Monday, November 14, 2011

Variety is the Spice of Life!

What an amazing few weeks it's been -- a number of wonderful weddings, each one different!  I'll blog about one at a time, so that each one gets the attention it deserves!

One of the most unusual ceremonies in my 34 years of experience was last weekend.  Karli and Zack were married in a beautiful tropical garden on a perfect fall day.  That's where anything "typical" ends -- because their ceremony was absolutely one-of-a-kind!

They're looking at a butterfly that flew between them as their ceremony started! 

I worked with them for several months on making their ceremony reflect their off-the-wall sense of humor, along with their love of zombies.  They also wrote their own vows, which included both traditional and hysterically funny wording.  Their guests were laughing one minute, and crying the next!

The icing on the cake was when, at the end of their ceremony, I gave them a plastic wrestling belt that they had asked I hide in my book -- and as they walked back down the aisle, they held it up, to the cheers of their guests!

Karli & Zack, it was so much fun to work with you, making your ceremony so unique -- may your laughter continue throughout your life together!

We pulled off the belt surprise!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall is in the Air!

How wonderful it is when the season changes, and things get a little cooler here in Central Florida!  Outdoor weddings in the summertime are still wonderful, but also very challenging because of the heat.  Once October rolls around and things start to cool down, having a ceremony outdoors becomes a real pleasure!

Last weekend, at the beautiful Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, it was a pleasure and honor to officiate at the wedding of Rich and Andrea.  They live in Philadelphia, but came to Florida for their wedding because her parents live in the area.  Rich had found me online, and booked my services after we had spoken on the phone and established a great rapport.  He, Andrea and I worked together via phone and email on a ceremony that was absolutely beautiful and heartfelt, and reflected what they wanted to say to their guests and each other on their special day.  

Their wedding day had perfect weather -- sunny and breezy, with the temperature just right!  After making sure everything was in place (thanks to wonderful coordinators, Tammy & Elisa), and with the music of the classical guitarist adding a wonderfully romantic touch, their ceremony proceeded flawlessly.  The genuine love they have for each other showed in their radiant faces, and the joy as they shared their first married kiss was shared by all their guests. 

Congratulations, Rich and Andrea -- may you share a lifetime of great weather, 
love, laughter and good health together!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I've Been Published!

A couple of months ago, I attended a networking event at a venue called Danville, which is in Geneva, Florida.  It's always great to get together with others who work in the wedding industry, to exchange ideas and meet new people.  
During this get-together, I was fortunate to meet Lisa Holt, a/k/a Carrara Nour.  

She is a professional bellydancer who specializes in high-end weddings and corporate events.  She came in costume, and performed several amazing dances, including some where she balanced swords and candleabras on her head!  
Since then, we've stayed in touch -- I love reading her posts on Facebook (Bellydance by Carrara Nour), as well as her blog.  She's asked other wedding people to write an article for her blog, which I did, and she honored me by posting it!  
Check it out -- you can find it at
Thanks, Lisa -- I hope we'll have the chance to work together soon!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Real Men DO Cry!

What a great week it's been!  I officiated at two different weddings with similar, but different, stories -- where each couple had been together when they were young, moved on to separate lives, but met again after years apart, and rekindled their romances.  

Christina and Ryan became friends in 8th grade.  After high school graduation, each went on to their own lives.  Christina married and had two children, and Ryan became a career Navy man.  Fast forward 12 years, and Christina was single once again.  She and Ryan re-established their friendship, but this time it blossomed into love.  Ryan had never married, and confessed to Christina that he had loved her since 8th grade -- and that he was never able to find someone else who could hold a candle to her!

This past Thursday morning at Gemini Springs Park in DeBary, by the St. Johns River, with the sound of herons calling to each other, a family of bunnies nearby, and surrounded by their families, Ryan and Christina became husband and wife.   Ryan began to cry happy tears as their ceremony started, and was still crying when their ceremony ended.  

In addition to including them in their Sand Ceremony, Ryan & Christina included her children by giving them a special gift during their ceremony -- a beautiful ring for her daughter, and a wonderful engraved dog tag for her son.

Mama & Daddy were in the Rabbit Hole, but Baby came out for a photo!

This morning, I officiated another wedding with a wonderful story.  Todd and Stacy had married each other right after high school graduation, back in 1978.  After five years, they divorced.  Each moved on with their lives and married other people.  Ten years ago, both single, they met again, and their sparks rekindled!  The theme I used for their ceremony was "Love is Lovelier the Second Time Around."  Todd cried happy tears from beginning to end, and Stacy's tears as she said her vows was so moving. 

If you look closely, you can see the photo of Todd & Stacy that was taken at their first wedding in 1978 -- it's on the table to their right!

Two different weddings, two very different men -- but both of them weren't afraid to let their emotions show, and cried tears of joy.  Real Men DO cry -- and it's a beautiful thing!

I know I've said it before, but I'll keep saying it, because I truly mean it -- I LOVE what I do!  What an honor and privilege to be a part of a couple's happiest moments!

Congratulations, Christina & Ryan, and Congratulations, Todd & Stacy -- may the joy you felt on your wedding day continue for the rest of your lives together!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Expect the Unexpected!

Outdoor weddings are wonderful -- however, one of the situations that can occur is an unplanned rainstorm -- or other weather condition that makes an outdoor ceremony an impossibility.  When I hear a couple is planning an outdoor ceremony, one of the first things I always ask them is if they have a "Plan B" in the event of a rainstorm.  Thankfully, in almost 35 years of officiating, this has hardly happened -- but last month, in spite of the drought we're having in Central Florida, we had a HUGE rainstorm just as Dawn & Justin's ceremony at DeBary Mansion was set to start!

Thankfully, at their rehearsal the day, before, we had practiced both inside and outside -- here's a rehearsal photo from where the ceremony was originally to be held.  DeBary Mansion is a beautiful, Victorian house that is a great place for a ceremony!

Well, with the torrential rains on their wedding day, I don't have to tell you that both the bride and groom were terribly upset -- Justin was pacing around with an unhappy look on his face, and Dawn was sitting in the limousine, crying.  We delayed the ceremony, hoping for the rain to clear up, but it just wasn't stopping.  

A decision was made to have the ceremony indoors, and I think everyone was pretty happy that we had the indoor practice the day before! The processional went smoothly, without a hitch.  A beaming Dawn walked down the aisle with her father, Justin's face was joyful, and the fact that they were going to be married made any rainy day disappointment evaporate!

Justin and Dawn had written their own vows, and had planned to read them to each other -- Dawn had said they would bring them to their ceremony on a piece of paper.  Knowing how things snowball prior to a wedding, I made a copy of their vows and pasted each of them to an individual piece of cardboard, and kept it in my folder, "just in case."  

Sure enough, when it came time to take their vows, Dawn whispered to me, "I don't have my vows," and Justin pulled out a very wet and soggy copy of his -- I don't have to tell you, they were both very happy when I pulled out my cardboard copies!

So, in spite of the rain and the fear that their vows would be lost, their ceremony was lovely, full of joy and laughter, and everything worked out beautifully. 

Congratulations, Justin and Dawn -- you are going to have a wonderful life together!

 P.S.  I must say, there's nothing like a man in a uniform!   :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Most Unusual Wedding Decoration!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- I LOVE what I do!  One of the reasons I love officiating at weddings is that each one is different.  I work with each couple to make sure that their ceremony is a reflection of them and their relationship, and that the words that are said as they are married are what THEY want to hear.  
Over the weekend, I officiated at a large wedding at the Westin Lake Mary, a beautiful hotel in Lake Mary, Florida.  A few days before the wedding, I went to the venue to meet with the event manager, Missie.  We talked about the ceremony arrangements, and then she asked me if I had seen the beaver yet.  My reaction, of course, was, "What beaver???"  
I thought that the bride, groom and I had pretty much talked about what made their engagement and wedding unusual -- for example, he had proposed to her while they were scalloping, and had hidden her ring in a scallop shell, which he "conveniently" had her find -- 

 -- but no, there was more -- the bride's family had a stuffed beaver (courtesy of an uncle) that "attended" all family gatherings, dressed appropriately for each occasion -- for example, for Christmas, he was dressed up with a Santa Claus outfit -- you get the idea!  Well, for the wedding, you guessed it -- the beaver was all decked out like a bride -- veil, pearls, bouquet, and even a garter!  
In 34 years of officiating at weddings, this was a first!
On the day of the wedding, the beaver had a place of honor as the guests came in the door.
 It also pointed the way to the ceremony ("I Do") and to the reception "We Did." 
With the blessing of the bride and groom, I began their ceremony, and welcomed their guests on behalf of "Cory, Monica, and The Beaver."  It got a laugh from their guests, and the ceremony proceeded beautifully.
Congratulations, Cory and Monica!  May you share many more laughs in the future!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lake Mary Events Center -- This Week's Wedding!

I'm looking forward to a mid-week wedding on Wednesday evening at the Lake Mary Events Center, one of my favorite spots!  The bride and groom are a wonderful young couple with an adorable toddler daughter, and have been together for a very long time.  When I meet with a couple in their situation, I normally ask them what made them decide to get married.  In their case, they said they knew it was the right thing to do.  It was obvious that they are in it for the long haul, and that they have a great base for a long marriage!
I called the DJ and photographer today, as I do with vendors prior to the wedding day, to be sure that everything was in place and to see if they had any questions, and got into an interesting conversation with the photographer, who's been shooting weddings for over twenty years.  He said that he loves what he does, but sometimes sees couples where he wonders whether they'll be together for their first anniversary.  
So -- my thought for today is -- what is most important -- the wedding day, or the marriage?  My philosophy, for what it's worth, is that the wedding is one day, but the marriage is for a lifetime.  
My husband and I eloped -- just the two of us, and the officiant -- and I've never regretted it.  We'll be married 37 years at the end of May!  Check out our 1970's attire!

My take on it?  A wedding is a wonderful event -- just don't let it become the entire definition of your relationship.  Remember what's important -- that you're "in it for the long haul." 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Lovely Wedding Show!

Last night I attended a smaller bridal show -- The Bridal Ball, at the beautiful Lake Mary Events Center.  I must say that this show was VASTLY different from the huge show I attended in January, and was much more to my liking.  To me, a wedding is a very personal event -- not a production -- and the "vibe" at this show was very much in that vein.  I spoke with some wonderful vendors, enjoyed the ambiance, and made the decision that I will definitely display at shows like these.  To me, it's about "quality," not "quantity," and the ability to connect with brides and grooms on a more personal level at a smaller event is worth it!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Wedding Show Wow!

I must admit, in spite of my 34 years experience in officiating at weddings, I've never attended a bridal show.  Yesterday was my first experience -- I attended the largest bridal show in Central Florida.  All I can say is wow -- what a turnout!  The venue was packed with people, all looking around for what I assume were the best vendors for their wedding.
It was a learning experience for me, which was wonderful, and I met some great folks.  I'm looking forward to attending some smaller shows, to see if it's more in line with my philosophy of being able to speak with couples on a more personal level.
I'd be interested to hear from other wedding people out there about their opinions of bridal shows -- the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Wonderful Surprise!

This evening, I booked a wedding with a wonderful young couple, based on just our phone conversation.  When it's a "good match," you can feel it just by speaking -- and this was one of those times!  They're getting married at the Lake Mary Events Center on April 6, 2011.

One of the things I always ask couples is how they found me.  This bride mentioned that she had Googled "Intimate, Personalized Ceremonies," and my information had come up.  After we hung up, intrigued, I Googled the same, and came to a wedding website where I have a listing.

I was amazed to see that on the website, there was a review from a bride I had served back in November, also at the Lake Mary Events Center.  Not only was I happy to see a review, but when I read it, her kind words just blew me away!

My husband and I were married on November 6th 2010 at the Lake Mary Event Center. The best decision we made throughout the entire process was having Renee Silverman from A Lovely Ceremony perform the marriage. She is truly amazing! She was so attentive to Kyle and I and she cared about what we wanted for our ceremony. She took the time to get to know us which made the wedding that much more special. You can really tell she loves what she does. All of our guests made numerous comments on how beautiful the ceremony was and how genuine Renee is. We could not be happier with how it turned out and are very grateful! So if you are getting married or want to renew your vows go to Renee Silverman and you will not be sorry! Thank you Renee!

Wow!  Thank YOU, Natalie and Kyle!  I always say -- I LOVE what I do!