Recently I had the opportunity to officiate at a wedding at home plate in Busch Stadium. Now, it might not be the first place most people think of when considering options for wedding venues. But for two die-hard Cardinal fans, it can be the perfect place. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. And Fredbird even dressed for the occasion in a white jacket!
For more information, go to http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/ballpark/
Scroll down the page and click on “nonbaseball events,” then click on “weddings.”
Now, that’s a winner!
On my birthday, the following inscription from an old sun dial has caught my attention:
I met Emily and Edis in late August after their original church wedding plans had fallen through. They were a little concerned, with less than two months to go, that everything could still come together for their October 2 wedding. But with a lot of hard work on everyone’s part, their ceremony at Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park was just beautiful.
As you check out the photo from that day, notice the most nontraditional aspect of their wedding: no bridesmaids!
Congratulations, Emily & Edis!
Every once in a while, a couple surprises and delights me with a reading selection for their wedding ceremony that is outside the traditional and even less traditional readings with which I have grown familiar. Will and Rachel did just that a few weeks ago with a selection from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s book, Strength to Love, written in 1963. Enjoy!
“The meaning of love is not to be confused with some sentimental outpouring. Love is something much more than emotional bosh. An overflowing love which seeks nothing in return, is the love of God operating in the human heart. Love is the most durable power in the world . . . the most potent instrument available in mankind’s quest for peace and security. The strongest man-made empire has crumbled and burned to ashes. But the empire of God, built solidly and majestically on the foundation of love, is still growing.”
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The Lourdes Grotto at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois was just the right setting for Kim and David to say “I do!” On a warm late summer evening, surrounded by candles, flowers, family, and friends, the bride and groom glowed as they exchanged vows, rings, and kisses.
Congratulations, Kim and David!
Last week I had four last-minute Autumnal weddings come my way in two days’ time, three for September and one for early October. I certainly look forward to working with each of these couples!
At the same time, I was amazed by the fact that three out of the four couples had found their way to me after having the unnerving experience with their previous officiant not only pulling out at the last minute, but also not providing any suggestions or guidance as to how to find a replacement officiant. It strikes me as rather unprofessional and downright rude to put people in such a difficult position so close to their scheduled wedding date. I’m rather stunned that these officiants appear to have taken their commitments to these couples so lightly.
So I just want to remind couples that when looking for an officiant for your wedding ceremony, it is a good idea to ask for references so that you can contact people who have actually worked with her or him before. Of course, I cannot say for sure that checking references would have made a significant difference for any of the couples I met last week. Each was coming from a unique situation which may or may not have been clarified ahead of time with the help of references.
But, in light of the key role that your officiant plays in your wedding day, it will likely be well worth it to take a little extra time earlier in your process of selecting an officiant to contact a several of her or his references. This way you can be assured that you have made the best selection possible.
Certainly I know that even with the best references, you cannot be 100% sure of anything. But at least you will know that you have done everything you can to be assured of the quality and reliability of your wedding officiant, so that you can have the meaningful and personal wedding ceremony you so richly deserve.
Angela Pechenino Romo sent the following testimonial and photo:
“We used Ruth Ellen Hasser from St. Louis Ceremonies for our May 22, 2010 wedding at the St. Louis Zoo. Ruth Ellen was basically a pinch-hitter for us—our original officiant decided to take a sabbatical and kindly arranged for us to have Ruth Ellen stand in instead. Being as I was in California attempting to plan a wedding in Missouri, we didn’t meet right away, but corresponded by e-mail for a few months until I was next in town. We first met at a St Louis Bread about 2 months before the wedding, and the moment we did, it felt like we’d been friends for years. She was very kind and considerate and she certainly helped me turn my ‘I want a simple ceremony’ sentiment into a lovely and special celebration. We corresponded via e-mail, sending ideas and scripts back and forth about 3 times before we were both satisfied that my groom and I had what we wanted. The groom and I waffled about having a rehearsal the day before the wedding until a couple of weeks before the big day, and when we finally decided that we needed to have one, Ruth Ellen was nothing but understanding and gracious, and showed up with a smile to run our short but sweet rehearsal. The ceremony on the day of the wedding went off exactly as we had discussed, and she never veered from our agreed-upon script. Through the entire process, she was calm and helpful, and my groom and I never once had any doubt that she was the correct person to marry us. We would certainly still be married if another person had performed the ceremony, but Ruth Ellen really made the day a special one.”
They chose one of my favorite readings for their wedding: Robert Fulgham’s “Union.” I think it is a favorite of mine because, among other things, it shows an appreciation for the importance of both words and ceremony in our lives. The reading concludes with this thought:
Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.
Valerie and Jon, thank you for allowing me to witness your crossing of that threshold. Congratulations!
When planning an outdoor wedding there is always the concern that it might rain and ruin all of the dreaming and hard work that goes into having a good ceremony. Well, this was one wedding where the rain actually became a part of the ceremony in lovely and unpredictable ways.
Everyone was ready and in place for the 5:00 PM ceremony when, at 4:50 PM the skies opened up. It was a hard, driving rain so we scrambled and scrunched together on the bandstand hoping to wait it out. When, after twenty minutes the sky was as grey as ever and the rain had let up very little, we decided to have the ceremony right there on the bandstand.
Somehow the guests rearranged themselves to create a space and the processional began. The unplugged musicians played as the bridesmaids processed, umbrellas in one hand and flowers in the other. Rachel was escorted by her parents to where Chris, the groomsmen and I were all waiting. The intimate scene took on an almost mystical quality as we conducted the ceremony so carefully planned by the bride and groom, accompanied by the rain and the wind and the good wishes of all in attendance.
Donnell Probst Photography captured the romance and beauty of this couple and the amazing day in their stunning images. http://donnellprobst.com/
Congratulations, Rachel and Chris!