How To Stay Sane While Planning for Your Wedding!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I'm On Bridal Bar's Show!

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Harmony Walton of Bridal Bar is the expert on all things wedding and so I was beyond flattered when she invited me to stop by her studio and talk about Wedding Ceremonies.  I’ve know Harmony for several years and am always happy for the chance to visit.

Also joining us was ever-so-fab wedding planner Mary Sushinski of Occasions.

Click on the link below or to check out other episodes of Harmony’s show, visit her HERE.


Friday, February 21, 2014

10 Things I Learned For Sure About Weddings In 2013

The photo is of Kelly and Shaun’s wedding – the first I officiated last year.  It was a very cool, overcast January day, though the warm joy of family and friends was infectious.  Kelly recently emailed me this photo and it got me thinking about all the weddings I had the honor of officiating in 2013 – and what I learned or re-learned from working with so many fab couples.

For what it’s worth, here is my Top 10 list of things I still firmly believe about weddings after celebrating 73 ceremonies in 2013!

1.     If you want the ceremony to be under ten minutes, then consider having a civil ceremony and a great party afterwards.  Here’s the thing – it takes your guests more than ten minutes to get seated!  I understand you’re nervous BUT why invite people to a ceremony if that ceremony doesn’t have some warmth and texture to it?  

2.     If you’re going to have an outdoor wedding and you know that the sun will be glaring into the eyes of guests, provide paper umbrellas and/or hand fans – and bottles of water!  Your guests will appreciate your kindness

3.     If you’re getting married at a site where there will be wind and you’re wearing a long veil, know that the wind is going to blow that veil right into your face – and you or your maid-of-honor is going to be spending a lot of distracting time trying to keep it out of your face.  I know, I know – even as an officiant, I cannot appreciate how important that veil is!

4.     I have nine godchildren and two nieces.  I love children and I do know children.  Seldom will a two-year old walk all the way down an aisle without falling or crying.  Please make sure there’s someone, either an older child or a parent, who can give the poor kid a hand – literally!

5.     A wedding celebrates the reality of your life together.  If you have children, they are part of your life.  The day cannot be just about the “two of you.”  There are already more than two of you!  There are sweet ways to incorporate and honor your children and your reality as family.

6.     If you have teenaged kids, think twice before French-kissing at the end.  It really is TMI!  I’m not even going to elaborate on this point – just trust me!

7.     If you are going to offer your own vows to each other, those words MUST be written down.  No one expects you to have anything memorized – not even your names!  And there is no way you can memorize your vows.  I can give you the names of three grooms and one bride who will back me on this!

8.     If you cave to the emotional demands of family, you will regret it later on in your life.  I saw my share of what I refer to as “reality show drama” last year and it is ALL so unfair to a couple.  Be strong and take your strength from your shared vision of your life together.

9.     Be prepared for friends, relatives and parents to say and make weird demands.  I never cease to be amazed at what people will say – and neither should you!

10.  I’ve actually never had a couple be rude to me; however, I have worked with couples that were rude to their vendors.  And I know this because those vendors, who are friends of mine, complained to me!  Hire great professionals; be kind to them and in turn they will give you their best.  Maybe, though, I’m spoiled, as I work on a regular basis with some of the most wonderfully creative people you’ll ever meet.

Happy planning!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I write a weekly column for “The Tolucan Times” and Vivian (name changed) recently wrote me:
“Four years ago my husband Jake was terminated from his job at the age of 59. As you can imagine, he experienced depression and a loss of identity.  Because he had two open-heart surgeries in the previous ten years, he didn’t have it in him to begin a new corporate career.  He prayed for direction, asking to be shown a way.  Originally he came to LA to be a comedy writer.  Through a series of events, he now has his work on  He receives mail from many who thank him for the smiles, saying his cartoons helped them through chemo and other difficult life events. The inspiring thing about my husband’s journey that motivates me is that life is full of opportunities, often unknown, and that every day is a new beginning - perhaps the opportunity to reinvent oneself, to dare to try something we always dreamed about.”

I think Vivian’s tribute to Jake is what Valentine’s Day is all about – without the mush!  Vivian’s admiration of Jake is grounded in thanks and hope and she reminds me that there is no gratitude without hope. 

To give thanks for what we can see also acknowledges that there is more to come because “every day is a new beginning.”  However, I think it’s easier to say, “I’m thankful” than it is to say, “I’m hopeful.”  That’s because real hope is always big and it requires that we have a generous attitude looking to the future.  And that takes courage.  Vivian and Jake, each and together, are courageous people.

I’m challenged by Vivian’s story because I don’t think I’m a hopeful person.  I think  “to hope” can seem like it’s leaving things up to chance and I don’t want to take a chance on chance because I’m never lucky!

And I don’t think I’m really a grateful person because I’m never satisfied.  I keep pushing myself without pausing to take stock of what I’ve accomplished and what has been given me. 

So what to do?  Live from cautious hope?  Live with meager thanks?  That simply won’t do. I think we’re asked to do what Jake and Vivian did. Vivian loved her husband by bearing witness to his pain and struggle.  And in Vivian’s unwavering gaze, Jake was able to remember what he’d forgotten – his love of humor. 

And so, somehow, in that mixture of faith and hope, fear and love, together they were able to strive to create anew their life – present and future – despite the sirens of the unknown. 

I think that this is the truest love of Valentine’s Day!

A Week's Worth Of Valentine's Quotes #5

Love is our true destiny.
We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone—we find it in another.
The meaning of our life is a secret that has to be revealed to us in love,
by the one we love.
The one who loves is more alive and more real than when they did not love.
Thomas Merton

• Has your partner helped you understand the “meaning” of your life?
• Do you feel more alive when you’re with your partner?
• What has your partner helped you discover about yourself that you had not
known before?
• Have you helped your partner understand the meaning of his, her, own life?
• What have you helped your partner discover about himself, herself, that they did
not know before?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Week's Worth Of Valentine's Quotes #5

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out 
what you hope for.
Barbara Kingsolver

What are three things you hope for –
• For yourself?
• For your partner?
• For your life together?

A Week's Worth Of Valentine's Quotes #4

Two people fall in love, and decide to see if their love might stand up over time,
if there might be enough grace and forgiveness and memory lapses
to help the whole shebang hang together.
Anne Lamott

• Are you able to forgive your partner when he or she wrongs you?
• What does forgiveness look like for you?
• Has your partner offered you forgiveness?
• Have you been able to accept it?
• How important is the notion of “forgiveness” in your life together?

Highlight Video – Yini and Stanley

Last year I had the honor of officiating Yini and Stanley's wedding –

here is a wonderful highlight of their great day, captured by Brian and Ryan,

consummate professionals with wit and style!



Monday, February 10, 2014

A Week's Worth Of Valentine's Quotes #3

Never love anyone who treats you as ordinary.
Oscar Wilde
• How does your partner treat you as extra-ordinary?
• How do you treat your partner as extra-ordinary?
• Is there anything you want your partner to do that he or she is not doing now?
• Have you told them?
• Is there anything your partner wants you to do?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Week's Worth Of Valentine's Quotes #2

I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
Pablo Neruda

I’m not really sure what Neruda means here! 
But––what do you think he means and do you want to do that with your partner?!

A Week's Worth Of Valentine's Quotes #1

You have made a place in my heart where I thought
 there was no room for anything else.
You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones.
Robert Jordan

·      What was that place in your heart where you thought there was no room for anything else?
·      What did your partner bring to that place?
·      How have you brought healing to your partner’s heart?