love + marriage

Over the weekend, I was scrolling through the photos on my phone and I realized I’ve seen some pretty cool ideas at weddings this year. I thought it would be fun to pull some together in a post and share with you.

1. Instant Camera Selfie Station

2. Beach Stones and Sharpies for a Guest Book

3. Flower Seed Packets as Wedding Favors

4. Hanging Vases of Flowers

5. Homemade Paper Flowers as a Bridal Bouquet

How about you? What fun ideas have you seen at weddings?

For those who are married, what fun and creative things did you do at your wedding?

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My most recent wedding ceremony took place in the cozy back patio space at the Duck & Bunny in Providence, RI.

When I met with the bride and groom to talk about their intentions for their ceremony, they said that they really wanted it to feel like a big party with a wedding in the middle, rather than having the wedding ceremony be the main event. And I think that is just what we were able to create; a nice short and simple wedding ceremony wrapped by a lovely afternoon party.

Before the ceremony started (I always arrive about an hour early to get settled in and coordinate with other vendors) I spent some time inside the Duck & Bunny, enjoying the cozy, sweetness of the place while the bride and groom greeted each of their guests personally as they arrived.

And then it was out to the back patio where the ceremony took place.

After the ceremony, I stuck around to hear the groom’s young son give his (flawless!) best man’s speech and then as I exited through the restaurant, I paused to take one last photo of the bride’s beautiful homemade paper flower bouquet.

It was a relaxing afternoon at a lovely venue and I am grateful that I got to be a part of it.

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At each wedding I perform, I always find myself pulling out my iPhone to photograph some of the sweet details of the ceremony and reception site and so today I thought I would start a new feature here on my blog: scenes from a wedding.  In it I will include a few photographs from each wedding with a short description of the ceremony.

Come, join me with a peek into my latest wedding ceremony…

This past weekend I had the honor of officiating a Hindu-Western Fusion Ceremony.

The bride’s family took the lead on the Hindu traditions and I served as a guide to give guests an overview of what to expect and then took over and led the Western portion of the ceremony.

The ceremony began when the groom arrived and his family and friends led his car into the estate while drums played. It was one of the most festive and celebratory greetings I have ever been witness to. Shortly after, the bride arrived and walked down the petal-covered aisle, barefoot, as is customary in Hindu ceremonies.

During the the first part of the ceremony, the bride and groom exchanged Garlands and walked the Seven Steps of Marriage. The bride’s family sang blessings.

As the bride and groom removed their garlands and put on their shoes, I took over the ceremony, leading a traditional Western wedding ceremony, where the bride and groom exchanged their “I do’s,” were pronounced married and had their first official kiss as husband and wife.

It was absolutely beautiful from start to finish and it was an honor to be part the day.

(Setting: Wetherledge Estate in Jamestown, RI)

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As the holiday dust settles, I’m wanting to make more of an effort to swing by this space on a more regular basis. I thought I’d begin today by joining Amanda with an image from the week that I want to savor and remember. This one is from a home wedding that I performed last weekend. (Isn’t it cozy?)

Happy Weekend, friends.

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On this first day of 2013, I am sharing a look back at my first wedding ceremony as I eagerly anticipate the celebrations in the year to come…

Photos: John Goodman, Kathy Barrette, Michael Coutcher (and me).

Second to last photo is of me with my mom and dad shortly after the ceremony.

* * * *

When I performed my first wedding ceremony on September 11, 2010 at the Channing Memorial Church in Newport, RI, much of the experience felt like a dream.

In the months leading up to that day, I had been quietly studying the basics of ceremony creation and delivery with my mentor, Rev. Deborah Catherine Faith, when my mom called to say that her good friend’s daughter was getting married in September and wanted to talk to me about officiating the ceremony.

I wavered back and forth with excitement and fear as I went through the steps I had learned — meeting for coffee, getting to know the couple, gathering pertinent information, writing the ceremony, leading the rehearsal.

Even on the day of the ceremony, I could not quite shake the feeling of being a little girl in her mom’s high heels playing “dress up” as I put on the beautiful stole my mom had made for me.

And yet I knew, with all my heart, that this is the work I am called to do.

* * *

Before the ceremony began, I was in a small room behind the altar with the groom and his groomsmen, when one of them asked me about how I came to do ceremonies.

I smiled. Gave the short version of my story. And admitted that he was about to witness my first ceremony.

After the ceremony, which went beautifully by all accounts, he found me outside the church and congratulated me.

“I would have never known this was your first ceremony,” he said. “You are a natural.”

* * *

I have performed dozens of weddings since that day — each one a joy, an honor, and a gift — and can honestly say that I feel more comfortable and ‘at home’ in my minister’s attire and in the role of ceremony officiant than I do in most any other setting.

And I still know, with all my heart, that this is the work I am called to do.

_______________________________________________.

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