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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!

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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

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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 . . .

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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?

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What comes to mind when you think of self-reliance? Well, I’ve learned that it doesn’t need to mean suffering alone, or hard work.

In my family there is a strong emphasis and value placed on self-reliance.
When I was a little kid, when other mothers were driving their children to school, my mother worked full-time. That meant I had to get out the door on time to walk the half-mile to the bus stop: rain, snow, or shine.
As a teenager I was thrilled to get my driver license. But before I was allowed to take the car out by myself, Dad made me take a “Powder Puff Mechanics” course (yes, totally car broke down2sexist, but, it was the ’80s).

He wanted me to be able to fix the car and get myself out of a jam if I found myself stranded. I even learned how to change a spark plug in that class. (Admittedly, even if I were now driving the type of car for which you could still change your own spark plugs, I’d be at a loss.)

And my mother taught me how to cook – such thorough lessons that when I prepared my very first Thanksgiving turkey it came out perfectly.
turkeyMy parents gave me a gift – teaching me how to gain the skills to trust in myself, to be able to rely on myself.

In my adulthood, of course I continued that disposition of educating myself, both to be able to rely on myself and for the simple fulfilling joy of feeling accomplished and able, whether it was taking Spanish lessons, learning how to fall when you rollerblade(!), or attending Toastmasters to gain speaking skills.

Later in life, my perspective started to shift.
I started to learn another method of self-reliance. I began to learn about Divine connection, Divine alignment. Over the past 15 years I attended courses and workshops on developing my intuition, learning Reiki and Shamanic techniques, meditation classes, spiritual leadership.
Now I rely much more on mySelf, with a capital ‘S’ – my Higher Self. It has become part of my Faith.higher self

If I were stranded on the side of the road today, I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to fix my car. Aside from having zero mechanical talent, I have no desire to.

That might seem terribly irresponsible to some: not facing reality, impractical, or even downright lazy. But that is not the case (also, how many of us know how to fix a Prius?).

Because I have studied for YEARS my connection with the Divine, I’m quite good at manifesting a positive outcome. Practiced for YEARS. Observed for YEARS. It is almost an art form.

And when I manifest a positive outcome, I am often more exhilarated by the act of having manifested, rather than even the outcome itself.

So, while I will try to avoid being stranded by the side of the road – by taking the practical actions of keeping my car well-maintained, making sure there is a spare in the trunk, paying my AAA membership, etc. – if it did happen, I feel certain that with focused intention (you might call it prayer) I would manifest a positive outcome.

Because, Faith, to me, is not a matter of moral constraint. Rather it is a relationship with the Divine, designed to manifest connections of ease, awe, and Joy.

You have within you this same powerful resource. It is not a crutch; it is actually an amplifier of all the ways you, yourself, are Self-reliant.

self-reliance

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