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Wedding Open House

I was a vendor at a wedding open house at Maplewood Greens in Renton on Saturday.  I had a wonderful time!  It was an opportunity for me to meet quite a few brides (and their moms, fiance’s, and friends) and let them hear about what I do as a wedding celebrant.  Since I like being around and meeting people, it was an afternoon well spent.  Sara and her staff did an excellent job organizing the event – kudos!

My display table

My display table

On the left you’ll note my display table…it was fun to be able to have a table all to myself and meet not only the brides-to-be, but also the various vendors.  I was joined at this event by business people from the community; photographers, florists, decorators, caterers, a bakery, a hair stylist, and wine supplier.  All great people and very talented in their craft.

Another “benefit” of participating in this open house was the fact that there were exceptional “goodies” to taste.  My table happened to be located strategically next to the Maplewood catering staff displays, and I was more than happy to provide them with a test subject.  I was also close to the CJ’s Bakery cake sampling station…so I was well set for the afternoon.  I even gave suggestions to some of the folks passing by as to which of the items on the buffet line were my particular favorites.

All in all, a great afternoon…I highly encourage brides and their fiances to check out wedding open houses and events like them in their area; what great ways for you to discover what’s available in a whole range of venders and suppliers, as well as get some cool ideas as to how to put on your ideal wedding!

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As I stood in my “spot” today at a wedding I performed, it ocurred to me once again that I get the absolute best view in the house to observe all that’s going on, and I love it.

When you stand in the center of the “action” on wedding game day, you get a chance to observe things that the average “guest” does not see.  First of all and most exciting is being at arms-length from the  bride and groom.  Being that “up close and personal” with them is an amazing thing; witnessing the excitement, nervousness, and the relief of finally having all that planning come together for the ceremony is something to behold. 

I enjoy watching the bridal party as they file in from back to front, and taking their places on the stage area around me.  The colors of the dresses and tuxedos are always so stunning and gorgeous.

I also get a kick out of observing the assembled guests themselves.  That’s right, while they are observing the wedding party up front, I’m looking the crowd over and enjoying the “people watching” exercise.  Sometimes it can be quite amusing watching people when they don’t expect anyone will be watching them!

From my vantage point I can also see the coordinator hurrying around at the back of the room unseen by the guests who are seated facing forward,  lining up those that will be participating in the ceremony, cueing the music, etc.

But by far the best part of participating in these ceremonies is the privilege I have in pronouncing the couple husband and wife and introducing them for the first time, seeing the smiles on their faces, witnessing the reaction from the overjoyed crowd – wow, what a blast.

Life is great, especially when you get to observe it from the best spot in the house!

With the myriad of details to take care of and the decisions a bride must make, often the role of the wedding coordinator is overlooked.  I want to take a moment to emphasize the importance of this member of your wedding planning team as well as the characteristics of the one you should select, as this person will be a game-changer in preparing for your special day.  When I meet with couples in the introductory meeting and we begin the planning process, I always very strongly recommend a coordinator, whether the venue requires it or not, and whether the wedding is to be small or large.

The importance of the coordinator.  The coordinator will be the person selected by the bride to take care of all the details pertaining to the running of a smooth wedding, including running the rehearsal, the ceremony itself, and sometimes the reception.  He or she will work closely with the bride to carry out her wishes on all details so that the bride will have as little stress as possible going into the big event.  I always tell couples that this person is “worth their weight in gold” and that they should give careful consideration as to whom they choose.  An example of the importance of the coordinator’s work is ever so illustrated at the rehearsal.  An experienced coordinator knows exactly what the bride wants and works undauntingly toward this end, guiding rehearsal and ceremony with almost military precision and making sure everyone’s time is honored.  On the other end of the spectrum I’ve witnessed very uncoordinated and stress-filled rehearsals because either there was no coordinator or the one selected really had no clue as to how to put into action the bride’s plans.  

Choose the right coordinator.  By far the best move is to hire a professional coordinator, as there is no substitute for their skill and experience.  You’ll be glad you paid for this valuable service.  Many churches and wedding facilities will require that you hire their own coordinators, as they will know the facility the best.  Another option is to ask a friend with some experience in coordinating to take over this role for you (although by far the professional is preferred).  If you choose this avenue, please bear in mind that this individual will need to possess the people skills necessary to give directives to a group and be able to stay on-task and focused (organized) on what you desire.  Make sure you as the bride feel comfortable that this person can put your plans into action.  If you have any doubts whatsoever, you’ll want to step back and rethink your choice.

I have worked with many coordinators through the years, and can attest to indispensability of their service.  When your rehearsal and ceremony go off without a hitch and your day is carefree, you will be glad you spent a little extra money to ensure that this vital role has been properly addressed!

I wanted to share with you some kid’s sayings about love that I have quoted in a number of my wedding ceremonies through the years.  They are priceless, and some of these give some great insights…even though these kids were only in the 4 to 8 year-old category;

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore.  So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too.  That’s love.” – Rebecca, age 8

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.  You know that your name is safe in their mouth.”  Billy, age 4

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”  Karl, age 5

“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French Fries without making them give you any of theirs.”  Chrissy, age 6

“Love is what makes you smile when you are tired.”  Terri, age 4

“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.”  Danny, age 7

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”  Bobby, age 5  (wow, very insightful!)

Enjoy!

I just returned this evening from performing a wedding in a house; actually an apartment.  That’s right, an apartment.  Seems like an unlikely place, doesn’t it?  Instead of in a wedding chapel or country club or church setting, there we were in a modest first-floor apartment with a few family and friends assembled.  It was definately a low budget affair for sure.  My ceremony was short and sweet; the bride and groom exchanged vows and rings, I pronounced them husband and wife, and we signed the marriage license.  All in all pretty simple.

But it brings up a good point – the main thing was that there was love in the room; a man a woman making forever commitments to one another through tear-filled eyes.  It doesn’t get any better that this.  All the fancy weddings that I’ve had the honor of participating in couldn’t top the emotion that was present this evening.  You don’t need to have a fancy wedding with all the trimmings to have love and commitment – you can have modest ceremonies and still experience the best wedding ever because it comes from the overflow of love from the heart.

First Meeting…

Hello there!

One of the things I have enjoyed immensely in my 25 years of pastoral ministry experience is performing weddings.  I love being part of that special day with all of its pageantry; the beautiful gowns and tuxedos, the music, the cute little kids who in their “unpredictabilily” create unque moments.  Most of all I love observing the families and especially the happy couple before me repeating their vows and making public their commitment to each other.  Truly a defining moment in time.

My journey with these couples usually begins when I hold my first meeting together with them.  I had such a meeting yesterday with a couple at an area Starbucks.  I love asking people how they met; while the dynamics of two people becoming friends then falling in love have certain similarities, each couples story is different.  It’s always interesting to me to hear how the feelings of love are ignited and determine their dreams and goals for the future.   

I would love to meet and talk with you and hear your story.  For complete information about me and the services that I offer – please visit my wedding website listed to the right.

 

God Bless!