As a Parent – How to Have a Difficult Conversation with The Couple

Last week I received an email from Roger (names changed), a divorced father whose daughter, Susan, is getting married in the spring of next year. Roger had read my November 4th post entitled, SHARE THIS LETTER WITH YOUR PARENTS IF THEY’RE DIVORCED. He wrote that my “letter” helped him realize that more than anything he wants to be emotionally present for his daughter and future son-in-law.   Roger and his wife divorced when Susan was little. His ex-wife eventually married Jack who has been …

3 Things I Want Every Guest to Remember from My Ceremonies

Two weeks ago I officiated the wedding of Stephen & Monique (names changed), a couple who are friends of Cody & Katie, a couple whose wedding I officiated last year. Stephen had been one of Cody’s groomsmen and now Cody was one of Stephen’s. In fact, Stephen’s other three groomsmen had been groomsmen for Cody, as all the guys had been in the same fraternity. I wanted to make sure that at Stephen and Monique’s ceremony I didn’t say any of …

A Thanksgiving Memory

Of all the blog posts and articles I’ve written, THIS is my all-time favorite piece of writing. I wrote it back in 2012 and am delighted to repost it. . .Enjoy! A Thanksgiving memory. . . I’m sitting at a long table, filled with deep-down good people. Anthony & Melissa have gathered us into their home. Across from me is a beautiful Indian woman. She has a disarming smile and a hearty laugh. She turns those clichés into something real. …

More Thoughts on How to Write Your Vows!

More than 50% of my couples initially tell me that they intend on writing personal vows. Of that 50% I’d say 49% eventually reach out to me in something of a panic – “How do I write my vows? What should I say? How long should they be?”  Well, here is what I tell my couples. . . Begin with a memory, an image, an anecdote, that brief story you cherish because it captures so much of the two of you …

Share This Letter with Your Parents If They’re Divorced

Dear Divorced Parents, I love weddings for many reasons, chief among them being that I love stories. As an officiant I hear a lot of stories. Stories that make me laugh and that inspire me or simply gobsmack me with their whack-a-do-ness! And then there are the heart-aching stories, many of which involve parents who happen to be divorced. Not all “my parents are divorced” stories are tragic. In fact, I’ve met divorced parents who have somehow managed to remain …

What Are You and Your Partner Talking About As You Do Wedding Planning?

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 true story Jeannie and Nelson (all names changed) were getting married at a four-star country club. Jeannie’s parents had agreed to pay for the reception. Two weeks before the wedding, her dad called to inform them that he rechecked his finances and was making changes …

WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE REALITY OF a REALITY SHOW WEDDING

true story I had the honor of officiating the wedding of Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich, reality show sweethearts who met while competing on Survivor, Season 8. In true reality show fashion, their wedding preparations and celebration became a special on CBS-TV. Celebrity event planner Colin Cowie created the detailed graciousness of their wedding at The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. And, yes, by any standard this was the stuff of fairy tale weddings. While the budget was beyond that of …

Why A Wedding Ceremony = An Exquisite Moment in Time!

The goal of our life should not be to find joy in marriage,  but to bring more love and truth into the world.  We marry to assist each other in this task. Leo Tolstoy Last Saturday I officiated the wedding of Stephen & Monique (names changed), a couple who are friends of Cody & Katie, a couple whose wedding I officiated last year. Stephen had been one of Cody’s groomsmen and now Cody was one of Stephen’s. In fact, Stephen’s other …

A Post-Pandemic Wedding Reflection

It’s October 2022 and by now most of those delayed “pandemic weddings” have been celebrated. And so, I’m left wondering how to make sense of the past two years of “unusual” weddings. Here’s what I now realize. . . Whether the celebration included 2 people 10 people 25 people 75 people 150+ people Each wedding was a moment in time. Each was an exquisite moment in time. Whether couples postponed, eloped or had 2nd wedding celebrations every couple had a deep …

12 Things To Look For When Selecting A Venue

The business of life is the acquisition of memories. Mr. Carson / Downton Abbey I recently met with a couple that has narrowed their venue search down to two hotel resorts.  Since I familiar with both, they asked which I liked better. I felt a tad cornered! I’ve officiated at each many times and I think they will have a better than average experience at each. BUT, I do think one venue is superior to the other – and not for …