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Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Ceremony’

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

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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

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“Thank you so much for everything! You definitely fulfilled the service and did an amazing job! The most memorable parts of the ceremony for me:

-when you said some of the things we love about each other, noted from our first meeting

-when you asked us to take a moment to look around and soak it all in, loved this

Our first meeting was memorable too. I was having a minor panic changing our officiant at such late notice and by the end of our meeting I was so relieved. I remember you saying how much you love your job and for me, that was really wonderful to hear. You will always be a part of our wedding memories and we are so thankful to have had you.” ~ Best, Tiffany

A sunny September day by the sea! Tiffany and Andrew were so sweet and so clearly in love! It was so fun to work with these two, as they included so many personal touches in their ceremony:

~A friend to read a favorite scripture
~A ring warming
~Petal toss for the recessional

And what a great wedding team they had, led by the fantastic Paige Jensen of Bliss Events.

Gratitude to Aubree Lynn Photography for capturing the day so beautifully

seagrovesign

Seagrove Park in Del Mar offers sweeping views and wide open spaces: a special location for a beautiful wedding ceremony

ceremonywide2

Majestic views bordered by beautiful pines

mirrorsign

A clever and fun alternative to a ceremony program: A welcome and wedding party members listed on an oversized mirror! While reading the wedding party names, guests can fix their hair, too!

chairdecor

Not much decor was needed at this stunning setting, and delicate florals added a simple touch

market umbrellas

These market umbrellas bring such relief of shade to the guests in the bright sun and heat

petalscone

A petal toss is a sweet and natural way for guests to create a fun sendoff as the newlyweds walk back up the aisle

water

Even though the ceremony was by the ocean, it was a blazingly hot summer day. Offering refreshingly flavored water to their guests shows what a thoughtful conscientious couple these two are!

violinists

These violinists of Sensational Music Services were fantastic and their dulcet tones swept across the guests and created such a sacred and uplifting atmosphere

watching processional

As the first one down the aisle I have the joy of watching the entire wedding party processional

FG and RB

So sweet! Little ones are always a wild card and bring such sweet innocence to the ceremony

fg crown

A floral crown to adorn the flowergirl

parentspics

Both sets of parents had been married more than 30 years – Tiffany and Andrew honored this testament to love & commitment by displaying their parents’ wedding photos

Groom-aisle

The groom escorts his mother and grandmother down the aisle

escort aisle

Can you see where she got her smile? Much joy as Dad escorts his daughter down the aisle

processional petals

Though the petal toss was supposed to take place at the end of the ceremony, one guest couldn’t hold back their enthusiasm! I love this “mistake” as it added to the joy of father escorting his daughter

dad-bride hug

Sweet goodbye

transferhug

I always love this moment in a ceremony, when Dad hugs it out with the groom. It’s sometimes awkward or funny but always touching.

ceremony2

I should have brought a stepstool . . . 

reader

The bride’s cousin read from Colossians: “And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. . . .”

ringpass start

Ring Warming: Guests bless the wedding rings before the ring exchange. This is a beautiful way for all guests to participate and think warm wonderful wishes for the couple. The rings started with the bridesmaids in a small velvet pouch before making their way through every row of guests

IDo

“I Do!”

ringpass

The rings have made their way back to the groomsmen and to the best man, who hands them over to me for a final blessing before the ring exchange “These rings are now warmed with the love and good wishes of your community.”

withthisring

“With this ring . . . “

inowpronounceyou

“I now pronounce you . . . “

kissthebride

“You may kiss the bride”

justmarried

Presenting Mr. & Mrs.!

MrandMrs

Happily married, Showered with petals

 

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A beautiful day for Ashlen & Thea; made all the more poignant as we celebrated their union the day after the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality.

Their joy, enthusiasm, and unique touches made for a very special wedding ceremony at a private home estate, canyon-side.

ceremony smilesMajestic views and even a huge hawk swooped low just before the ceremony to check out the celebration.

“Gayle, Thank you for everything! It was a very nice ceremony and we couldn’t have done it without you! So thank you so very much!” ~Ashlen and Thea

arch

A beautiful rustic arch bursts with color. Designed by Ranch Events. Photo by Chana and Don.

newlyweds

Congratulations to the newlyweds! Photo by Chana and Don.

Thea waiting

A sweet moment, waiting for her bride. Photo by Chana and Don.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sand-cake

Their unity ceremony, the Blending of the Sands, celebrated their favorite colors and will be a beautiful keepsake in their home. Photo by Chana and Don.

vista

Incredible views at this private home set on the canyon. Photo by Chana and Don.

Thank you so much for the pics to Photo by Chana and Don: Such pros at catching sweet emotion!
www.photobychanaanddon.com

In addition to providing the catering, Ranch Events put on quite a display with gorgeous rentals, dynamic cake, and incredible floral displays
www.ranchevents.com

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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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