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Archive for the ‘Themes’ Category

Recently I’ve been binge-watching Queer Eye (I’ve never seen it before! – came across it on Netflix), and yes admittedly weeping occasionally :-).

At the heart of the show, the Fab 5 are helping people reconnect with who they really are, that bright unique light inside, remembering their own story, and then taking that story forward in a new way.

I realize in many ways that is what my goal is when working with clients. With a wedding couple, my favorite part of the process is hearing their story, how they met, what made them fall in love. Then incorporating their love story in an authentic way into their wedding ceremony.

aquarium

At Birch Aquarium. Photo by ABM Photography

An opportunity to tell the story of their relationship, and then just imagine it forward into the adventure of their marriage.

When we really connect with who we are, what brings us joy, what brings us purpose – it becomes the essence of any relationship as well.

Even officiating memorial services – maybe especially so – talking with someone about their loved one who has passed is an opportunity to incorporate all the very special qualities of their beloved deceased, the special gifts they brought to the world. Their story of the impact they and their life had on others is the most important aspect of the service.

Rather than just go through the motions of a ritual or tradition, it’s so important to really connect with that part of ourselves, that light, and then have the courage to express it.

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How do you create a ceremony in the round? With focus, intention and logistical magic.

Gee and Jen were one of the most creative and fun-loving couples I worked with last year. Their motto for life and love: Be Good, Do Good, Always try your best

While staying true to the inherent tradition of a wedding ceremony, they certainly made it their own.

With friends and family being so important to them, Gee & Jen wanted to feel surrounded in their love. What better way than in a circle? The beauty of Temecula Creek Inn created the perfect setting.

Fantastic Photography by Melissa Abiador

Photo by Melissa Abiador

Photo by Melissa Abiador

A program fan is a great way to share great information with your guests, and help keep them cool, too! Photo by Melissa Abiador

A program fan is a great way to share great information with your guests, and help keep them cool, too! Photo by Melissa Abiador

socks

Fancy feet! Photo by Melissa Abiador

ceremony trees

The majesty of the trees extended the ceremony circle in their embrace. Photo by Melissa Abiador

Wedding attendants create a beautiful human backdrop outside the circle. Photo by Melissa Abiador

Wedding attendants create a beautiful human backdrop outside the circle. Photo by Melissa Abiador

A ceremony table would feel a bit awkward in the circle. Ask your wedding party to bring the ritual to you! Friends held the time capsule while Gee and Jen placed their letters to each other inside, along with a bottle of wine, and hammered it closed, to be opened on their fifth anniversary! {Wood is the element of the five-year wedding anniversary}

Photo by Melissa Abiador

Friends hold the wedding ‘time capsule’ while Gee and Jen place their precious cargo of love letters inside. Photo by Melissa Abiador

timecapsule box

Hand-crafted wooden wedding ‘time capsule’. Photo by Melissa Abiador

With this ring, I thee wed. Photo by Melissa Abiador

With this ring, I thee wed. Photo by Melissa Abiador

I now pronounce you! Photo by Melissa Abiador

I now pronounce you! Photo by Melissa Abiador

Congratulations! Photo by Melissa Abiador

Congratulations! Photo by Melissa Abiador

Rustic love. Photo by Melissa Abiador

Rustic love. Photo by Melissa Abiador

"Gayle, Thank you again for officiating our wedding! It was truly a pleasure to have you be a part of our big day - we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day!"~G&J- Photo by Melissa Abiador

“Gayle, Thank you again for officiating our wedding! It was truly a pleasure to have you be a part of our big day – we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day!”~G&J Photo by Melissa Abiador

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Congratulations Laura & Laura! What a beautiful wedding celebration today at Rancho Buena Vista Adobe in Vista.

These two amazing women were such a treat, it was an honor to officiate their wedding ceremony.

They created a very unique Unity Ceremony, inspired by their love of chocolate. And during the ceremony, shared with their guests!

A delicious ceremony treat for wedding guests

A delicious ceremony treat for wedding guests

 

There will be times that are sweet,
filled with cream and honey,
and times that are dark and bittersweet.
And probably some times that are really nutty!
But every experience will nourish your body,
heart and soul.

 

It is a great reminder to get creative with your wedding ceremony! Think about what you love (like chocolate!) and incorporate that into your ceremony.

 

PS. Wedding planner extraordinaire Julie Scrivner pulled everything together with ease!

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In addition to favorite readings and poems, what else can you include in your wedding ceremony to give it substance and personality?

Wedding ceremonies based in traditional religions have rituals that weave the ceremony together and help the couple feel anchored in the message.

For example the smashing of the glass in the Jewish faith suggests, as a modern interpretation, the fragility of the relationship and importance of tending to it daily.
The Unity Candle in the Catholic faith represents two families and two individuals uniting as one.
In the Chinese heritage the tea ceremony performed on an auspicious date is an intimate ritual to honor family.

So, if you don’t practice a religion that provides these ‘anchors’ of timeless ritual, you can create your own! During the ceremony it’s a moment to do something together, to create together as a couple.

Questions to ask yourself when deciding what to include:

~What is important about including this?
~How can we make this ritual meaningful for our unique relationship?
~Is it timeless? Ten years from now will the meaning still hold true for us?

A few ideas:

Unity Ceremonies are designed for exactly that – uniting two together. Two individuals uniting into one couple. Two families joining as one extended family. One partner with children combining with another partner, to create their new family.

Jen and Jon loved sailing, so "tying the knot" as their unity ceremony made perfect sense. Photo by Philip DeFalco

Jen and Jon loved sailing, so “tying the knot” as their unity ceremony made perfect sense. Photo by Philip DeFalco

Anything that symbolizes this experience is a great ritual to include. Think of things that are important to you and your relationship, experiences you enjoy, and find a way to incorporate that as your unity ceremony.

Start Something New. Planting a tree is an elegant and organic ritual, and supports the environment as well! The roots can grow deep, symbolizing strength and stability. The branches will grow tall and wide, symbolizing your reach and growth. The leaves bud and blossom – potential for new beginnings within your relationship.

Just enough room for a bottle of wine, opener, two letters. And I love the well-used old hammer - what a great touch! Photo by Anika London.

A wedding time capsule can include whatever you want. This one has just enough room for a bottle of wine, opener, two love letters. And seal it up with a well-used old hammer – what a great touch! Photo by Anika London.

Design a Wedding Time Capsule. This can be a promise for the future, and an opportunity, when you open it, to look back on how far you’ve come. To bring that ceremony day along with you into the future. To let the ceremony itself be your anchor in your marriage.

Just as you might create new traditions in your new marriage and family, you can start with your wedding ceremony.

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You may kiss the bride!

You may kiss the bride!

PHOTOS BY Kevin McIlwain 8TWENTY8

Congratulations Ericka and Greg! These two created a warm and welcoming ceremony with their own personal touches for their August wedding on Coronado. The Coronado Cays Yacht Club is a beautiful location with the sea and sky all around.

Ring bearer coming through! Love the Red Wagon

Ring bearer coming through! Love the Red Wagon

So great to work with amazing wedding planner Paige Jensen of Turquoise Events . Beautiful flowers by Whimsey Florals.

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Delicate starfish and seashells add to the beach and ocean theme

Beautiful San Diego sky

Beautiful San Diego sky

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“We really appreciated your guidance on the order of the ceremony and responsiveness to all of our questions. We really felt like the whole ceremony felt so organic. You helped us to create a ceremony that reflected our personalities. You were also so positive throughout.”- Ericka and Greg

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PHOTOS BY 8TWENTY8 STUDIOS

Leyla and Jarred found a beautiful way to combine their faiths in their August wedding ceremony. It was such a privilege to officiate at their wedding- Leyla is Persian and of Baha’i faith, and Jarred wanted to honor his Christian beliefs.

Stunning backdrop at the Hilton Torrey Pines Hotel

Stunning backdrop at the Hilton Torrey Pines Hotel

The stage was set at the Hilton Torrey Pines with all of the offerings of the sofreh- a colorful, decorative spread of symbolic items.

With this ring . . . The sofreh was beautifully adorned with symbolic items for the ceremony. I officiated the the vows and ring exchange from off to the side.

With this ring . . . The sofreh was beautifully adorned with symbolic items for the ceremony. I officiated the the vows and ring exchange from off to the side.

Wedding planner Fransiska with Burgundy Events made it all easy and 8twenty8 Studios captured the day with stellar photography!

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PHOTOS BY PHILIP DEFALCO

One of the most beautiful spots for a wedding ceremony is offered by Candelas on Coronado. Toes in the sand, lapping waves and a backdrop of America’s Finest City – downtown San Diego.

Even better was officiating the wedding ceremony for Jen and Jon on October 5. What a sweet couple!!

“Jon and I cannot thank you enough for officiating our wedding. The ceremony was so beautiful because of you. We will always remember your kind words and how comfortable you made us feel on a day when we were already excited and anxious. Thank you for helping us personalize our ceremony. It was perfect and we loved it. Thank you! Jen & Jon”

Always impressive photography by Philip DeFalco.

The couple borrowed from her family’s love of the ocean and sailing. For their unity ceremony they “tied the knot”.

Just Married! Jon and Jen really played up their oceanfront ceremony, with starfish hanging from the arch.

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