedding ceremony, at Pacific Coast Grill in Cardiff. Not only uniting a couple in marriage, but creating extended family, with daughters gaining sisters.

~What a treat for the guests to be serenaded with the talent of Israel Maldonado
~Gorgeous bouquets by Isari
~Wedding planned and coordinated by the ever professional and talented Laura Rizzo
~All images captured by the fantastic Boyd Harris

ceremonysite

Boulders, beach, and ocean waves at Pacific Coast Grill create a dramatic backdrop for a simple ceremony

rocks

Without a traditional aisle and arch, wedding planner extraordinaire Laura Rizzo created the personal touch, with names written on beach stones as place markers for the wedding party.

daughternecklace

Sweet image of daughter helping mom with a beautiful wedding gift from her husband-to-be, just before the ceremony

ceremony open

friendsandfamily

For an intimate feel, guests were invited to gather in a half circle around the bride and groom

happycoupleceremony

mrandmrs

Mr. and Mrs.!

kissingdoves

Everyone was feeling the love!

Read Full Post »

If you were getting married in a traditional church, the altar would define the space of your ceremony, and act as the focal point.

But what if Nature is your church?
For an outdoor wedding, the traditional ceremony frame is some version of an arch. The symbolism of the ceremony arch is the home or shelter for the couple, reminiscent of the huppah in the Jewish tradition.

The iconic Coronado beach sets the stage for this simple huppah. Photo by Derek Chad

The iconic Coronado beach sets the stage for this simple huppah. Photo by Derek Chad

With a huppah the couple and officiant actually stand underneath, as logistically it is large enough, with four poles as the structure and a linen serving as the ‘roof.’

When using an arch, sometimes there is room for the officiant to stand beneath the arch and the couple just in front; often times it serves simply as a backdrop.

Put some thought into your intention of the ceremony, beyond the words themselves. Consider creating a FRAME for your wedding ceremony, rather than a structure.

Over the years I’ve been privileged to officiate wedding ceremonies for some very creative couples.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts as well as a few designs to inspire. Be sure to talk logistics with your florist or designer. {CLICK ON EACH PHOTO FOR LARGER IMAGE}

Simply use the backdrop of America's Finest City. Because, why gild the lily? At Centennial Park on Coronado. Photo by Philip DeFalco

Simply use the backdrop of America’s Finest City. Because, why gild the lily? At Centennial Park on Coronado. Photo by Philip DeFalco

Single frame with gauzy drapes frame a solid grounding boulder amongst the beauty of the trees, at Milagro Winery. The groomsmen crafted the frame themselves so that it held solidly on the ground. Photo by Dinela Photography

Gauzy drapes frame a solid grounding boulder amongst the beauty of the trees, at Milagro Winery. The groomsmen crafted the frame themselves so that it held solidly on the ground. Photo by Dinela Photography

A simple arrangement of two pedestals of vibrant florals sets the space in an elegant way, on the terrace of El Cortez, downtown San Diego. Photo by True Photography

A simple arrangement of two pedestals of vibrant florals sets the space in an elegant way, on the terrace of El Cortez, downtown San Diego. Photo by True Photography

DO: Chandelier crystals sparkle in the sunlight and add a touch of elegance outdoors, at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club DON'T: As officiant it was challenging to stand under the arch in a way that it didn't look like there is a chandelier on my head. Photo by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

DO: Chandelier crystals sparkle in the sunlight and add a touch of elegance outdoors, at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club
DON’T: As officiant it was challenging to stand under the arch in a way that it didn’t look like there is a chandelier on my head. Photo by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

DO: Beautiful vibrant colors add whimsy and fun to this wedding ceremony. DON'T: It was a windy day, and the ribbons kept wrapping around me and going in my face, the baubles flapping in the breeze

DO: Beautiful vibrant colors add whimsy and fun to this wedding ceremony.
DON’T: It was a windy day, and the ribbons kept wrapping around me and going in my face, the baubles flapping in the breeze

Sometimes the ocean is the perfect simple backdrop (Birdrock, La Jolla). Photo by Phil DeFalco

Sometimes the ocean is the perfect simple backdrop (Birdrock, La Jolla). Photo by Phil DeFalco

The doors for the aisle entrance were magical! at Hidden Oaks in Ramona. Photo by Mr. and Mrs. Photography

The doors for the aisle entrance were magical! at Hidden Oaks in Ramona. Photo by Mr. and Mrs. Photography

Let Nature embrace your ceremony. With this simple approach there are no distractions and the wedding party created a beautiful boundary. Photo by Mr. and Mrs. Photography

Let the majesty of trees embrace your ceremony. With this simple approach there are no distractions and the wedding party created a beautiful boundary, at Hidden Oaks in Ramona. Photo by Mr. and Mrs. Photography

These simple old doors added to the vintage appeal of the wedding theme and blended in nicely with the beautiful greenery of the outdoors at Twin Oaks Golf Club in San Marcos. Photo by  Katie Jackson Photography

These simple old doors added to the vintage appeal of the wedding theme and blended in nicely with the beautiful greenery of the outdoors at Twin Oaks Golf Club in San Marcos. Photo by Katie Jackson Photography

These wine boxes designate the space and frame the breathtaking view of cliffside ceremony at Seagrove Park; serve as a table; and also fit the theme of this wine-lover couple. Photo by StudioZ

These wine boxes and tables designate the space and frame the breathtaking view of cliffside ceremony at Seagrove Park; serve as a table; and also fit the theme of this wine-lover couple. Photo by StudioZ

Scroll to the end of this article for pics of ceremony spaces for book lovers!
http://www.ameliste.co.uk/tips-and-advice/wedding-decoration/218-tips-and-diy-ideas/992-creative-wedding-arch

Despite your feelings about this couple, what a gorgeous ceremony backdrop! Installation of white gardenias, white peonies and white roses. Floral backdrops are becoming more popular!

Whatever your impression about this couple, what a gorgeous ceremony backdrop! Installation of white gardenias, white peonies and white roses. Floral backdrops are becoming more popular!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »