Wedding Canopies

Chuppa

Canopies are popular for secular wedding ceremonies. Saying vows under a canopy is a well-loved tradition, embraced by both secular and religious ceremonies. Using some type of a cover over the nuptials provides a beautiful focal point for the ceremony, and creates an opportunity to personalize the space. Canopies provide a wonderful base for floral decorations. Pick the blooms that mean the most to you, and coordinate them with the rest of your wedding theme. Whether it is symbolism or beauty, let your creativity take over the decor that suits you. Chuppas In the Jewish tradition, the chuppa (or huppah) provides a […]

Have Your Cake And Eat It Too!

So, you are thinking of having a friend or family member officiate your wedding. That is, well, okaaaay. Kinda. Sort-of. Maybe? If you are determined to go down this path, we encourage you to hire a professional to make sure that at the end of your ceremony your marriage is legal. Yes, that is right. Legal. This is because up to 90% of amateur officiants make serious mistakes that can jeopardize health insurance, buying a home, or dare we say – divorce settlements. In the age of internet officiants, your bestie from college might seem like the way to go. […]

Little Gifts of Love

flowers made from love note gift for bride or groom

Weddings can be elaborate affairs with hundreds of guests, or they can be intimate, simple gatherings with just a few cherished family members and friends. Either way, so much attention is spent making sure everyone has a good time. It is sometimes easy to get lost in those details and forget that this is your special day. There are a host of ways you can add tiny personal touches to your ceremony. Special scatterings of love to hold close to your heart that can make your day that much more distinctive and unique. Not for anyone else, just for you. A little […]

Writing a Ceremony with Meaning

“I’m pregnant!” or “I won mega bucks”, mean life changing events. Last month, when I asked Linda, a future bride, if she needed an outline for their ceremony she said, “We just want to get married. Bring whatever.”  I said No. I had done that once and the words were hollow; we all felt ill-at-ease. When you put effort into seeking out beloved authors, stirring poets and historical verses, everyone wins! Linda and Matt (after finding their words) held hands under a majestic covered bridge. Her eyes glowed when she heard the words spoken that evoked memories and tugged on […]

Plan Your Romantic Winter Elopement or Tiny Wedding

winter wedding with vermont Justice Carmen

If you aren’t keen on a big wedding, winter is a wonderful time to sneak away and elope or host a tiny wedding. It’s easy, simple, fun, less expensive, and may be a better fit for your personalities. You can always have a big party later with family and friends. Here are the steps to making it a reality. What Do You Want? Talk to your future spouse about what you would like your ceremony to be like. And where it should be. Each of you should write how you imagine your wedding day. Things to consider: Do you want […]

Wedding Flowers: Fresh or Faux?

Flowers frame the bride: a crown of primroses, a comb of baby’s breath, and a bouquet of peonies. Aisle markers, garlands, corsages, boutonnieres, and baskets full of pedals complete the ceremony scene. No budget for blooms? Allergic to annuals? Are you thinking you must forgo the flowers? No! Many brides are choosing faux over fresh. Budget First, let’s talk finances. For fresh flowers, couples spend an average of: $100-$150 for floral crowns $150-$350 for bride’s bouquet $65-$125 for bridesmaids’ bouquets $25-45 for boutonnieres $32-$65 for corsages And that doesn’t count the flower girl’s petals, the “tossing bouquet” or decorations! Renting […]

Religious Symbols in a Secular Wedding Ceremony

A beautifully written ceremony can feel like poetry, often using familiar symbols to evoke a romantic and celebratory mood. We’re accustomed to wedding rings symbolizing the love and commitment the couple has for each other; they have no beginning and no end. Other symbols represent meaning as well. At this time of year, you may see symbols being used to celebrate holidays associated with various religions such as crosses, menorahs, and lanterns. Religious symbols have deep meaning and can add another layer of poetry to your ceremony. October’s blog talks about holiday-inspired ceremonies. Religious symbols can inspire too! Let’s explore […]

Incorporating Your Kids into the Ceremony

There are 4 million stepchildren in this country (US Census Bureau 2010). That represents a lot of blended families! If you are about to join the ranks, get a solid start by involving your kids in your ceremony. After all, the commitment you’ll be making is not only to your new spouse. It is also to the children in the new family you are creating. Your ceremony should reflect that. Words Readings: Our previous blog on Readings suggested using children’s books. They have the most insightful truths. Depending on the ages of your children, select an excerpt of a children’s […]

Holiday Inspired Wedding Ceremonies

Fall inspires creativity with its breathtaking colors, brisk air, and the promise of holidays to come. If you have wedding planning on the brain, perhaps you’re wondering how to channel that feeling of excited anticipation by inviting the holidays into your ceremony. Here are a few holiday-inspired ceremony ideas to consider. Diwali The Hindu Festival of Lights is celebrated in autumn, and denotes the victory of light over dark, good over evil. The five days of celebration offer rituals easily incorporated into wedding festivities: Feasts, family, fireworks, and favors. Consider a row of lanterns, candles, or more authentically, oil lamps […]

Plan B—6 Tips For When Things Don’t Go As Planned

You’re a planner. You’ve dedicated a lot of effort to your wedding preparations, so how could anything go wrong, right? Despite your best efforts, chances are there’ll be something that doesn’t go as planned. First and foremost, keep perspective! Remember that you’re marrying the love of your life. Nothing about the day is more important than that. That said, here are 6 practical tips to consider when matrimony mishaps occur. Lady-in-Waiting: Your beloved is eagerly waiting for your signal to turn for the First Look. You realize your photographer is nowhere in sight. European royalty had it right when they assigned […]

Writing Your Own Vows Part 2: How-To Tips

So you’ve read last February’s blog about writing your own vows and overcoming stage fright, and now you and your fiancé have decided that this is what you both would like to do. Your ceremony is fast-approaching, but suddenly you have a case of writer’s block. Get Inspired If you are finding yourself staring at a blank screen, try these things to get the sparks going: Head space: Hit a bucket of balls, cast a line, walk the beach, or stare into a hot fire with a cold beer. Clear the clutter out of your head to make room for […]

Unique Ceremony Spaces

Everything about your special day should reflect you as a couple, including the venue. Last month’s blog discussed backyard weddings. If that wasn’t for you we’ve got alternatives! How about this? Think about your passions or a place that represents your love story. Did you meet at a bowling alley? Do you share a love of boating? Is your passion looking up at the stars and dreaming? Well, the sky’s the limit when it comes to places to tie the knot. Pick one that’s uniquely you. And search findajp.com to select a JP who shares that enthusiasm too! Here are a few examples […]

Backyard Weddings

So should you do it? There are many good reasons to marry in your backyard, including the special memory that will come to mind every time you look at the place where it all happened. Before you decide, consider this: Weather Warm weather Position chairs in the shade for the ceremony. Provide water packed in ice buckets in a few key places. Use fans Hand-held can do double-duty by printing your programs on cardstock and giving them a wooden handle. Large fans (with misters?) can be rented for the day. Obtain enough of them to place strategically in each corner […]