Loren & Kara’s Wedding

Last Sunday afternoon, it was a frigid day outside, but it was all happiness and inner warmth when I married Kara and Loren. The setting was quite beautiful – it was overlooking the Hudson River at Rockefeller State Park in Westchester County. It was a small affair – other than the bride and groom, Kara’s son attended along with the best man.  Just as we finished the ceremony, snow started coming down. Loren and Kara, may you have many happy years together.

 

Lisa & Fred’s Wedding

It was a beautiful day at the Nassau Inn in Princeton, NJ where I officiated at the wedding of Lisa and Fred.

Lisa and Fred met each other at a widowers group shortly after having lost their former spouses. There was immediate chemistry and it didn’t take long for them to realize that second chances at life do happen. Many of their guests were from the group where they met.

They each wrote their own “love story” which told of their love and how thankful they were to find one another.

Lisa and Fred, may you have many happy years together.

Check out their photographer, the wonderful Suzette Horst of SHR Images & Photography.

 

Cheryl and Adam’s Wedding

Last weekend, I had the privilege of marrying Cheryl and Adam at the beautiful Castle at Skylands Manor in Ringwood. Thank goodness it wasn’t the weekend before when the noreaster struck!!!

All love stories have their own beauty unique to each couple. In the case of Cheryl and Adam, what made their relationship so special was their longevity. They met when they were nine years old in Miss Alley’s 4th grade class. They were friends for many years, but didn’t start dating until high school. They attended separate colleges but always stayed in touch. After college, when they both knew they were truly in love and wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, Cheryl moved from the Northeast to Illinois to be with Adam. It was during a Christmas visit back east, that Adam drove Cheryl to the window of Miss Alley’s classroom, where he proposed.

It was a cold but beautiful winter night when I performed their ceremony. Cheryl walked down in her mother’s wedding dress, given away by her father. They exchanged traditionall vows and received the “thumbs –up” support of their family and friends when I asked them if they would support our bride and groom during both the good times and the not so good times.

I concluded the ceremony with the Christian tradition of the Passing of the Peace.

A hearty congratulations to Cheryl and Adam! May your life together be as happy as it has been the last twenty five years.

*Photo compliments of Amy Rizzuto Photography

Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

If you don’t want to go the traditional vow route, but would rather add your own very personal touch to your ceremony, why not take a stab at writing your very own vows that comes straight from the heart. Sounds like a daunting challenge? Not really. You can start by browsing through some of the more traditional vows. For my couples that don’t know where to start, I’ll email them many different variations of vows. This way they can get ideas and put them into their own words. A also recommend that they browse through poetry, books, spiritual readings – it’s quite all right to borrow and/or write the ideas in your own words.

The nature of the vows are serious and are, indeed, one of the most important parts of the ceremony – it’s the promises you are making to your partner the will define your married life. But, it’s also ok to throw in a little humor, if what’s being said has meaning to you both. Discuss with each other if you are both writing the same vows together or whether each is writing them on their own.

And finally, make sure there’s enough lead time before your wedding. I suggest starting no later than a month in advance. This way, if all else fails, you can always go the more traditional route.

Pam & Dorothy’s Civil Union

I recently had the privilege of uniting Pam and Dorothy. They’ve been together for 15 years and recently decided to make it official!!

It was a small, but intimate affair in their house surrounded by three very close guests and their dog.

Dorothy and Pam, may you always be showered in love.

Glinda and Mary’s Civil Union

Last weekend, I performed a civil union for one of my favorite couples – Glinda and Mary. They were married in the beautiful Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge, NJ.

It was a beautiful crisp fall day, although quite windy. The ceremony was outdoors and it looked like the props on the table were going to topple, so I asked a guest sitting in the front row to hold the wine glass and sand containers until needed.

Glinda and Mary’s love story was beautiful. They were together for 15 years before being joined. They were so much fun to work with. Glinda is a big Barbara Streisand fan, and after she arrived down the aisle, the DJ welcomed her by saying “Hello Gorgeous” ala Streisand style. She also danced down the aisle (reminded me of the famous You tube scene).

For the ceremony, those chose to have a sand unity ritual and a chocolate and wine ceremony, representing the sweetness and bitterness of life.

And they had a special guest do the following reading by EE Cummings, I carry your heart with me:

I carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)

I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

And whatever a sun will always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Mary and Glinda, you are two very special people and I wish you the very best in your lives together. It was truly an honor to get to know you.

Wedding Songs for Your Ceremony

At a loss as to what music to play at your wedding ceremony. Here’s are some selections I often give to my couples. Happy Music to you!!

Traditional/Classic:

Awake My Heart with Gladness, (Flor Peeters)

Water Music (George F. Handel) Chorale in A Minor, Adagio, (Cesar Franck)

Perfect Love (Sir Joseph Barnby)

Water Music (George F. Handel)Serenade (from String Quartet Op. 3 No. 5), (Franz Joseph Haydn)

Serenade (Franz Schubert)

A Rose Is Gently Blooming, Op. 122, No. 8, (Johannes Brahms)

Adagio for Strings (Samuel Barber)

Toccata in E Minor (Johann Pachelbel)

Air on the G String (Johann S. Bach)

Aria, Bist du bei mir” (Be thou near me), BWV 508, (Johann S. Bach))

Largo from (Xerxes), (George Frederic Handel)

Rhosymedre (Ralph Vaughan Williams)

Water Music (George F. Handel)

Traditional Alternatives:

Carolan’s Welcome (Irish Traditional)

Nessun Dorma (from Turandot), (Giacomo Puccini)

Concerto Grosso in D Major, Op. 3, No. 6 (Vivace), (George Frederic Handel)

Courante”(from Three Lute Dances), (Anthoine Francisque)

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun”(Claude Debussy)

Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major, Allegro assai, (Johann S. Bach)

Romance Op. 44, No. 1, (Anton Rubenstein)

Gymnopedie No. 1 (Erik Satie)

Contemporary:

Paris Nocturne (Dan Fogelberg)

Evergreen (Barbra Streisand)

All I Ask Of You from Phantom of the Opera), (Andrew Lloyd Webber)

Angel Eyes (Jim Brickman)

Longer (Dan Fogelberg)

The Gift (Jim Brickman)

Wedding Song (The Band)

You and I (Stevie Wonder)

Wedding Ideas – What to do with that broken glass

For those following the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass at the end of the ceremony, check out this website – www.treasuredcollection.com – where you can send the actual broken glass from your ceremony to be encased in lucite forever. “The Lucite Tree of Life” as it is called is a sculpture shaped from the pieces of your wedding glass. You can also order “The Lucite Wedding Invitation” which displays both the wedding invitation plus the broker pieces of the wedding glass.

Karen & Stephen’s Wedding

Last weekend, I married Karen and Stephen at the beautiful Woodcliff Lake Manor in Woodcliff Lake, NJ. It was a beautiful venue and the staff was so helpful and professional. The ceremony was held outdoors in a lovely garden type setting. The weather was lovely. What more could we ask for?

A beautiful couple – and that’s a perfect way to describe this bride and groom. Karen is from Norway and came to the US as an exchange student in high school. Stephen is from good old NJ.

They wanted a personalized ceremony to reflect their unique love story and they choose to have a sand ceremony. Karen’s parents brought over from Norway sand for her container. And Stephen’s sand was from his home where he grew up in NJ.

Since many of the guests flew in from Norway, there was a special reading in Norwegian.

To honor the groom’s Irish background, I concluded with the following Irish Blessing:

May the flowers always line your path

And sunrise light your day,

May songbirds serenade you,

Every step along the way,

May a rainbow run beside you,

In a sky that’s always blue,

And may happiness fill your heart,

Each day your whole life through.

All enjoyed the ceremony. Karen and Stephen, may you always be blessed with love, health, and happiness.