What a Trio of Weddings Taught Me About Weddings!

josh elliot studios


Although I love officiating non-denominational, cross-cultural and inter-faith wedding ceremonies, I pride myself on not being a “wedding factory.”  I’ll officiate only one wedding a day and most weekends I’m booked with just one wedding, typically on a Saturday. Last month, though, I had an unusual weekend where I was booked with three weddings – Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Each was unique and so different from the other two. Yet, they all shared one thing in common. . .


Friday night I was down in Orange County for the wedding of Suzie and Jared (names changed),  Jared is an actor and keeps busy with TV work. He hasn’t won an Emmy, but his profile is high enough that his engagement was highlighted by People Mag.


Suzie and Jared asked me to ask their guests not to take photos during the ceremony and not post anything of the wedding to social media. I was more than happy to do so!


I’m biased – while I love my technology and have everything that begins with the letter “i” I don’t get why guests want to spend the ceremony taking snaps with their smart phone or tablet. It takes them so out of the moment and experience.


It was wonderful to look out and see 120 people focused on Suzie and Jared and not craning to get some amateurish shot.


During the ceremony I happened to notice a young guy in the third row. He had a rugby build and before the ceremony had been joking and flirting with several single women – clearly making the most of the moment! Now, though, I caught a glimpse and could see that there was a change in his face – he looked visibly moved as Jared and Suzie exchanged vows.


I was reminded – again – of the power of ritual to connect us to a deep truth.


Saturday night was in Malibu at a high-end resort with a view of “forever.” Everything about Karli’s and Chip’s wedding was more elaborate than Suzie’s and Jared’s. But there was nothing stuffy about any of it.


It was a windy day and Karli’s veil was billowing up into her face. Laughing, she turned to her maid of honor who was frantically trying to grab it and said, “Oh, just step on the darn thing!”  And the maid of honor did – no more whiplash from the veil!


And then on Sunday I flew up to Sacramento for a wedding. Dale’s and Kevin’s wedding was a simple, minimal DIY.


The ceremony began and Kevin was BEAMING – I mean BEAMING – as he watched Dale walk down the aisle with her mom. I suddenly realized that for the first time in my life, I may have been witnessing true “euphoria.” WOW!


Three unique couples. 

Three unique wedding ceremonies. 

Three unique celebration styles and budgets. 


What did they share in common?


Alice Walker has one of her characters in The Color Purple ask this question:

“Tell the truth, have you ever found God in a church? I never did. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too.”


While these were not church weddings, with a nod to Walker, I’d rephrase the question: 

“Did I ever find magic created by the budget of a wedding? I never did. Any magic I ever felt I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too – bring the magic with them.”


It’s the magic of your wedding that people will be talking about for years to come. . .


If you want more tips on how to communicate in smart, healthy ways with your partner – during wedding planning and beyond –

check out my book,

How To Plan Your Wedding AND Stay Sane!

OR –

Treat you and your partner to a communications coaching session with me.

Click HERE for details!

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