Love Prevails: Getting Married in the Age of the Coronavirus

All you need is love

Social Distancing None of us has experienced what our country, and the world, are facing right now. Fear and anxiety are natural emotions. Add a wedding plan into the mix, and it is understandable if emotions are high. Many couples are postponing their mega-celebration or opting for an intimate ceremony outdoors. For others, the venues have taken the initiative and closed shop, taking the decision-making out of the couples’ hands. For all, these are trying times, when thoughts about the common good must prevail over our personal desires. Safety First First and foremost is safety. At the beginning of the […]

We’re Getting Married. Surprise!

We're getting married. Surprise!

I love surprises, don’t you? As a Justice of the Peace, I’m constantly surprised by some of the unique locations couple choose, unusual requests, last minute elopements. Recently, I’ve had more than a few true, surprise weddings. I was asked to officiate a surprise wedding last fall where the couple was throwing an engagement party for their family and friends. Instead, surprise, it was really their wedding in disguise. I was asked to pretend to be the aunt of a friend of theirs so the Mother of the Groom wouldn’t get suspicious! The couple had just returned from a cross-country […]

Blending Blended Families

Modern families call for modern ceremonies.  Often times one or both partners have children from previous relationships. Every couple is unique and every ceremony should be written to accommodate their special circumstances. Do: Consider the children’s ages; Have fun and make it a family affair. Don’t: Make kids do something they are not comfortable with; Discount their feelings toward the other birth parent; Worry if plans don’t go as planned because young children will not cooperate; Be afraid to think outside the box and make your wedding your own. Here are a few examples of ways that have proven to […]

What Wedding Size is Right for You?

Image of large wedding party at outdoor wedding ceremony

Big venue or microwedding? Or, something in-between? Recognizing the pros and cons of different size weddings helps couples decide how they should proceed with their ceremony plan. It’s a balance. Many couples today want to move forward with their lives as a married couple as soon as possible. However, they also wish to have a wedding where they can celebrate their marriage with their loved ones. As a couple, they need to figure out what wedding size is best for them. Medium and Large Weddings Having a medium or large wedding creates opportunities for families to come together to strengthen […]

Five Reasons Why a JP is Right for You

Engaged to be Married? Looking for that perfect officiant? We’ve got five reasons why a JP is the way to go! Deciding on what type of wedding officiant to solemnize your marriage can feel overwhelming. There is the religious route – but that isn’t for everyone. A friend? Nah. We’ve written about the many problems when an amateur gets involved. But a Justice of the Peace? Indeed, they offer the best of all worlds. These are the five most common reasons couples choose a JP as their wedding officiant. Read on, to know for sure if a JP ceremony is right for you. […]

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 […]