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Archive for the ‘Park Wedding’ Category

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.

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Despite the heat of August, this fun-loving couple were all smiles for their wedding at the New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego.

Across the street, they said “I Do’s” on the playground, then back to the museum for celebrations.

Much gratitude to:
Kellene of Betty Blue Events for masterful coordination
Laura of Laura Christin Photography for these incredible images – she captured their emotions beautifully.
DJ Earl Henry – always the pro – for seamless ceremony sound and music.

Cat-mother

Escorted by her mother, Catherine is just beaming as she heads up the aisle (and I just love the toddler-swing hanging in the background!)

bride arrival

Colin can’t hide his love and pride as Catherine comes up to join him.

rings-kerchief

Their wedding rings bundled up into a special handkerchief – handmade by Colin’s great-grandmother – it also served as Cat’s “something blue.”

passing the rings

Cat’s dear aunt passes their wedding rings along – a beautiful ritual of a ring warming- during the ceremony.

vows card

Sharing personal vows is a special and sacred moment. I always tell couples it’s a good idea to write them on a nice card stock – easier to manage especially in breezes. These two wrote their vows into lovely cards, which will make a great keepsake.

signinglicense-bm

Just after the ceremony is complete as the wedding party begins to celebrate, the Maid of Honor and Best Man perform that very important task of signing their marriage license as witness.

reception setup

Beautifully set up for a celebration!

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs!!
I was to honored to officiate their ceremony on their big day.

You far exceeded our expectations for the ceremony. We had a delightful time meeting you and telling you our story–and you managed to incorporate that very well into the ceremony. Your process works! It was such a pleasure working with you.
~Cat & Colin

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“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.

 

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I’ve lived in San Diego more than 30 years, and officiated all over the county for the last 9, and can’t believe I’ve never stepped foot inside this gem!

Thanks so much to event coordinator Heather Hayes for giving me the grand tour yesterday!

Junipero exteriorIf you have a love of the historical, the Junipero Serra museum might be perfect for your wedding.

Situated high on the hill above Old Town San Diego, the views are amazing. Inside the museum, beautiful artifacts line the space that is designed almost like a chapel, to reflect mission revival architecture.

Challenges:
~you need to bring in your own rental items, eg. chairs, etc.
~as a historical landmark, it is not ADA compliant, so not accessible for anyone in wheelchair
~no heating or air conditioning. Would be lovely in the summertime, but winter months you might suggest your female guests bring a wrap.

Good News:
~within the intimate indoor acoustics of thick adobe walls, oftentimes a microphone is not even needed
~unlike some small chapels, this venue can seat 140 guests
~they do allow unity candles during the ceremony (some sites do not allow open flame of any kind)
~two big getting-ready rooms!

Not to mention old-world charm and a unique venue that even some of your local guests might have not yet experienced.

junipero interior

Photo by True Photography

Check out the setup for a wedding ceremony

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

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For couples planning their wedding in Southern California, you have so many options and choices available to you. And the number of wedding officiants, and officiating styles, is aplenty.

So how do you choose the best one for you?

Some things to Consider:
~What is the tone of your wedding?
~What is their style? Easygoing, serious, joyful?
~How important is the Spiritual or Religious aspect for you?
~Do you feel comfortable talking with them?

Are they flexible? Recently I met with a couple who said they had attended a friend’s wedding and the officiant was quite stern with the groom during the ceremony, when he slid the ring all the way onto her finger before completing the final declaration, “with this ring, I thee wed . . . ” So the officiant made the groom take the ring off and put it on again. REALLY?

Rules and procedures are there to HELP you, to ensure things go smoothly.

Photo by Anika London

Photo by Anika London

They should never take precedence over the joy and intention of the moment. If you don’t do it perfectly, it’s ok. As your wedding officiant I am there to guide you, and certainly would never chastise you about not doing it exactly right.

On the other hand, will your officiant keep you on track in the ceremony creation process or do they just do everything you say? This is most likely a new process for you, and sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. Your officiant should have the experience and authority to make you aware of why something might not work the way you envision, and to find an alternative.

A few questions to ask a wedding officiant before you book:

– What exactly do your services include?
– How many weddings do you perform in one day? (is there a chance they will be late to yours, or have to leave early?)
– Do you have backup in case of emergency?
– What is your experience performing weddings and what is your training?
– Do you attend and/or conduct rehearsal?
– What do you wear?

And maybe the most important question of all:
What made you decide to become a wedding officiant? What is your passion and purpose? (Does it align with yours?)

 

Just Imagine Wedding Ceremony Officiating Services:

What Can You Expect? 

·      Creating Your Ceremony: After our initial meeting, you will receive a suggested outline for your ceremony, based on our discussions of your vision and intentions.
You will also receive suggestions for readings and poems, unity ceremonies, and other wedding rituals. You might love these, or they will simply help get you started in finding or creating your own.

·      Consultations: The ceremony creation process takes place via email and phone calls as needed to answer all of your questions; guide you in your selections of wording, poems and readings; and put the finishing touches on your ceremony vision.

·      Rehearsal:  A week prior to your wedding date, I will collect the names of everyone in your wedding party, and those walking down the aisle. With this information I will assist you in creating the processional order and use this final “Master” list to conduct rehearsal.
If you have engaged the services of a wedding planner, I will still attend the rehearsal, to review important aspects of the ceremony with you.

·      Officiating Your Wedding Ceremony: On your wedding day I arrive at the ceremony location at least 30 minutes prior to start time. This allows time for sound check, confirming last-minute items, etc.
If your ceremony requires it, I can provide a small table & linen.
Generally I wear a suit while officiating your ceremony. (I have been known to go barefoot in the sand if requested!)

·      Mailing Marriage License: After the ceremony is complete, I will sign the license, as will your two chosen witnesses. On the next business day, I will mail your marriage license in for you. It takes about two weeks for the county to process and make your marriage certificate available to you.

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Congratulations to Tom and Michelle!

Friday evening I performed their wedding ceremony at Centennial Park on Coronado.

All the groomsmen were former or current military service, and one of them had actually served on the Midway before it was decommissioned. We had a view of it from the ceremony site looking back toward the city. It was pretty great.

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