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 …

Hard Conversations With Parents, Pt. 2

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 / Flower Girl Arjun and Ev (names changed) met the old-fashioned way – at a club! They were both in grad school at the time. After just a year, they knew that this was “it.”   Arjun proposed; Ev said “yes,” and his parents were utterly …

What To Do When Parents Are Upset You’re Not Having a Religious Ceremony

I recently had a call from Sandra (names changed), the mother of a bride. She upfront told me that she’s upset her daughter wasn’t getting married in a church and she doesn’t know what to do. Sandra had been raised Catholic, converted to Lutheranism. Although her husband is Catholic they both were lax raising the children in the practice of the Church. Three years ago, she had a talk with her daughters, telling them that it was important they be married …

A Wedding in All Its Messy Glory!

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,”  but rather, “I am in the heart of God.“ Rumi For their intimate, micro wedding celebration, Caroline and Josh (names changed) rented an Air BnB in Topanga Canyon, an old and beloved slice of Southern California.  When I wandered into the rambling house, I found Caroline’s parents praying the rosary. Caroline & Josh told me that they were “spiritual but not religious.” Caroline’s parents were devout, theologically conservative Roman Catholic …

The Saga of a Couple Who Wanted to Divorce 24-Hours After Getting Married

The couple were from out-of-state. They rented an Air B-n-B in Beverly Hills and hired a wonderful event planner to give them the elopement of their dreams. Maria and Alex (names changed) were a fun couple who had a great Instagram-able look about them. Their vows were pieced together from several different versions of the traditional wedding vow: In the presence of God, I ____ take you ____ to be my wife / husband I promise to love you forever. To be …

When Arguing About Ice Cream Is About More Than The Ice Cream

ICE CREAM IS ABOUT MORE THAN THE ICE CREAM

In a sense, the person we marry is a stranger about whom we have a magnificent hunch. Unknown Terese and Mike (names changed) asked if they could meet with me because they wanted some coaching on how to communicate with less stress. As they eased into the session it quickly became apparent that they were having a hard time pinpointing the exact issue. Terese claimed Mike was selfish as evidenced when he ate the last ice-cream bar without offering to share it …

10 Most Popular Questions I’m Asked About Weddings!

Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts. Shakespeare How do you stay sane during the planning process? Talk.  Laugh.  Talk.   This is the only way a couple can stay sane while planning their wedding. Remind each other why you’re getting married AND why you’ve chosen the type of wedding celebration you’re now planning.  What tips can you give couples to avoid battles over the small stuff? At the beginning of the planning, a couple needs to envision what they …

Having Honest Arguments About Your Wedding!

I recently Zoomed with a couple who is having a cross-cultural, inter-faith ceremony. I was impressed by how articulate they were in sharing their dream for the ceremony and celebration.  They readily admitted they’ve done a lot of talking and have had some hard conversations. Afterwards, I flashed on a former bride whose wedding I officiated back in 2018.  A couple of weeks before the Pandemic lockdown, I ran into Anna (names changed) strolling through The Grove mall with her nine-month old …

Even More Ceremony Moments

Some people are worth melting for. Olaf, character from Frozen A real marriage believer I met with a couple who had gotten engaged after two months of dating. Both were in their thirties and assured me, “when you know, you know.” Our conversation was light, lively and sprinkled with moments of laughter. At one point in the conversation, the groom asked if I was married. When I told him I wasn’t married, a proverbial cloud crossed his face. Concerned, he asked, “you …