Tower Grove Park Wedding: Katie & Jason

Theirs was a simple, lovely, and unique ceremony at the Bandstand in Tower Grove Park. With bamboo fans in hand, guests created a breeze while treated to Mark Twain’s “A Marriage,” a traditional Irish blessing, as well as the “Wooden Box Ceremony” for the unity ritual (see blog entry for September 12, 2009). The wedding was immediately followed by a reception picnic at the Turkish Pavilion. A good time was had by all.

Congratulations, Katie and Jason!

Jewel Box Wedding: Sanja & Michael

With an eye for detail and a profound awareness of the importance of ritual, Sanja and Michael carefully planned their wedding ceremony. It was a beautiful day both inside and outside of one of Forest Park’s greatest gems, the Jewel Box. The photo above shows a beaming bride and groom greeting guests following their lovely ceremony. Congratulations, Sanja and Michael!

Raelynn and Michael

It was a gorgeous sunny day with the temperature in the mid-80’s in New Haven, Missouri. An intimate group of immediate family members of the bride and groom gathered at the Kemp family farm for Raelynn and Mike’s wedding. After I offered a few introductory remarks and an opening prayer, Raelynn began by sharing a few thoughts on their journey as a couple. Then it was time for family to offer readings, reflections, and stories about marriage. What a delight! We laughed, shed a few tears, and marveled at the beauty of this moment in time. Finally, original vows were exchanged between Raelynn and Mike, then champagne and cake were shared by all. What a lovely way to begin a marriage!

Wish Upon A Wedding

I recently applied to join this organization. Take a look and see if you would like to offer a donation of time or money. Even if you are not a vendor, your money is still good! The following is from their current campaign:

Wish Upon a Wedding, the world’s first nonprofit wedding wish granting organization, is asking for the support of wedding vendors and industry professionals. This new organization, dubbed “the Wedding Industry’s Charity”, provides weddings for individuals facing life-threatening illness, at destinations across the United States, regardless of sexual orientation.

By donating just 1% of any sale (or 1% of your profits from one event), you can help Wish Upon a Wedding grant these very special wishes. Participants will be recognized for their generosity with an I support the Wishing Well badge.Launched in January of this year, the organization now receives new wedding wish requests on a weekly basis. Currently lacking the funds needed to bring long distance families together, these special celebrations may often be missing something (or someone). One of the organization’s goals is to fly up to four family members or loved ones to the weddings of every Wish Recipient, so they can spend a few days with those who matter most. There are many other expenses that Wish Upon a Wedding would like to cover as well, but they need YOUR help.Founder Liz Guthrie explains, “Many people facing life threatening illness do not have the money or resources to plan a wedding. At last, the wedding industry has joined forces- and together we are making some incredibly special wedding wishes come true, by providing the celebration of one of life’s biggest milestones.” Guthrie adds, “No matter what the setting, Wish Upon a Wedding wants to provide everything necessary for these individuals, including making sure they are surrounded by their most special family and friends.”

It’s really easy! To participate, visit the following link:

Angela and Brian

Did you ever wonder what goes on at the St. Louis Zoo after hours? Well, I don’t know what happens most nights, but I do know one thing that happened on May 22, 2010: Angela and Brian were married in a lovely ceremony at the Lakeside Café.

Congratulations, Angela and Brian!

Valerie and Andrew

It was a sunny and gorgeous May 22 at the Missouri Botanical Gardens’ Boxwood Gazebo. An intimate gathering of their families witnessed Valerie and Andrew exchange vows in a simple and casual ceremony. This photo conveys both the radiance of the couple and the lush garden which was the setting for their wedding.


Grow Old With Me

The other day I was going through a box which contained letters and postcards from early in my parents’ marriage when Dad was stationed in Heidelberg. Among these now 1950’s vintage postcards with scenes from France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany was this lovely photo of an older couple. Something about it has captivated me and I guess it captivated my parents, too. It makes me think of the hopefulness I hear expressed by so many couples who are about to be married. Part of that hope usually includes the desire to grow old together. And, of course, no one wants to grow old with someone they no longer love. This photo, filled with affection and tenderness, speaks to the hope that love can grow, deepen, and mature with the years.

Of course, being a person who usually has my own personal soundtrack running in my head (who needs an iPod?), looking at the photo is always accompanied by John Lennon’s song, “Grow Old With Me.”

Grow old along with me
The best is yet to be
When our time has come
We will be as one
God bless our love
God bless our love

Grow old along with me
Two branches of one tree
Face the setting sun
When the day is done
God bless our love
God bless our love

Spending our lives together
Man and wife together
World without end
World without end

Grow old along with me
Whatever fate decrees
We will see it through
For our love is true
God bless our love
God bless our love

Sam & Rob

It was the first wedding at which I have officiated in which both Homer Simpson and William Shakespeare were quoted, and done so quite effectively, I might add!

I had a pretty good clue that this was going to be a fun wedding when at our first meeting Rob wanted to know at what point in the ceremony I would say the line about objections. I told him I had long ago dropped that line from my ceremony scripts. “Oh, I want it there,” he exclaimed, “because I want to be able to glare out at our guests with a look that says, ‘Don’t you dare!’” And so, this past Saturday when I asked their guests, “If any person here today can show just cause as to why this couple may not be joined together in marriage – speak now or forever hold your peace!” both the bride and groom swept the room with intense gazes, prompting everyone to laughter.

We had additional opportunities to laugh in this light yet serious ceremony at Graham Chapel on the campus of Washington University. Samantha and Robert declared their love for one another using original vows (that’s where Homer Simpson came in), making clear that, though done playfully, this bride and groom have very serious intentions toward building a life together. It was a ceremony created in true Celebrant style – clearly the bride and the groom were in charge – and everyone loved it!

Marriage Vow Renewal

Recently I was contacted by a couple who were interested in a vow renewal ceremony for themselves. When they told me how long they had been married – less than a year – I knew there was a story there. We met for coffee and as we talked they shared a bit of that story with me.

It quickly became clear to me that some profoundly significant changes had occurred in this couple’s understanding of their relationship since the wedding day. And because they believed that these changes were for the better, they wanted to declare anew their commitment to one another and to growing this marriage. It was important to them to signify the deepening of their relationship by having a private ceremony asking God to bless and strengthen their bond.

And so we gathered, all three of us, as they declared their love for one another and for the children each has brought into the marriage. It was a privilege for me to witness this love, and a wonderful gift this couple has given to themselves and to their children by renewing their marriage vows.

Off White Indie Wedding Show Report

Well, it was just as good as I had hoped it would be, with a much larger attendance than I had anticipated. Luckily, I had plenty of business cards and the handouts held out!

If you would like a sample of some of the creative and talented professionals who assembled at The Luminary Center for the Arts this past Saturday, check out this list of sponsor websites:

Enjoy exploring some of the possibilities for your wedding celebration!

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