March Madness!

March Madness – 4 weekends/5 weddings!! The final one of the month was my own daughter that I shamelessly already highlighted separately!

IMG_1917Abigail & Shane

Mar 3, 2013- Lakeville, MN

They started this month off with a beautiful, simple yet elegant wedding.  I could tell from the moment we gathered for the rehearsal that they had amazing friends and family – one of the few rehearsal dinners I have stayed to attend – I enjoyed getting to visit with everyone. They were relaxed, and she was gorgeous in her beautiful dress.  Love and laughter filled the event. Thank you, Abby & Shane, for a wonderful day to be a part of!


HopePeterHope & Peter

Mar 10, 2018 – Blaine, MN

I met Hope and Peter 1 hour before their ceremony! I got the call from Banquets of Minnesota Friday night that this sweet couple was Officiant-less – It was FATE as that was originally that was the only Saturday I had open for the month – It was meant to be. They were amazingly calm and collected when I arrived Saturday afternoon to step in and join them in marriage. This couple has what it takes to roll with the punches and face the ups and downs of marriage in the future. I wish I had had a chance to get to know them better, as I do with my other couples, but I am glad that I could be there for them when they needed it! Best of luck in the future together.


IMG_2194Rachel & Mike

Mar 24, 2018 – Blaine, MN

1st Wedding of the day.  Rachel & Mike were another couple that was “unconventional” for me. This was all planned via phone/text/email! They were undertaking not only a wedding, they were relocating back up here to Minnesota! That is a lot and from the looks of it they managed just fine! Their family was happy to have them back up here. I have had some of the most amazingly calm and relaxed brides and Rachel was definitely that! (and beautiful too) She is also taking on the role of step-mom, after speaking with Paxton he seemed to be quite excited to be welcoming her into his little world! I was honored to be a part of your day!

 


IMG_2212Pam & Joe

Mar 24, 2018 – Fridley, MN

Cut to 1 ½ hours later – Pam & Joe were my second wedding of the day! What a great couple! They had 2 darling young children who added a spirited tone to the ceremony! Her brothers presented her to Joe and they were so fun and funny! The wedding party was quite the good looking cast. Pam was stunning as well. I loved some of the personal touches through the reception – including a card box in the shape of a wishing well, made by Joe himself! Thank you for choosing me to help put words to your story.

Ringing in the New Year

christinabrett7Christina & Brett

Jan 13,2018 – Blaine, MN

This young couple met in eighth grade and knew that they were destined to be together forever! They were surrounded by the love of close friends and family on their special day. Their love for each other showed in every little detail and their attention to each other. The heart knows what the heart knows…no matter how young it “figures it out” -I wish them all the happiness the world has to offer for the rest of their days together.

 


gabbyjordan3Gabrielle & Jordan

Feb 17, 2017 – Blaine, MN

HOOAH these two Soldiers found love – despite distance that kept them apart temporarily!  They look forward to exciting careers in the Army TOGETHER now. Everything about the couple says success. They have a loving and supportive network of family and friend to help them as they maneuver this new “battleground”!  Congrats and thank you for making me a part of your special day. Much luck into the future.

 

MY Daughter’s Amazing Day

Video by KAS Films, LLC

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Their colorful wedding band set. Photo by Rachel Lahlum Photography

What was I thinking when I said I would perform my daughter’s wedding ceremony!? I was thrilled and excited and volunteered before I fully thought about it! – EEEK! I knew I had to make it through without falling apart. Carrie and I worked for over a year and a half – on different continents, me here in the US and her in Colombia.

It was written, re-written, tweaked, re-written and tweaked again. Then there were at least 3 final drafts! I was READY… She got home from her Peace Corps Service 2 weeks before the big day but had to leave us to head to DC for the week leading up to her wedding.

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Carrie and her Gramma A having a quiet moment to discuss my father, her Grampa, during the ceremony. Photo by Rachel Lahlum Photography.

Sadly, 2 days before her wedding day, her Grampa, my dad, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. As we all struggled to process that we moved on with the plans, it would have been what he wanted. Fear and panic set in for me – COULD I do this now? Would I really be able to get through this wedding with the death of my father so new and raw? I did, like a good Officiant, call for reinforcements just in case. She assured me that she would be there if it got bad, but that I was going to be just fine and make my daughter, new son in law and dad proud.

I faltered once when recognizing those not with us but otherwise I think I made her proud.  She wished for snow on her wedding day and feels that Grampa pulled some strings, we all think he went a bit far with his “string-pulling”. Despite the heavy hearts it was a day of laughter, smiles and celebrating Carrie & TJ – my mother stayed to the very end, dancing up a storm with everyone, I am sure it was hard for her, but she smiled her way through it with only happiness and joy for her grand-daughter.

I thank you for indulging me the extra pictures and video highlights from this event!

A big thank you to Rachel, from Rachel Lahlum Photography and Kelly from KAS Films, LLC for the incredible photo and video footage – and for going above and beyond our expectations all through the day. If you’re looking for incredible Photo and Video please give them a look – the whole family was so impressed with their professionalism, command of the room, and quality of work! Can’t wait to see all the final products.

 

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Welcome to 2018!

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2018 Brings new beginnings!  I have 10 weddings already on the calendar for 2018 and one has special meaning(they all do) – not only will I be Officiating – I will be Mother of the Bride! Eeek!  What a different perspective from this side.  Sure, I planned my own wedding(s) first one in 3 months and the second in 3 weeks. That was not the same. There was no pressure about HOW to ask your friends to be in your wedding party – you just asked, there were not goody boxes and proposals other than the groom asking the bride. There wasn’t elaborate expensive trips to Las Vegas for your Bachelor/Bachelorette parties, you went out for dinner with your girlfriends. Not that any of that is bad, it is just different. My daughter who is getting married (March 31st) has been out of the country serving in the Peace Corps in Colombia so this has all been planned via Whatsapp, email, video chat and lots of time on the part of her sister and I. I know she is grateful for our help but I can imagine that part of her is sad, she didn’t get to “shop the venue”, go to tastings, sample cakes, and do a day of dress shopping with me and her bridesmaids. She sort of had to call it in and rely on all of us back here to get it together. That is a big leap of faith. Her sister, fiance and I have worked very hard to get the vision right and hopefully she will love the outcome!  I have purposely kept my calendar packed for this next 3 months to pass the time. She arrives home 15 days before the event and is having to leave for 3 days the week leading up to the wedding (Peace Corps business in DC). I have 4 weddings prior to hers, then a month off before the next. I am thrilled for her and her new adventure with her soon to be husband. To say I am not scared about this one would be an understatement – this is more personal than any ceremony I have done,  but I am so incredibly proud of this child of mine that I can think of no better way to show her just how much I love her that to unite her with her love. I am up to the challenge.  2018 is a lucky year for me!

(picture of me and my beautiful daughter in November when I had the opportunity to travel to Colombia to see her and wonderful work she is doing in the Peace Corps- I highly recommend it BEAUTIFUL Country!)

Thank you for indulging this mom some bragging!

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Once again!

Again – I find myself behind in updating this page! I get myself so busy (note to self – take a bit more time WEEKLY or even BI-WEEKLY for Updating!!)

I had a great wedding season! June through last weekend. While I would like to do more next year, this year the pace was just perfect. I don’t have anymore scheduled for the rest of 2017 – although, I will still gladly book more. I do have 5 or so already on the books for 2018!

Since the last blog here is a look at the Fantastic couples that I had the pleasure of uniting in marriage. All ceremonies and celebrations unique! I enjoyed the time I had with each couple. All of them have two things in common, their love for each other and a strong community of family and friends to help them get through the next stage of their lives.

I am so blessed and I love what I do!

 

IMG_7837 June 3, 2017(Stillwater, MN)

I joined together Christy & Jerry in Beautiful Stillwater, MN – we met the week before and due to flooding their hopes of using THIS Gazebo was underwater – we made alternate plans. Thankfully, the day of the wedding came and the waters had receded. This was beautiful, intimate gathering of friends and family.


IMG_8407 July 17, 2017(St. Paul, MN)

It was a VERY hot day at the Como Park Conservatory but Robin & Robert had a beautiful setting and Robin was a vision! She stayed cool in an air-conditioned limo until it was time for her grand entrance. What a great couple and awesome family.

 

 

 

 

 


July 22, 2017(Talladega, AL)

I thought the conservatory was HOT… well let me tell you “Talladega Nights” are as sultry as they come! This wedding had extra special meaning – this is my beautiful niece (and as of this writing the family is GROWING!!) daughter of my husband’s deceased brother – all 3 of the uncles were there to “represent” and we know that Daddy Mark was there – he showed himself in many ways. It was a beautiful lakeside setting and there were lots of friends and family to get this party started!


PalladinCameron August 5, 2017 (Banquets of MN- Fridley, MN)

Palladin and Cameron were an awesome couple to work with! They were so cute and so in love. They had all the greatest touches on this most special day. Their colors were perfect. I had a great time with this couple.

 

 

 

 

 

 


October 14, 2017(Banquets of MN-Fridley, MN)

Amanda & Kyle -This was my SHY bride. I watched this beautiful woman become more confident as the day went on! She looked so beautiful! I loved all the amazing touches all the way down to her BLUE tennies! I had a great time getting to know some of her family at the rehearsal and her mom and mom’s best friend kept everyone laughing! You got a keeper Kyle!


October 21, 2017(Rubies & Rust-Belle Plaine, MN)

Molly & Jared – Outside might have been cold and windy on their wedding day but the love between these two kept EVERYONE warm. I have never experienced such a caring and attentive Groom.  He was so in tune with her every need and emotion. They were fluid. The setting was beautiful, their families were so welcoming, the food was amazing, and the Hand-Fasting Ceremony was so meaningful -lots of tears – WOW is about all I have to say about these two.


October 22, 2018(Cannon River Winery-Cannon Falls, MN)

John & Delmi had a very small, intimate gathering of friends and family to watch as, John’s sister lovingly wrote, “Delmi got her man”. There were a few traditions that were very new to me, so it was a learning event for me as well. The bride was surprised with her favorite Saxophone player from Las Vegas that they flew in special for the event. She was a stunning, exotic vision. What a beautiful family.

 

It’s looking like Spring!

wedding Tracy & Jon kicked off the spring with a BEAUTIFUL wedding that was “no joke”- with the ceremony on April Fools Day – this fantastic couple had a ceremony that was filled with love and laughter – and PASTEL!  I was telling a friend it has been a LONG time since I have seen a pastel wedding – attending or officiating – and it was refreshing and light and gorgeous! It reflected the feeling of everything in bloom, especially the love between these two!  They combined their individual families with a sand ceremony that incorporated 6 beautiful colors to represent the blending of the 2 families into one.  After walking into this room for the rehearsal my last blog felt so true!  They (probably more Tracy than Jon – but I may be wrong) went with their dreamy vision and it was spectacular! Thank you for letting me be a part of you special day – this was a stand out!

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Trend? What Trend?

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Just finished reading an article entitled “Wedding Trends of 2017”.  And it got me thinking and it made realize something.  The media really does have a huge influence.  WHY?? Have we become so worried that we constantly have to follow blindly what the “trends” are?  Who decides this?  and… how did they get that presumptuous job? Yet people keep letting them decide what WE like and what WE should do. They make us feel bad, and silly for our own individual taste… why do we allow that?11d235a26e6be8d006ac4251309063a7

When this woman planned her wedding, I am sure she picked something SHE liked.  At the time it was probably “The Trend”.  I hope now when she looks back at that picture she still loves it because of what it represents. Not the dresses, or the hairstyles. A marriage, a day of hope and planning for a future with a soulmate. We look back and giggle sometimes at things we wore, how we wore our hair etc but if you get beyond the initial reaction, a photo evokes emotions of a day – good or bad – it takes you back sometimes to a time that was ever so much simpler in your life.

images Being a DAYS fan, I got to see a LOT of weddings, sometimes multiples for the same couples!  I would ooh and aah over the elaborate, over the top weddings they would throw.  I remember thinking I would love to be an actress just so I could wear all sorts of different wedding dresses, marry some of the most handsome men on the planet.  The bigger the better. I was going to have a soap opera wedding! Those women set the wedding trends in their day!  I honestly still love all the wedding dresses! Dated or not… but WHY are they dated?

Not only did Bo and Hope set a high bar, there was the event of high school.. Luke and Laura – people took the day off work for that wedding! For a TV show wedding!  gh_wedding_luke_laura Laura with her dramatic (Like Hope’s) headpiece that EVERYONE wanted.

Granted, these are fictitious weddings but they set the “trend” for the 80’s.  The clothing doesn’t make a marriage. Hard work and dedication makes a marriage.  Clothing makes a WEDDING.  Big difference.

So… when people question what the “trend” for the season is here is my take.  It is whatever YOU want.  There is no right or wrong way to have a wedding – that is just the dressing, what is to come is what matters.  Want plaid, wear plaid. No flowers, that’s cool. Big, small, music, no music.  The canvas is yours.Give it YOUR  unique and amazing brush strokes! Set your own trend and forget articles that are telling you how to plan YOUR day. Have fun with your day, and focus what matters the most… the Marriage that will follow that ONE day.

The last picture I will share is still one of my favorite “outside the box” dresses – again from my Soap…

Now a light up dress is the way to start a “TREND” Married at midnight on New Years Eve -in the snow – with Jiminy Cricket serenading her in with “When you wish upon a star”  YES!

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Who knew!

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3 Years and here I am!

Wow!  What a journey.  My life is full and rich. When asked by my good friends to join them in marriage 3 years ago (next month) I never would have imagined I would be sitting here, writing this with close to 25 weddings under my belt and six “on deck” for this year… so far.. and 1 scheduled for next year as well. I never doubted that I would love doing it, I just never dreamed it would take me down this path and that it would continue to grow everyday! I am learning so much all the time from the couples that I meet, researching and reading a LOT! I have met, and continue to meet, some amazing couples. They come to the table with that “newness” , that excitement and wonder of what is to come as they join together and face the future side by side. For better or worse. It renews and refreshes me each and every time. I hope I touch their lives and leave an impression on them as each of them has left on me. I sincerely thank each and every bride and groom who I have been blessed to join together.  I look forward to all the couples who I will have the honor of working with in the future. My journey, like my couples, is just beginning the twists and turns are unpredictable and exciting, and like marriage, I look forward to it all!

Time to catch up!

12744293_10156501451065265_3491220735618251470_n  This is Tiiu & Rob, they started my year off in February!  Got to know them quite well and my husband and I attended the reception after the ceremony.  The Ceremony was held at the Holiday Inn in Lakeville and it was a very intimate event.  Tiiu’s daughter sang during the glass ceremony and it was beautiful.  They were surrounded by family and friends who wish them a long and happy life of wedded bliss.  Pretty sure we have new friends for life!  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your very special day.

This wedding mean’t a lot to me as it came just days after my youngest child, and only son, left for the Navy and 1 day after his beloved cat of 17 years passed away.  So during this time of sadness and adjustment this was my silver lining! It is a gentle reminder that lives go on despite our own personal struggles and pain and these events can totally alter how you see your own situation.  Thanks Tiiu and Rob for the reminder.

In April, my husband and I also attended the reception of another fantastic couple… They tied the knot on the sandy beaches in sunny Cancun in February, while were all up here in Minnesota with our toes in the snow!  While I didn’t perform the ceremony, I assisted in the filing of their official paperwork so they are “legal”.  What an absolutely wonderful couple.  We look forward to another lifelong friendship!  Congratulations Teresa & Chuck!  Feel like I was there from the beginning!


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April also brought Graduation from Boot Camp!  Trip to Chicago for a very brief visit before the son left for Submarine School out on the East Coast… another So long (never Good bye!)  In March I also had a wonderful 2 week adventure with my best friend visiting my “son” in Sweden!  Getting to know my grandson better and getting the wonderful news that I am going to have a granddaughter in July!!  I also hit a milestone personally… the big FIVE-OH!  What a wonderful direction my life is taking at this mid-point!  Love being a part of such a happy time in so many lives!

I had one wedding in May, Michelle and Dan!  What a sweet couple and what a beautiful setting!  The Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.  Was a bit chilly for May but they had sunshine, which was pretty scarce around that time!  Enjoyed getting to know this young couple and wish them much love and happiness in their new journey together!


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Early June brought me Megan and Nick!  So much joy and energy radiating from this young couple!  I was honored and humbled that they chose me to perform their ceremony.  At our initial meeting I learned his mother had been an Officiant!  She is no longer with them, he shared a ceremony of hers that they liked.  I added some of the elements of mine into the ceremony but worked very hard to keep it true to HER words.  On that day, I simply served as a vessel for her to be with them.  I don’t think I have had a groom hug me so tight and thank me like he did… as a mom, it brought tears to my eyes.  I gently reminded him she was “there” and always would be.  They are on their way to many, many years of love and happiness!


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As I write this blog, I am a few hours from another wedding.  Warm, muggy day with the possibility of rain but knowing this couple, a little rain won’t spoil the day!   I have been told that rain on your wedding day is actually good luck!

I am reminded each time I perform a wedding how truly blessed I am in so many ways!  Personally and Professionally.  In such a crazy, tumultuous time, to  see the optimism and joy and love gives me HOPE for our future!

 

What a Year!

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What a year I have had!  Blessed is the only word that comes to mind…and it seems so small.

I have been blessed with good health and happiness this past year.  The end of a year is a time to reflect and absorb all the amazing things that we have been blessed with.  Reflect on any pain or hurt experienced, learn from it, grow from it and let it go.

I was blessed to have been a part of 8 Marriages in 2015!  I am looking forward to a good 2016 and my calendar is starting to fill.  I never thought I would be here, when I took that leap for my friends in 2014.  My higher power knew better what my new path was going to be.  I love it!  I am closer to my goal of this being a full time journey for me.  I have 2 years and I can retire and devote my time and attention to this full time, while still being able to travel as I do now!  Life is good.

Every bride and groom (family & friends) have been a unique and wonderful experience.  Thank you for choosing me for your union. I hope that I lived up to your expectations.  I had 4 couples hit their 1 year Anniversaries this past year as well.

Thanks to everyone who has shared my name with others taking the “big step”.  I am honored and humbled by your referrals.

So far I have 6 (one is teetering on 2015/2016 – it is a New Years Eve wedding) weddings on the books for the upcoming year.  I have enjoyed meeting with all of them to discuss their unique weddings.

I have had many wonderful personal triumphs in 2015 with, thankfully, not many tribulations!

May your 2016 be filled with love and good health, family and friends.

Happiest of New Years to you!