Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Ceremony’

Gov. Newsom signed Executive Order as of April 30, 2020 to allow for legal wedding ceremony via videoconferencing.

Visit the San Diego County Clerk’s site for more information. Be sure to check it frequently as it changes:

https://arcc.sdcounty.ca.gov/Pages/marriage-licenses.aspx

I will be happy to discuss options for officiating your wedding ceremony in this manner. Even virtually, sharing your vows can still be special and sacred.

Blessings,
Gayle Feallock
Nondenominational Officiant

 

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 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 »

On a beautiful June day out in the countryside of San Diego, Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center provided the perfect space for these two to share I Dos.
Simple decor and personal touches made this a special and intimate wedding ceremony.

Much gratitude to:
Brandon of Brandon Colbert Photography for incredible images as well as his easy-going professional style.
Black Tie Productions for seamless ceremony sound and music.
Bates Nut Farm and coordinator Sherrie for making everything run so smoothly!

longview2

The majesty of these gorgeous trees create the perfect space for the ceremony.

arch and table

TIME CAPSULE: This beautiful leather case on the wooden table contains very special wine bottles. And during the ceremony Tanya and Iain placed their marriage vows in the case along with the wine. On their anniversary they will open the case, pop the cork, and share their vows again, to celebrate and toast their union once again.

giveaway

Her parents are simply beaming as they escort their daughter up the aisle.

bridesmaid-rings

RING WARMING: I love this simple wooden round box to pass their rings for the ring warming. During the ceremony, their wedding rings are passed among the guests, who take just a moment for a silent wish or blessing for the happy couple, their future and marriage together.

vow laugh

VOWS: Sharing a laugh during their personal vows to each other.

ceremony

mrandmrs

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs!!

withcouple

So honored to officiate their very special ceremony.

coupleundertree

“From the moment my husband and I met Gayle, we knew she was special and the perfect person to officiate our wedding. She has an incredibly warm, kind and calm aura about her that makes you feel like you’ve known her forever. . . . Gayle did an amazing job making our wedding and ceremony memorable, she far exceeded our expectations.”~Tanya & Iain

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 »

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Each time I meet with a couple to discuss their vision for their wedding ceremony, I ask them, “Why is this the one? Why is this the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?”
Some are able to articulate in detail the reasons why they want to marry each other. Others find it a bit more challenging, but often respond, “I just know.”

When people ask me why I do what I do, “why is this the profession I want to spend my life with,” I have a similar response: I just know.

And I can point to one very important reason: Connection

I love helping people connect. What do I mean by that?
In everything I do, it means something different:

Leslies heart

Richard Barlow Photography

WEDDINGS: Connecting with each other. At some point in every wedding ceremony I officiate, there is a moment I witness the couple truly connecting, in a profound way they might not have thought possible. It might last only a few seconds – but it’s there, and powerful. The sacred quality of a wedding ceremony allows for this connection to happen.

 

 

BABY BLESSINGS: Connecting with the profound responsibility and privilege that is parenting. While you are getting this parenting thing down and loving your newborn, a baby blessing ceremony elicits promises you make as parents, the kind of parents you want to be, and what you hope for your child.
Thinking about it, writing it down, and speaking it out loud in front of community is so very powerful in a way that the ‘doing’ of parenting might not quite reveal.

 

HouseHealimageHOME and BUSINESS ENERGY CLEARINGS: Connecting to the impact your environment has on your daily life and psyche. This includes receiving validation {“I KNEW there was a reason I didn’t like to spend time in that room“} or {“It’s such a simple project and I couldn’t figure out why I just kept avoiding it!“} as well as motivation. After an energy clearing you can reconnect with the feeling of sanctuary that is home or inspiration of your business.

 

MEMORIAL SERVICES: Connecting with the fragility of life; the Divine; and the depth of relationship. A memorial service creates an opportunity to feel deeply. In the midst of pain and loss, there is a true connection to life.

 

reiki stone

Jade stone with Reiki energy symbol

REIKI HEALINGS: Connecting with your higher self, inner strength, intuitive wisdom, and the potential of all that you are.

 

All of these in some way create a connection to your possibilities and potential. ‘Potential’ can imply the promise of perfection, which, for us humans, is rarely achievable. But that connection points you in a direction. And the very best thing we can do for ourselves is move, in a positive direction.

Whatever your Love Connections, may you celebrate them in style this season.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Weddings   Baby Blessings     Reiki Healings    Memorial Services     Home & Business Clearings

Read Full Post »

These two love hiking, being outdoors, and weekends away, so the sprawling woodsy property at Milagro Winery in Ramona, CA, was a perfect venue for their wedding.

Christina and Greg put so much loving thought into every detail of their ceremony, expressing their love as well as their humor throughout.

So great to work with Janis Foley, and please enjoy her amazing photo stylings. She gets the shots and angles that not every photographer has mastered. I think some of her photos look like paintings.

Milagro sign

I can’t say enough great things about Milagro Winery – it fills the bill on so many levels for a magical wedding ceremony and reception. It’s a bit of a drive, but definitely worth it.

 

getting-ready house

This cute little house is right next to the ceremony site and the perfect getting-ready area for the bride and attendants. It is spacious, has it’s own large bathroom and best of all – air-conditioned!

ceremony wide angle

Fairytale wedding ceremony among the trees.

ceremony-backdrop

Boulders and trees serve as the arch and ‘altar’

bridein trees

A beautiful frame for a gorgeous bride.

Christine-dress

How stunning is her dress? The bride had it custom-made – a perfect creation for this woodland wedding.

dress corset

Intricate delicate details of custom flowers – a delicious confection

Gayle-Greg-aisle

Starting off the processional, the groom and I head down the aisle.

escorting bride

Such a special moment as father escorts his daughter.

awtg the bride

The look on his face as he watches his bride walk down the aisle – priceless.

flowersonbarrel

Rather than ceremony tables, Milagro Winery uses wine barrels! Functional and authentic aesthetic

hammering

The bride and groom hammering their Wedding Time Capsule closed. They’ve enclosed private letters to each other, along with a bottle of wine, and in 5 years (wood is the element for the 5th anniversary) they will pry open the box, read the letters, and again toast their union.

hammering-bride

withthisring

With this ring . . .

heartboxsign

A variation on the wedding ceremony stone blessing: each guest found a small wooden heart on their chair. They were asked to hold it during the ceremony and think wonderful thoughts and blessings in support of Christine & Greg’s marriage. After the ceremony they signed their heart and dropped it in a keepsake box for the couple’s home.

 

 

bubbles

Bubbles! Blowing bubbles is a fun way for guests to celebrate the I Dos!

 

couple at lake

A private moment by the lake.

feet

How gorgeous are her shoes?! And the clever little heel protector makes it easier to walk on the grass. At the reception, just pop off the protector and it’s back in your sassy heels for dancing.

staff

I love that Janis caught a picture of the Milagro event staff in action- Melissa and crew do such a professional job. Makes it a joy to officiate ceremonies at Milagro, knowing everything is handled.

guests to reception

Guests have the opportunity to truly take in this magnificent property, with a leisurely stroll from the ceremony site up to the reception building.

FG-RB on cart

Or they can catch a ride on the golf cart!

Gayle with couple

“Dear Gayle, Thank you for doing such a wonderful job officiating our ceremony- it was beautiful! We couldn’t have hoped for any better.” ~ Christina & Greg

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »