First Wedding Fair (A little late!)

unnamed (2) This is the first attempt at a Bridal Fair Booth.  I thought the artistic idea (Thanks Jennifer) was great.Thanks to the artists who created the final product – the dress – My son David and his friend KK – it turned out perfect! I was very happy with the final outcome.

How would this go?  What does one do when the only product you have is yourself?  Thus the brainstorming with friends one evening with ideas that were beautiful to bazaar!  Lots of laughs but we settled on the TRASH THE DRESS theme as the conversation starter.  The idea came to mind while discussing the photo shoot my daughters – one photographer, one model – did 3 years ago.  The photo’s were amazing and the finished dress was beautiful.  Unfortunately the original dress from the shoot was burned in a bonfire to finish the trashing.  So, we featured just a sampling of photos and went to the goodwill to get a new dress to “trash”.  It did what it was supposed to do, it brought people to my table to inquire about the dress/photo’s.  I was surprised at how many brides are excited about doing this sort of thing after their weddings.  When you really think about it, why not?? Every mother dreams that her daughter will want to walk down the aisle in her dress while every young woman is dreaming of the day she will go with her mom and best friends and get something uniquely HER. So along with discussing what my role COULD be in their wedding day, much discussion was about creating a beautiful piece of “artwork” (the dress and/or photo’s) to display in their homes when the day is over!  Use your wedding colors as a paint pallette and have fun with your wedding party!  Cut a small part out of the train, so that if you have children someday, you can sew a piece of your dress into theirs, then just have fun!  If you buy a body form to put the dress on it would make a great corner art piece! with photos from that day.

I had a wonderful time meeting people and would definitely do more in the future.  I have one experience under my belt and now know what to expect, what to improve and what to leave just as is.  Thank you for those who came out to the show and very sorry it took so long to get this posted.

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Preparing for my first Wedding Fair

dress

I was so excited when I signed up to exhibit at my very first wedding fair. But as the date approached I came to a brutal realization – I have no product to display, only ME! Oh, dear…

What does an officiant do to prepare a booth for a wedding fair?  Well, first you brainstorm with all of your AMAZING friends. Mine provided ideas ranging from helpful booth pointers to absolutely hilarious ideas such as the ‘buy-a-wedding-get-a-baptism-free’ coupon! (ok, they’re amazing AND CRAZY) I decided against the latter, but through all the ideas I was able to get a working model of what I wanted to do.

It was determined that my being personable is what would lead couples to hire me. I have the gift of gab, but I needed a “conversation” piece to draw brides/couples to the booth so I could engage with them. But what? In an event hall teaming with dresses and professional photos and beautiful flowers it would undoubtedly be a challenge for an officiant to stand out! Several ideas were tossed around, but then we remembered a photo shoot my daughters had done a couple years ago entitled ‘Trashing the Dress’. It was a brilliantly fun shoot where one of my daughters posed in a wedding dress, increasingly covered in paint and eventually ending up in a lake! My other (talented photographer) daughter took beautiful photos which no one would be able to resist pausing to comment on, especially if I had the dress! Unfortunately, I discovered that they had burned the dress after the photo shoot… Undaunted, we found another dress at the Goodwill and my son and his friend had a great time turning it into a masterpiece!

Some of the couples I’ve united were willing to share photos from their weddings, allowing prospective couples to see that while I’d be happy to splatter them with paint if they desire, most of the ceremonies I help plan are truly lovely affairs! My booth was quickly coming together.

One crazy dress, some photos and ME. Armed with a stack of brochures I have everything I need to make a splash – or splatter – at my first wedding fair. If you have the opportunity to attend, come on by and say ‘Hello’ – you won’t have any trouble picking me out!

What a Christmas present!

kkwedding

This weekend I was honored to preside over the wedding of Kristina and Kelvin – what a fun, sweet couple!  As if planning a wedding during Christmas festivities wasn’t ambitious enough, the bride also graduated from college this month and is getting ready to join her handsome Marine in California!

Their families were wonderful and supportive, involved in every aspect of the day.  There was lots of laughter and a few tears, but only the good kind.  I watched the “stress” of the day fade to pure joy and love as they faced each other to say their vows.  Their eyes were suddenly filled with excitement for each other, for their future.  That’s why people love weddings – it is watching hope, joy, and optimism all bundled together as couples take that leap of faith and trust each other to be there in the good and the bad. Watching this special, intimate, moment that makes what I do so meaningful.

Thank you Kristina & Kelvin. I wish you many, many happy and healthy years together!

It’s that time of year!

blessings

With the Holidays quickly approaching (so many celebrations this time of year!) I feel the need to express gratitude. I am grateful that I have two wonderful friends who placed my feet on the first step of this wonderful new path. The past year I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of their wedding and the weddings of some other wonderful couples. It is my sincere hope that I have served them all well in their unions.

Being a part of this special time in a couple’s life is both rewarding and renewing. It reminds me how grateful I am for my own husband and our terrific children. Whether you are soon to be married, recently married or have been married “forever”, please take time to reflect on what a blessing family is.

I am also grateful that Minnesota and so many other states are now recognizing unions based on LOVE and not any sort of gender. This makes this journey even more fulfilling. I hope one day I have the opportunity to preside over such an event.

If you know someone who has recently become engaged and is looking for someone to preside over their union with care and dedication to their special day, please direct them here or to my Facebook page, Cat Couper- Wedding Officiant. I am working hard on getting a Pinterest and Twitter pages as well. Watch for announcements as I figure that out. I will also be at my first Wedding Fair in January – stay tuned for details.

Have a Blessed Day and thank you for your support on this journey!

Cat

Wedding, Wine and Approaching Winter??

nov14wedding2Weather in November is so tricky in Minnesota/Wisconsin.  What would an outdoor wedding in a vineyard in Wisconsin bring? Fortunately it brought a cold breeze, partly cloudy sky and completely happy couple! With a small gathering of only their closest friends and family, Kathryn and Loren started their married life together in a beautiful little vineyard in Prescott Wisconsin.  The cold weather didn’t seem to make a difference to those of us there to share the warmth of a special day. They all arrived in a HUGE SUV-style limousine. She was flawless, with a beautiful gown and wintery cape. They made their commitment to each other and to their children, sealing the co-mingling of families with a kiss. We were all able to watch as the photographer captured their love on film. They have a loving, supportive group of people in their corner, and I join them in wishing a long and healthy wedded life for this wonderful couple.  I am humbled to share in this most intimate time and I sincerely thank them!

One Nudge Leads to Another

Before the ceremony took place. Las Vegas April 22, 2014

Before the ceremony

One of my favorite love stories, and it is a REAL one! I met Jennifer and Don over 30 years ago when we were all in high school. My mom worked at the school, knew them both as well, and the two of us helped nudge them together. They dated for a while, but after graduation Don went into the Navy and Jen headed off to college. They stayed in touch for several years through letters & occasional phone calls. I was able to maintain my friendship with Don over the years, not always seeing him but knowing where he was because he never wandered far from Minnesota. Jen, on the other hand, disappeared. Last hearing she’d moved to the Pacific Northwest, I missed her and thought of her often over the years.

I believe in fate, and two years ago fate decided it was time for me to find her. I stumbled on her Facebook page, was beyond thrilled and contacted her right away! It was as if a day hadn’t gone by. I let her know Don was one of my friends on Facebook as well, especially since I knew they were both single *hint hint*. Talk about igniting a fire… Although she was still out West and he was here in Minnesota, they burned up phone lines and Facebook chat like it was going out of style. Many nights I would see them chatting on Facebook only to find them STILL chatting when I got up in the morning. They were bundles of nerves when they actually SAW each other for the first time, but in the process of catching up on 30+ years there was no doubt that love was there. From the moment she stepped off the plane there was no going back. When he proposed it was no surprise to anyone who knew them, or their story.

I had thought over the years of getting licensed as an Officiant and half-jokingly told them about my desire to join them in marriage. To my amazement they took me up on it and the wheels were set in motion! Everyone was just giddy when we all arrived in Las Vegas and had our first get-together, an intimate gathering of about 16 people, friends and family. There was much laughter as we visited, shared stories and all got to know each other.  But in the back of my mind loomed the responsibility for holding it together the next day – how on earth would I keep from crying?!?!

Well, first off I discovered that my inaugural bride is a force to be reckoned with. This was not going to be a stereotypical Vegas wedding but something elegant. She had managed to pack favors, room decorations, bouquet supplies, and a service for 30 in her suitcases!! You name it, she had it. She buzzed around assembling & rearranging furniture like a whirlwind, drawing us all into the building excitement. My daughter managed to capture on film many beautiful moments we all shared during this time and as other guests arrived.

Before we knew it the moment was upon us. They joined me at the “alter” we’d arranged. The bride sparkled, and even “twinkled” since she had tiny white lights woven into her hair!  The groom just couldn’t stop grinning. The absolute love and joy radiating from these two was overwhelming, so much so that my fear of starting to cry during the ceremony came back to the surface. She gave me a hug and we got through the ceremony with no glitches, my fear of crying lulled by my feeling of joy that they chose ME to join them together legally. There were a few tears from the guests (a good thing) and they were officially husband & wife, sealed with a kiss – almost 32 years after they met and fell in love.

There was much celebrating afterward with good friends and catered food. Then several of us proceeded to the Vegas Strip for a photo shoot of the happy new couple. Oh, the fun!! Still buzzing with excitement, they hit the casino just as my daughter and I went back to our room to collapse. The following day the entire group (myself included) celebrated the grooms birthday poolside. I don’t think the fun will ever end for two so giddy in love! Their sweetness sometimes makes me fear I’ll get a cavity, but I adore them beyond words!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jen & Don for trusting me to join you together! I love you both and wish much love, joy, smiles, and laughs all the days of your lives.

They hit the Jackpot!

They hit the Jackpot!

Another Perfect Day

September is always iffy in my lovely state of Minnesota – it can be sweltering hot or you might need your woolies!

Luckily, James & Tricia could not have picked a better day! Beautiful, clear, sunshine and 70+ degrees. They chose to exchange their vows at James’s family home surrounded by friends and family. She was radiant, and he was handsome as ever.  Their ceremony was simple and heartfelt.  The love that was in the air was contagious.  I am thrilled that James & Tricia chose me to bless their union. Many, many years of happiness lie ahead for this wonderful couple.

James and Tricia ceremony September 20, 2014