Saturday, November 28, 2009

Words from the Wise

One of my favorite resources is a book that was a textbook for my Wedding Celebrant certification program at the Celebrant Foundation. The book, Joining Hands and Hearts by Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb, is an invaluable resource when I'm writing ceremonies, especially when I want specific information pertaining to a particular faith or culture.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite quotes from this volume, which I think are great for wedding ceremonies. Enjoy!

"From every human being there arises a light that reaches straight to heaven. When two souls who are destined for each other find one another, their streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being." Ba'al Shem Tov

"They are not said to be husband and wife who merely sit together. Rather, they alone are called husband and wife who have one soul in two bodies."
Guru Amar Das

"The tender words you have said to one another are stored in the secret heart of Heaven. One day like rain they will fall and spread, and your mystery will grow green over the world." Jalal al-Din Rumi

"On this day, two lives join as one. Who can know from where this union comes? Who can know how far into eternity this will go? These are the blessings of Unknowing." Wendy Egoku Nakao, from The Blessings of Unknowing

"When two people are at one in their inmost hearts, they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze. And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts, their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids." from the I Ching

"Love gives life to the lifeless. Love lights a flame in the heart that is cold. Love brings hope to the hopeless and gladdens the heart of the sorrowful." Abdu'l-Baha from
Paris Talks

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Wanna Pinata!

When my 40th birthday was creeping up last year, I started thinking about having a party. A big party. No kids. Lots of appetizers. Cupcakes.... And a pinata.

Yes, I wanted a pinata. But not a kiddie pinata - a grown up pinata, filled with fancy chocolates, little bottles of scented lotion, some funky wind-up toys. Maybe a few Borders gift cards.

Alas, my pinata never materialized. That's because I didn't plan a party. My wonderful husband wound up planning a surprise party at my dear friend's house. And I was completely, utterly surprised! He still questions whether I suspected anything. Trust me - if I expected a party, I would definitely have worn a much better outfit!

Imagine my delight when I saw a wedding pinata posted on the 2000 Dollar Wedding blog! Guest poster Linda and her groom, Chad, decided to have guests take swipes at a pinata during the wedding reception. The pinata, which was made by one of their friends, was a big hit. Be sure to check out the post - it even has instructions for making your own wedding (or birthday!) pinata.

I'm thinking my next birthday may now involve swinging at a paper mache pony!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bead for Life comes to town!

If you've read my blog, you probably know that Bead for Life is near and dear to my heart. That's why I'm happy to announce that I'll be hosting a Bead for Life Open House on December 5th!

The event will take place at Sweet Remembrance, a wonderful new coffee shop in downtown Des Plaines. (I'll be writing more about it in the future, because it's fabulous!) The shop's gracious owner, Rand
y Toelke, has allowed me to use the space to host the event. Thank you, Randy!!

Here are the details:

Bead for Life Open House/Bead Party
Saturday, Dec. 5th from 2 to 5 pm at
Sweet Remembrance
614 Lee St., Des Plaines
(just north of the Metra station)

Come check out the gorgeous bead jewelry, handmade from recycled paper. You can finish up your holiday shopping and help a worthy cause. These make wonderful, meaningful gifts. A necklace and bracelet set would be perfect for your brid
al party.- and affordable for you! Or, think shower favors - bracelets are only $5.00!

Best of all, your purchase makes a huge difference to the beaders in Uganda, who are working diligently to lift themselves out of poverty. You can learn more about Bead for Life by visiting the website.

Come have a cup of coffee (and maybe one of the amazingly delicious cookies!) and check out the bead jewelry. Join the fun!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lego Wedding

My daughter was playing in her room a while ago and announced that she had created a Lego wedding......
The Celebrant (in the light blue top) officiated the ceremony, as the flower girl (in white, holding greenery in lieu of the more traditional flower bouquet) observed from the background. The Celebrant and the flower girl look suspiciously familiar.

The bride and groom are animal lovers and own several pets - two parrots and two horses - and they all attended the ceremony. The guests included an intimate group of family and friends, who enjoyed the wedding immensely. Especially the horses, who neighed their approval.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Indie Weds - A Unique Wedding Show in Chicago

I plan to check out IndieWed on January 30th. This is the wedding show hosted by they same folks that offer the cool & funky Renegade Art Fair.

The show will feature various wedding vendors, many of them being the "off-beat" variety.

It looks like it will be pretty amazing!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween Wedding pictures!

I couldn't wait a second longer! I have pictures from my friend Veronica's Halloween wedding!! Yahooo! These are the pix taken with our own camera, so they aren't the greatest. I hope to have some of the professional ones done by Larry from George Street Photo and Video to post. The official Wedding Profile will follow soon!

In the meantime, I have the happy couple, Veronica & Joe, with me talking to the guests - and Veronica's sister Gretchen observing. Isn't the black & orange theme great?!

Next, is a shot of Veronica and Joe sharing a chocolate, which was part of a food sharing ritual. In this ritual they shared chocolate and apple cider, perfect for the season.

After the ceremony, I dashed off to change into my Bride of Frankenstein costume. Below, I am with Veronica and then with my family. My daughter was the "flower witch" in the wedding and she seems to have perfected her scary face. My husband dresses as Dog the Bounty Hunter and my son was the elusive ninja.

Finally, I have a shot of the lovely ladies from my book club. Just like during our book discussions, hardly anyone is paying attention. And if I'm not mistaken, our group was infiltrated by a little witch.... and one of us came dressed as a bride! Weird.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Wedding Profile: FELICIA & IMTIAZ

This past July, I had the honor of marrying a wonderful, creative couple named Felicia and Imtiaz. The bride and groom come from different backgrounds - he is from India and a Muslim, while she is American-born and Jewish. These two backgrounds proved to offer many rich and meaningful rituals which blended beautifully. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed researching traditions and writing the ceremony!

The wedding was held at the beautiful and funky Architectural Artifacts, with the ceremony taking place outside in the courtyard.
The bride and groom wore tradition Indian attire for the ceremony, and Felicia carried a gorgeous fuchsia bouquet - which she made herself. I couldn't help myself - joining in spirit of things by wearing a red and gold salwar kameez that I had my mom sew for me (thanks, Mom!) and I had my hands hennaed.

The couple exchanged vows under a Chuppuh which was custom-made and included bits of fabric from both the bride and groom's clothing. Felicia's friends read a version of the Seven Blessings, during which the couple shared a glass of milk (a Hindu tradition). Felicia and Imtiaz took the idea of a stone blessing ceremony and turned it into a wonderfully personal and unique ceremony where guests placed blessings and well wishes on packets of soil, which were collected while dj Harsh Singh played "Your Good Name" by Mychael Danna, from the Monsoon Wedding soundtrack.

Felicia's parents joined the couple for a water pouring ceremony, which involved them pouring water over Imtiaz and Felicia's hands, and into the potted plant, to which the packets of soil had just been added. It was a beautiful way to tie together traditions and actively involve guests and family in the ceremony.

Following the vows and ring exchange, Felicia and Imtiaz exchanged fresh flower garlands made by Imtiaz's aunt. The ceremony concluded with Imtiaz breaking a glass (the same glass from which they drank the milk earlier) and guests shouting out "Mazel Tov!"

It was a gorgeous wedding for a wonderful couple who touched my heart from the moment I met them - and who I know will enjoy a lifetime of happiness and love.

Thank you to photographer Chris Ocken from Ocken Photography for sharing the lovely photos!